August 23, 2015
Island living and birdwatching
During the night, the Laurier carried on conducting multibeam seabed surveys in the area. The morning brought another beautiful sunny day in Simpson Strait, with temperatures about 5℃ with 15 knot winds from the southeast. We anchored the ship near Eta Island this morning, a tiny uninhabited piece of land located between the Adelaide Peninsula and King William Island that occupies a strategic location for navigation and anchorage, and contains multiple beacons across the island to allow mariners to safely transit through Simpson Strait.
The order of tasks today saw the hydrographic launches Kinglett and Gannet in the water shortly after breakfast to expand surveys on the marine corridor, followed by the deployment of Investigator as Parks Canada tested their new multibeam system. The helicopter was also dispatched with CCG staff to support the ongoing inspection and maintenance being conducted on various navigational aids, including beacons and towers, scattered throughout the Strait.
Following lunch, the helicopter was re-tasked to support archaeology efforts. One of the Parks Canada archaeologists was retrieved from the Erebus site for transfer to the Laurier for the onset of the Terror mission, while the Nunavut archaeologists flew out to an island near the Erebus site where they conducted additional ground surveys and collected several artefacts believed to be associated with Franklin from the area.
By dinner time, the level of success achieved on all fronts was high and event beyond the standard operations. Two towers had even become active habitats for some rough-legged hawks families! Fortunately, the towers were in good shape as we do not disturb wildlife in the process of our work. Locations of the nests were noted, and the occupied beacons will be repainted next year.
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