Friday 25th August 2023 

At the start of the day, we were at 71N 130W heading due east at 14 knots with some fog. By 08:30 it was beginning to clear.

We are en route to Franklin Bay and the unusual location known as Smoking Hills, where the Pebble Shales can self-combust. If one had been brought up in West Yorkshire, near coal mines, this was an everyday occurrence when the slag surrounding the coal measures was full of methane and would, with little movement, burst into flame. The difference here is that the iron oxide is being burnt and produces haematite as in an iron works only this is natural.

One of the first European eyes to see this was John Franklin in 1825 -26 on one of his earliest expeditions to the NWP from the west. To get here we have had to follow a route through channels that protect wildlife more like a one-way street.

Tomorrow we should reach Ulakhaktok on Victoria Island.

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