10 Mar, 2008
On March 6th, Nagatani and I departed from Resolute as we planned. It was minus 37C in the morning. We decided to proceed to North-east over the mountains of round Cornwallis Island. Originally we were planning to travel on the sea ice across Wellington Channel, but we changed our plan as we were informed that the sea ice there could be thin, and toward the east from Resolute were many polar bears. Unlike bears in Japan, polar bears give birth and nurse the cubs in the dens often made on the sea ice under the pressure ridges.
Interior of Cornwallis Island had little snow around top of the mountains, and gravels were exposed. They were rather sharp gravels heaped up to make mountains. We, then, decided to follow the creaks and rivers between mountains, going zig-zag. The valleys have more snow and good condition pull our sleds.
Ohaba making his way through rugged terrain
There seemed to be many foxes in the mountains near Resolute, and we often heard them barking, that sounds like egyhaa, gyhaaaf or eCow, cowf, and saw them looking down on us from the top of the rocks. We first thought it was raven cowing, but were surprised to find out it was a fox. As we tried to get close to them, then they ran away. We found a seemingly its den, and the there was 10cm diameter hole that lead to inside. There also was a single raven cowing flying away from right above us.
There were some grass under the snow, seeming to grow up to about 10cm. They are withered now, but they seem to make good food for arctic hare and musk oxen, etc. As we went further into mountains, we saw less signs of animals, and rugged rock cliffs and gravel mountains were surrounding us.
We usually get us around 7:30 and have breakfast, but by the time we are ready to go, it will be about ten ofclock. In 40 below temperature, everything has to be done efficiently, but it seems our mind and body are not yet really working together, and everything takes 3 times more time than it should.
In the Arctic, things take more time, or rather, we have to take time to do things surely. Otherwise, we will be slapped by the severe climate.
The sun was still new and just above the horizon. As it will be warmer with days go by, perhaps we will be able to pull the sleds faster, to gain more distance everyday. Right now, it is more like pulling a sled over the sand rather than powder snow, making our procession slow.
We both are, however, feeling well, having good appetite and healthy.