62.3259N,92.4401W=0A=0AAfter a day which had some of the most miserable conditions of the entire journey – strong winds, whiteout, snow, rain, hail, sleet – that had kept us tent bound just 17.5km from Whale Cove (and giving us a good amount of work to dig the sleds and tent out of the snow deposited around us!!), we had gorgeous conditions for our journey into the hamlet. Temperatures must have reached about 3C. As we skied we were down to our base layers, and still overheating. While we weren’t complaining as it was so nice, the other downside to such weather is that the snow gets sticky and heavy on the sleds and skis making life harder but we still made the distance with a couple of hours left of hour normal skiing day left.=0A=0AAbout 450-500 people live in a Whale Cove so it is one of the smallest places along our route. We didn’t really know what to expect when we got there and we imagined we would camp a couple of kilometres out of town, further towards Rankin. As we got closer though, with the village buildings in front of us as we skied into the cove, one boy (Billy) came out to meet us. He was gradually joined by a whole procession of people who accompanied us to the local supermarket where we sat for an hour or so, chatting and welcoming us to the town, as we waited for a delivery of supplies that we had sent ahead of us (one of our new friends called the airline, Calm Air, to ask them to deliver to us as we sat!). It felt like we got to know the entire populace over the afternoon!! =0A=0AAs we talked, Shelly-Anne said that her mother and father, Eva and Solomon, had invited us to have dinner and stay with them for the night. A really wonderful family, who had lived their entire lives in the region, working and hunting. Solomon had a remarkable story about how he went seal hunting once, he was on his skidoo but went over thin ice which duly broke underneath him. He managed to get out after having to swim 50 meters or so before finding ice solid enough to take his weight, but lost his boots in the process. He stumbled through the cold for a good half hour before another hunter found him and helped him back. With a very simple lifestyle the family were so generous and helpful to us, pointing put the best way to head to Rankin and even walking out with us in the morning to show us the route. =0A=0ASo now, another 18.5km onwards with Whale Cove left behind and it seems like the journey, for now at least, is coming to an end=2E Such a strange thought after over four months of travelling.
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