The long and tiring journey is approaching its end - and that's just getting ourselves all the way up north with all the bags, skis and other supplies we need. And my dog, Tala, who is in the process of getting used to a completely new environment and markedly lower temperatures than usual.
Tomorrow we fly early from Iqaluit - there is a pattern emerging for those who have been following our tweets (!), up to our launching point, Qikiqtarjuaq, or Qik for short. There, the main unpack and repack of our gear starts. We have pallet loads of freight which was pre-flown up and is, fingers-crossed, waiting for us. As well as packing our total of six sleds, two each, and buying the last few supplies like butter and stove fuel, we need to locate a second dog to travel with Tala. The Canadian Inuit have long since converted in the main to travelling with snow machines and ATVs, so sled dogs are far harder to come by than in Northern Greenland and other traditional hunting communities. With the help of locals and friends though, we're confident of finding a suitable alarm dog to give us some security against polar bears.
Although still in the depths of winter, we do have some daylight here in Iqaluit and there will be a little less up in Qik - though increasing each day. This makes for safer travel and easier navigation and from a morale point of view, keeps us happier and motivated. The coastline is spectacular and we're keen to be able to see it!
As a team we're settling in well, each working hard and taking on various areas of responsibility. I'm confident that after all the flying, admin and technicalities are out the way, we can get our teeth into a massive journey as a united front. Not long now!
We'll endeavour to keep images and updates coming as much as possible, on here, on twitter and on the tracker. It'll become less frequent once on the trail, but bear with us and any feedback, comments and messages are always welcome. Have a good evening all.