December 5th, 2012 | By Candice Hong | Filed in AK NEWS, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Gear, Uncategorized
ARCTIC KINGDOM HOLIDAY HOURS!!
Get your Canada Goose and Winter Gear Now!!
FREE SHIPPING ANYWHERE IN CANADA! On Arctic Kingdom Gear
Purchases over $200
Valid until: Dec 28, 2012
To see our line of products please visit: http://arctickingdom.com/store
December: 1 – 16, 2012:
Monday – Tuesday 9am – 5pm
Wednesday – Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: Dec 1, 8, 15: 10am – 3pm
December: 17 -23, 2012
Monday – Friday: 9am – 6pm
Saturday: Dec 22: 10am – 3pm
Dec: 24, 27, 28, 2012
Open: 10am – 5pm
NOTE: Closed: Dec 25-26, 29-31 2012 & Jan 1, 2013
Arctic Kingdom Expeditions
18-215 Traders Blvd. East, Unit 18, Mississauga,
ON, L4Z 3K5, Canada
Ph: 416 322 7066
Toll Free: 1 888 737 6818
September 13th, 2012 | By Candice Hong | Filed in AK NEWS, Client Reports, Current Events, FEATURED, IN THE NEWS, Recent Trips, TRIPS, Trips, Uncategorized
Day 2 – By Liz Fleming
Packing up for a week on the polar sea ice is like outfitting an army for a major campaign. It’s an exercise in memory – anything you forget, you’ll have to live without – there’s no dashing out to the corner store for that extra quart of milk.
Fortunately for us, the Arctic Kingdom team proved to be masters of organization. Not only had they made sure we’d brought everything on the list they’d provided, but they also rented us anything we didn’t own (and really…who has a stash of Arctic-style gear hanging in the closet, next to their shorts and t-shirts?) but also, when it was discovered that one part of the group had forgotten their oh-so-vital big warm rubber boots in Ottawa, the Arctic Kingdom team managed to scrounge replacements.
We gathered in the lobby, marveling at the sheer bulk of our gear, then piled mountains of stuff into the hotel’s bus and headed for shore to load the komatiks (sleds pulled by skidoos) for the expedition north to camp. As we met our Inuit guides and helped them to load a seemingly endless collection of bags, boxes and coolers, I started to get a sense of the size of the project – it was like loading a wagon train for an epic journey.
The hauling and lifting worked up a sweat. Decked out in acres of Canada Goose down – coats, pants, mitts – and wool lined, knee-high rubber boots, we were roasting like Thanksgiving turkeys and silently wondering if we’d need it all. After all, the temperature in Pond Inlet that day wasn’t cold – not even close to cold.
Tom Lennartz, Expedition Director (and secret mind reader) laughed at our glowing faces.
“You might be baking right now, but later on, you’re going to be happy you have every bit of that gear.”
By the time we stowed the last bag and box and climbed into the komatiks ourselves, I was zipped and tucked into more clothing than I’d ever worn before, and thought I was ready. Guide Mike Beedell knew I wasn’t. He pulled the strings on my parka hood tight, framing my face in coyote fur so only my ski goggles peered out.
Some hours later, as the komatiks rocked and rolled and the wind whipped across an unbroken sweep of sea ice, I was grateful for those tightened hood strings and glad of every ounce of down that protected me from the cold and wet. In the Arctic, staying warm and dry is key – once you’re chilled, the fun’s over.
I’d never given much thought to cracks in the surface of ice before, but they became a huge entertainment feature of our trip to the camp. Because komatiks rest on long wooden skis, they can glide easily over almost any split. Snowmobiles are another thing. After pushing our komatiks carefully across the big cracks, our guides then backed up, gunned their snowmobile engines and leapt across the open water like Olympic long-jumpers. It was simultaneously terrifying and fascinating – a madly exciting spectator sport.
Pond Inlet - Stunning Landscape
After nearly seven hours of travel across the frozen polar sea, punctuated by the snowmobile stunts and the occasional tea-and-pee breaks, we arrived at camp. Dwarfed by towering icebergs, the collection of white and yellow tents looked impossibly, almost hilariously tiny in the vast sweep of the ice. We were home – and like any good home, ours was warm, and inviting, with the smell of a hot dinner wafting from the dining tent.
I made it!
September 24th, 2011 | By Thomas Lennartz | Filed in Uncategorized
A recent article on New Scientist highlights how global changes in temperature are affecting life beneath the ocean.
The article notes how the opening of the Northwest Passage, long rendered nearly impassible by dense blocks of ice, has made it possible for animals — such as bowhead whales — to move across the the continent. This may be one of the rare bits of good news to come about in the wake of global climate change, as Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources in Nuuk noticed when two bowheads tagged on opposite sides of the Arctic met inViscount Melville Sound, near Baffin Bay in Nunavut. As the article relates,
Heide-Jørgensen thinks whales have been sneaking through, undetected, since the ice began to retreat. The Greenland population, once decimated by whalers, has grown suspiciously fast since 2000, and Heide-Jørgensen suspects the hand of immigration from Alaska. That’s perfectly possible, saysAviad Scheinin of the University of Haifa in Israel. In May 2010, he spotted a Pacific grey whale in the Mediterranean Sea, which probably got there via the Arctic. Further evidence of links between Atlantic and Pacific ecosystems comes from Cambridge bay in Nunavut, Canada, where pods of narwhals appeared on 15 August. They do not normally venture so far west, but shrinking ice seems to be changing that.
But what’s good news for whales is bad news for polar bears and walruses, and for the Inuit who rely on the floe-edge ecosystem for their own survival and that of their cultural traditions. As sea ice decreases, the walrus are running out of places to breed and polar bears are finding it harder and harder to hunt for food. Rapid changes could spell the end for the arctic as we know it.
November 27th, 2010 | By Thomas Lennartz | Filed in Arctic History, IN THE NEWS, Uncategorized
I recently discovered this great website from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, featuring a virtual arctic exploration timeline beginning at 330 BC -
Pytheas of Massalia was a Greek merchant, geographer and explorer who explored Britain and the waters north of Scotland. He described an island six days sailing north of Britain called “Thule.” This may refer to Iceland, but could also have been the coast of Norway, or the Shetland or Faroe Islands. Pytheas was the first person to record a description of the midnight sun, the aurora, and Polar ice.
And of course, touching on most of the slightly more recent explorations we’ve heard of, such as Henry Hudson’s 1607 trip in search of the Northwest Passage -
On his final expedition on board a ship named Discovery, he entered Hudson Bay and he mapped and explored the shoreline. When the ship became trapped in the ice, they moved ashore for the winter. When the ice cleared in spring, Hudson wanted to continue exploring but his crew wanted to return home. They mutinied, and set Hudson, his son, and some crewmen adrift in a small boat with nor food or water. They were never heard from again.
Baron Nordenskiöld, Arctic Explorer. Copyrite - Public Domain
Skipping forward a bit, in 1878 Baron Nordenskiöld completes the first successful navigation of the Northeast Passage.
This he accomplishes sailing on board the Vega, navigating the northern coasts of Europe and Asia for the first time.
I couldn’t resist sharing this portrait. Inspiring, isn’t it?
The timeline continues up through more modern times, unfortunately stopping in 2008. While not entirely up to date, this website is a nice little cache of some of the history of arctic exploration, along with nice public-domain photographs of explorers, ships, and dog sled teams.
November 10th, 2010 | By Thomas Lennartz | Filed in AK NEWS, Films, Recent Trips, TRIPS, Uncategorized
This un-edited footage is from an Arctic Kingdom polar bear viewing expedition in the high arctic in May 2010.
Filmed from base camp at one in the morning, we had just finished dinner when one of our Inuit guides spotted the polar bear in the process of stalking and hunting a seal under the ice. The bear was completely unaware of (or didn’t care about) our presence only a few hundred meters away. This video really gives a sense of the scale of the arctic; the sweeping landscape, the silence of the surroundings, and the unhurried observation of polar bears in their natural environment made possible by our trip logistics.
Speaking of incredible views, don’t miss this other update from our youtube channel, featuring a ballooning adventure over Baffin Island!
October 29th, 2010 | By Thomas Lennartz | Filed in Filmmakers, Films, INUIT, TRIPS, Uncategorized
Congratulations to the folks at Brudder Productions, for the selection of their film “Anirniq” as a finalist in the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Filmed on location at the floe edge of Pond Inlet with Arctic Kingdom in June of this year, “Anirniq” – Inuktitut for breath – is a short fable about an Inuit man confronting the loss of his father when he was a young boy on his first narwhal hunt. The story explores the Inuit belief that when someone dies their spirit goes into the living creatures around them and thus the Inuit saying: “The great peril of our existence is that our diet consists entirely of souls.”
All ‘actors’ in the film are the very same Inuit guides that assist Arctic Kingdom on the Narwhal and Polar Bear Floe Edge Adventures.
Read more -
Trekking Across the Pack Ice with Brüdder Productions
October 27th, 2010 | By Thomas Lennartz | Filed in AK NEWS, Current Trips, Team Interviews, TRIPS, Uncategorized
Be sure to register for the November 2 Floe Edge webinar with expedition leader and all around brilliant fellow, Thomas Lennartz. Thomas will be taking questions on our upcoming trips and describing exactly what you can expect to see and experience as you travel with Arctic Kingdom.
Female polar bear and five month old cub at iceberg Navy Board Lancaster Sound, Baffin Island.
October 27th, 2010 | By Thomas Lennartz | Filed in AK NEWS, Uncategorized
A unique event is coming up for friends of Arctic Kingdom. You’re invited to our 2010 End of Season Celebration at the elegant Spoke Club in Toronto on Monday November 8th 6:00PM – 8:30P.
This will be a great chance to meet with our team face to face, view some behind the scenes footage from Disney’s ‘Oceans’, take your shot at one of several terrific door prizes, and talk to our special guests – members of a film crew from National Geographic who are leaving with us the next day to film polar bears in James Bay.
Space is limited. Please RSVP to rsvparctickingdomcom, and read all about it rsvparctickingdomcom or at www.arctickingdom.com/events.php">here.