We're working on a longer video of the expedition at the moment which will include details of the sampling and what we found, but here is a short overview of the journey including some of the audio diaries we recorded while in Canada.
So, we arrived in Inuvik a couple of days ago after three weeks on the river. We're now on our way back to the UK. It's been an amazing trip. We've got loads to update but here are a couple of photos as a taster...
We've completed final preparations in Whitehorse now. Everything is packed and ready to go. We'll be arriving at McClusky lake tomorrow morning. Then the adventure properly begins!
Just a quick post to say that we've now received the research licence for the North West Territories so we're good to go!
The first plankton net arrived on Friday so we’ve been in the River Usk this weekend testing out how we’re going to deploy the nets when we’re in Canada. The idea of using a tripod, weighted down with a few rocks, seemed to work well. The water velocity was approximately 0.4 m/s which is probably lower than on the Wind and Peel rivers, but the tripod was pretty stable.
We had a look afterwards to test out the various microscopes and to see what we'd found. Here's a couple of pics!
Below is a small sliver of uPVC that we had a look at to see what it looked like under the microscope as well.
A pic from the bank holiday weekend. We went to the Dovey (Dyfi) estuary for a paddle and ended up practicing lining through the sand and mud. Good practice for the Mackenzie delta, although the canoe will be heavier and there will be fewer dogs!
Anyone carrying out scientific research in the Yukon and Northwest Territories requires a licence from the government and approval from the First Nations people within who’s land the research will be carried out. We applied to the Yukon and Northwest Territories governments in early April and have just received the Yukon Government licence as well as agreement from the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Government.
We first heard of the Wind River when we canoed the Teslin and Yukon rivers from Johnson’s Crossing to Dawson City. As wilderness rivers go, the Wind is pretty out there. The rapids may be easier than some of the other rivers in the Peel watershed, but it’s pretty remote!
We decided to go earlier this year, and not long after hit upon the plan of doing some scientific research at the same time. The increase in public awareness around the problems of plastic contamination in the water environment as a result of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series seemed an obvious target.
So, we’re in the process of planning not only a three-week wilderness canoe trip but also a small scale scientific expedition as well! Research licences have been applied for and funding arranged. We’re leaving for the Yukon in just over seven weeks’ time.