Melville Bay upto 76North

The iteniary for  the next three weeks is to visit as many offshore and inshore islands as possible in Melville Bay, looking for new bird colonies and to monitor known ones weather and ice permitting.

Melville Bay from Kudlorssuaq to Savissivik is 200 miles of uninhabited  islands and glaciers meeting the sea, Polar bears and Narwals are possible sights.

A large area of Melville Bay is two Wildlife reserves; you have to obtain a permit to enter and have a reason for doing so.

Permission was obtained some months before, so we were clear to enter and explore.

Cartography is vague to non-existent, navigating here is called white charting for obvious reasons.  We found rocks that are Islands and didn’t find two Islands that were charted, eyes glued to echo sounder are de rigour!

The whole time looking over our shoulder at the weather in this very open bay, each evening seeking out shelter for the night, anchor/ice watch become a regular occurrence, fending off small bergs and tying our lines ashore high so the small bergy bits can slip by.

The further North we went the more the weather turned against us making our goal to reach Savissivik unlikely if we were to return to Upernavik in time for Davids and Nicks flights.   After three days anchored in Fisher Oer a slow moving low started to move out giving us two days clear of SE gales we decided to head south,  visiting some of the outlining islands we had missed on the way up the coast and get back to Upernavik before the next south easterly arrived.

Overall, we returned early to Upernavik having visited a large part of the area we had set out to visit, some new colonies found and logged.  Pods of Narwals seen swimming  off  the headland  of Nugssuaq.  And sounds surveys completed in Melville Bay as part of a study to study the effects of the seismic surveying that are currently taking place.

A very enjoyable charter in the wild Arctic wilderness, thanks to David and Nick for making our jobs very pleasant and easy.

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