All through the night, National Geographic Endurance sailed towards Resolute (Nunavut), where we were instructed to carry out the official Canadian entry procedures. Our planned entry point of Pond Inlet was not available due to ice conditions, but our captain and expedition leader were determined to make the best of any change in plans. The weather continued to test us with dense fog throughout most of the day. Photographers looked for interesting patterns as the bow of the ship sliced through calm seas. Wildlife enthusiasts, unable to scan horizons, listened to Deb Goodwin, our resident oceanographer, talk about the forces that create the ecosystem in which we are traveling. Bird aficionados studied the midge that landed on our ship out of the fog.
After leaving Resolute in the afternoon, we headed to Beechey Island, a place with iconic significance in the story of the Franklin expedition as well as its aftermath. Natasha Slobodina, the archaeologist on board, provided an overview of the island’s cultural heritage. We planned to go ashore a few hours later to visit the graves of three men from the Franklin expedition and the Northumberland house. Right before dinner, a sleeping polar bear was spotted not too far from the sites. Additionally, ice near the shore would have made landing impossible. We changed plans, and the team opted for a Zodiac cruise after dinner. It was such a treat to see the bear sleeping soundly on the shore and to get glimpses of the historic sites!