This previous week, the expedition AKOR team said goodbye to Jacob, in whom they found a great man and a great friend. His mission to assist the men during the skiing portion of the expedition is complete, and it's safe to say it was a success!
The team now welcomes Etienne and Philippe on their journey, their old friends and tested adventurers. During their week of rest, they gave interviews, got information about the surrounding territory from the hunter-trappers of Gjoa Haven and discovered the Inuit culture and the history of the city.
Guillaume and Nicolas feel that a new expedition is beginning: spring has arrived, and with it, the geese. Skis are abandoned in favour of canoes. Water gear replaces winter coats. Dehydrated food gives way (a little) to fresh food. Polar bears and arctic foxes to grizzlies and wolves.
A new start, new companions, a new territory: here we go again!
The section that awaits them will be very different from the previous ones. They will start by pulling their two canoes over the ice until they reach the mainland and navigate the thawed rivers.
At a pace of 25 km per day, they expect to reach Baker Lake (still in Nunavut), the next supply point, in 35 days.
The arrival of Etienne and Philippe on the expedition is a tremendous motivating wind for our beautiful gang of adventurers. After only 3 days of pulling the canoes on the ice, the team spirit has already taken hold.
The first two days of this third section of the expedition were a great moment for Nicolas and Guillaume. They touched the continent for the first time in 66 days of progress, to their great relief.
They are now sleeping on the continent because the ice no longer allows them to set up camp. More and more water is percolating over it.
However, if it is an obstacle to camp on the ice, pulling the canoes during the day is a great advantage: it slides. It's not a problem to have wet feet because they are now equipped like real amphibians.
The ice is melting like crazy, encouraged by the warm weather (up to 8 degrees with sunshine). It's also much easier to get drinking water because they don't have to melt ice. They only have to chemically treat the water collected from the puddles.
Since their departure, the weather has been very mild. There is little wind, lots of sunshine, and it's sprinkled with occasional rain. Etienne and Philippe even joked with us that they didn't believe Nicolas and Guillaume when they told them that the winds were sometimes extreme.
Their progress is excellent. The men did 18 km on their first day, shorter than the others because it was the day they had to leave Gjoa Haven. They are currently averaging 21 km/day. Because of the excellent weather, they ate and prepared their first meal outside of the tent since Eureka. They are thrilled about it.
Make sure to follow along on our social media accounts, @Naakbars to stay up to date with any breaking news and photos from Expedition AKOR. Be sure to read more about the team on our previous Blog Posts.