First lake yesterday was Ikroavik. One of our baseline lakes, sampling proceeded without many issues, albeit slower than I would have liked. Luckily we took the time to pop up the ice fishing tent, which cut down the wind considerably and eased taking samples. Our guide shared some of his lunch with us, which included maktaaq, dried caribou, and whale meat. He claimed that all three together is like the McDonald's of Barrow, but I stuck to the maktaaq along with the rest of the lunch we brought. For those of you who missed my description of tasting maktaaq last April, it's blubber and skin from a bowhead whale. It's very oily, with a nutty flavor vaguely reminiscent of seaweed. Soy sauce and wasabi are popular additions. The Inupiat have an annual quota that allows them to continue their traditions of whale hunting which is very much a part of the culture here. Basically, it's impractical to ship in all food from external sources, and whaling (and hunting) is an integral local food source. Our last trip in April was an exciting time here in town in part due to everyone getting ready for the beginning of whaling season.
No rest for the wicked though, we were all up early again today for a lab day of processing samples (and recovering). Tonight our NASA team members are arriving and we will head to our farthest site tomorrow. At least we'll be able to see some sun again, I blinked and missed it while working inside today.