Sunday, September 21, 2014

Milestones

This past week I celebrated a couple of milestones.  On the 16th I celebrated my 4th year anniversary of living in the Canadian High Arctic.   The life experiences so far have out weighed the dark and bitterly cold winters.  I have eaten caribou, muskox, Arctic char straight from the ocean, narwhal blubber than an elder gave to me & polar bear. I still have a few more to try, ptarmigan & seal just to name a couple.  I would of never guessed that I would be living up here but I followed my heart and after living apart for 10 years I decided to join Craig in this life adventure of ours. 
 
My job gives me opportunities that I don't think that I would have experienced, met the Prime Minister and his wife, fly on a float plane every year to our remote fishing camps, meet people from all over the world who sail through the Northwest Passage, supply Arctic char to the members of the Canadian Coast Guard, become great friends with employees from Department of Fishers and Oceans. Best of all I get to work with local Inuit people who have taught me the some of their traditions and we have shared many laughs and stories.  I think they are just as interested in the south as I am of the north. 
 
I have also met some good friends up here, without them I am not sure if I would of survived this long.  We share dinners, get togethers and many, many laughs.  Without laughter I truly think one could go crazy, but I guess that is any where you are. 
 
Temperatures are starting to drop below 0 which means that small ponds are starting to freeze and we have experienced snow but nothing has really stayed.  Since the sun is now setting we are getting some great sunsets, below are some freezing and sunset pics.
 
Some windy conditions have covered some shoreline plants with ice

Only snow/ice is found along any water

Come cool ice forming on the rocks

Sunset with ice forming

Sunset
 
The Martin Bergman arrived back to Cambridge Bay on Friday after being out at sea helping to look for the Franklin lost ships.  Here is an article regarding the Franklin ships: http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2014/09/13/canadas_moon_shot.html
 
Very busy bay on Friday

The Martin Bergman coming home
 
Every year we have the Canadian Coast Guards coming to do crew changes and to pick up more supplies.  On Friday there were 3 coast guards here and  Craig and I headed to the airport to see them in action.  
video
 
 
The Old Stone Church was the first church built in Cambridge Bay, NU by Fathers Lemer, Steinman and Menez. It was built in 1954 and the first mass was September 12, 1954 with 9 parishioners  present. It was constructed from local material using seal oil and sand as mortar, and was used for services until the 1960s. In 2006 it was deliberately set on fire and destroyed the roof of this historical site. "This past summer, the Cambridge Bay Coast Guard auxiliary was able to carry out $100,000 worth of renovations, paid for in part by donations from the Catholic Arctic Diocese, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association and local businesses." Here are the before and after pics, construction is still not completed.
 

 
We were surprised to see these juvenile Arctic swans still here as most of the birds have flown south already. They didn't seem bothered by me being there and continued to find some food under these icy cold waters - that is ice forming behind them.
 

Bottoms up!
 
The other milestone this week is that I turned 50 and as my friend Sandy always said, 50 & Fabulous.  I have yet to experience a birthday that I didn't like, I guess to me birthdays are like badges that I have earned.  So far I love being 50, I'm like two 25 year olds all bundled into one 50 & Fabulous woman. So how does one celebrate being 50 when you are living in the Arctic?  Well, our friends threw a surprise birthday party for me last weekend with Bernie and I hosting. I had no idea and I was saying to Craig that we need to invite people over to celebrate. It was a great kick off to being 50.

The night before my birthday Craig stayed up to make these peanut butter truffles

They put together this poster of events from 1964

 
Craig printed some old pics and they were on display
 

One of the coolest snacks - fish shaped appie - how appropriate was that!

The cake - loved it!
 
Talk soon!

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