RI Native Talks About His Arctic Adventure

First-hand tales from the Arctic Circle


Imagine living high above the Arctic Circle in a research camp where 200 narwhals, those amazing whales with long spiral tusks, swim by tents every six to eight hours. You take shifts standing guard to watch for polar bears as you take in the 24-hour sunlight, tundra wildflowers, rare nesting birds and graceful icebergs as they gently float on by. This was Todd McLeish’s adventure as he dove into writing Narwhals: Arctic Whales in a Melting World. He explores the dynamic relationship between the narwhal and its role in Inuit culture, the mythos behind the tusk and how teams of narwhal researchers are seeking to solve the mysteries of the animal’s migrations. Throughout the book are Todd’s first hand encounters with not only narwhals but the other unique animals that co-exist in the harsh Arctic environment such as walruses, bowhead and beluga whales, and a variety of birds. He also takes part in a subsistence hunt where he learned to understand just how important narwhals are to the Inuit’s health and their way of life, and considering how few options the Inuits have, there is little, if any, objection. Come and hear of his adventures on April 18 at the Middletown Public Library at 6pm.