Hello from Igloolik…

This week I’ve been travelling again.  My trip started off with a few minor hick-ups when my plane didn’t land Sunday evening in Pangnirtung…luckily I was able to be booked onto the other airline on Monday morning to get me to Iqaluit to catch the rest of the flights to Igloolik. But there was a 50-50 chance we couldn’t land in Hall Beach or Igloolik then I’d be in Pond Inlet–where all the hotels were full! But living on the wild side…I took a shot, and luckily it panned out and we landed in Hall Beach and Igloolik! nunavut_map

As you can see…it was pretty snowy and white when we landed in Hall Beach.

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We had to get off the airplane so that it can refuel, then was de-iced before we took off for Igloolik! Igloolik-002

Yahoo! (after a 15min plane ride–yes, that short!) We were able to land in very snowy Igloolik.  This is my 3rd visit to Igloolik.  The first time was in the spring of 2009 (one of my first trips travelling in Nunavut)…where I got to experience 24-hour sun for the first time.  Then my second visit was in 2012 and during that visit I got to see an igloo too!  Igloolik-003

Here’s the Igloolik airport…winter has definitely arrived here! Igloolik-004

 

Igloolik (ᐃᒡᓗᓕᒃ) – is the ‘Place of igloos’. It is located at Latitude 69° 23’ N and Longitude 81° 48’ W.  With mostly flat terrain that surrounds the Hamlet. “Located north of the Arctic Circle, between the Canadian mainland and Baffin Island, Igloolik is situated on a small island in Foxe Basin just off the northeast corner of Melville Peninsula. Spelled ‘Iglulik’ in Inuktitut, this vibrantly artistic community is considered to be a cultural epicentre for the Inuit people…The award-winning movie ‘Atanarjuat — The Fast Runner’ was produced and filmed here. Igloolik is also home to Artcirq, the only Inuit circus troupe in the world, and each summer the hamlet hosts the Rockin’ Walrus Arts Festival.”

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Tuesday when I was here…I snapped these photos as I was walking around town.  It was grey-skies…but crisp air that still put a smile on my face! Igloolik-007

Here’s the Hamlet office in Igloolik…Igloolik-009

Walking down by the beach…lots of snow… and open water!
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I love this photo…so many shades of grey and white…with almost blue water!
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Wednesday we had a fabulous day of blue skies, but it was cold…crazy cold! (Well just colder than I’ve experienced so far this fall/winter).Igloolik-012

Thursday brought winds and blowing snow!  I did manage to take these photos…of the “spaceship” here in Igloolik.  (It’s a research station…I’m not 100% sure what they research they do though…I should find out, but never have.) Igloolik-013

…the ice is starting to form, but not sure when it will stick around. Igloolik-015

I love when snow sticks to the sides of buildings/porches/windows…it looks so cool! So does the blowing snow…that made for walking today (Thursday) not very fun! Igloolik-016

At the end of my day (just after 5pm) …I stepped out of the building I had been in and was greeted to this amazing pink sky! Igloolik-019

Goodbye sun, for another day!  Igloolik-020Who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow.  My flight on one airline has been cancelled in the morning…but I was rebooked on the other airline in the evening.  From the weather forecasts the wind and blowing snow should clear mid-morning.  Life’s always an adventure when you travel in the Arctic…maybe my stay in Igloolik will be extended because of the weather, but maybe it won’t! You never know what the day will bring.

 

Saturday Night Lights…

Last night the lights came out to play over Pangnirtung.  After having dinner with a friend…we hoped into a vehicle and took off to the end of the road, to get out of town’s lights!  (This is so you can see the northern lights better.)

The lights did NOT disappoint…I’m pretty excited to share with you these photos of the northern lights. Enjoy!

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Everywhere we looked the lights were dancing up and down…SaturdayNightLights002

…shooting up from behind the mountains!
SaturdayNightLights003 SaturdayNightLights004This is a funny attempt at a self portrait…by shinning a flashlight on one side of my body. Kinda like how it turned out.

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This one I had my friend shine the flashlight on me…but left the light on a wee bit too long, but still pretty awesome! SaturdayNightLights006

The lights just wouldn’t stop… it was a fabulous show…and so glad I got to get out and take some photos! SaturdayNightLights007 SaturdayNightLights008I’m thankful for good friends with a vehicle that can take you to the end of road so you can take photos of the lights!

 

…a walk to the store!

The weather here in Pang this week has been sunny and clear, but winter is definitely here.  Today I got all my gear on and walked down to the store to get some groceries.  Felt so good to be home.  There was a lot of excitement happening at the beach…narwhals were in Cumberland Sound and by the end of the evening there was lots of fresh mattaq for everyone!

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Even though it’s getting colder and the days are getting shorter… life in the Arctic is still pretty sweet!

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Happy Saturday everyone!

Operation Surprise Gooble-Gooble!

As you know travelling in the Arctic is never 100%…weather happens, mechincal delays happen…sometimes you just don’t land when you want to land.  Friday was one of those moments. The weather in Kuujjuaq  turned from fall to winter overnight!  There was tons of snow and delays for lots of the Nunavik Community flights.  My flight to Iqaluit went as scheduled, however we couldn’t land in Iqaluit–it was too windy, so we headed back to Kuujjuaq.

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After some phone calls and finding out the next available flight from Kuujjuaq to Iqaluit would happen on Wednesday (as the Monday flight was full)…I headed south to Montreal from Kuujjuaq.

Then I started my super surprise for my family.  Once I collected my bags I headed upstairs to Air Canada and spoke with a really nice and friendly lady. (seriously, I was surprised…but there are some GREAT people that work on the ticket booking counter!) I was able to get a one-way  flight into Toronto on the last plane.  I then texted my brother, John and asked if he and Kat could pick me up from the airport…which he did!  It was so awesome to see them.

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(SIde note: this display greeted me at the Toronto Airport..one of my biggest beefs with that airport is that you have to pay a loonie or toonie to get a cart and I never have change and always have too many bags… but apparently CIBC is paying for them right now. Bonus!)

Then on Saturday morning, I got up and phone mum from John and Kat’s… I *might* have stretched the truth…and said that I had just gotten home from Iqaluit and I was tired and needed a nap.  I asked her how to make pumpkin pies, we talked about our dinner plans over the weekend…and I hung up.  Then John, Kat and I (plus Gus) headed into the car for the hour drive over to mum’s.  On the way Kat called mum and asked if she had any lunch…she said no, so we picked up subs for all of us.  Then the surprise happened….John and Kat headed into mum’s… (I stayed in the hallway of the apartment).  As they were putting out the subs Kat said something like… “that’s weird there’s 4 subs?” John said something like… “Maybe there’s someone else joining us?”…and Kat walked to the door and said…”let’s just check the hallway..” and IN I WALKED.  My mum was thrilled and shocked…and didn’t have a heart attack.

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We had a fabulous afternoon talking and driving around Lindsay… then had a little dinner together before John and Kat (and Gus) headed home.  (They were going to Kat’s family dinner the next day…)

On Sunday we got up and headed up to Haliburton.  We stopped in at a good friend of my mum’s…it was so nice to visit Lynn for a short, quick visit! Then we went to my great Aunt Anna’s for a visit.  Dinner at Jamie and Dana’s was scheduled for 5pm… we got to Aunt Anna’s at 4:15… she lives just next door to my brother’s house.  Mum left at 4:30pm to head to put on a casserole she made for the Thanksgiving dinner…and I stayed to visit with Aunt Anna a bit longer.  (I hadn’t visited with her since last Fall when she came to visit my mum after her surgery.) It was lovely to catch up.  I walked over (with a chair because Jamie had already borrowed one from Aunt Anna for dinner)…at 5pm to join dinner!  Let’s just say Dana and Jamie and the boys…were very surprised to see me.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any awesome photos from dinner.  Except for these two taken with my fuzzy dying iPhone 3!

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Samuel and Benjamin are getting so big!  Benjamin read the funniest story book…and Samuel played a really funny bean game with us…. all about planting and trading different kids of bean crops… (sorry dont’ remember the name).  But it was a fun game to play after dinner!  It was so great to see everyone… thanks Jamie and Dana for hosting Thanksgiving dinner…the turkey and all the fixings were wonderful!

The last surprise was a visit to Haliburton Lake… and to my Gramma and Bart’s cottage. It was so much fun to see Gramma and Bart.  We got caught up and even brought out old family photo books….to see some shots from the mid to late 80s.  Lots of great fun remembered. Thanksgiving007

Before I left I had to do a ‘selfie’ a tradition I started in February. This one is another for the memory books. Thanksgiving008It was a whirl-wind weekend…and too fast I was sitting on a train heading back to Ottawa to catch a flight back north the next day.

I’m going to leave you with my all-time favourite photos taken the fall of 2010…by my friend Ryan Bealer!

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Operation Surprise Gooble-Gooble was complete for once I was thankful for a weather delay…and not being able to arrive to a planned destination!  I learned once I got back to Nunavut…that there was bad weather in Pang all weekend…and people didn’t arrive home until Monday!!! So this plan worked perfectly.  All in all it was a great thanksgiving surprise…I have so much to be thankful for….hope you all had a great day!

Sun Transits…

It’s that time of the year when we lose internet, TV, radio, and long-distance telephone communication for a few minutes each day. They occur when the sun is aligned directly behind a satellite every spring and fall. The satellite signal is briefly overwhelmed by the radio frequency noise radiated by the sun.  This should begin on October 9 and continue through to October 18  and will affect satellite communications for a short period each day over the next two weeks. Television, internet, long distance and cell phone services will lose their connections temporarily, beginning with a few seconds each afternoon and increasing to as much as fifteen minutes each day.

Every year we get a reminder of this and a handy-dandy chart that shows the ‘affected’ predicted times…along with the duration.

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Usually I don’t notice a difference…but sometimes if I’m uploading a file or trying to email someone during the affected time, well it doesn’t work!  I have been on the phone with someone and had the phone ‘cut’ out mid-convo…but honestly, living in Nunavut the phone lines are pretty unpredictable at times (but I’m not one to complain I do live in the Arctic, just thankful I do have internet and a phone!)

Just something else that’s a wee bit different, but become a part of normal life here in the Arctic!

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