Expedition Around North America
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Stopover : Tuktoyaktuk
(North West Territories, Canada)
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Stop over
Tuktoyaktuk (North West Territories, Canada)
(August 29 - 31, 2008 )

August 31, 2008 (Onboard time = UTC - 6)
Tuktoyaktuk
22h50 local time

In the middle of the village there is a schooner “Our lady of Lourdes”. She came from Brittany, France to North America and had found her way by the insides and the MacKenzie river to the Arctic Ocean. Onboard the French missionary Robert Lemeur, came at the age of 24 and spent his lifetime in Tuk and the region.
Sister Lay tells us his story and her own experience in the Arctic regarding global warming. We’re evocating the fact that less polar bears live on the delta but more and more grizzlies bears are coming up.


Our Lady of Lourdes   - Gabriel Pitras

Our Lady of Lourdes
Photo Gabriel Pitras
(Click to enlarge)
August 30, 2008 (Onboard time = UTC - 6)
Tuktoyaktuk
22h30 local time

We set this day under the sign of the logistic in the way to knock out our usual list of tasks we have to do before departure : Provisioning, refueling, water, propane, post office, etc. Crew members, photographer, cameraman and scientist take their time to do by their own.
In the evening we’re gathering around a soup in the warm saloon and discuss about our day.


Arctic ground squirrel   - Gabriel Pitras

Arctic ground squirrel
Photo Gabriel Pitras
(Click to enlarge)
August 29, 2008 (Onboard time = UTC - 6)
Tuktoyaktuk
23h50 local time

As usual we keep going with our field investigation about global warming. Here main problems are thawing of permafrost and coastal erosion. The maire of Tuk drive us to show the coastal erosion the village has to face. In some places, the sea invades built area and cuts roads during violent storms. He remembers places when he was young which are now under water.
Regarding the permafrost, we’re going 30 feet bellow the surface in a “ice house” which was traditionally built to keep games frozen all over the summer. We can observe that permafrost is essentially made of ice with a little bit of sand. Then it’s very easy to understand that all equipments could sunk if the permafrost was thawing to much by lack of solid bed.

Note about the picture :
White crystals on the top part of the gallery are coming from condensation, mainly people breathing. Black zone on the lower part are pure ice and light brown zone in stripes are sand.


In the ice house  - Gabriel Pitras

In the ice house
Photo Gabriel Pitras
(Click to enlarge)
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