Thursday, July 31, 2008

what the east wind brings

What the east wind brings:

More ice.

Side effect of ice; foggy misty mornings.

Side effect of colder air brought on with additional ice.

Side effect of rain.

Slip 'n' slide
Too dangerous to fish.

p.s. the mosquitoes are done!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

oh the wind

No boating today. The wind wouldn`t co operate. We`ll try again next weekend. Instead a group of us hiked out to the Thule site and to a location overlooking the falls to find water buttercups. We found them, we`re just early for their blooms. So back we go in a couple of weeks to catch the unique flower growing up the in the marshy ponds.

For now the humble chamomile.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

mo' flowers

Mouse Eared Chickweed
Arctic Thrift
Bladder Campion/Fireweed
Tomorrow is the boat cruise around Frobisher Bay. It must be noted that it is a pleasure sight seeing cruise where rifles will not be on board for hunting beluga. This was one point I confirmed since the volley of gunfire can be heard all over town when the whales are being targeted. I get it that lots of people enjoy whale, but it saddens me to think it is the pretty Beluga that is served up. Perhaps if it was ugly or mean or psycho, I would be more comfortable with the hunting of whales.
With a steady hand perhaps we can get a couple of pics of the whales, seals and walrus enjoying their chilly home. (Still suffering from guilt of trying the beluga muktuk)

Since we are booked for 6 hours on the water, I will be bundling up. Having learned my lesson in Newfoundland years ago, I know that the oceanic waters are not fresh-water lakes; ideal for tanning, pleasure sailing, diving, snorkeling. It's winter out there. Pack ice still gets blown in and of course the icebergs.
Winter mitts, boots, scarf, shades and the tour operator provides survival suits (orange I hope).

This brings me to the river. Last night around 8pm one of the fishing men, doffed his shirt and dove into the river! Wowza! It isn't warm and the tide was bringing in colder salt water from the bay! Kersplash! I stood mouth gaping at the sight, the very thought of getting any part of me wet in these icy waters made me shiver on his behalf.

Hopefully I won't have to put the survival suit to the test, I can't really swim and besides drowning would interfere with fishing!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

big and small

Angela and I walked across the mud flats at low tide to meet the ice bergs. Once one, they split and drifted apart. We tasted them; only one was salty. I was surprised that more people weren't out there. One guy brought an axe and was chopping away. I also took some video to catch the sound of the fast melt off.

We had to stop the hot, thirsty dogs as each tried drinking the salty puddles left by the tide. Blech

Below is the arctic version of the Harebell. We found them growing in the sandy beach front. I had them in my garden in Ontario, but here much much smaller!

air traffic

I hadn't given it much thought but over time it occurs to me that this little airport is one busy spot. Not only is there local traffic flying in from Ottawa, Montreal, Yellowknife, and the settlements, but there are foreign and military aircraft too! Lately, since it's air show season, the airport here is used as a re-fuelling stop on route to domestic and foreign air shows. Goodie for us! This past week we had Swedish jets and Canadian CF-18s escorted by the Hercules drop by for
re fuelling.

Air show fans will understand the roar those machines make on approach and take off. As it happened Mike and I were out to the river for lunch when we noticed the Canadians preparing for take off. The pilot was dropping the bubble and one jet was waiting off side.

Oh yah! We parked and awaited our own private air show. Having such a close up view (there is a sign on the fence warning of jet blast) was spectacular! One, then two then the Hercules. By the time the escort was in the air the jets were long out of view...straight up and gone!

Photo credit Canadian Airforces Cpl Robin Mugridge or go to
Sexy Jet

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

just pics

Yup they're big, black and slow. At least they are slow. This gives us a fighting chance when the air is black with the northern variety of mosquito. Lots of people walk around with netting over their heads or those fun little tennis rackets that electrocute them with a satisfying "zzzzpppt".

Usually I unroll the window and let them escape, squishing them just makes a big mess.

This iceberg looks little on the bay but in reality is quite large. It dwarfs the nearby boats. This afternoon while watching it drift, I notice a small craft perhaps a canoe approach it...and it is lost alongside. By the time I've posted this the ice has broken off leaving a "small" part behind.

Below the full moon pans across the bay passing over the coast guard boat and without really rising slides west.

An old white boat sits neglected on the shore not far from the marshy cotton flower. That just seems to get fluffier and fluffier each week. Which has me wondering how fluffy will it get?

Oh behind the white boat are two ships; one is the sealift freighter with the cranes installed and the other is the coast guard.
It's true that ships pass in the night, I've never seen one move in or out of the bay, yet they change. On a quiet morning I can actually hear the purring of the ships engines.

Jennith of The Blog Bog of the Tundra
blog tagged me. Uhm so I thought of some stuff to write (Alan wouldn't play) but then I checked the few blogs I follow and realized that they have been tagged and written their bit. Sorry Jennith, guess I'll keep my secrets!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ah Summer

Don't worry, should I manage to land another fish unless it's a biggie, there won't be pictures. As it turned out my first cast grabbed me dinner. Tonight fried. Next one sushi perhaps! Hmm

This photo was taken on Saturday afternoon, I was oblivious as there was enough wind to keep the mosquitoes at bay, and enough sun to keep a body warm.

Believe it or not, the temperature reached a balmy 17C.
The sun is surprisingly warm and the air remains cool. Not a climate I'm used to, so I'm constantly amazed that I can be too warm from the sun and cool off quickly in the breeze.
The day before, while fishing, two spit my hook. Darn, one was big enough to pull out the drag and I had 'em right on the rock. True story!

Pictured above, the dwarf fireweed was growing solo up through the crack in the rock. Usually they grow in tall mounds, giving an impression of purple carpet.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


My exciting Thursday included two biggies, make that three!

1. Fishing in sunshine, no mosquitoes
2. Visit by lemming at river in sunshine
3. Taste of muktuk, fresh, fresh with soy sauce, and deep fried.

Don't know what a lemming looks here

Very cute! Not a rat!

Don't know what muktuk is click here!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tidal Tale

Tomorrow is Nunavut day, a day off for many. There will be a bbq featuring Muskox burgers which I hope to take in. It's great it's in the middle of the week, work a couple, have a day off, work a couple..ooooh the weekend!

Mike and I have been taking advantage of the fair weather and lunching at the riverside with rods and reels in hand. Not everyday is a winner with fish but it is great to say gone fishin' at lunch. Really who gets to say that?

As my daughter knows my fishing history is a bit sketchy, casting lots of line.. reeling in sunfish or other "catch and release" sized fish. It's all good; it's fun, it's outside, it's basically free!

Since I'm new to the tidal influences on the shoreline, the fish stock and all other tidal trivia, Mike is an excellent resource. The Friday night we went fishing, we started out at low tide and had consulted the tide tables so we knew the tide was inbound. We hike out to the farthest point and fish with the incoming tide. Sounds simple right? Sure, after a few minutes Mike says, " I think we'd better get closer to shore." Huh? Now? But we relocate. A short time later I turn to tell Mike something and ....hey "Mike you're on an island!" So we'd shuffle off to higher ground. Next point.. "hey Mike... Ack you're on an island again". You get the picture.
Thinking I was being smart I bagged my fish and secured it under two rocks in a small pool of water, apparently I had left my backpack on a nearby rock. Mike turns around.. "ah Shelley is that your bag over there?" Sheeesh the tide had really tricked me this time. My fish now surrounded by water the two rocks securing it submerged and the rock with my pack on it has become an island! Yup, no choice! Had to wade into that icy pool to retrieve both.
A short time later when we left for the night we both turn back to view our original fishing spot. You guessed it, it was gone. Completely under water!
Lesson learned. The tide moves fast.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Caesar was quite happy to be let off leash. This day was his day. Off he ran, returning to check in once in a while.

We went out to Apex and hiked up the side of this hill. Since I'm a sissy, the footpath at the edge of the hill had me very nervous. Despite Alan's urging I refused to look down at the low tide wanting to crawl on my hands and knees. Of course I couldn't face the shame of that so I left the path and took the steeper route to the top.
AAAH the view was spectacular, the bay on one side and the endless land rising and dipping on the other.
The dog was at his finest this day overlooking the bay! Today his old bones are stiff but he smiled the whole day long!

Now at the top of the hill, nature calls. The dog has no problem answering natures call at any time. I on the other hand was a wee bit hesitant and scour the hillside and surrounding area to make sure...and well...Alan being a gentleman turned his back...
Once back in town, my bottom was kinda hurting. Upon investigation I discover that rough black moss/lichen/plant form that adheres to rocks now stuck to me! OUCH! Wilderness peeing 101!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

like oil in water

The freighter has arrived. Lots of locals are familiar with seaside living. It's all new to me! This is the gas and oil shipment arriving. Just in time, as two gas stations were running on empty! The price is set once yearly at the price of fuel when purchased. It is moored out on Frobisher Bay and the fuel is brought to shore to large storage containers.

Ice didn't require the ice breaker this year, and broke up about 3 weeks early (over last years break up).

Last night my neighbour and I attended a concert in town which included; Bomba, Pacific Curls and Nathan Rogers. We had a great time, took a moment to warm up over a hot cup of tea and returned for the end. I had hoped to see more of the Alianait! festival, but was glad to take in the finale.

I had decided this year Canada Day would be me, my rod, my camera and the mighty river.
This is a picture of the river. It's easy to be awed by her beauty. She gladly accepted my donations of pixie spoons today. In return she offered a sunny, tempestuous windy day, but held back with the char. If I understand our relationship so far, it is me giving, her teasing (as the fish were jumping and not biting). Since nobody likes a tease, I am determined to return and claim my prize!
Happy Canada day!