Gear explosion, Iqaluit

by John Huston

“The equipment of a polar expedition is a lengthy business; there are a thousand things to be remembered and done and arranged before the anchor can be weighted, for when the hour comes, in order to ensure the probability of a safe return and accomplished task, nothing must be wanting, nothing likely to fail.” – Otto Sverdrup, New Land.

For the first time the full team (including dogs) is now assembled together in one spot with all the equipment. We have settled into our house in Iqaluit, where we will spend the next four days sorting, labeling, and tinkering before we fly to Resolute on Monday afternoon.

Our stay in Ottawa wrapped up in a small whirlwind of packing, shopping, eating, and chasing details like Kyle’s lost luggage. Kyle’s arrival in Ottawa was delayed two full days. Hugh had an emotional goodbye with his wife and three children. Toby and I packed our 20 duffle bags for the flight to Iqaluit – no easy task in one single hotel room, but we enjoyed the puzzle.

Yesterday afternoon we landed in sunny Iqaluit, population 8000 and growing. In the sun the temperature felt even warmer than Ottawa! Old friends greeted us at the crowded airport. Then we watched in anticipation as all 20 duffles roll off that baggage belt, it doesn’t always work out like that.

The highlight of the day was meeting our beautiful skijor dogs for the first time. These four Canadian Inuit dogs weigh at least 80 pounds each, have truly gorgeous furry coats and playful personalities. We haven’t skijored with them yet, but we are very excited with the first impression.

Coming next a video of the team meeting the dogs, stay tuned.