This past week has flown by so quickly. I had visitors come visit me here in Pangnirtung! John and Kat arrived on June 29th…and this morning flew back south. As I type this I’m sitting in my quiet house… which has given me time to pull together some photos and share some of the stories of our adventures the past week.
As you might already know…sometimes the weather is bad and planes can’t land…the week before John and Kat arrived was one of those weeks…with lots of rain and fog. (The ice in the fjord was breaking up and that creates a lot of ice fog.) So I was a bit nervous about their plane not landing in Pang. But I didn’t have to be worried at all. They did have about an hour and half delay in Iqaluit but a friend met them at the airport and took them on a great tour of the city…so that was pretty awesome!
They brought the sunshine and blue skies something that Pang hadn’t seen for about 18 days.
After dinner we went out to enjoy the sunshine with a quick walk down the road. Photos and selfies with camera timers all happened. You might see photos of the mountains but there’s definitely something to be said about standing and seeing them for your own eyes.
On Monday we headed into town…our first stop was at the Angmarlik Visitor Centre (which also houses the museum and Elder’s meeting spot). Kelly gave us an amazing tour and shared so much information about Inuit Culture and history.
Monday night we went down to the beach and hopped on a boat to head the entrance of Auyuittuq National Park.
Seeing these mountain peaks doesn’t get old…seeing them through the eyes of someone who hasn’t seen them before is even more fun! We aren’t big hikers…so just went for the boat ride down to the end of the fjord and dropped off some climbers heading into the park! One group was staying for 3 weeks and another was staying for close to 5-6weeks. They had so many supplies!
Looking at Pangnirtung from the fjord.
HAPPY CANADA DAY from Pangnirtung! John, Kat and I got our red & white on…plus some tattoos and headed out to celebrate with the rest of town.
We stopped by the Hudson’s Bay Company Old Blubber Station…
Then headed over to the ‘canon’ rock…for a view of the Fjord. After all the rain the week before the tundra is becoming alive with flowers…
Then we headed over to play in a few of the Canada Day Games. The kids decorated their bikes for a competition…and then we played a dice game before heading home!
Wednesday we had a chill day… we went over to my office to meet a few people and see where I work! Then had tea with my friend Eeta in the afternoon. Later that night Eeta and her husband returned to give us a “driving” tour of town… Our first stop was at the end of the road…
Then we went up by the water reservoir for this view…
After a trip downtown…then uptown we ended up at the campgrounds and went for a quick walk by the Duval River.
A perfect ending to another perfect day… Thank you so much Eeta and Tommy for taking us for a driving tour of town!
Thursday was our big exciting day…we headed out with Joavie (an outfitter) in town. Our mission was to visit Kekerten (The Whaling Station from the 1860s) and have a fun boating trip…hopefully see some seals and maybe some bowhead whales. John, Kat and I were uber excited!Once in the Cumberland Sound it wasn’t long until we saw our first and second Bowhead Whales! They didn’t want to play so after spotting them they dove and we didn’t see them surface again so we continued on our way to Kekerten.
The last time I visited Kekerten was in the summer of 2009. My post about the day actually won a ‘Nunie’ award for the best post in 2009. There have been a few changes and additions to some of the displays so that was neat to see!
The Scottish and Americans both had whaling stations here working with the Inuit to harvest Bowhead whales…starting in the 1860s until 1915. Most of the wood and other pieces were re-used from the settlement when the Inuit moved from this camp to other camps on the land.
We were walking around the historic site along the board walks…when all of a sudden Joavie looked over to where the 2013 Bowhead Whale was harvested. He did a double take and said, “Polar Bear”. I had my 50-500mm zoom so was able to take a photo and confirm it was indeed a bear! This was the 2nd one I’ve seen alive living up here in Nunavut. Crazy fun! plus a wee bit exciting… the bear was busy eating, so we continued our tour…but kept an eye on it while we were walking around.
John, Kat and I standing at the bowhead skull from the 1998 hunt…while the Polar Bear was in the next bay (behind us) standing at the 2013 skull.
We didn’t stay on the island to do any hiking..partly because of the bear! Plus we decided we’d like to head back out on the water to see if we can find anymore Bowhead Whales. We were not disappointed…soon on our way Joavie spotted some whales. He was able to slowly get close to them…then turned off the motor. We floated for a long time….listening to the whales talking with each other. It was pure magic.
All in all at one time we spotted about 9-10 whales at once…. They were floating and turning over in circles, popping their heads out. They were probably fishing (in a good spot) because the water was pretty shallow…and they didn’t flip their tails because it wasn’t deep enough water.
If to think seeing a Polar Bear, some seals, bowhead whales wasn’t enough… we drove past 2 different icebergs on our way home. More magic already piled up on a magical day!
Friday brought more exploring around town. We headed to Parks Office and then to Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts for a tour of the weaving and print studios. Did you know that there are only 4 working weaving studios in the world left…and Pangnirtung is one of those?
After all of our travels this week…Saturday was bit rainy/ cloudy…and dreary but we kept our spirits up with a bit of Wii. We played around with the the games I have…and had a bit of a Guitar Hero Battle. Then had dinner with neighbours! Can you say yummy homemade char sushi? Thanks Maki and Ryan for an awesome dinner.
Sunday was a sunnier day…so we went for a walk down to the metal and wood dumps with Ryan and Marton. Just enjoying our last time together.
Thanks so much John and Kat for coming up for a week to visit me. I’m so glad the weather cooperated and we got to see and do so much! Already looking forward to our next time we can take a vacation together…how about one on a beach somewhere for some fun in the sun next?
Having visitors was great…it was really so much fun tour around my town with family. If anyone else wants to visit, just hit me up with a message…