Ungava Episode 4: Chiseling Through Seven Feet of Ice

Special thanks to Lara Johnston, Humber College

Episode 4: Justin Ingraldi, Fiorella Marky

Motion Graphics: Gabriel Pontes

Assistant Editors: Felipe Chaparro, Shayne McGreal, Aman Agarwal Post

Coordinator: Kiani Shimada

Series Post producer: Geoff Rayes

After it took forever to chisel through the ice, I fished for a long time a was pretty devastated after catching nothing. I really needed the food. The issue is that Lake Trout and landlocked Char hang out in water about 10′ deep at this time of year. It was hard for me to judge how close to shore I was when I began chiselling my hole. I didn’t want to get well into it to find that the lake was frozen right down to the bottom meaning I’d chisel straight into rocks – so to avoid that, I began chiselling my hole further out from shore. I was pretty disappointed when I dropped a line and realised it was about 60′ deep or more but I still jigged for hours trying to hook into a fish.

Pushing on, I experienced more bad weather which slowed my process. When the weather is really bad, you can’t travel. You have to just stay in your tent. I brought a book, “The Farfarers” by Farley Mowat to pass the time on these long windy days. By this point on the trip, there had been about eight days where the weather wouldn’t let me travel and I experienced blizzard after blizzard. because of this, my food and fuel supply was running low. I needed naphtha gas to fuel my stove, a crucial essential for melting snow into drinking water, heating my tent, and boiling water for my freeze dried meals.

At this point, I had to cut both me and Buck’s breakfasts and suppers in half, and travel a minimum of 20km per day in order to make it to Hudson Bay before my food ran out. There are no reliable food sources on the land at this time of year, other than fish, but the time and energy to get them I’d learned was probably not worth it at this point.

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