14 Apr, 2008
Mr. Ohba's arrival at Grise Fiorld
In the morning on April 14, I make a punctual communication with Mr. Ohba. I see that he is about 27 kilometers away from Grise Fiorld. I have been exhausted since day before yesterday when I rented a snowmobile, went to the East coast of Ellsemere Island to look for polar bears with young local residents, and went back to the village late last night. I take the snowmobile again having registered the longitude and latitude of Mr. Ohba's yesterday's camp point in my GPS after 4:00 p.m. My usual pace enables me to see him in between 20 and 30 minuites, for he must be 10 kilometers away from the village now.
The long smooth snow way makes the snowmobile run like the wind. It is colder than yesterday, so I have got a little cheek pain. I find a clue that a sled has been pulled with ski stocks on the way. I have heard two English men are walking after flying from Resolute Bay. The trail may be theirs. I cannot see Mr. Ohba even after I arrive at a place where it is not so far from South Cape. Checking his point out with GPS, I find myself very near where Mr. Ohba had a camp. While I am looking for his sled, Eric, who had accompanied me until yesterday, catch up with me. "I just passed by him. He's only a couple of kilometers away from the village, and then you have frost injury on the cheek.
I wonder how I could have missed Mr. Ohba on sea ice where there is nothing. I take my snowmobile toward the village with Eric at a high speed. In a short time I catch up with Mr. Ohba skiing spreading his ski sail up. After waiting for him to bring down his ski sail, I shake hands with him. "I haven't expected I get here by today. So, I bought some fruits to have at the camp. But they all look frozen." "Walking along the snowmobile trail made my sled run very fast." The smile doesn't make me have a feeling that he has fatigue from keeping on walking in fierce cold for 40 days.
Mr. Ohba get close to Grise Fiorld
"Welcome to Grise Fiorld." Mika, who is also a school teacher, has come to meet us with her nephew, Jonathan. I haven't known Mika was elected as the village headman though I knew a village headman election was already held.
Mr. Ohba is welcomed by Mika, who just became the village headman
As the person in charge of dinner had already gone home, a woman who has stayed makes some food for us. Mr. Oba eats three semi-frozen bananas and an apple, and has another. He eats a dessert in a moment.
Mr. Ohba has a burned omelet with mushrooms and cheese which I made at the lodge in the morning.
"One third of our journey is over." "Let's go to the clinic, and show the doctor your foot blister."