Today is July 21st. Yesterday we went to shore to the Arctic community, Pond Inlet. It was probably one of the coolest experiences I ever had. The weather was great and it enabled us to be able to fly in a helicopter to the local airport. I have never been on a helicopter before and I was able to fly in one twice! It was amazing. I talked to our pilot while onshore about how long he has been flying and I then asked if he could do some “cool tricks” when we flew back to the ship. He said he would, and then when we were flying back he made it so your stomach goes into your chest like when you’re on the downhill of a big rollercoaster. I won’t forget that for sure.
While in Pond Inlet, we participated in a community wide barbeque with the local people. We had hotdogs and burgers and some type of drink that looked like cool aid. Watching all the parents and kids just run around and play with no concern at all was a nice change of mentality. I also walked around the library/museum, where you take your shoes off at the door (so you don’t track in dust and dirt from the road), and then you can walk around. Although it was small, the exhibits were well made. I can’t wait to continue to learn more about Inuit culture today when we are back on the ship. The Ikaarvik group is coming to talk to us about their research efforts and bridging the gap with other scientists that want to do work in the Arctic.