On Polar Tides: Paddling and Surviving the Coast of Northern Labrador

On Polar Tides: Paddling and Surviving the Coast of Northern Labrador

by Nigel Foster
On Polar Tides: Paddling and Surviving the Coast of Northern Labrador

On Polar Tides: Paddling and Surviving the Coast of Northern Labrador

by Nigel Foster


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In 1981, Nigel Foster flew to Canada’s Baffin Island to begin a solo kayak trip south toward northern Labrador. After crossing the 40-mile wide Hudson Strait in howling winds and fighting a 10 knot tide race, Foster crash-landed on a small island in the dark. He had frostbitten fingers and was 300 miles from the closest village. With unimaginable good fortune, eight days later he ran across an oil tanker and hitched a ride south. He had survived—marking one of the most notable solo crossings in history—but the failure of the second portion of the trip he had originally planned haunted him.
In 2004, Foster returned to northern Labrador with his then girlfriend (now wife) Kristin Nelson. Launching from Kuujjuaq in Northern Quebec, the couple paddled the Ungava Bay coast—which has one of the largest tidal variances in the world—to the place Foster had boarded the oil tanker 23 years earlier. From this remote location, the couple completed the trip to Nain that Foster originally planned for 1981. They encountered more polar bears than people. The story of the two trips forms the backbone for On Polar Tides—Originally self-published as Stepping Stones in 2009—which offers an intimate and insightful view of Ungava and Labrador. The new, revised edition includes gripping recollections of the polar adventures and 54 color photographs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493025688
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 09/23/2016
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Nigel Foster is a world-renowned kayaker and an accomplished author. He also designs kayaks and kayaking gear. Some of his other books include Nigel Foster’s Sea Kayaking, Nigel Foster’s Surf Kayaking, and Encounters from a Kayak.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 Going East 1

Chapter 2 Kuujjuaq 17

Chapter 3 Ungava Bay 31

Chapter 4 Polar Bears 51

Chapter 5 Hubbard Expedition, 1903 57

Chapter 6 Moravian Missionaries 65

Chapter 7 Inuit Camp 71

Chapter 8 East and North along Ungava Bay 83

Chapter 9 Killiniq and Polar Air Routes 99

Chapter 10 Crossing Hudson Strait 117

Chapter 11 McLelan Strait 127

Chapter 12 Labrador Fog and German Weather Stations 137

Chapter 13 Wind 149

Chapter 14 Ramah 163

Chapter 15 Leaving the Torngats 177

Chapter 16 Saglek 187

Chapter 17 Hebron 199

Chapter 18 Kaumajet Mountains-The Shining Mountains 217

Chapter 19 Okak 225

Chapter 20 Cabins 233

Chapter 21 Kiglapait Mountains and Village Bay 239

Chapter 22 Port Manvers Run 247

Chapter 23 Nain 257

Chapter 24 Northern Ranger 269

Chapter 25 The Road of Progress 275

Bibliography 283

Index 287

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