Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CGS Amundsen

Like a gem upon the Beaufort Sea, the red and white CGS Amundsen is both a coast gaurd rescue ship/ice break and a floating science lab. It is full of kind and interesting people, all with a great sense of adventure. I miss it already - especially watching the sky and the sea from the flying bridge and the sensation of being rocked to sleep each night.

Being home is good too though. Its good to see Scott and my students, coworkers and all the folks I talk to regularly in Baker Lake. I still have a bit of time before a few more of my friends return from their vacations. I also have internet on my laptop, which will hopefully help me post a series of blog entries to record my experiences before I forget stuff.

I wonder where the ship is now and what they are doing? Are they sampling or just travelling? Hopefully they are having good weather and lots of sucess at whatever they are trying to do.

Myself, I suspect of catching a cold - as I have slept most of the evening and still feel tired. I'm drinking a cup more lemon tea then heading back to sleep - in hopes of warding off really getting sick.

The world is round - but is has surprises around every corner.
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Monday, October 10, 2011

The CGS Amundsen awaits in Corronation Gulf

The ship is here and we are here - now we just need the charter to land before we load onto the ship and head out to the Beaufort Sea. I'm going to have to admit to some bias, but, I think that this might just be one of the prettiest ships to ply the waters of earth with its red and white bright against the background of the arctic landscape and sea water.

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Kugluktuk - Heart Lake

I suspect that Kugluktuk is one of the more picturesce places in Nunavut. Its flat topped hills and cuestas reminded me of Thunder Bay - minus the trees of course, although they aren't that far north of the treeline. The community itself reminded me of Baker Lake with the kindness of strangers and size. They have an amazing rec complex. I'll write more about Kugluktuk when I get to the end of the trip though.

This picture was taken at Heart Lake on Sept. 23rd or 24th.
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From YK to Cambridge Bay and back and back again

Wednesday, Sept 21st.... I've met up with 3 of our Schools on Board students and we've recrammed our belongings into our duffel bags. Its time to leave Yellowknife and head north to Kugluktuk for adventure on the CGS Amundsen. We head off to the airport, get on our plane and we are diverted to Cambridge Bay due to a wet and muddy runway. We get to meet the Umingmak of Cambridge Bay and we get our taken with him. I worry a bit and hope that maybe we'll be able to land on the second try on the way back - no luck. The good news - our tickets aren't stamped for weather so the airline covers our hotel. Back in Yellowknife we go for Sushi, it isn't as good as the Sushi we ate last may for at the Beacon, but pretty good. The next morning we repeat the cramming of belongings, catching of the shuttle bus and get back on the plane, this time the airline stamps our ticket (not a good sign) and we travel to .... Cambridge Bay - 30 mm of rain in the last 24 hours has not improved the runway conditions in Kugluktuk... so back to Yellowknife. We scramble for what feels like the last 2 hotel rooms in Yellowknife and then get up the next morning, repack, catch the shuttle to the airport and get on a smaller plane and amazingly enough land in Kugluktuk!!! I learned a great deal about how jet, turbojet and helicopter engines work from the really helpful CG helicopter pilot en route.

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McAvoy Rd, Yellowknife

Maybe the view from my grandparents place in Yellowknife.... we looked, but I'm not sure exactly what I was looking for - pretty spot - still a dirt road and a beautiful view of Back Bay.

I'm hopefully headed home after 3 weeks of adventure and travel delays to make your head spin.... but I'll save the airline drama a later post.

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