September 2010 - Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions

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BLOG: Archive for September, 2010

Trip Report – Narwhal and Polar Bear Floe Edge Scuba Dive Adventure

September 28th, 2010 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, Client Reports, Diving, TRIPS

Joe Canepari posted some astounding photos from his recent trip with Arctic Kingdom and was kind enough to share them with us.

Getting geared up for the first dive

For a bit of perspective of the scale out there...

With so much in the news about the seasonal ice melt and the reality of climate change, I feel it's important to remember that the Arctic is still the Arctic. Plenty of cold weather, and plenty of ice to explore!

Arctic Dive, photograph by Todd Mintz

Check out the whole page for more shots, including of Joe climbing an iceberg, some terrific jellyfish, more diving, and of the camp. Of this last shot, Joe says :
The final pic of me taken on my last dive and its probably my favorite one of the trip. The photo captures the enormity of the iceberg, especially when you keep in mind how much of the iceberg was out of frame. This dive was one of the great experiences in my life and it fulfilled my quest to dive below the sea ice near one of the planet’s poles.

Scouting Trip to Akpatok Island

September 24th, 2010 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Recent Trips, TRIPS

Report received from a scouting trip to Akpatok Island, located in the Ungava Bay area of Nunavik (northern Quebec). This location is available on a Private Trip basis, and offers incredible hiking, beautiful scenery, polar bear viewing, as well as the opportunity to see the world's largest colony of Black Billed Murres, who reside on the island in the hundreds of thousands.

Cliffside of Akpatok Island

The island is ringed in kilometers of solid cliffs, with beach at the foot of those cliffs. This area is where we search for polar bears, who use pockets of remaining snow to cool off during the warm summer months.

Polar bear mother and cubs

This remote location is only accessible by air, but offers fantastic hiking in the deep canyons and river valleys that pierce the flat topped island. Join us on Facebook for more photos and trip reports like this one, as well as a chance to talk to fellow adventurers and our team members.

Reminder, end of season warehouse sale, Sept 24 and 25th

September 22nd, 2010 | By | Filed in AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Gear, Uncategorized

Get great deals on 'gently used' top brands such as Canada Goose, Outdoor Research, Black Diamond, with new gear available as well. End of Season warehouse sale Sept 24 (9am to 6pm) and Sept 25 (9am to 5pm) at our 1050 Kamato Drive, Mississauga warehouse location. Anyone may call to reserve/purchase an item ahead ...of time at 416-322-7066. International shipping is possible. Enjoy the sale, and stay warm!

Pond Inlet - Arctic Kingdom Dive Trip

Client Report – Photography by Todd Mintz

September 20th, 2010 | By | Filed in AK NEWS, Client Reports, TRIPS

Polar bear by Todd Mintz

Todd is a talented semi-professional photographer with extensive online galleries of his work, including some ice diving and more Polar Bears!

Speaking of Satellites…

September 16th, 2010 | By | Filed in Current Events, Global Warming, IN THE NEWS, SCIENCE

A Snapshot of Sea Ice, via NASA's Aqua satellite on Sept. 3, 2010

This image, credited to Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, shows a snapshot of the Arctic Ice as of Sept 3 of this year. Check out their video of last year - Flickr Video Researchers will undoubtedly reference data of this kind while continuing to broaden our understanding of climate change.
In fall 2009, Arctic sea ice reached its minimum extent on about Sept. 12, and was the third lowest since satellite microwave measurements were first made in 1979. Researchers are interested in year-to-year changes, which can be highly variable, so that scientists need many years, even decades, of data to examine long-term trends. Notably, all of the major minimums have occurred in the last decade, consistent with other NASA research, which shows January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record.

Featured Trip – Arviat Fly-in Polar Bear & Northern Lights

September 15th, 2010 | By | Filed in AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Featured Trip

Northern Lights over an Arctic Kingdom camp

Our current featured trip offers unmatched opportunities to view and photograph polar bears. This is a five day trip offering an immersive experience of the bears, living alongside them while observing their behavior from the safety and comfort of our cabins. Along with these daytime activities, the chance to view the Northern Lights is an extra treat. Most people are aware that the Aurora are caused by solar particles interacting with Earth's atmosphere, and according to Wikipedia, colors vary according to the element of these particles, oxygen causing green or brownish red colors, and nitrogen creating blue or red. Whereas polar bears are pretty much always white, regardless of atmospheric influence. For more examples of the scenery you will experience in Hudson Bay as part of this excursion, check out our inspiration gallery. And here's a few tips from PaddlingLight.com on how to photograph the lights effectively.

Sailor’s log from 1912 expedition discovered

September 13th, 2010 | By | Filed in Current Events, IN THE NEWS

I've been delving into the history of arctic exploration, an undertaking with a seemingly endless supply of stories of determination. Sadly, a number of past expeditions have ended tragically. Worse, occasionally the fates of explorers who set out without GPS and telephone satellites, laptops, modern cold-weather gear, and appropriate accommodations have remained a mystery.

Captain Brusilov and the ill-fated St. Anna. Public domain image from Russia

One such expedition was that of adventurer Georgy Brusilov, captain of a Russian crew aboard the brig Santa Anna seeking the Arctic trade route from Asia to the west. The expedition was a failure, and until very recently the fate of the team's remains was unknown. This summer their bodies and a journal dated to May 1913 were found on the shores of Franz Josef Land, Europe's northernmost land mass. Discovery.com reports -
"There is no doubt that the skeletons and notebook pages we found at the end of July on Franz Josef Land are the remains of Georgy Brusilov's expedition -- which were thought forever lost," Oleg Prodan, who led the mission in the expedition's footsteps, said.
Midway into its epic journey along the Siberian coast, after navigating the perilous Vilkitsky Strait into the Kara Sea, the expedition ran aground on thick ice floes. One of its only two survivors, navigator Valerian Albanov, described in his memoirs two grueling winters clinging to the doomed ship and floating ever closer to the North Pole.
Untangling the history of early explorers gives perspective on how far we have come in terms of safety and security! Arctic Kingdom has extensive safety plans and strategies in place, utilizing our highly trained team members, Inuit guides, and the most updated equipment to be prepared for any possible scenario. Tragedies, like the story Brusilov's expedition, are thankfully a thing of the past.
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