Kunuk Abelsen’s sled dogs, blond, brown, and almost black, stood on the bright white snow outside his home and pulled on their chains. It was January, but the sea ice surrounding his island village in eastern Greenland still wasn’t firm. Abelsen and his dogs were eager to get out on the ice, but they were marooned.

“I really wanted good ice conditions, but nature is the boss,” says the 26-year-old hunter.

Most years, the sea ice arrives in the inlets along the east coast of Greenland in November. As its frozen expanse grows throughout the winter, it connects rocky islands and remote villages, and helps pave the way for hunters and their dog teams to reach the seals that congregate beneath the ice. But last year, the sea ice didn’t take shape the way people in Kulusuk had expected it to.

.::. Keep reading at Hakai magazine.

Written by Hannah

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