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Pond Inlet

A Connected Community

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My flight from Ottawa included stops in Iqaluit, Hall Beach, Igloolik and finally Pond Inlet. Each small community stop provides an opportunity for families and friends to reconnect. Despite the great distances and difficult terrain, everyone in the Arctic is connected with each other and with the landscape. Our plane drops into Hall Beach and applause and cheering erupts in the small cabin. One woman yells, “there is my house! There is my house! Can you see my house?” She is truly excited when two quads roll in to the airport piled high with aunties, young men, and women wearing amautis. Tiny eyes poke out form the dark corners of a hood and soon a small baby crawls around the young woman’s neck emerging onto her shoulder and reaching towards the passenger from the plane. They nuzzle a familial greeting filled with with joy then hug and giggle with gratitude for a brief reconnection. Thirty minutes later we are called back to the plane after cargo has been swapped and fuel has been loaded. Some people would call these stops an inconvenience, but I can think of nothing better than being a part of these brief reunions.

Many thanks to Canadian North Airlines for their assistance and transportation support. I’ll never forget the warm cookies and great flight services!

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Visiting a Place of Inspirational Beauty

By | Arctic, Royal Canadian Geographical Society, We Are Water | No Comments
Lawren Harris 1931, the view from Pond Inlet

Lawren Harris 1931, the view from Pond Inlet

South Shore Bylot Island

In 1931, Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris painted a series of canvases of an Arctic landscape that captivated my imagination since my childhood. I will now have the privilege of visiting the very spot on the South shore of Bylot Island where he coaxed his oils into masterpieces that have netted as much as $2.43 million dollars. The Group of Seven is undoubtedly one of the most influential art movements in Canadian history. They captured the Canadian landscape in a way that nobody had done before. Franklin Carmichael (1890–1945), Lawren Harris (1885–1970), A. Y. Jackson (1882–1974), Frank Johnston (1888–1949), Arthur Lismer (1885–1969), J. E. H. MacDonald (1873–1932), and Frederick Varley (1881–1969) showed us the country’s landscape in a raw and colorful beauty that defined our perceptions of the wilderness. I have longed to visit the places where Harris brought the Arctic landscape alive with color. Now I have my opportunity.

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Just Getting There

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It is a journey just to begin an expedition and it requires the help of a lot of people. Staging equipment can be monumental in and of itself. In order to conduct diving activities in Southeast Bylot Island, Nunavut, a lot of logistics came together. Arctic Kingdom has already staged a camp on the edge of the ice floe. They have also shipped a compressor and tanks to the camp and all the equipment we will need for support from food to shelter. Canadian North and Nunavut Tourism have sponsored an airline ticket to reach Pond Inlet. I am extremely grateful for their generous assistance. Here is what the journey looks like so far:

2451 km – High Springs, Florida to Fergus, Ontario – Driving camera and scuba equipmentCANNO Logo - Airlines_FC

541 km – Fergus to Ottawa, Ontario – Driving to meet first flight

2100 km – Ottawa, Ontario to Iqaluit, Nunavut – Flight leg one

796 km – Iqaluit to Hall Beach, Nunavut – Flight leg two

71 km – Hall Beach to Igloolik, Nunavut – Flight leg three

395 km – Igloolik to Pond Inlet – Flight leg four

70 km – Pond Inlet to Southeast Bylot Island – Qamutik traditional sled to ice edge

Total distance traveled: 6424 km

For someone who usually travels underground, that is almost exactly the distance to the center of the earth!

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