FROM 2-6. Tuktoyaktuk-Cambridge Bay

Why is it so # 1025 - 7013 12411

I’ve seen lots of whales since Tuk. A whale sounding is the most gracefully smoothly fluid movement – beats a cellist’s hand on the bow in an Elgar slow movement – first you see a glimpse of the head and the spout, then the back seems to uncoil through the surface, the last third lifts out of the water with the flukes drooping at the points and water running off them all sparkly and it straightens and slowly slowly disappears with almost no ripple on the water. Lovely to watch but why have some whales evolved so that they do it this way? Why is it more efficient or more effective for the tail to rise out of the water? Unbuoyed weight, perhaps, or visual warning? Intuitively it seems to me that there would be more downward thrust if the tail was used as part of the movement.

As you will have gathered, Amundsen Gulf is misbehaving. However, having now read Charlie Brower’s book once more, I will never ever bleat again about things being difficult. This gig has been a stroll in the sunshins compared to what first the Eskimos and then Charlie and his contemporaries achieved up here. Three incidents that are almost incomprehensible to this modern softy – when he had to sew up his trouser seams to stay alive at 50 below, his 12 days leading a party off the ice from the Narchuk and the journeys of his 2 messengers from Barrow to the ‘outside’ midwinter to take news of the rescue of ships crews. Intelligent, ingenious, resilient improvisation to make use of what was available for survival.

Eleanor – half a chance, AGW that we could be in on the 9th or earlier.

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