We woke up this morning to the wonderful sight of Eclipse Sound, which is a wide fjord between Bylot Island and Baffin Island. The sound is an exceptionally deep (2,000-foot) fjord carved by glaciers. Soaring out of the fjord in every direction, we observed high, steep-sided mountains of Precambrian metamorphic rock covered by snow and glaciers. The folks on National Geographic Endurance spent the morning sailing through the beautiful scenery and listening to fascinating presentations on arctic whales and animal predation.
We spent the afternoon with the Inuit community of Pond Inlet (population 1,800) on the north shore of Baffin Island. We were greeted by guides who showed us around the town. We visited the library, museum, grocery store, and old Inuit sod and bone houses. After the tour, we all met at the community center/hockey rink to see a fascinating Inuit cultural show. The boys demonstrated several Inuit games, including high kicking, walrus-like shoving matches, cheek pulling, and a seal-like race on bare knuckles. The women and men sang traditional songs and performed several Inuit dances. The high point of the show was two women performing the famous throat singing; as they sing, orchestra-like sounds emanate from their throats. After the show, we walked back to the docks through the residential part of town. We observed houses, dogs, children playing outside, and an old community freezer dug into the permafrost. We admired the magnificent scenery across the bay from this community with such gorgeous views.
During and after dinner, the ship slowly cruised through the eastern half of Eclipse Sound. We passed glaciers and tall and rugged mountains as we said goodbye to Pond Inlet.