My second weekend here a friend and I decided to get out of town and do some camping down the fjord a bit. The weather had been sunny with low winds and temperatures around 0C the week before and we thought it would be good to do some hiking and stay out on the land for a night. The forecast was calling for some snow but we weren’t going too far out of town on this trip so we headed out on Saturday evening.
There were some low clouds with a mix of sun and a bit of wind as we headed out. The mix of sun and cloud made for some pretty cool lighting as we walked up the fjord. As I mentioned in my last post the sea ice has broken up in much of Cumberland Sound but is still solid in Pangnirtung Fjord. One thing I did not know until I arrived was how large the tides are in this area. The difference between low tide and high tide can be up to 10m (33 ft) and the tides in this area of Baffin Island (including Frobisher Bay) are the some of the largest in Canada behind the Bay of Fundy and some other areas depending on the time of year (McCann et al, 1981). This huge difference in tides results in really interesting ice formations throughout the tidal area along shore. We walked along the edge of the sea ice formations for most of our walk out.
Eventually we moved up onto the hills below the mountains were the wind had blown most of the snow away making it easier to walk. On these hills there were flocks on Snow Bunting’s flying ahead and behind us as we moved along. These are hardy little song birds which arrived back in this area in the past couple weeks and are among the first song birds to return every spring. Growing up in Ontario I used to these small birds out in the farm fields during winter. The Canadian Geese have also recently arrived back and we spooked a couple flocks as we walked.
We found a small patch of bare ground that was protected from the wind to set camp for the night and although we had a bit of snow the weather was fairly calm overnight. As we set camp and made food we saw several people coming back into town from the flow edge and one group was even towing a boat back along the ice. It was quite interesting being outside all night as you could really appreciate the fact that there is no darkness as there are no blinds to close on the tent haha.
The weather held throughout the night and we weren’t visited by any Polar Bears, which apparently rarely come into Pang Fjord. This was only a small trip but I am hoping to do lots of camping over the summer and I am sure this was only the first of many camping trips.
S. B. McCann, J. E. Dale et P. B. Hale Géographie physique et Quaternaire , vol. 35, n° 2, 1981, p. 183-204