Monthly Archives: September 2014

Arctic Bay Adventures…

I arrived just after 8:30am on Sunday morning in Arctic Bay, Nunavut.  This is my 4th visit to Arctic Bay…I came once in 2009, and then in the past year I came in May and last September. It’s great visiting a community you have been to before because it’s like returning to visit old friends.

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Arctic Bay is also known in Inuktitut as Ikpiarjuk – ᐃᒃᐱᐊᕐᔪᒃ -translated as ‘the pocket’ referring to the way the site is surrounded by protective hills on three sides.  It is located at Latitude 73° 02’ N and Longitude 85° 10’ W.  I’ve included the map of Nunavut so that you can figure out where it is for your reference! nunavut_map

Here are some of the views from my plane seat as we came into land.  All those hills from last week’s landing were covered in a blanket of fresh snow!

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Here’s my shots of the Arctic bay airport terminal  look at the difference a week can make when you live in the high arctic…season changes can happen on the drop of a dime!

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Sunday, September 14, 2014… “Hello, winter!”

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Monday, September 8, 2014… “Gorgeous Fall Day!”

 

Monday morning on my walk to my first appointment I looked out into the Bay and saw this ship anchored.  To me it looked like a Navy ship…but wasn’t 100% sure.  But today it was confirmed that it was indeed part of the Royal Canadian Navy and was the  HMCS Kingston.

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I’m kind of kicking myself for not bringing my zoom lens on this trip so I could get a better photo…but this is the best that I got! Arctic Bay006

The weather when you live anywhere changes frequently.  But since living in Nunavut I’m always amazed how fast weather can roll in… fog/cloud even snow happen so you can’t see any of the hills and surrounding vistas around a community… but then in a blink of a moment it an clear… the sky turns blue and it’s a gorgeous day again!

This morning as I walked back to the hotel for lunch…the skies were blue and it was gorgeous!  I snapped these two quick photos…   Arctic Bay007 I’m glad I did stop to take these photos. When I left the hotel about an hour later…the clouds had rolled in and the snow and wind had picked up! No blue sky anymore…and these hills were surrounded in cloud and snow! This just reinforced to me that sometimes you need to stop for a moment and stop to smell the flowers…or snap that photo, because your chance might be limited! Arctic Bay008

 

Airport Explorations- Resolute

In order to fly south from Resolute you have to get up at the crack of dawn! This is so that the flight from Resolute will make the connection with the jet south to Ottawa.  (So you can get from Resolute to Ottawa in one day…without overnight in Iqaluit!) It’s an awesome system…don’t get me wrong, but for someone that doesn’t enjoy mornings it’s a rough start to the day!

Earlier today I headed south to Arctic Bay…after a bad’s night of sleep…tossing and turning until finally falling asleep around 2am…let’s just say when my alarm when off at 4:30am I wasn’t so impressed! But I did get out of bed, and grabbed a quick breakfast of porridge before heading to the airport at 5:15am… to make matters better or worse, Resolute is in the central time zone…so when I flew to Arctic Bay I jumped ahead an hour as I was back in the Eastern time zone. (…seriously, an early morning start like this one is not that fun for a night owl like me! But I should quit my whingeing and just get on with it!)

Once I was checked in I had a bit of time before the flight left..so I grabbed my camera and headed outside to snap some shots of the buildings around the airport terminal. Here’s the terminal building…as you can see the sun was just coming up, and there was that awesome morning light.

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…in my previous visits to Resolute I have always been fascinated by all the older buildings and tank farms..around the terminal and the airstrip. Resolute-Airport001

Lonely old buildings that once were warehouses and storage buildings now are abandoned…with their roofs caved in to let the weather do what it will with what’s left! (A lot of these buildings have been decommissioned, but there are a few still left.) Resolute-Airport002 Resolute-Airport003

The sun coming up over the hills on the other side of the runway. Resolute-Airport005

Just a frame left on this old building…I’m sure if walls could talk, these would have a story to tell! Part of me wanted to wander further away from the terminal building to explore…but the eeriness of the morning and not knowing if any Polar Bears where in the area…(which there is always a possibility of one being around)..I stayed within sight of the terminal building on my explorations. Resolute-Airport007

It was windy and cold…so after snapping some shots I headed back into the terminal.  Here’s a shot of what greets you when you enter the terminal.  Hello, Mr. Polar Bear! Resolute-Airport009

It was time for my flight to board…at the early hour of 6:30am Resolute-Airport010

Then we were up in the air…with one quick last look at the airport area of Resolute and off we headed to Arctic Bay.  Resolute-Airport012

Chill’n in Resolute…

Travelling in the Arctic is never a given that you will depart or arrive at the times and dates on your ticket.  Weather plays a huge part in the equation.  Tuesday I was suppose to join a charter to Grise Fiord for the day…but their was a low moving in, and high winds…so the charter was cancelled.  (I will attempt to fly there tomorrow on the scheduled flight to the community though!) This just meant instead of spending time here later in the week…I got to spend time here the past 2 days!

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Resolute is also known in Inuktitut as Qausuittuq ᖃᐅᓱᐃᑦᑐᖅ literally “place with no dawn”.  It is located at Latitude 74° 43’ N and Longitude 94° 59’ W.  Resolute has a very interesting history around it’s settlement.

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“The present Inuit community of Resolute got its hard start in 1953. Efforts to assert strategic sovereignty in the High Arctic during the Cold War led the Government of Canada to forcibly relocate Inuit families from northern Québec to Resolute. The first group included one Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, Ross Gibson, who later became the first schoolteacher here. A second group arrived from Pond Inlet in 1955. The Inuit had been promised homes and game to hunt, but the relocated people found few buildings and very little familiar wildlife. They were also told they would be returned home after a year if they wished, but this offer was later withdrawn. The Inuit were forced to stay, so they learned the beluga migration routes and were able to subsist by hunting over a gigantic range of 18,000 square kilometres (6,950 square miles). The Government of Canada conducted hearings in 1993 to investigate the High Arctic Relocation Program and formally apologized to the Inuit in 2008. The relocation experience was arduous. Fortunately, the brave Inuit people of Resolute are excellent hunters, gifted seamstresses and loving providers for their families.” {source}

I have visited Resolute before and it’s crazy to day that was almost 5 years ago…the Olympic Torch came through on it’s cross-Canada tour on the way to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics. 

I woke up Tuesday morning to SNOW…it was so pretty, and I was glad to have packed a warm enough coat/hat/mittens!

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It didn’t stop me from going out and doing the work that I came here to do! (even though the snow was blowing…) Here’s some photos I snapped of some buildings around town.

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These kids were just out of school for the day…and pretty excited for the snow, and the snow balls they could make!  (Yesterday the snow was packy…and perfect for making a snow ball!) Resolute004

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Enjoying my time in Resolute.

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Today was the World’s Suicide Prevention Day the kids at the school here in Resolute went out to walk around the ring road (2.5 kms for one lap).  Even though it was ‘darn’ windy and crazy blustery…they had lots of fun as they biked, walked and some even ran!

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The clouds and sky were so gorgeous today…but it was windy..at times gusting up to 55kms/hour.

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They are currently working on replacing pipes for the utilidor system..which delivers water and takes sewage away from the houses/businesses here in Resolute.  They crew is still trying to finish up some things before it gets too frozen and they have to wait until next summer to continue their work.  Resolute018View of from the beach area here in Resolute…lots of crazy clouds, but gorgeous views of Mountains in the distances…and a little ‘berg in the foreground! Resolute017

From the Air…

Greetings from Resolute Bay, Nunavut!  I’m travelling again for work…and excited to do a few more community visits.  Today was all about airports and airplanes…travel day!  This morning I was running behind, got to the airport with 6mins to spare before the cut off for the flight. Oops, that was cutting it close. Everyone was waiting in the airport and their bags were already loaded on the plane…I guess that makes me lucky! The flight to Iqaluit was uneventful… it’s about an hour flight.  I had about a 2 hour wait until I got back on the same plane (different crew) to fly to Resolute Bay via Arctic Bay.

nunavut_map Just before landing in Arctic Bay…we saw the road that leads from Baffinland’s Iron Mine at Mary River to Milne Inlet.  It was so strange seeing this ‘road’ that was built along the tundra…with nothing else around it!I’m not sure if you can really see the road, it was so much clearer seeing it with my eye!

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Here’s a shot of Milne Inlet…there’s two sealift boats around the port there! Not sure if you can spot them as they look like little dots!

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We stopped in Arctic Bay for refuelling and to let off passengers…the weather was gorgeous…sunny and crisp!  But still so nice.

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…then it was time to get back in the air to head on towards Resolute Bay.  It was foggy when we landed…pretty erie.  But as we were leaving the airport heading to the hotel…the fog had totally descended and engulfed the runway. Glad we landed safely.

Friday Night Drive…

Sometimes you just need to get into a car and drive.  Well when you live in a small remote fly in community just below the Arctic Circle…options are quite limited.  However, we do have a road that goes alongside the fiord…past the sewage treatment plant, the dump for household garbage, the metal and wood dumps or as some people call it ‘Canadian Tire’–since you’d be surprised what you can find when you need a part to fix something!

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The road ends past the gravel pit…and is about a 5 KM stretch of road. Often I walk, but lately there’s been Polar Bears hanging around…and I’ve been too sick to venture outside of my house!

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Tonight a friend called and we went for a Friday night drive to the end of the road.  Just a slow trip to the end of the road to see what we could see.  We left at the ‘magic’ moment that is happening at the moment for light…the sun had dipped down behind the mountains on the other side of the fiord….the tide was coming back in and there was so much beauty all around.  Puts life into perspective when you see how gorgeous your surroundings are all around you….you just need to open up your eyes and wow!

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The tundra has started to change into brilliant fall colours…reds, gorgeous yellows and some browns!  Didn’t get shots of that this trip…but perhaps a walk this weekend will fix that.

I love how the tide was coming in and you can still see the ‘high’ tide rock markers in this photo below…

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Thanks for all your well wishes via Facebook, Instagram and email…I’m finally on the mend and can say I feel back to 100%!  It’s good to be home, looking forward to a weekend here before I take off on my next trip on Monday.

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