One slightly foggy morning in the middle of February, Ingkasi was standing by the window searching the horizon for animals. Suddenly, through his binoculars, he could see a dog team. It was still quite far away, somewhere between Kap Hope and Ittoqqortoormiit. There had been very heavy snowfall the last couple of days, and we knew of no hunter out there at this point. Who could that be? Soon it began snowing again, and the team disappeared out of sight.
Through a phone call, we found out that a team of the Sirius Sled Patrol (the world`s only military dogsled patrol) was expected to arrive in Ittoqqortoormiit that day! We were quite excited about these news, since the Sled Patrol has not been visiting our community for years (in wintertime).
A couple of hours later, we got the first glimpse of the dog team, close to town. We had already been waiting outside with our binoculars for quite some time, since we did not want to miss their arrival. We walked down to the ice to say hello.
We did take a closer look a the dogs, who looked strong and healthy …
… just as the two guys who arrived with them ;-).
It was interesting to see their sled and equipment.
Shortly after the dogs were chained up, sledge and drivers were transported into town, since they were going to stay in Ittoqqortoormiit for the next few days.
Later that week, at a public meeting, we got a chance meet those two guys – Tobias and Kasper – once more. We learned more about their work and adventures in the North and the Sirius Sled Patrol in general.
It was a great event, and inspired me once again to think about the possibility of a dog sled trip to the North, into the National Park. It has been one of my dreams for many years!
Tobias and Kasper had brought some of their equipment inside, so we could have a closer look at what kind of stuff they use.
I did ask them about their dog food. This is how it looks! Usually, each dog gets to “plates” a day.
We also asked Kasper and Tobias if they knew how “our” dogs were doing – the two dogs we had sold to Sirius in the summer of 2013. They told us that Ingkasis dog (now called “Inka”, if I got this right…) actually has become a lead-dog in one of the other teams! We are very proud of him :-).
My dog (I believe they called him “Rudi”) was doing very well, too, they said. Last winter, he had been in the team that visits the northernmost part of Greenland. I envy him ;-).
If you want to learn more about the Sirius Sled Patrol, why it exists and what they are doing, have a look online, for instance at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sl%C3%A6depatruljen_Sirius
In 2012, National Geographic published an Article about the Sled Patrol. You can find it at http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/01/sled-dogs/finkel-text
Also, there is an excellent blog post about the Sirius Sled Patrol Visit in Ittoqqortoormiit, going more into details. It`s written by Gary Rolfe, who has been blogging about his life as an expedition dog musher in Ittoqqortoormiit for many years. Have a look at: http://garyrolfe.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-sirius-sled-patrol-visits.html
I hope you´ll enjoy reading and dreaming about the North.
Let`s work on our dreams, so that they might become true!! 😉