72º024.89´ N, 73º34.62´ W
Since the refuelling on the day of our arrival did not leave much time for anything else, we ended up staying in Pond Inlet for two days and two nights. On our second day, Pekka changed the engine oil and filters, and Riitta walked up to the Inns North Hotel and spent several hours uploading photos. At these latitudes, the signal strength is normally so weak that it takes ages to upload a single photo. And, for some unknown reason, there are always photos that simply refuse to be uploaded.
In the afternoon, we walked around the hamlet which didn't take very long. By far the most interesting place in Pond Inlet was the Rebecca P. Idlout Library. In addition to the library itself, it houses a permanent exhibition of Inuit history, artefacts, clothing, etc. As in so many libraries before, we made great discoveries also here in their Books for Sale Section (1 dollar each); five novels plus Doonesbury Deluxe and Madame Benoit's World of Food that includes some interesting Finnish dishes. Although, one of her recipes begins with “Like so many of the Finnish dishes this one may sound odd but,... “, we decided to forgive Madame Benoit and, someday, try at least the extremely exotic sounding Finnish Jellied Beef Tongue. However, the jewel of our findings was, without a doubt, a photo book titled Florence; History, Art, Folklore, with the city map tucked between its pages, and that too only for one dollar!
The librarian told us that the natives in Pond Inlet speak Inuktitut but a different dialect from Inuktitut spoken, for example, in Gjoa Haven or Cambridge Bay. Which reminded us of your homework! The blue sign, photographed in Gjoa Haven, is indeed in Inuktitut, and it says 'Nunavut Ladies' Group'. To give you a few more words, this time in Iñupiaq, that may come in handy on your future travels in the Arctic, to those who got it right, we say “Aarigaa!”, which expresses our satisfaction, and to the rest of you, “Arii!”, which means the exact opposite.
We weighed anchor early Sunday morning and headed for Baffin Bay. Due to the fog that seemed to have engulfed the whole Baffin Island, combined with the at least two dozen icebergs and numerous growlers that lined its shores, we decided to go further off the coast and stay at a distance of about five miles from it. We also decided to reduce our speed during the darkest hours of the night so as to diminish the impact of a possible collision with ice. Naturally, this slows down our progress a little but, as always, safety comes first.
If the fog has lifted by tomorrow morning, we'll sail closer to the
shore and continue our favourite pastime, namely Polar Bear Spotting!