And then there was one
Twice a day, we do the "sked", a radio check-in with the Polar Continental Shelf Project back in Resolute. They keep track of all the science teams in the field in this part of Nunavut, and send in the cavalry if anything goes wrong. When we first got here, it was just us and a team way out on the ice cap at the east end of Devon. For most of May and June, we got the personal attention of the Polar Shelf guy, at least for the time it took to say "read you five by five, weather's fine, no traffic". Then, in July, at the peak of the field season, the sked exploded from an intimate affair into a mass conference call, with more than fifteen camps calling in to schedule flights, discuss problems, and announce polar bear visits. OK, the camps were spread out over thousands of miles of the Arctic, but it still felt a bit crowded.
Now, we're back down to five, and one of those is finishing its pullout tomorrow. If we're not the last in the field, we'll be close (damn you, ice cap guys!). Although no snow has settled yet, there's a reasonable chance that they will have to put the skis back on the Twin Otters for our pullout flights. Winter is coming, the sked is getting quiet, and soon Devon will reclaim its title as the world's largest uninhabited island.