The First Circumnavigation of Canada’s Ellesmere Island – Important Arctic Life Lessons

Photo: Jon Turk

There is a wonderful article in today’s New York Times about Jon Turk and Erik Boomer, who recently became the first to circumnavigate Canada’s Ellesmere Island, roughly 1,000 miles north of the Arctic Circle.  Jon Turk, 65, is an author, scientist and veteran adventurer while Erik Boomer is a 26-year-old photographer and whitewater kayaker. Over 104 days, the pair trudged, skied and paddled the rugged and ice-bound 1,500-mile perimeter of the island.  In total, they paddled around 650 miles. Turk and Boomer have been nominated for National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year 2012 award.

Odd Couple’s Amazing Trek: 1,500 Arctic Miles by Kayak

In addition to describing the trip, the article includes a number of useful life lessons:

  • When a friendly Arctic wolf traipses into camp and wants to hang out, let him sleep where he pleases.
  • When a polar bear pokes his nose into the tent, scream to chase him out.
  • When visiting a place where the sun never sets, carry more sunscreen.
  • To stave off a breaching 3,000-pound walrus from the cockpit of a small sea kayak, use the paddle.  Hit him in the face and try to feed him the paddle. Then start paddling.
All worth remembering.
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2 Responses to The First Circumnavigation of Canada’s Ellesmere Island – Important Arctic Life Lessons

  1. robert stewart says:

    If it’s just now being cumnavigated, why did it take so long? Another thing, if it’s a thousand miles north of the arctic circle, wouldn’t that put it somewhere south of the north pole? Just wonderin’.

  2. Rick Spilman says:

    Everything is south of North Pole. Ellesmere Island is well above the arctic circle but roughly 1,000 miles south of the pole.