Friday, 14 August 2009 00:00

Whales in the Canadian Arctic

2000 Bulaga whales play in Cunningham Inlet during July and August.

I have just returned from an amazing wild life adventure from the remote Island of Somerset 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle. I stayed with friends Richard and Joosee Webber their sons Tessun and Nansan at their wilderness Lodge “Arctic Watch” The most northerly wilderness Lodge in the world.

It is hard to put words on my experience their as it was mind blowing. The fun, the exhilaration of been with friends and similar minded people that have a passion for “The Arctic”, whales and the unique wildlife of the tundra and at the same time living life to the fullest and enjoying the wonders of the unique regions of the world, that is now under treat from global warming and climate change.

I have fallen in love with this region of the world and this is my second adventure up here in the last 6 months. The first in February 2009 just across the bay at Resolute when it was cold and all the sea and the North West passage was iced in and the temperature was down to -50 degrees Celsius. So it was a pleasure to be back in July with pleasant temperatures and sunny days.

So I’m intending to return next year for a wild life expedition with a team of 10 to 12 people that might be interested in photography, Whales, and arctic wild life.

So why not take a walk on the wild side.

If your interested let me know. This adventure is suitable for any reasonable fit person with no experience other then that of the love of wild life, unique places and the arctic. The excitement begins once we leave Ireland.

Pat Falvey
Tuesday, 29 April 2008 00:00

Arctic losing Long-Term Ice Cover

Despite colder conditions, the Arctic is losing a lot of its old, stable ice, according to satellite data. Full story:
Tuesday, 28 August 2007 00:00

Only 100kms to go!!

Photo: DYE-2, abandoned US Radar station

After a blizzard and 6 days of non-stop white outs we finaly reached Dye 2 on Sunday. It appeared out of the mist like some long forgotten alien artifact, a great white dome on top dominates the building which, untill August 1988, was constantly manned by US military and government contractors.

We made camp, put on our head torches, and then scouted the areato find an entrance. It wasn't long before we were in,dutifully signing our names in the adhoc visiters registra. We explored the whole site which had been abandoned in such a hurry by its owners that there were still half eaten meals in the canteen and boxes of unopened beer in the bar - all long past their "best before" dates unfortunately. It was fascinating reading a 20 year old copy of Newsweek, titled "The Greenhouse Effect - More hot summers ahead". I'm sure some in Ireland would take issue with that!

The next morning we set off on perfect snow, covering 45km during the day. Today however was not so good, yet another white out and rain to boot. We still managed 27.9km, and would have bettered that had we not ran into a series of fast flowing melt water streams forcing us to make a 2km detour.

We have 118km left to the end of this expedition, it doesn't sound much but it will involve negotiating an expanse of crevasses and pressure ridges as we make our way down the glacial leg. Hopefully, they won’t be as bad as the ones we encountered at the start, 22 days ago.

BE Team

By the time this was updated, i had a call from Pat who was very excited and confident on them completing the traverse on Saturday 1st or Sunday 2nd of September. They are feeling good and hoped everyone back home was well. They are still having problems with powering from solar, they are now relying on batteries to charge their equipment. All these problems are good training for them for South Pole.

We hope to keep you informed on a daily basis as they approach the western edge of the Greenland ice cap at N 67 08 43 - W 50 02 54 where they will finally come on to solid ground after nearly thirty days on the ice.
Published in Greenland 2007
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Running out of Food & Time 22/08/07

Pat called me on Wednesday evening in great form. He said they were all well except for his sled. "The conditions are the same with snow on the ground its quite soft and sticky as the day progresses, We are approx 80km from DYE 2, Our solar power has been zero over the last few days as there is no sun and little light. We have batteries as backup but it means conserving quite a bit of the use. We are also running low on food and time and we will keep you updated on any decisions made towards the final few days, say hi to everyone..."

From DYE 2 they will have approx 185kms to go before they come off the ice cap, they are expecting to encounter the same as the start, lots of crevasses and streams etc., That may hold them up even more.
Published in Greenland 2007
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 00:00

Signs of Sun - 21/08/07

Photo: Pats broken Sledge

As the day progressed the blizzard relented and we could just see the sun briefly filtering through the overcast sky. Tomorrow, if we're lucky, we'll finally be able to use the solar panels to charge the battery packs and hence our comms gear and MP3 players.

We haul for eight hour legs per day, each of us leads a leg in rotation. The lead navigates the team whilst cutting a trail through the snow to make the going a little easier for the other team members and their sledges. We navigate using a combination of compass and GPS, the latter to ensure we don’t drift too much - easily done on a featureless landscape with no visible points of reference.

We're currently in our bags and bedding down for another cold night. We've now 300km remaining before we can have a pint.
Published in Greenland 2007
Thursday, 30 July 2009 00:00

Kayaking amongst the Bulaga

Helene Philion and I kayaking among thousands of Bulagas.

It was such an great experience to be amongst these beautiful creators, which because of their white colour are also known as the ghosts of the sea.

Thousands of whales with their young playing and feeding, a sight to be-hold forever in your memory.

This was my first time sea kayaking and was like a child at play in an amazing playground of nature.
Thursday, 30 July 2009 00:00

Thin ice on the melting arctic

Walking on thin ice on the melting ice flows in Cunningham Inlet. Richard and I.

Well we did fall in a few time to the icy cold water just adding to the excitement of the week.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 12:27

The Irish North Pole 2011

Irish adventurers Pat Falvey and Dr Clare O Leary  will navigate, walk, ski and swim on a historical icy voyage of 784 km on a 55 day expedition of endurance man-hauling their sleds across the rugged broken melting arctic ocean. Their only means of survival and rest in this hostile arena is a thin skin of manmade material their tent.

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