Something Different #8 : The life of Tioralak, artic bush pilot - Part 2 : Eastern & Northern Greenland - Thule - Ellesmere
Link to part 1 : https://orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/174300-something-different-8-the-life-of-tioralak-artic-bush-pilot-part-1/
We left Nuuk in May 1988 to spend a few years on the Eastern Coast. It was quite a new world as the language is slighly different as well as the weather !
I arrived by the magnicent fjord of Kangertittivaq
... and my family by boat along the coast...
I was as an "Upernaviit", "a Man from the Spring", the name given to the whalers coming back every year when the sea was less iced...
but I did not come to Scoresby Sound to fish whales but to fly from fjords to mountains or from habour to remote villages,...
I had the luck flying the mail route and tourist flights all around, shipping scientific teams or supplying food and equipments on these very isolated settlements...
I had the huge pleasure to fly over the place where Commandant Charcot and Lindbergh were boarding, over the Ammassalik area (Tassilaq) and the remains of the old hut of Paul-Emile Victor and Doumidia...
One day, having to fly to the Sermilik Weather Station, I had a few hours free and I met Doumidia in its small village ... she was a venerable lady at this time (she was born in 1915)... Dear Doumidia, wonderful character of "Boreal"...
Sometimes I had to fly over the huge Inlandsis...where are the paths of Courtauld, Victor and Gessain, the Eismitter of Wegener,...
All Inuits villages have always been very isolated and sparsely populated...And this low population has survived during about 4.500 years, despite starvation periods and illness propagation since the arrival of the Europeans with Frobisher, Baffin and Ross exploration (1818 first historical contact)...
Greenland (native name is "Kalaallit Nunaat" - "the land of the Kalaalit", the inuit people living on the western coast) is inconceivably large, the world’s largest island, with a population of only 55,847 (2016) spread out over 2,180,000 square kilometres. That corresponds to 39 square kilometres for each Greenland citizen and a population density of 0.025 people per square kilometre, world’s least densely populated nation...after is Mongolia...
Holidays ! For the first time, we were going back to the North Western Greenland, our native land.
We stopped first at Upernavik, the village where were living my parents since 1968... old viking settlement and one of the first Danish Trading post...
Flying north to my dear country.
All my family has left the village, Siorapaluk, close to Thule, in 1968, after the bomb lost, afraid by any possible contamination
Thule ! So many memories are still present here ... I went with my parents on dog sledges, with Malaurissuaq, followig the coast, sometimes upto the "other land", Ellesmere ... looking for Elisha Kane or Francis Hall camps, Knud Rassmussen first expeditions paths,...
All of this was true only upto 1968 and the disaster, the end of our world ... The beginning of the end started in 1959... Ultima Thule...
Let's fly to Ellesmere Land, Nunavut, Canada, which was the favorite place of my family to hunt in summer...
We will land at the Alert Airfield, the northernmost airport in the world, located approximately 520 miles south of the True North Pole - near are the starting point of Cook and Peary to the Pole...
Flying over Fort Conger, the base camp of Greely, we will talk about the Greely expedition tragedy ...
The Greely Tragedy...starting at Fort Conger, east coast of Ellesmere Land
Alert Airfield : it is not possible to land more to the North, and the magnetic compass declination becomes very problematic...
Cook or Peary ?
In term of exploration method, inuit relationship and personnality, choose to follow Cook !
As well as according to the good feeling of the great Amundsen and the critical analysis of Jean Malaurie ("Ultima Thule").
(Mark Twain wrote about the lack of proof on both claims “The difference between a Miracle and a Fact is exactly the difference between a mermaid and a seal”)
SEE nextly PART 3... : the complete journey upto Alaska and Chukotka ... following the path of Franklin, Amundsen, Back, Mackenzie,... with Knud Rassmussen...and the Caribou Inuits, ...
Hoping you liked - do not hesitate to write any comment : it is encouraging to the next