Monday, August 27, 2012

Prince Leopold Island

Of cliffs and birds ... millions of birds!

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You remember my reference to this island in my "Wings over Nunavut" article? Well, here it is again, photographed from the surface (well, probably about 15m above the surface, on the upper viewing deck of the Clipper Adventurer!):

This is the one thing I regretted about this cruise - I didn't do the zodiac trip to get a closer look at the bird colonies on this island! My warm outerwear was all soaking from the rain on Beechey earlier that day ... what a pathetic excuse - I could've made a plan! (Learn this lesson from me so that you don't make it yourself when you're in a place where you're unlikely ever to return: Go and see as much as you can while you have the chance, no matter how cold, tired, or uncomfortable you are!)

So I remained on board and enjoyed the vista of the towering cliffs which were made up of almost perfectly horizontal layers of various sediments, wondering at the turquoise colours in the water and the hundreds of birds flying around us, and nesting in every nook and cranny! Apparently "the real colonies" were just around the tip of the island - I suppose they didn't want to take the ship around there for fear of causing a major disturbance in the nesting area, or it could just have been that it was too shallow and/or uncharted (lots of that, up here!).

The day was still dark and dreary, although the rain had stopped, and the light was still less than optimum, but I hope some of my photos capture the essence of the place!

Where's Waldo? (And Hundreds of His Closest Friends!)

The Zodiacs at the Foot of the Cliffs

And here are some photos I took of my fellow passengers on the high seas in their zodiacs (please let me know if I've got anything wrong, or if you know the name of people I've missed!):

Brad (orange), Jason (blue), Matthew James (red), Chris (red toque), Steve (in Castor)

Tom at the tiller, Jim (bears & ice - 2nd from left), Bob (camo)

Jason at the tiller, Gema (J's right), Allan (G's right), Jon the geologist (red/black toque)

Matthew James at the tiller

Tom at the tiller

Steve (birds) at the tiller, Yvette (yellow collar), Julia (videographer - blonde)

Matthew James at the tiller, Julie (green toque), Neil (J's left), Nick (army cap)

Dave at the tiller, Michael (beige toque)

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