"To celebrate in a wild and crazy manner. Implies that you have nothing to else to do but give yourself up to your raw emotions." That's the definition that the Urban Dictionary gives when you look up Prince's 1982 song Party Like It's 1999 and that's what we did this past weekend. There was lots to celebrate, my 6th year anniversary in Canada's High Arctic, my birthday and the Martin Bergmann crew discovery of Sir John Franklin's ship HMS Terror.
It's sometimes hard to believe that I called Cambridge Bay, Nunavut home 6 years ago on September 16th. I remember that day when I stepped off that First Air flight, it was a cool windy day with a light dusting of snow on the tundra. I knew that we were above the tree line but to actually see that there were no trees in sight was a huge eye opener to this tree-loving flatlander. I've had so many experiences from living up in the high Arctic, from meeting Canada's Prime Minister, delegates and dignitaries from countries around the world, gaining friends from local Inuit, southerners that have also called Cambridge Bay home and people that come up for research. I've learned about barge life and how a remote community relies on these barges for the year supplies from fuel to heat your home, vehicles, building supplies and of course basic things like food. I've seen landscape that goes on forever, wildlife up close and tasted food that I would of never had the opportunity down south. I think the foods that stick out the most is eating polar bear with Craig's parents during their visit along with our DFO friends and freshly cut narwal that an elder hands you. I would never change the past and we will see what else the future holds for this prairie girl living in the Arctic.
On Saturday we had a combination of birthday celebrations and finding the HMS Terror. The Bergmann crew rolled in early Saturday morning and when Captain Gerry contacted me later that day we were looking forward to getting together to hear the stories of them finding the Terror. Randy, the ship's chef, brought over some freshly baked bread and this amazing coconut caramel ice cream cake that he made on the boat for me. All of us gobbled most of that cake up, going back for seconds and some of us even thirds. The Bergmann Boys (my loving name for them) brought me back a large inuksuk that carver Lucas Aaluk from Gjoa Haven made. Ryan, Terry and Greg brought their guitars and the rest of us brought our voices...not saying we were good singers but we all tried. Greg is not only a great guitar player he is also a fabulous artist who gave me a painting a couple years ago and again this year he gave me a painting of birch trees. I wasn't expecting any gifts and I will treasure both. It was a great evening of celebrating with good friends.
Craig, Terry (belting out a tune), Ryan and Greg
Captain Gerry, Kim and Randy
Greg and Clyde
I'm not sure what these two were talking about but it looked like trouble
Marg & Ryan
Craig and Captain Gerry singing
Craig, Captain Gerry, Clyde (playing the keys), Yves, Captain David and Randy
Craig and Greg teaching Yves a couple of notes
Doug and Molly chilling out
Darcy and Blitz
Daniel and Blitz
(Blitz made his rounds as per usual)
My birthday pic with the Bergmann Boys
Back: Clyde, Darcy, Daniel, Matt
Front: Captain David, Captain Gerry, me, Randy, Yves
Matt, Randy and Yves are Navy men
Missing is Adrian as he was out visiting with his family
We have started our freeze and did have a few days of snow but nothing has really stuck...yet. Temperatures are in the single digits and our sun is setting about 7:00pm and rising about 6:30am. Here are some pics from this past week.
Big skies over the tundra
Some of the smaller streams are freezing
Love it when the water washes up on the shore and
freezes onto the grass
More freezing along a pond
Our final barge came in around 9:30pm on Sept 15th
I just happened to be out with my camera, too bad I
didn't have my tripod.
These Arctic swans better think about leaving soon
Same with this female king eider duck
Blitz and Miss Molly
Catching some afternoon rays
I forgot to add this pano in my last posting.
Taken with my IPhone in a canyon in Kananaskis Country