Monday, May 30, 2011

Ice heaves

I hope I'm not boring you with my ice heave photos.  I just think it's so cool the effect the tides have on the ice close to shore.  These formations are constantly changing.  I took these pictures on May 19.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Skidoo tracks on the mountain

The young guys like to test their skidoos, their skills, and their bravery by heading up the mountainside on their machines:

For a while, every few days there was a new loop higher than the next.  It gets pretty steep, the photo doesn't quite do it justice.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Devon Island

Devon Island is around 75 km south of Grise Fiord at it's closest point.  You can't always see it, you need clear weather.  May 20 the weather was really clear, and I had a good view of it as I climbed up a little ways up a mountain behind town.

In the photo below you can see open water (the dark blue stripe between the ice and the mountains), the floe edge is moving closer to town:

Monday, May 23, 2011


In the many years I've been working in Nunavut, I've never had the chance to walk out to an iceberg frozen in the ice.  I've seen icebergs many times, usually during open-water season.  This year in Grise Fiord, there is a small iceberg within walking distance of town, around a mile and a half out.  It was May 21 that I walked out there.

That's the berg in the distance, upper left:

Once I got closer to it, I could see that it was melted out in the middle to form two lobes:

I took quite a few photos- it's beautiful.  There's dirt on this iceberg- it was either attached to land at some point or has been resting on the sea floor during low tides at some point in it's existence.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Panorama of Jones Sound

After I looked at the monument, I walked over to the base of the mountains behind it.  I took this panorama looking out over the town and Jones Sound.  It's probably around a 150 degree view.

It's finally starting to feel a bit like spring here- the sun is so intense, which it has been for a while, but the temperatures are pretty consistently warmer than -10 now, so it's really nice for walking.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I had heard of this monument but hadn't been out to see it yet.  It's kind of tucked away in an out of the way location, behind the co-op.  You can't really see it from anywhere in town.  From the monument though you have a nice view of the community and Jones Sound.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ice sprouts

I don't know if there is a specific name for these ice formations near the shore, but they remind me of how the earth bulges when germinating seeds poke up in the spring, in gigantic form:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Glacial meltwater on tap

Unlike most Nunavut communities, our water isn't sucked out of a lake.  Grise Fiord collects meltwater in the spring and stores it in two large tanks to supply the community for the whole year.  The source is glaciers north of the town, and I'm sure there is snow melt and rain coming off the glacier too.

Here are the two tanks:

The water trucks don't have to drive very far; the tanks are right in the middle of town.

The old tank was turned into a storage garage when it was decommissioned:

Friday, May 6, 2011

A dog's dogsled

The dogs probably don't kick back and relax in one of these, but they don't have to do the hard work either.

When sports hunters come to Ellesmere Island, they hunt by dogsled, at least for polar bear hunts.  Their hunting area might be far from the community, so the dogs are transported to the hunting area by skidoo.  Here's the transport komatik:

I wish I'd gotten a photo of it the day before when it was still loaded up (the dogs were out, but the rest was still loaded).  The smaller komatik at the back was loaded on top of the dog cabins with camping gear.  It must take a powerful skidoo to pull the load.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Entrance to the Fiord

Here are a couple of pics from the weekend before last of the entrance to the fiord: