Blogs from Nunavut, Canada, North America

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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

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




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