Thursday, July 24, 2014

Where There Is Smoke, There Is Fire...

Who knew that we would get smoke from forest fires that are 853kms away, air distance but this is the second time in just as many weeks that we are receiving smoke from NWT.  Not just a bit of smoke either but heavy smoke and if you didn't know it you would think it would be fog.  Our sun all day was a bright orange circle in the sky.  The Health Centre announced a health advisory for our elders, young, pregnant or nursing moms so stay inside with the windows shut as the smoke it so bad.  For me it was a good opportunity to head out after work to photograph this.
This is what the sun looked like through the smoke

Some fishermen boating on the bay

So very smoky

Craig's work from the road - usually it is prominent on the landscape
PS - no he doesn't work at a golf ball factory 

Looking towards the airport

Cambridge Bay
Earlier this week a few brave souls dove into the cold waters of Cambridge Bay - water was about 40'F.  Why you ask?  It was the Annual Polar Bear Dip and all money raised will go towards a new multi-use facility in Cambridge Bay. Among these people were some friends so I had to go down to the main dock on Monday to photograph them diving in the Arctic waters.
Pre-dip group photo


The ladies from Scary Bear Soundtrack did it in style

The after pic of Sandy and Adrienne

Les and JS all smiley before the dip

Still smiling!
We should be finished our char harvest at Surrey River tomorrow and tonight I brought home a fresh char which I will cook up for Friday dinner.  After this river system we have a bit of a break until August 20ish when a crew will head out again. 
The weather has been nice so it's a good opportunity to get the dogs out for swims either in the ocean or smaller ponds.  The only thing is the mosquitos are still out in full force and today when I went out I forgot the bug spray and I could only last for about an hour with the dogs.  If I didn't have the dogs with me I would of lasted way less than that but they needed to exercise...what I won't do for my babies.   The sun started to set, well if that's what you call it, today it will set at 12:35am and it rose at 1:40am.  It just goes down the horizon a tiny bit and then up again.

Caught Blitz in mid-air

Molly was sitting pretty for the picture then Blitz came along
and jumped in the water - scared the little princess. lol

Told them to wait - they were ready to run
Talk soon!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

First Stop - Surrey River

Well work is in full swing of our busy season, our annual wild Arctic char harvest.  I love this time of year not only because it is busy but I love meeting up with our fishers, monitors & the DFO biologists.  Our fishers headed out a little over a week ago and on Tuesday I had the pleasure again this year to fly out to Surrey with one of our long time employees Alice Keyok.  We like to fly out to each camp to check on the living conditions of our fishers and to make sure they are ok and not needing anything.  We have daily contact with them through the satellite phones but it's still good to actually see each camp up close and personal. 
So Tuesday around noon Alice and I headed down to the float base to catch our plane.  The mosquitos have been out in full force and I was so glad when we took off and flew above these nasty bugs.  The flight was great and I can never get enough of the scenery of the Arctic.  There is still a lot of ice on the lakes and ocean and we did see many seals on the ice on the way back home.  Here's some pics of when we fly out to Surrey River.
The dark blue house just off centre to the right is our home
You can see how close we are to the ocean

The long blue building with the yellow cube van is where I work

The ice is starting to melt

Cool ice pattern on Wellington Bay

Surrey River fish camp and if you look closely you can see the fishers
out on the boat and their nets (bottom left)
We were treated with great hospitality but Les and JS from DFO, our fishers had to get back to work as the plane was dropping off 1400lbs of Arctic char back to Cambridge Bay and then coming back for another load.  Alice and I spent the afternoon at the camp and enjoyed every minute of it.
 The Surrey River fish camp
Our fishers loading up the Arctic char

The Surrey Crew, from left to right
Brent, Jack, myself, Nathan, Paul, his wife and daughter
fish monitor Allan and Alice

The DFO crew - Les, JS (look at his fancy shoes) and Darcy
I had a few minutes before we left to photgraph some of the area - the shoreline is covered with sand, shells and rocks.  Here are a few shots of Surrey River.

Alice and I said our good-byes and jumped on the float plane and headed back home.  It was a fabulous day spent with our fishers, monitors and my DFO buddies.  Our next harvest will be mid-August when a team will head over to 30 Mile, my personal favorite fishing camp.  Here are some pics from on the way home.
Large ice crack

God's Country from the plane

This is my 'hood'
We are the final street on the right, can't see our home good but
you can see how close we are to the water

The Stone Church - across the bay

Taking off the char from the plane, it will be brought to the plant, final cleaning,
 boxed and shipped to places in Canada and USA
Like I said the mosquitos have been out in full force this past week and we have been experience ugly weather since Thursday where winds were reaching 80kms + winds and raining.  Today the sun is trying it's hardest to come out but the clouds are winning.  Before the bad weather we took the dogs to our secret spot for a run and also to the beach again. 
The land is so beautifully covered with flowers

That's not dust on my lens but mosquitos

Blitz thought he was smart when he jump from the shore to the ice on the pond

Handsome among flowers

It was low tide this evening at Long Point

Still 24 hour daylight

So many Arctic loons this evening - they didn't know which way to look

For my dog friends: this is my version of Bird Dog

Poor Blitz I told him to stay while I took his picture

Panoramic of Long Point
Talk soon!

Friday, July 11, 2014


Before I start with telling you all about the celebrations this past week I wanted to let you all know that Nana & Papa left earlier this week and poor Blitzy Boy was feeling very sad.  I have never owned a dog like him, maybe it's a boy thing but he is so sensitive to his surrounding. Don't get me wrong I love that he is sensitive but I do have to pull him out of his sadness. 
Here are some pictures of when Nana & Papa were still here.
Nana & Papa with their gear on - Mt. Pelly is in the background

Nana & Papa and the grand-dogs

This is what Blitz looked like when they left
So many different flowers are blooming this week and the tundra is turning colour from a brown to multicolour.  Below are some pictures from along the shores of the Northwest Passage to some of the flowers.

Still ice on the Northwest Passage


The Arctic waters are very clear

It still amazes me to see flowers growing from between rocks

This mound will soon be covered in tiny purple flowers that will
fill the air with sweet smells

See we have butterflies too!
I usually do not get Nunavut Day off, July 9th but this year since the ice is slowly melting our fishers were a bit late heading out. Since I didn't have to head to work it was my opportunity to take in the festivities, with my friend Kim.  The ball park was packed with residents as the day was beautiful, a free community barbecue, harpoon throwing contest, bannock making competition, and cake decorating entertained everyone.
Here is the winning cake

Hmmmm bannock

Bessie, one of our elders, preparing her bannock for the fire

Jessie was one of the women in the harpoon throwing

Paul is one of our fishers - glad he had the day to enjoy before he headed out fishing
Yesterday was our 21st wedding anniversary and I received a gift in the mail.  The gift wasn't for our anniversary but it arrived on our day and it is so special.  You have heard me talk about this amazing group of GSP owners that I belong to and ever since Hannah passed away we have been receiving gifts from friends that I have only met through the Internet.  I have some jewellery that a lot of thought was put into, a large canvas print that hangs in my office and now an original oil painting that one member commissioned another member, who is a painter to do for us.  Below is a picture of myself with the painting.  Excuse the teary eyes.
For our anniversary dinner I cooked good ole surf and turf and then we headed out on the Commander to the beach.  I wanted to take the dogs with us as they have never felt sand in between their toes and after 12 years Miss Molly finally did.  All I can say is that they loved it, Molly headed straight into the ice cold Arctic water for a swim and Blitz ran up and down along the shoreline.  Then he proceeded to dig to the South Pole and Molly swam and swam.  Craig finally had to yell at her to get out of the water or else she may have turned into a polar bear.  Speaking of polar bears...when we were ready to leave Craig took out the binoculars to have a look on the ice to see if there were any seals.  We both seen a large white-ish coloured thing on the ice and then it disappeared.  I wouldn't think twice of it but just a week ago there was a momma polar bear and cub along the same shoreline.  I was a bit nervous so you could say I got into the Commander and was ready to go in no time.  Here's some pictures of the fun we had.
Off she goes for a swim in the Northwest Passage

Blitz couldn't get enough of the beach

Finally got them on a rock for a picture

The white in the back ground is ice

He dug...
and dug...
Running on the beach is so much better than the hard tundra 

Quick take your picture so we can run some more

Which way did he go?

Watching the Arctic terns flying

Wonderful evening - taken around 10pm
This is how the family travels to the beach

Blitzy Boy
Talk soon!