Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | February 9, 2011

Blizzard and white-out

Our listening trip to Qaqqaliaq ended suddenly when a blizzard surprised us from the west. We had seen the light grey curtain of snow hanging over the sea over to west but just didn´t think that the snowy weather would  reach us so quickly.

The weather was perfectly calm when we set off to Qaqqaliaq, but already haf way we stopped to evalaute the situation and to admire ice plates the size of small boats rocking gently in a small bay, broken up by the enourmous swell. The last time we were here that bay was solidly frozen. We decided that it was not wise to venture any closer to the shore and on the unstable ice, especially with the visibility declining steadily. As soon as we turned around and started to drive towards home (turning around took some time with the other snow scooter lacking reverse gear and had to be lifted around) the blizzard blew with all its might and we found ourselves lost in a landscape so familiar to us and so close to home. The track we had made just some 20 minutes ago was washed away by the snow and the visibility was only few meters, the snow hitting our faces. Trip home took a lot longer than expected and we made some detours on the way blinded by the snowstorm. But we got home safely and will wait for better weather before trying again.

We have no picture of the storm but this weather chart will give you an impression of the quickly changing conditions.