November 12th, 2014 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Featured Trip, Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis, Photographers
Jason Hillier, lover of Northern Lights, kept a journal while sailing for 17 days aboard our charter vessel M V Cap Race.
Northern Lights through rigging
Northern Lights at sea
From Makkovik, recharged we sailed through the Strait of Belle Isle. Labrador was on our starboard and the island of Newfoundland was on the port side. I was tantalizing close to home, but not close enough. Throughout the voyage, the Northern Lights could be seen dancing in the sky.
One strong advantage to chartering a vessel to sail exactly when and where you want is creating outstanding photo opportunities. I will return home with an amazing collection of pictures of Northern Lights over the Atlantic Ocean.
From the Strait of Belle Isle we sailed for two days, observing dolphins, whales and countless seabirds, including the colourful puffin. We arrived in the French port of Ste. Pierre the morning of September 17. Yes, you read that right, France. Off the south coast of Newfoundland, Ste. Pierre and Miquelon are two islands owned by France. Visiting this little bit of Europe in North America was a unique way to end a spectaculair sail tthrough the Arctic and along the east coast of Canada.
November 10th, 2014 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Diving, Featured Trip, Recent Trips, SCIENCE, Scientists
Torngat Mountains National Park is the third entry in a series of posts from the journal of Arctic Kingdom's Jason Hillier who spent 17 days aboard our charter vessel M V Cape Race in the company of researchers.
Raw research from the waters off Torngat Mountains National Park
Sunshine Fiord - Torngat Mountains National Park
As we sailed the coastline of Torngat Mountains National Park we encountered amazing fiords, most notably Sunshine Fiord. We had to hole up overnight there to escape some wind. We had crossed the Davis Strait and made a beeline for Labrador in order to get the researchers on shore and the dive team in the water again.
We had a great day of sampling, and diving in the waters just off the Park. The epic scenery and the mountains of Torngat, especially Seven Islands Bay, was a great backdrop to a spectacular day and we even knocked off a couple more successful dives.
The sailing continued past Saglek Basecamp
. After dropping off our Parks Canada crew, we made our way to Makkovik
for fuel, water and supplies. Makkovik is an Inuit community on the coast of Labrador. It was great to be on land again, but our researchers never tired and we were able to squeeze in three dives. A great inter-tidaling-sample effort from our shore team meant that they came home with not only specimens but fresh berries. A delicious treat!
November 7th, 2014 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Current Trips, Diving, Filmmakers, Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis
Aboard our charter vessel M V Cape Race, Jason Hillier, one of Arctic Kingdom's senior Team Members, spent 17 days sailing from Baffin Island to Newfoundland. He shared his log entries with us.
Northern Lights from our charter vessel MV Cape Race
September 2, 2014 - at sea on charter vessel M V Cape Race
With two quick dives under our belts, on Day 2 we leave Qikiqtarjuaq, the iceberg capital of Nunavut, in fine style as a dazzling display of Northern Lights dance in the night sky. Our charter vessel, MV Cape Race, will sail all night to the next dive site on Baffin Island. "Qik" is the location of our Polar Bears and Glaciers of Baffin Island Safari.
The hamlet is one of the best places to see icebergs in Nunavut.
Our next land fall will be the Torngat Mountains, a few days sail away. Torngat is a corruption of the Inuktituk word Torngait, meaning "places of spirit." Torngat Mountains National Park is one of the most remote in Canada's national park system. During the summer, visitors must either charter a vessel or a plane. During the winter, access is possible by snowmobile.
MV Cape Race is available for charter for private expedition cruising, research or film making anywhere in the world.
November 6th, 2014 | By Prisca Campbell | Filed in Diving, Projects, Recent Trips
Jason Hillier, one of Arctic Kingdom's senior Team Members, spent 17 days aboard our charter vessel M V Cape Race in September. He has shared his log entries with us.
M V Cape Race at sea
September 1, 2014 - Qikiqtarjuaq, NU - Day One aboard MV Cape Race
Today, we set sail on a "reverse" course of Arctic Kingdom's The Best of Labrador, Baffin Island and Greenland. Stepping out of the airport, I was struck by my luck; a sunny, warm day and no wind. It was a great day to get on a ship and start an adventure!
After meeting the crew, who had strolled up the road to the airport to find me, once they saw the plane land, we piled into a Zodiac to make our way to my home for the next 17 days.
We were sailing from Baffin Island to the Torngats in Labrador, through the Strait of Belle Island and down the west coast of my home province to the island of Newfoundland. We were bringing 12 university scientists on an epic voyage to collect data and samples of everything from kelp to invertebrates to freshwater algae. We would also conduct bird surveys.
The team consisted of cold water divers and "inter-tidalers" that we affectionately referred to as Team Bear Bait as they are biologists who wade through inter-tidal zones collecting specimens. Our Parks Canada Bear Monitor was on board to ensure everyone was safe and sound throughout all the shore excursions, both inside and outside the National Park. But it’s always fun to tease.