Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Old Man Winter Has Arrived

We knew he was coming and he arrived over night in Cambridge Bay.  We woke up this morning with the wind howling up to 70km and the snow blowing.  Visibility was only 1km this morning when I took Craig to work.  He was driving his quad to work since he's been back at the Dew Line Site but today it was just too horrible outside.   Looks like we will have to store the quads, picnic table and our outdoor chairs in the sea container for the next 8 months.  Can you believe it, we will have snow for the next 8 months or more!  Craig turned the switch on the furnace from summer mode to winter mode when we got home today from work.  I was hoping for a couple more weeks of no snow but looks like I am out of luck.

I have been busy this week printing, mounting, matting and framing some of my pictures as I am going into my first Saturday Market here in Cambridge Bay this Saturday, October 1st. I am hoping to be completed by Wednesday as I still have some baking to do for the fundraiser that evening.  It's going to be a busy day for me as I set up in the morning, be at the market until 3pm and then at 4pm I help Angela set up for the fundraiser Saturday night.  It will be a busy and fun-filled day. 

Work is still busy, just a different busy.  Our business manager from Rankin Inlet will arrive this Thursday and I am looking forward to his 'helping' visit.  We will be finished processing Arctic char this week and then our focus will turn to muskox for the next 8 weeks.  The dogs will be happy as I bring home  meat scraps for them to add to their diet along with the odd bone or two.

Will let you know how things go this weekend until then...

Talk soon!

Road going into town from the Airport
Another view of Airport Road
Three boats at the dock during the storm this morning - time to leave!
Road to the community dump
Blowing snow
 View in front of Kitikmeot Foods Ltd. where I work
Our front door at work
You know it's getting cold outside when the pointers snuggle up on one bed
 My office
Another view of my office - I am thinking of painting it.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I celebrated my first year in Cambridge Bay on the 16th of September and two days later I celebrated my birthday.  I can't believe everything that I have done this past year especially when my plan was to take a year off work and do some photography.  Well I managed to get a job about 6 months into this adventure and I am pleased that I had time to get some photography in.  Who would of guessed a year ago that I would be so involved in Kitikmeot Foods Ltd., a large fish and meat plant where we ship not only in Canada but also in the United States.  I love my job; it's exciting at times, it's challenging at times but at the end of the day I come home satisfied.

Some people may see the land as the same old thing every time they go out but not me.  I can travel down the same road and see something new to photograph every time.  I still have a lot of things on my bucket list that I need to shoot;  muskox, caribou, hawks and my list goes on.  In the end I am happy with what I have photographed and this coming year will be bigger and better...I hope.

My birthday was the perfect day for me.  Spent the whole day with Craig, took the dogs out, watched the Winnipeg Blue Bombers kick some Montreal ass.  Well maybe not kick ass but they managed to win and that what matters.  After the game we headed out onto the land and spent a few hours photographing it.

Our first stop was at the Old Stone Church across the bay.  Fathers Lemer, Steinman and Menez began the construction of Cambridge Bay's first permanent Catholic church in 1953 using seal oil and sand for mortar.  The church opened on September 12, 1954 with nine parishioners and was used until the 1960's.  Sadly, in 2006 a large portion of the church was destroyed by a deliberate fire.

We then headed over to take pictures of Father Steinman's old ship. "In 1954, Father Steinman, one of the builders of the stone church, purchased The Eagle.  It was towed from Tuktoyaktuk to Cambridge Bay and reportedly leaked all the way.  Father Steinman was the only priest in the region with a working knowledge of boats but no record remains of what his intentions for The Eagle may have been.  Unfortunately, he was stationed elsewhere the same year that the ship arrived and The Eagle has remained on the beach ever since."

Our next stop on this photo shoot was this old rusty Jeep that has been sitting on the land for who knows how many years.  It still has a steering wheel, a stick shift and a passenger seat which is missing all the comforts of foam and material.  Don't know what happened, was it in an accident,  was it burnt, or was it just abandoned and the Arctic elements took it over.  All I know is that it has some history and it is this cool piece of rusted out metal. 

I attended my first funeral in Cambridge Bay today, it was held at the high school gymnasium as there is no church in town that could hold an entire community.  A 15 year old boy tragically lost his life last week in an accident.  Funerals affect everyone in this small community and this one hit hard to many people.  His hockey teammates lined the isle, were dressed in their jerseys and carrying hockey sticks.  At the end of the service when he was carried out they were all hitting their sticks on the floor of the gymnasium shouting his name.  It was a heart wrenching tribute to this young teenager.  Craig was honoured to play the organ at the service and with our friend Marg's help they managed to make it through.  A tough gig but Marg and Craig did a wonderful job and I am proud of them both.

I know I have dedicated a couple of posting in the past and I would like to dedicate this one to the people of Cambridge Bay for their strength, spirit and ability to help others in their time of need. 

Talk soon!

Old Jeep on the tundra
 Old Stone Church
 A closer view of the church
Looking into the church
A view of the inside of the church
 Father Steinman's Ship

Another inukshuk - this one is on the way to Mt. Pelly
Inukshuk across the bay
Arctic hare changing from brown to white
Blitz playing ball and watching a bird
Molly standing in ice cold water

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Purple Ribbon Campaign

Last night was the kick off for the Purple Ribbon Campaign here in Cambridge Bay at the Community Hall.  Latitude 69, the band that Craig plays in was asked to supply the entertainment for the evening.  During their final set members of Muskox Radio joined them.  The evening started at 7:00pm and lasted until 11:30ish.  Door prizes were given out throughout the evening and yes I won one. 

The Purple Ribbon Campaign evening was to kick off their new logo and to raise awareness of violence against members of this community.  Presley Taylor, a local young artist, designed the amazing logo of an Inukshuk with a purple ribbon wrapped around it.  The posters will be displayed in people's windows to supply a safe haven for people in distress especially escaping violence.

After tear down the band members gathered at Gary's home to reflect on the evening and to have a celebratory drink.  They will play again on October 1st for our local food bank.

The pictures today reflect on the fun we all had.

Talk soon!
Poster for the event

Presley, the young artist who designed the artwork
Amanda explaining the Purple Ribbon

Craig & Jim (the sound man)
 All ages were having fun
Sheila too!
Some people were shakin' what their momma's gave them
Good crowd and dancers
Amanda and Craig singing
 Terry belting out a tune
Aaron joining in on the fun
Alyssa & Rhonda

Gary, drummer extraordinaire
Greg playing guitar
Aaron, Puglik and Craig singing
Latitude 69; Craig, Gary, Terry and Ryan

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fish Harvest 2011 Officially Over

The float planes left Cambridge Bay on Thursday and our last load by boats will arrive this weekend from Ekalluk River.  We did not meet our quotas for both rivers, Ekalluk and Halovik and we are hoping that we have enough char to last until next spring.  Our largest char of the season came from Halovik, 42" long and weighing in at 24lbs. I learned a lot about fish and the fish harvest these past couple of months and Stephane and I made a great team.  We will now process the char until the end of the month then we will start processing the remaining of our muskox for the next couple of months.  I enjoyed the business of the fish harvest but I am also glad that it is over.  Today is my first day off since our first load of fish from Ekalluk so I am getting caught up with emails and of course the blog.

There was also a film crew up here from Outdoor Life Network doing a story of fishing in Cambridge Bay.  They had spent some time with a sport fishing camp and our fishermen at their camp at Ekalluk River.  They came into the plant to do a story of how we process the Arctic char.  I was elected to spend some time with the crew, answer their questions and give them a tour of the plant.  The producer is suppose to be sending us dvd copies of the show, can't wait to see it.  Once I know when it will be aired I will let everyone know.

There are still alot of ships and sail boats coming into the bay.  This past week the final cruise ship came in, 2 fuel tankers and the barge from Montreal.  On Thursday evening Craig and I watched the Narwhals and Belugas that are still in the bay.  The community has one tag left to catch a whale but I haven't seen any hunters out, maybe everyone has had their fill of muttuk.

Along with the pilots and their float planes, Les from DFO also left on Thursday.  The evening before he left he invited Stephane, Craig and I over for dinner as a thank you for helping him out this season.  He had appetizers, steaks with all of the fixings for everyone to enjoy...he can cook for me any day.  We had lots of laughs that evening and enjoyed each other's company and we are looking forward to his next visit to Cambridge Bay.

Tonight we are heading over to the community centre for "Kick Off Party, for the Purple Ribbon Campaign."  Latitude 69, the band that Craig plays in will be performing so I will be there to support him and the campaign.  They also have another gig on October 1st and I will be helping out with that one, tonight I will enjoy myself and taking pictures.

I have about 10 dogs that need vaccinations this week and will start the line up tomorrow with Amanda's dog Fletcher.  I enjoy helping the people of this community with their dogs but wish I could do more.  We desperately need a vet up here to spay and neuter these dogs as there is always a litter of puppies that needs to be 'saved'. 

Talk soon!

Little Annie and Les
Shelley and Cassandra holding the largest fish from Ekalluk River, 40" long and 21.6lbs
 Annie and Donna holding our largest fish of the season.  Caught at Halovik, 42" long and weighing in at 24lbs
 Stephane holding the fish from Halovik River
Steven, he is also an amazing carver

Jordan and Annie showing off an Arctic char
Jordan and Annie taking samples for Department of Fisheries and Oceans

 Everyone hard at work
Jonathan and Justin doing the final cleaning

 I love this boat
 Another sail boat docked
The last cruise ship of the season...Adventure Clipper
Fuel tanker arriving with the community's supply of fuel for the year
 Blue ship is another fuel tanker and the far one is the barge from Montreal
Someone's brand new sail boat arrived by barge
Coast guard helicopter and a private one at the airport

 Les making us dinner
Les, myself and Stephane
Craig and Stephane
Me with my boot still on at Halovik, picture taken by our pilot James