Thursday, July 26, 2012

Manitoba...Week One

What a crazy week Hannah and I had in sunny, hot Manitoba.  The weather couldn't be better and yes it did take me a couple of days to acclimatize.  We flew in around 3pm last Thursday and at 4pm we had her first appointment with the surgeon.  After the consult/exam he confirmed that it is her lumbar sacral disease again and he didn't think having a third surgery would help her.  She does have other orthopedic problems but nothing that can be surgically fixed.  I had mixed feeling about the appointment as I wanted a 'quick-fix' for her but in the end I will medically manage her pain.  She also had another appointment later that evening to check on a couple of lumps and good news is that they are just fatty tissue.

We spent the night at the Birley's and in the morning Sandy and I headed to do some shopping.  We were a bit exhausted after 6 hours of shopping, PHEW!  After dinner Hannah and I hit the road to Carman to see Granny (my mom).  The week was spent visiting friends and it was a wonderful surprise to find out that Bonnie, one of my high school closest friend was in town.  Angie, Bonnie and I got together for lunch before Bonnie headed back home the following day.  Mom and I drove to the big city to do a bit of shopping and to see the Kraemer's newest member of their family, tiny beautiful Carrie.  She didn't visit much as she was too busy having her afternoon nap. 

Angie's step dad Ross is in Boyne Lodge and every month the staff gets all of the residents together who celebrated their birthday for that particular month.  This month Ross celebrated his birthday so Mom and I were invited to the party.  The room was decorated, they served danties and juice and they had a couple performing songs from the 40s and up.  Some of the seniors even got up to dance.  It was a pleasant afternoon and nice to see Ross and Shirley again as it had been awhile.

Today Hannah and I drove back to Winnipeg as she had a 11am appointment for acupuncture with Dr. Hamilton.  It has been a couple of years since we seen her and I forgot how good she is with pets.  The appointment was about an hour long and we return on Monday to see her again.  We will spend the weekend with Sandy and Keith,  watch the Bomber game tonight,  do some shopping. drive to East Selkirk to see our friends Rod and Trish and whatever else comes our way.

Talk soon!

 This is what Blitz and Molly looked like the day I left...I think they knew I was flying out.
Hannah smelling the fresh country air at Granny's
Granny and Hannah
Just taking it in
It was so hot this past week I had to wet Hannah down and then she relaxed
Best friends from school, Angie, me and Bonnie
Beautiful Carrie
Hannah and Smokey having breakfast together
Centerpiece for the Birthday party
Entertainment for the afternoon, Just Two
Auntie Brooke and Bentley
The gang, Ashton, Angie, birthday boy Ross, Shirley, Brooke and my mom
Bentley and Great-grandpa Rosco
Gram Angie and Great Grandpa Ross with Bentley

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quads, Vessels and Cabins

That's what my weekend consisted of, lots of quadding, a tour of the research vessel and was invited to check out Cat and Shannon new cabin.  Saturday after both Craig and I worked we invited Marg for  a quad ride to Mt. Pelly, a beautiful evening for a ride...minus the mosquitoes.   As long as you were moving it was fine but as soon as we stopped it was horrendous. Check out the picture below. 

On our way through Cambridge Bay we stopped at the research vessel and Matt was the perfect host. The research vessel is here being retrofit and plan on heading out to sea in August in search of two of The Franklin Expedition Ships.  The 64 foot vessel is an old fishing boat from Newfoundland and will be stationed here in Cambridge Bay.  For now it is named the Ocean Alliance but later will be christened The Martin Bergmann.  Martin Bergmann, the director of the Polar Continental Shelf Program, died in the August 20th, 2011 crash of First Air flight 6560 in Resolute Bay.

After our visit on the vessel we headed out onto gravel pit road in search of the Arctic fox momma and her pups.  We seen mom but did not find the pups.  We stopped by our friends cabin to say hi and then off again we went. 

The following day I worked until 1:30pm and came home for a nap before we headed to see Cat and Shannon's new cabin.  The cabin is brand new and it's was a great purchase for these two young ladies.  There is still a bit of work to be done but it is livable and it has a great view off the deck.  After our visit Craig and I took another drive to find the Arctic fox pups but still did not see them.  We did see some seals playing in the water and on the ice and soon we will be watching them in the Bay. 

Our first fish harvest for 2012 should be completed by tomorrow and we will start up again mid-August when our fishers head out to three river systems.  Hannah and I leave for Winnipeg on Wednesday, staying one night in Edmonton.  She has two vet appointments on Thursday and she is scheduled for a MRI the following day.  It will be a busy first couple of days but I will try to keep everyone posted on how she does.

Talk soon!

 The view from 1/4 way up Mt. Pelly
Lady Pelly and Baby Pelly at a distance
The road we took
Muskox skeleton found on the way to Mt. Pelly
Love these purple flowers
Not too many of these left - wish they would last longer
Matt our tour guide on the research vessel
Marg and Craig checking out the sleeping quarters
The captain's spot - sorry about all of the reflections from the sun
Looking towards the stern
The view from the Captain's chair
Look up...way up
Marg at the bow
So much purple blooming
Yes those are mosquitoes
I found this tiny flower among the rock - simply amazing
On our way home Saturday night
Marg enjoying a great Saturday night ride in the Midnight Sun
Cat and Shannon's new purchase
Happy new owners
View of the kitchen/dining area
The living area, through the door there is a bathroom surrounded by two bedrooms
Their view from the deck
Barry taking a dip
More and more flowers
Close up view of these beauties
This is what some of the tundra looks like - amazing purple colour
She flew right in front of me while I was quadding and wouldn't move
Ahhh this is what she was protecting - two new babies and two eggs
This is her sitting on her nest near the side of the road

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Here Fishy Fishy

You guessed it, our annual fish harvest for 2012 is officially underway.  Our fishers and monitors headed out Sunday afternoon to set up camp and the nets.  Stephane, Craig and myself flew out by float plane to Surrey River to check out the camp and to see if the fishers or monitors required anything.  We were going to fly in the evening but due to the schedule we flew out around 11am and it was a perfect day with bright blue skies.  Once up we would see miles of beautiful tundra. 

Fred, our pilot flew into Surrey River and hit the water perfectly.  Craig didn't realize we were landed as it was such a smooth landing.  The whole crew met us at the sandy beach and gave us the tour of the camp.  They mentioned that they had  4 visitors in the early morning hours...4 wolves.  The also showed us where a grizzly bear and one cub visited the camp days before.  Kinda scary but they do come prepared for any emergency.  We stayed for about an hour before we climbed back into the plane along with 7 tubs of fresh Arctic char.

Once landed in Cambridge Bay it was back to work as usual and today was extremely busy and will be this way for the next week.  I really enjoy the fish harvest and getting out to the different camps to visit the fishers.  This year we will be at 4 different river systems and plan on visiting each one and I can not wait.

On a side note we experienced a large thunder storm in Cambridge Bay last night which lasted about an hour.  It is very unusual to have a storm like the one last night in the far north and Craig said it has probably been 3-4 years since the last one.  It felt like I was back in Manitoba as the thunder was loud and the lightening lit up the skies.  Other than the storm we are having an unbelievable summer so far with temps hitting an average of 17'c.

Talk soon!

Our pilot flying in to pick us up
Craig helping Fred fill up the plane
Off we go!
Tundra as far as the eye can see
Still ice on some lakes
Our new camp at Ekalluk River - we are waiting for the canvas tents to arrive
Surrey River camp, the two structures on the right are the fishers camp and the white tent on the beach is the monitors
Surrey River from the sky
Our fishers: Ryan, Jack (our lead) and Brent
Their boat
Still many flowers
Drying some Arctic char
Found these two caribou skulls near the camp
Petra I really wanted to bring this one back for you but the wolves chewed the tips
Ryan showing off a huge wolf track
The grizzly bear tracks - sorry no hand available at the time I took the pic but I am sure you can imagine
Tiny bird nest near the beach
Everyone sending us off
Beautiful spot
Yes the water is this blue
Look closely you can see a couple of seals on the ice - we seen many on our way back
The old Stone Church from the sky
Mt. Pelly from the skies