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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fun in the high arctic part 2

Just got back to my room wrapped around nice crisp bacon sando and the fire alarm went off. In a wooden building, fire retardant materials notwithstanding, that means serious. Grabbed all my warm gear and evacuated to windy open shed nearby. There's snow blowing horizontally and drifting and struggling into warm gear in the swirling bluster ain't so squeezy. No sooner got it all on - I keep gloves, hat, neckies etc in the pockets - and we got called back inside. The place is full of Canadian soldiers and there were a lot of us out there. Left the camera behind so no pics.

Just another day in the boonies at 74.43N 094.59W.

The box

aka the Arctic Hotel. It seems to have dropped off the last email. Elegant, functional cubist sculpture in wooden cladding.

And it's snowing again in Resolute. Yeehaa. Bacon sando and tabasco (but medicinally bereft) to follow this broadcast.

Fun in the high arctic

The low is still plonk above us and it's windy, wet, cold and generally pearshaped and dismal. HMP is supported by the Polar Continental Shelf  Program run by Natural Resources Canada. Polar Shelf operate the Twin Otters that supply the Camp and we are dependent on them and the weather for transport out of here. We will check with them in a couple of hours - looking out of my window, I think flying here would be ok but not necessarily on Devon where the Camp is at higher altitude and may be in or dangerously close to the cloudbase. I don't know the terrain over there - whether it would be possible to low fly safely below the cloud - but an interesting ride if so.

The weather is also testing my planning - what do you pack into a 20 kilo bag for a couple of weeks beside the Haughton crater? There's not a lot of room after the arctic sleeping bag and mat and I had to compromise. Lots of thin thermals, a quilted jacket that's seen better years and waterproof pants and an oversize sailing jacket. Gloves - 3 layers - monster socks, balaclavas and other headgear and neckies to keep the wind out of the jacket.Waterproof shoes - my Bering Sea fisho's boots were a bit too big and heavy but would have been ideal. So far so good but not really good enough for heavy freezing rain. I went for a walk with the camera yesterday and only my fingertips got cold. Kira has the right gear in the photo.

I never knowin what order gmail will load the photos - seems to be a bit random - the blue building is the Polar Shelf Program, the wooden box is the Arctic Hotel, there's a ship in the bay above the red truck (I magnified it to pixel grain and it has Peace on it's side - will research later) and at 75 degrees north, satellite dishes point to the horizon. And it's cold and wet and about 20 knots in all of them. And the airstrip with Twotter, choppers and a sort of boxcar in the distance.

Resolutely muddy

The snow turned to rain and here we still are. This is why

Resolute is under the centre of this little low and it's not moving very fast. Not a lot else has moved either.