We sailed from Greenland, across Baffin Bay, on Aug. 4, 2017. The sea was calm, and largely free of ice floes, although still dotted here and there with icebergs. The following day we reached the small community of Pond Inlet, more than 600 kilometers above the Arctic Circle in the north of Baffin Island.

Once again I was back in Canada’s largest, most northern territory, Nunavut (Our Land in the indigenous Inuit language), with fond memories of my late friend Brian Beck, who spent several long seasons based in Pond Inlet studying narwhal, including in 1966 and ’67 when I was off to the southeast researching seals in Cumberland Sound. In those days we both traveled around by dogsled or snowmobile, using freighter canoes (and in my case kayaks) in open water.

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