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BLOG: Archive for May, 2009

Move Over, Iceland: Vikings Visited the Canadian Arctic, Too

May 30th, 2009 | By | Filed in Arctic History, IN THE NEWS

New research suggests that Vikings may have visited the Canadian Arctic. The Ottowa Citizen reports,

One of Canada’s top Arctic archeologists says the remnants of a stone-and-sod wall unearthed on southern Baffin Island may be traces of a shelter built more than 700 years ago by Norse seafarers, a stunning find that would be just the second location in the New World with evidence of a Viking-built structure. Read the rest of this entry »

More Things on Heaven and Earth Dept.: Siberia’s Mysterious Ice Circles

May 28th, 2009 | By | Filed in Current Events, IN THE NEWS

An ice circle on the Southern Edge of Lake Baikal, as photographed by the International Space Station.

Science Fiction blog io9 posted a real-science story today about two mysterious, two-and-a-half-mile-wide ice circles that have appeared, with no readily apparent cause, in Siberia’s Lake Baikal. Read the rest of this entry »

Featured Video: Swimming with Whales & Camping on Sea Ice in the Arctic

May 27th, 2009 | By | Filed in Diving, Films, Sports

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Harsh though it seems, the High Arctic teems with life. One of the things I love about this video is how much of that life is in evidence, from large mammals, including narwhal and beluga, to the clouds of plankton that swirl around the camera and divers. And check out the crazy undersea plant life that shows up at around 1:42!

This video also showcases the diving, photographic opportunities, and natural beauty that make Lancaster Sound one of our most popular destinations. Visit the trip page to find out how you can join the fun!

Graham Dickson in Face to Face: Polar Portraits

May 25th, 2009 | By | Filed in AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Books

Graham Dickson, founder and chief expedition officer, is among the explorers featured in "Face to Face: Polar Portraits."

I recently got my hands on a copy of Huw Lewis-Jones’ Face to Face: Polar Portraits, a stunning collection of photographs from polar expeditions past and present. (Jealous? Get your copy here while supplies last!)

Curled up on a lawn chair in my sun-drenched San Francisco garden, far south of Arctic Kingdom’s Toronto headquarters (never mind the Arctic Circle), I was absolutely transported as I paged through the book, absorbed by its parade of chapped cheeks, fur-lined parkas, ice-encrusted mustaches and resolute gazes. Read the rest of this entry »

"It's Like Being in A Dream": NPR Explores the Arctic Soundscape

May 24th, 2009 | By | Filed in Arctic Animals, Current Events, IN THE NEWS, SCIENCE

Listening to the radio late last night, I caught a snippet of the NPR program To the Best of Our Knowledge that explored what it means to have “a sense of place.”

The show featured several people who are, in one way or another, involved with finding or documenting the essence of a particular locale. My favorite, of course, was the brief segment recorded by Martyn Stewart, one of audio engineers who took part on the Arctic Soundscape Project, a record of the sounds of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge captured in 2006.

One thing Stewart said about his time on the tundra really struck me: Read the rest of this entry »

"Everyone Thinks We’re Crazy. But it’s a Lot of Fun": Arctic Kingdom on Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet

May 19th, 2009 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, AK NEWS, Diving, FEATURED, Films, Media, Recent Trips, Team Interviews, TRIPS

One of the draws of diving under the ice is the visibility — the colder water is, the clearer it gets, making winter one of the best times to view underwater sites such as the St. Lawrence River’s shipwrecks and lost villages.

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Read the rest of this entry »

Featured Trip: Diving with Narwhal and Beluga in Lancaster Sound

May 16th, 2009 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, Arctic Animals, Diving, FEATURED, TRIPS

Belugas are friendly and curious

"The Beluga and Narwhal are possibly the most curious creatures I have ever encountered. The amazing thing is that they come to you! Snorkeling meant we could spend as long as we liked with them. They dive into your path and then under you, blowing up bubbles that catch on your face and middle. Sometimes the whale song was so loud you could feel it reverberate down your neck and drive around your ears!" - Nell Battye, AK dive participant

When: June 12- June 25 & June 25 – July 8
Where: Lancaster Sound
Featured Animals: Narwhal, Beluga, and Bowhead Whales

It’s not hard to see why this is one of our most popular trips! The floe edge along Lancaster Sound is one of the best wildlife-viewing spots in the Arctic. In the late spring, as the sea ice begins to melt and crack, the waters along the edge of the ice teem with life. Read the rest of this entry »

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