Jane fished. I just took photos! Actually, that’s not entirely true. Jane made me dig the hole in the sea ice first.
The mittens Jane is using are made of sealskin. They have opposable thumbs – meaning there is a thumb on both sides of the mitten. When fishing like this you pull a wet line – freezing cold – through your mittens. When one side is sopping wet, you switch them around and use the other side. The gloves were made locally, and the woman who sewed them also gave Jane a pair of wool mittens to wear inside – also with two thumbs!
I just do the grunt work, using the tuk or ‘ice staff’ to dig the hole in the ice. On a good day such as this chilly January 25th, it can get busy on the ice.
But it’s really about not about catching fish – thankfully. Because until we got the hang of it it was slim pickings!