Blogs from Nunavut, Canada, North America

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North America » Canada » Nunavut August 14th 2019

It was whirlwind. What just happened? I don't fully understand how my two months in the Canadian Central Arctic vanished so quickly. How does time do that? Is time less relevant at these latitudes? Does a captivating scene speed up time? Does the solitude of silence and emptiness accelerate time? Nunavutmut tunngasugitsi - Welcome to Nunavut. The season was really vivid - the colours, the people, the exploration! Perhaps the weather had something to do with the time passing so swiftly and silently? The region was blessed with an incredibly warm, sunny and almost windless two months - many temperatures soaring into the high teens, day after day. Dry ground and low water levels meant that we were almost unlimited as to what we could do. I hiked ridges and canyons, mountains and plateaus. I ran ... read more
Bellot Strait
Xanthoria sp.
Cape Anne

North America » Canada » Nunavut June 20th 2019

“It’s $30 for a pack of smokes! How are we supposed to live with prices like that?” Lady at the store in Clyde River. The thirty dollar pack of cigarettes scenario was my introduction to this northern gem. I really loved the statement... An unexpected drive in a Jeep It was very strange to drive in a Jeep along a beach on Baffin Island. To the east lay sea-ice to the horizon, to the west - giant snowbanks lingered among the dunes. The beach, however, was clear. Our objective was to find a skull the size of a car and vertebrae the size of fuel drums from the remains of a bowhead whale that was hunted the previous summer. It was quite a sight as we approached the carnage at Cape Christian near the community of ... read more
Clyde River
Patricia Bay
My Entourage

North America » Canada » Nunavut September 15th 2018

“Across the fjord the conical mountains to the south displayed the most wonderful tints. One hill was of a dark red colour, so that, although the sky was actually clouded, it seemed as though here a flood of sunlight lingered. Nearby was a second hill which, at a distance, seemed of pale green. On the surface of the fjord there floated an iceberg, a fitting foreground to the inscrutable and snow-flecked mountains. - Seton Gordon, Amid Snowy Waters To be at sea again. To feel that cold, salty spray! We sailed through the steep sloped Sondrestrom Fjord and headed to a wild spot called Kangerlussuatsiaq, and then to the Greenlandic capital of Nuuk. These first couple of days were just a tease as the rest of the voyage had us in Canada's Arctic. The wilderness on ... read more
Devon Island Shore
Sam Ford Fjord
My entourage

North America » Canada » Nunavut August 3rd 2018

Thule "The Thule people told me that my ship was alive, and wondered what kind of animal it was. I assured them that it was not an animal - but the Thule did not believe me, as they had saw its wings move…" From William Parry’s journals as he searched for the fabled Northwest Passage. Many early accounts of the native inhabitants that lined the shores of what is now Canada’s Arctic, tell stories of ‘savages’ and ‘animals’. These primitive people lived on raw meat, lived in houses of bone and seal skins, they were hostile and spoke a language like no other language… The Thule are gone, although their modern-day descendants live on in the northern reaches of this frozen region. Scattered along the shores of Somerset Island are many Thule sites, and over the ... read more
Thule tent rings
Winter Houses at Cape Anne
Polar Bear Skull

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay June 30th 2018

Somewhere during my adventures I found a journey - a journey of falling in love with the polar regions, the barrenlands and the inhabitants.” Anon. The Frozen Maze The Arctic Waterways are truly spectacular from the air! Bathurst Inlet and the Kent Peninsula, Coronation Gulf and the massive Victoria Island… Peninsulas and bays, islands and frozen channels scatter in the dazzling void. There is a wilderness in the northern parts, but beyond the wilderness is an emptiness, then beyond that, is a stark bleakness and silence.. The Frozen Community Three kids (Jenny, Neil and Inooki) accompanied us on our stroll through the Northern community of Resolute. The community doesn’t get too many visitors (maybe one hundred or so per year) so it was evident that the kids wanted to engage with us. We chatted as we ... read more
Kent Peninsula
Barrow Strait
Resolute

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay August 13th 2017

"All mushrooms are edible, but some only once in a lifetime." Henry On the southern edge of the Great Plains of Sunday Lake at the headwaters of a small tributary that feeds the mighty Cunningham River, I crawled on my hands and knees on the soggy ground searching for mushrooms. More specifically, I was looking for particular varieties of the Hebeloma mushroom in the Hymenogastraceae family… My cold hands rummaged through the gnarly roots of the willows, the twisted stems of the blooming bistorta, and the bowing bell-flowers of the nodding saxifrage. My nose faced the ground, inhaling the fragrance of moist Bryam Moss… My eyes were fixed, sweeping back and forth over a tangle of lichen… I was searching… “Is that one? Is that a Hebeloma?” At first I didn't know what I was looking ... read more
An erroneous 'Shroom.
Found One!
Looking for 'Shrooms

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay July 28th 2017

Most consequential choices involve shades of grey, and some fog is often useful in getting things done. Timothy Geithner It has been an unusually damp and foggy summer up here at latitude 74, but that has not hindered our ability to find adventures… Google in the Gloom I have become very fond of Google Canyon, a very narrow and fairly small canyon on a nondescript region of plateau not too far from camp. I go there occasionally, when I have some time in the evenings. Even if it’s gloomy, it’s still a very nice place… It was one degree Celsius, foggy and drizzling when I left camp for a hike. At first I decided I’d stay in camp, but I knew deep down that I had to go. I left alone, nobody else wanted to accompany ... read more
Musk ox in the wind
The herd
Startled Bears

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay July 22nd 2017

“In those Northwest voyages where navigation must be executed in most exquisite sort”. John Davis, 1594 , The Seaman’s Secrets. A high plateau looms behind the lodge. I have climbed to the summit many times. but had yet to explore beyond the rounded dome that casts a midnight shadow on the Cunningham River Delta. The plateau beckoned - it was calling. It was a foggy morning, with wind and snow flurries, not the ideal time for mountaineering in the arctic, but nevertheless, it was a magical scene with dark peaks dancing through holes in the clouds. As I ascended further, the plateau revealed itself as a blurry nothingness. It didn’t wish to be seen through this blanket of fog. The gravel expanse of the plateau's surface is mesmerizing, especially in the fog. All I wanted to ... read more
Cape Riddle
Union Bay
Cape Riley

North America » Canada » Nunavut » Resolute Bay July 5th 2017

There are two kinds of Arctic problems, the imaginary and the real. Of the two, the imaginary are the most real. Vilhjalmur Stefansson. I have become quite familiar with Yellowknife airport. It is a small, single terminal, three-gate affair, with a nice coffee bar called Javarama. I also know Pete, the guy at the desk. And Sarah, and Kevin. Much of our five days in Yellowknife were consumed by dealing with flight cancellations and delays, switching airlines and re-handling our massive amounts of freight. I have even started calling the airport by its international three-letter code now ‘YZF’. It’s just what happens I guess? However, as the expression alludes to, ‘good things come to those who wait’. The eight of us eventually boarded a Buffalo Airways,1938, Douglas DC-3. This vintage aircraft took us into Canada’s high ... read more
Douglass DC-3
DC-3
Ed Force Three

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




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