Camping on Skraeling islands just off Ellesmere's coast

August 7, 8 - 2004

The kayak expedition to Ellesmere island begins setting our first camp on Skrealing islands, after a short paddle from the airstrip in Alexandra Fiord. This island is very interesting for the many archeological remains left by ancient Eskimos and very few people have ever set foot here.

Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island
After a short paddle thorugh Alexandra Fiord, we land on Skrealing island in the high arctic, where we build the first camp.

 

Skraeling islands
The tents are very confortable and require just 10 minutes to put them up.

 

Papaver radicatum Papaver radicatum
Pictures of the tundra at Skraeling island. Here, a Papaver radicatum, which height including flowers, is 10-15cm.

 

Pedicularis lanata Saxifraga oppositifolia
Other typical flora of the tundra: Pedicularis lanata, height 3-4cm. Here instead, a picture of Saxifraga oppositifolia height 2-3cm, diameter about 4cm.

 

Silene acaulis Silene acaulis
Silene acaulis, a very nice flower, grows in dense cushions about 5-15cm wide and 2-6cm tall.

 

Cassiope tetragona
Cassiope tetragona, flower's size about 5mm.

 

Arctic tundra Arctic tundra
Photos of tundra, where mosses, lichens and other vascular plants use any available space, often creating wide and uninterrupted soft carpets.

 

Arctic tundra Arctic tundra
Photos of Skraeling island.

 

Midnight sun
Midnight sun!

 

Ellesmere island Ellesmere island
Ellesmere island Ellesmere island
The high tide moves large blocks of ice on the beach, where they remain trapped until the next high tide.

 

Walrus
A group of walruses rest on an icefloe.

 

Eskimo tent ring Eskimo tent ring
Tent rings built by ancient Eskimo about 4500 years ago. Skrealing island is very interesting for such remains.

 

Walrus skull
A walrus' skull

 

Eskimo tent ring
Other tent rings. As there are no trees here, the bones were used in place of wood. Sometimes the bones are just food scratches thrown away.

 

Muskox skull
A muskox's skull.

 

More archaeological findings left by ancient Eskimos. Although most of the items could look like just bones, it's important to not touch anything, as they may mean much more and they may have a long history to tell.

 

 

An arctifact looking like a trap for fox, still left by ancient Eskimo.

 

 

 

Lichens Lichens
A nice lichen growing on a granitic rock (lichen's size about 4cm).

 

Dwarf birch Silene acaulis
A birch, probably the only "tree" living up here. Silene acaulis

 

Iceberg in the arctic ocean
We leave Skrealing island, searching for another nice spot.

 

Walrus Walrus
Walrus Along the way, we observe dozens of walruses. The pictures has been taken using a 420mm, stabilized lens.

 

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