Monday, August 30, 2010

Marcil Creek

Marcil Creek feeds Marcil Lake, which is where our water comes from in Arctic Bay.  I'd seen it several times from first bridge, where the road between town and the Nanisivik airport crosses over the creek.  Yesterday, I drove out to first bridge on the ATV and went hiking up the creek.

I liked the mix of rounded and rough rocks at the side of the creek:

OK, around a corner and the creek heads east.  I climbed that hill on the right to get past this cliff area:

The next photos might look very similar, but I like the way they show the change in the creek as I make my way upstream:

These flat rocks were nice for walking on.  It other areas it was boulders:

Lots of rapids and little waterfalls the whole way:

Looking back the way I came:

I came to a spot where it was too steep at the water's edge to hike further along the creek, so I headed up a mountain to the south:

It gave a good view of this gravel cliff to the north.  I heard some rocks fall from it when I was on my way back.  There's nothing to show perspective, but this is very high and steep.

Looking east along the creek.  There's a tributary there to the north (left).

Here's a view to the west from the top (or thereabouts) of the hill I climbed.  That's the south side of Adams Sound at the upper left, Holy Cross Point below it, and the St. George's Society Cliffs at the upper right, with Marcil Creek flowing towards it.  Marcil Lake (where the water comes from) is below Holy Cross Point.  Quite a view!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Last Tuesday, the first cargo ship arrived.  Below is a pic of the ship and one of it's two barges that it uses to bring cargo to shore and bring old stuff that's being taken out of the community back to the ship.

This is the new stuff that's arrived in crates (mostly- I think that school bus is going to be taken out):

Here they are loading up some of last year's empty sea cans to go back down south and be filled up again.

Barge of empty sea cans heading back to the ship:

They're a self-contained operation, they even bring their own heavy equipment to deliver the sea cans around town.  At the end of the operation, they load it back up onto a barge and head back to the ship:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Another mountain-top lake

The mountains here are flat plateaus at the top, and there are lakes and ponds up there.  This lake is one of a series of lakes on top of the hills southwest of town.  I took these pictures on Monday, same day as the fog:

This is at the edge of the hill:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cool Fog

There's often a fog that spills over the hills from Victor Bay, but it was particularly cool on Monday.

I then hiked up a mountain, and got an even more interesting view of it, I pasted it together into this panorama.  Click to enlarge, I think it's worth it:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Dump

These are from July 25.  I always find the juxtaposition of the garbage dumps and the incredible scenery of the prime real estate they are often located in to be kind of interesting.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fuel ship

One of the fuel ships arrived yesterday.  Here they are fuelling the tanks in the above photo- they run lines to the tanks on shore.

Close up of the ship:

My friend Anne finally got into town on Tuesday- here's a photo of her on a walk we took along the beach last night:

And here are a couple of photos of me:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ice bergettes

I don't know if these medium-size ice chunks have a specific name.  Big ice cubes?  Mini icebergs?  Anyway, they came drifting into the bay last week and landed on the beach in high tide.  They were mostly shaded when I got out to take photos so here are just a couple:

Look, a dinosaur!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Unflyable weather

The weather this past week has been horrible.  Foggy and low-lying cloud almost all the time, and lots of rain.

This has been messing heavily with flights in and out of the community.  There are backlogs of passengers who are getting stuck either in Resolute, as they had to overfly Arctic Bay and couldn't land, or who are sitting in Iqaluit as the weather just wasn't optimistic enough to even try, or who overflew again when trying to get in from Resolute.

One of them is a friend of mine who was coming up from Toronto to visit me for a week and see the arctic.  She has been stuck in Resolute since Friday.  The flight out to Arctic Bay from there today was full so she couldn't get out, but wouldn't have landed here in the end anyway as the weather was too bad.  Tuesday is her next chance, all fingers (hers and mine) are crossed!

In better news, we had a third nurse arrive on a flight from Iqaluit yesterday that actually made it in.  Yay!  We had been short-staffed for a few days, since another nurse left (again, on one of the few flights that managed to sneak in and out between the clouds).

Travel in the arctic is very unpredictable.  You can get stuck for days or even (shudder) weeks either in or out of a destination, and there is just not very much you can do about it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fire aftermath

Last Tuesday (August 11) I had a chance to climb the hill where the fire had been the week before.  I was happy to see that it had not been the grave that had burned, but a swath of tundra.  I'm not sure if the strip of disturbed tundra (part of which is shown above) was just from the fire, or was partly dug up by firefighters as they fought it.

However, I then walked up the hill a bit higher to see the grave site, and all was not well there.  The cross is gone:

... as compared to how it looked back on June 22:

Hmm, that's too bad.  Looks like vandalism, but who knows.  Sad to see a grave and historical site altered like that.

The clouds were really interesting that evening, here's what they looked like on my walk over there, the wispy clouds on the little hills that make up Holy Cross Point were very pretty:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Wireless" internet

Since I'm here for 3 months, I decided to subscribe to internet for my apartment.

The internet here is wireless.  Not wireless from the computer to the modem though, you need a cable for that.  It's wireless to the antenna that communicates to the satellite.

Because my apartment is encased in metal (it's in the breadbox-like roof of the health centre), I have to put my modem in a window.  It works pretty well, it only goes down if there are solar storms or something (which happened a few times in June, for a few evenings in a row).  It's not lightning quick, but is a lot faster than the internet at work.

If you travel within Nunavut, you can just pack up your modem and take it with you, and you're connected via your own connection in whatever community you're visiting.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


OK, this is old news already, but it's been busy so I haven't been putting stuff up in a timely manner.  Last Tuesday, August 3 there was a fire up in the hills.  I saw and smelled it as I went hiking up the hill behind the clinic.  I can't think of anything up that way that could be burning except that above-ground coffin, I hope it's not that, not sure from the photo if that's the exact spot it would be.  I meant to ask around but it's been busy so I didn't get to, keep forgetting now.

After around half an hour of burning, the town fire alarm went off and the fire engine started making it's slo-mo trek (rough roads) out there.  By the time they got there the smoke had started to diminish.  Around half an hour after that I heard the fire siren again and saw the engine heading out again, so maybe it had re-ignited.

I want to get up there and investigate, but that night was my last evening not on either first or second call for a long time, we are going down to two nurses for a while as they left a gap between someone leaving and didn't fill it fast enough with the next relief person.  So, whatever burned will have to wait for me.  In the arctic though, things do tend to lie around unchanged, so I should be able to see what was on fire when I eventually do get up there.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Moon over King George

With the sun getting lower in the sky in the wee hours now, here's what it looked like on July 28, probably around 11 pm.  That's the waning moon over King George mountain:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Beach walk on July 28

The weather wasn't very good on July 28, so I just went for a walk along the beach southwest of town.  I liked the contrast of this orangey-brown seaweed lying on the grey pastel pebbles:

With vertebrae:

The cemetery is in this rock pile, this is what it looks like from below on the beach:

Here's what the weather was like that day... mostly overcast and drizzly but with the occasional patch of sky: