Page 4 of Crannster Travel Blog Posts


North America » Canada » Nunavut » Auyuittuq National Park September 30th 2016

“The hardest part of being a Canadian kid is having to color in Nunavut with a crayon in school, hell on earth.” Rebecca McNutt, Super 8: The Sequel to Smog City. We re-entered Canada at the small community of Qikiqtarjuaq on Broughton Island, a small island just off the Baffin Island coast. Baffin Island is Canada's largest island and the fifth largest Island in the world, about two-and-a-half times the size of Great Britain but with a population of about 11,000 - essentially empty. The entire east coast of Baffin is a spectacular tangle of gnarly fjords and islands, many unnamed and uncharted. This is one of the few regions on the planet that is void of depth soundings on charts... It is an amazing part ... read more
Pangnirtung Fiord
Fox
Cape of God's Mercy Bay

North America » Greenland » West Greenland » Ilulissat September 15th 2016

"People are not fond of thinking. Only reluctantly do we bother ourselves with what is hard to understand. Perhaps that’s why we know only so little about the beginnings of the sky, the earth, and of most animals. Perhaps or perhaps not. For most difficult of all is to understand how we ourselves came, and where we go on the day we no longer live. Over all beginning and ending, there is darkness." Apakak, in Ostermann 1952. A Few Days in Greenland… Our vessel took us across the raging Baffin Bay to the deeply cut, western shores of Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat as the Greenlanders prefer to call it). Due to unexpected weather earlier in the voyage, we arrived alongside the harbour in Ilulissat during dinner time. This meant we could get off the ship for an ... read more
Ice-choked
Disko Bay
The Icefjord

North America » Canada » Nunavut September 10th 2016

“The landscape conveys an impression of absolute permanence. It is not hostile. It is simply there – untouched, silent and complete. It is very lonely, yet the absence of all human traces gives you the feeling you understand this land and can take your place in it.” Edmund Carpenter I arrived in Kugluktuk (Coppermine) just in time to watch the finals of the annual seal butchering contest. A huge tarp covered the concrete floor of the arena and spectators gathered around to witness this exciting event of blood and guts. The idea is to cut the skin, fat and meat from the seal as fast but as perfectly as you can. It was really quite magical to see the small community huddled together and competing in this event - the food was shared among all families. ... read more
Victoria Island
Dryas
The DEW Line

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay August 12th 2016

“Most people might be oppressed by such surroundings, with its silence and inhumane expanses, but he who seeks peace and quiet in nature, undisturbed by human activity will find here what he seeks.” Fridjof Nansen. The sun set only twice at Cunningham Inlet, and only for a short time... The setting and rising of the sun in this obscure part of the planet is a somewhat seasonal phenomenon, as opposed to a daily occurrence witnessed in most places. The sunset on August 12th marked our final night at the camp, and as the sun fell below the lonely horizon for only twenty-five minutes or so, it left a glowing haze bouncing above the sea. An eerie light danced above us and the blows from distant belugas could be heard in the otherwise silent world. The mercury ... read more
Ice-age Goats
The Falls
Nansen's Ridge

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay August 2nd 2016

Beechey Island is the site of several significant events in the history of Canada's Arctic exploration. In 1845, the British explorer Sir John Franklin commanded another search for the fabled Northwest Passage with his two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Franklin and his crew were never to be seen again - even today, the true fate of the expedition and the 129 men remains somewhat mysterious. Franklin chose Beechey Island as a wintering site due to the sheltered bays that would help prevent the ships from being crushed by the winter sea-ice. The high sea-cliffs made the island very distinct in the surrounding shores and would be easily recognized by other ships. A few years after the disappearance of Franklin's ships, several search parties were sent to look for clues - ... read more
The Isthmus
Beechey Sea cliffs
John Torrington

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay July 14th 2016

And not the huffing and puffing kind! About a decade ago, a teenage boy was hiking over the muddy badlands of northern Somerset Island when he inadvertently got his feet stuck, deep into the vacuum of the sticky clay. He struggled and struggled to free his entrapped feet, but the ground slowly consumed his boots. As he tried to free one foot the other foot sank faster into the ever-hungry earth. His pants too had been sucked into the oblivion of the barrens. Struggling some more, he eventually crawled out in his underpants back to the safety of the trail and shyly continued on the hike, a little embarrassed… The tattered, wind-blasted fabric of the blue pants remain visible to this day, exposed for all to view as an eternal reminder to anyone who tries to ... read more
Staying Clear of the Pants
The Pants
Bowhead Bones

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay July 1st 2016

The Girl Who Eats Hearts… We flew for 40 minutes to a small gravel beach near the mouth of the Union River that spills into an unnamed inlet of Cresswell Bay at the southern end of the upper part of Somerset Island. A few small and somewhat abandoned cabins were scattered along the otherwise untouched shore, and sea-ice reached to the horizon. Aleeshek is an Inuit lady who married Ozzie (the Arctic Guru from Resolute), she came along to fish with us at this ultra-remote location. Aleeshek was born here in the fifties and grew up on the land hunting and gathering in what must have been amongst the harshest and inhospitable areas to live in. In her early childhood, the Canadian government of the time forced thousands of people into prefabricated communities in strategic geographic ... read more
My first Cast
Twin Otter at Cresswell Bay
Cresswell Bay Cabins

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay June 22nd 2016

Drilling Holes in Spoons… Resolute Bay is in Canada’s Central Arctic, thousands of miles from the nation’s capital. One of the most amazing features of Resolute is that there are virtually no features! It’s an empty and somewhat featureless, barren expanse of absolute nothingness. Silence and dismal solitude surround this tiny community on Cornwallis Island in the Canadian Central Arctic. This is the polar desert - the arctic at its most desolate. Elbow room is not an issue here. Resolute is Canada's coldest inhabited place, with an average annual temperature of minus 12°C, with bone chattering wind-chills and total darkness in the depths of winter. In the words of Aaron Spitzer, a northern resident; “On the up side, you don’t need to mow the lawn in resolute, on the down side is everything else”. Resolute is ... read more
Resolute
Inuktitut Roadsign
Polar Bear hide - Resolute

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay June 18th 2016

A Bulldozer in a Miserable Place… It comes as no surprise that nobody has ever coined the phrase “as comfortable as lying as under a broken bulldozer”. Bulldozers are big, clumsy and heavy, and all components of the machine are cumbersome and awkward. Bulldozers typically work in miserable environments! Working alongside their mechanical companions, they push rock and dirt to allow for a variety of construction projects, mining operations and the like – this bulldozer was used for constructing a runway… But, like all machines, they can break. When this bulldozer broke it was at the end of a muddy and icy runway at the end of the world… Ten months later, it remained, half buried in snow and looking rather sorry! It was zero degrees Celsius with light, freezing drizzle and a north wind when ... read more
Underneath
Part of the Problem
The spare parts arrive (and staff)


"I Don’t Like You Either…" Down by the River. Work took me to the Madawaska River for some water rescue training. Six full days by a river, rigging up ropes and rescue systems to haul people and boats across raging rapids was a lot of fun. There were five of us down there, and we all got a chance to try a stand-up paddle board (SUP), or as I liked to call it - (SNP) swimming next to a paddle board… It was actually fairly easy and intuitive to get used to on a flat body of water, it’s just that we were on a set of rapids for the most part, so standing up was tricky (for me as a beginner). We rafted and kayaked down the river and flipped on purpose to practice self-rescue ... read more
Towering Toronto
Looking to the End of the World
Toronto on the Lake




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