Keith Jones, Adventures with Wild Animals
Close animal encounters
Rub noses with a gray whale,  Pet a Giant Panda BearSnorkel with a shark!

 

                                            Jones Adventures Arctic Narwhal trip log for August, 2005
Click here to read previous pages from the Arctic Narwhal trip log                            Click to read the next page of the Arctic Narwhal trip report
Trip log of Katie Yelineck.  Copyright 2005, Katie Yelineck. Trip notes from Keith Jones
Day Two: Wednesday, August 24

We plan to depart for camp after lunch. The early risers among us are up to take photographs or to walk along the beach. Even those savoring one last morning in a real bed have time to explore the Co-Op store and to walk through town.

At lunch time, however, the rainy, windy conditions continue, and we face a weather delay. We read or nap in our rooms until we get the "all clear" signal at 3:00. Then there is a flurry of activity to load the luggage into a truck, make one last use of the indoor plumbing, and walk to the beach. Two teams of dogs, chained along the path to the water, watch us pass by.

On the beach we identify Northern Fulmars and Glaucous Gulls. Katie spots an ermine on the hill leading back to town. We each get fitted for a survival suit—those bulky, bright orange suits we are required to wear at all times on the boat. We load a rather large pile of gear and luggage into what looks like a small boat, and off we go.

It is about a four hour ride. We skim the edge of Baffin Island and leave the town of Pond Inlet behind. The clouds are lifting, and the glaciers of Bylot Island roll down to the water like blankets of clouds. We pass icebergs of blue-white ice like crumpled origami. When we stop to take pictures of one iceberg, a ringed seal pops up to investigate. We see the spout of what is probably a narwhal, but it is moving fast and we don’t see it again.

We turn left into Milne Inlet. Here the hills of bare brown rock rear up sharply from the water. The inlet is a bit more protected than the open sound, but we still become chilled from the long ride. Dave and Marianne give us cereal bars and hot chocolate, and Charlie pulls the boat over for a warm-up and comfort stop.

Our camp site is on the northern side of Koluctoo Bay, on a gravelly beach with a fresh water stream. We struggle to set up our tents against a fierce northern wind. After Carol’s tent blows into the bay, we are reminded of the importance of anchoring our tents with rocks. The dining and cook tents are erected, and Marianne prepares spaghetti, salad, and cake for a much welcomed dinner. It’s after midnight by the time we fall asleep beneath the midnight light.

Click links below to continue reading about our Arctic Narwhal Adventure
Day 2: Wednesday, August 24, 2005- We head into the wilderness
Day 3: Thursday, August 25- Our first narwhal sighting
Day 4: Friday, August 26 A parade of narwhals makes our day
Day 5: Saturday, August 27 Exploring & fishing Robertson River & the falls
Day 6: Sunday, August 28 Narwhals offshore by our camp!
Day 7: Monday, August 29 A rainy windy day
Day 8: Tuesday, August 30 Breaking camp, launching the boat
Day 9: Wednesday, One last day in Pond Inlet

 

 

 

 

 

I woke up today at the crack of dawn, around 6:00 A.M.  The sky was overcast and there was light rain in the air.  Then I realized that it had never got dark during the night.  We truly had arrived at the land of the midnight sun.  Although officially sundown was around 11:00 PM and sunrise was at 4:00 AM, the sun never sank far enough below the horizon for night to really arrive.

I'm so used to getting up and being on a whale watching boat at 8:00 AM or earlier, that the idea of leaving in the afternoon just didn't seem right.  I kept thinking that as afternoon came the wind would pick up (like it does most places in the whale watching world) or that it would get dark on us before we had time to set up camp.   I placed my trust with the local Inuit guide, Charlie and with our local outfitter, Dave and didn't say anything negative about our late start out loud.

Dave and Charlie proved to be correct in their decision to postpone our departure, because the misty rain cleared out by the time we were ready to load the boat around 3:00 PM. 

We were all very excited by then.  Loading the boat, getting fitted into our orange survival suits and actually motoring away from town were all accomplished amidst much upbeat activity.

Setting up camp and eating dinner at 10:00 PM wasn't as challenging as I had made it in my mind.  Everyone pitched in and we helped one another assemble our individual tents.  These were very nice Mountain Hardwear 3 or 4 man tents with a good rain alcove.

I was ready for a good sleep by the time we were done eating.  I no more than laid down before I was sound asleep and I didn't wake up until 6:00 AM the next morning.

Whale watching in Baja,    Gray whale facts and stats,      Blue Whale Adventure,      Snorkel with the Whale sharks of Bahia de Los Angeles,    Narwhal Arctic Adventure ,  Koluctoo BayPet a Panda in China tour,   The Great Wall of China trip,   
Patagonia Right Whale & Penguin Adventure ,      Archived newsletters,      5 day trip itinerary ,      Video clips ,    
Cave painting trip ,     Photos of 2001 season's trips ,     Photos of 2002 season trips ,     Photo gallery ,      Whale tail photos ,      salt making operation,      Flydown weekend details ,      Compare whale watching locations,      Swim with Whale sharks ,      Migration statistics chart ,      Meet our photographer ,      Activity summary from various dates ,      Snorkel with the Manta Rays of La Paz ,     Osprey and bird watching ,   Baja interactive map,