Hugh and Axel

by Kyle O’Donoghue

Given that I only learned to ski a year and a half ago I am not so well equipped to handle overzealous Inuit Dogs. A few days ago Toby and I took two of our dogs out for a skijor on the sea ice. Skijoring is basically cross country skiing with a sled dog pulling you, the dog helps but doesn’t do all the work.

I was fairly nervous about the idea of tethering myself a very energetic dog to likes lives to pull like mad.

Elle (named after Ellesmere Island) turned out to be great and I only fell twice on the trip back from the dogs to the house we rented across the bay. This was also my first time on sea ice, so it was a bit eery to be out there. But Meeka Mike, our friend who lives in town, tells me they have had a good freeze and the ice is about 6 feet thick at the moment.

Scenes from Iqaluit.

The North is legendary for it’s hospitality and we are experiencing it in full. Hugh, Toby, and John have all spent a lot time in the north. Hugh even speaks a little of the local language. Meeka and her family have been industriously sewing patches onto all our clothing. One day we arrived to check on the progress and found them having a snack of frozen Caribou rump and fermented Beluga Whale oil. The meat tasted good and lets just say the fermented oil is an acquired taste.

The team has also been helped out by the polar adventuring McNair-Landry family, who are always ready to give advice and let us use of their workshop for gear modifications.

We all getting along great and happily continue to gain weight. On Saturday morning, morning Toby cooked up a super hash of leftover pasta, bacon, corned beef hash, butter, leftover nachos…all topped with cheese and eggs.