23 April 2007
Chris Derksen and Matthew Sturm crew started their day today being interviewed over the satellite phone by a CBC Radio reporter out of the Nunavut community of Rankin Inlet. Then the Expedition continued on down the frozen Thelon River enjoying the abundant wildlife that enhabits the Oasis, then crossed the border to re-enter Nunavut Territory at midday. Through the afternoon they watched the trees of the Thelon Oasis disappear behind them and were slowly surrounded by a familiar barrenlands landscape of rock and ice. Camp 39 tonight is on the Thelon River just west of Beverly Lake about three days travel from their finish in Baker Lake. By popular demand, Henry Huntington provides both the English and Spanish Soundclips tonight and the written dispatch describes a remarkable wildlife encounter they had on their travels today. Enjoy
Click Here for Henry's English Soundclip
CHUGIAK STUDENTS Click Here for Weather in Espanol.
Drama on the Tundra
Thelon River just west of Beverly Lake, Nunavut
Camp 39 Location:64º 31'N, 101º 08'W
Sunny & Calm, Morning Low -20C (-4F) Afternoon High -15C (+5F)
106 km covered today (66 miles)
Drama on the Tundra
For the animals of the tundra, every day life is a life-or-death struggle.
People rarely get to see these dramas, but they happen all the time. Owls
eat ptarmigan. Wolves eat caribou. Bears eat voles. For the predator, life
is a constant hunt to stave off hunger. For the prey, life requires constant
We had stopped briefly when we saw an arctic hare go running madly across
the tundra. A moment later we saw why. He (or she) was being pursued by a
bird of prey, a hawk or falcon, also white. The hare dodged this way and
that. The falcon swooped low and tried to grab the hare by the neck. The
deadly chase went on, back and forth across the snow-covered hill for over 2
The ending was happy for the hare. He (or she) managed to get under a large
rock, safe from the flying predator. The ending may not have been so happy
for the falcon, for to not eat is also to risk death in this cold land.
Harsh? Yes, but part of the real arctic and we felt fortunate to be
spectators to fierce action that is usually not seen by humans.
Kids: Are there any bird experts out there who can identify this bird??
we will post the answer tomorrow.