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Sunshine glistens off of sugar snow, billions of tiny crystals sparkle like diamonds. Skies are deep, deep into blue. Squinting one eye, it is hard to gaze out over the frozen Ocean and not be blinded. Giving up in disgust, I pull my wooden ilgaak ‘sun goggles’ back over my eyes. While they eliminate the glare, I hate having anything restrictive on my face. My hood on my huge Eastern Parkie is thrown back; I want to feel the warmth of the sun full on, the winter has been long.

We are 30 miles out on the frozen Arctic Ocean; it is spring in the high Arctic. Spring means sunshine and rotten ice, not flowers and grass. It is the weekend before Easter and my family has escaped our house, which feels like it is shrinking in size daily. We have gone sealing in this vast and endless vista that is home to the Ringed Seal. A few families have ventured out this first, warm enough weekend of the year. It gets to -30F at night but warms up to -15F during the day.

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