On July 18, we spent an exhausting (and successful) day of sea trials along the northern coast of Labrador. Team Sedna and its diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs or scooters) were put to the test in 1.2 degree C waters, navigating narrow routes between pack ice and bergy bits. After a few collisions with low hanging ice, we determined that scooter travel, at five kilometres per hour, is a contact sport… Lesson learned: During the 2016 snorkel relay of the Northwest Passage, we’ll definitely need to wear helmets.
At noon, several Parks Canada wardens joined us on the MV Cape Race, warning us that they had spotted a polar bear which was likely traveling our way on a bergy bit. Accordingly, our afternoon sea trials included adding additional wildlife monitors. I can confirm, categorically, that looking for a white bear on a white ice floe is not an easy task…
Our original expedition route had included a stop at the base camp/research station in Torngat Mountain National Park. But the passage to Saglek, the gateway to Torngat Mountain Park, was blocked with sea ice. Our original expedition route had also included visits to two Inuit communities on the Southern tip of Baffin Island. Again, this route was blocked by sea ice. So, after a two successful days of sea trials in Northern Labrador, we stowed all of our snorkel and dive gear for the three-day crossing of the Davis Strait to southern Greenland.
During the crossing, Team Sedna celebrated a successful start to our expedition with a toast to the crew of the MV Cape Race and Arctic Kingdom’s two dive masters.
At writing, we’re crossing the southern part of the Davis Strait. The seas are calm, but the currents in this large body of water are slowing the MV Cape Race’s speed by about 25 percent.
It’s a sunny day and many of the Sea Women are on deck–albeit dressed in their warm SANTI hats, expedition jackets and pants–enjoying the crossing, and conducting seabird and marine mammal surveys.
Where is Team Sedna:
Location: 60.12 N -58.06 W
Posted By: Susan R. Eaton
2014-2016 Sedna Epic Expedition