POLAR6 - The ferry flight to Resolute

After almost three weeks of integration we set out from Muskoka airport on July 2 to begin the ferry flight to Resolute. We were delayed by two days due to poor weather in Northern Ontario and Manitoba, and were all happy to get going once it cleared up. Our first stop, for re-fuelling, was in Pickle Lake and then on to Churchill where we stayed the night. On the following day we flew on to Gjoa Haven for re-fuelling, and arrived in Resolute in the late afternoon.

Stops along the ferry flight to Resolute
Stops along the ferry flight to Resolute

The most interesting aspect of the ferry flight, for me, was seeing the landscape change as we flew North. First, we saw dense forest dotted with small lakes, then the trees became smaller and thinner as we flew north-west. Approaching Churchill the landscape became more and more like tundra, with just a few small trees and shrubs. Flying north of Churchill it became almost like one large bog; very flat with so much water. The landscape became slowly dryer and north of Gjoa Haven we saw ice and snow for the first time.

View of the water in Churchill, MB. We went walking around town, despite the clouds of mosquitoes that seemed to follow us where ever we went
View of the water in Churchill, MB. We went walking around town, despite the clouds of mosquitoes that seemed to follow us where ever we went

Views from Polar6 flying north of Gjoa Haven
Views from Polar6 flying north of Gjoa Haven

View of the sea-ice edge near Resolute
View of the sea-ice edge near Resolute
POLAR6 in Resolute
POLAR6 in Resolute

When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised to find that the ice edge is very close to Resolute, in Lancaster Sound. Taking advantage of this, we had our first science flight today in this region. We flew as low as 200ft over the transition between sea ice and ocean. Overall, the first flight was a success, with very few problems and some interesting data. The weather is quite nice in Resolute now so tonight we have planned the route for our second flight, which will take place tomorrow morning.

 

-Megan Willis, NETCARE Graduate Student

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