Saturday, August 25, 2012

Resolute Bay

Upon arrival at the airport, we had a bit of a wait before our bus trip to the shore where our shore-to-ship transport waited. Needless to day, I wanted to get out with my camera to capture a bit of the essence of the place.

Disembarking in Resolute

Above, some of the Adventure Canada specialist team disembarking from our aircraft: Aaron (orange jacket - history and politics), Deanna (behind Aaron - marine mammals), Romeni (Inuit culture & throat singer - black jacket with badge), Steve Gorman (photographer - at the foot of the stairs), Chris (emerging from the plane - archeologist). {PS: This was the only beluga we saw this trip!}

Unlike anywhere else in the western world, at Resolute airport you're welcome to go anywhere you like ... outside the airport building, onto the apron, around the hangars and fuel storage tanks, etc ... "Just don't go too far, there might be a polar bear around!" ... I stayed within earshot of the terminal but half-hoped to spot a member of the northern hairy clan (no such luck)!

The first thing I saw was a collapsed hangar adjacent to the airport terminal. It has obviously been like that for a while, but it doesn't appear that any start has been made on removing the debris, or even scavenging of materials - which I would've thought might've happened pretty smartly, considering how expensive it must be to get building materials up here! This proved to be a bit of a recurring theme in all the Canadian Inuit settlements we visited.

Our first wildlife sighting: During our 15 minute school bus ride from the airport to the town site, we saw an Arctic fox, but there wasn't time to stop for pictures.

The Centre of the Settlement

After a 5 minute ride around town, we were taken to the beach where our zodiacs waited to take us to our warm, comfy ship. Transport Canada had other ideas, though, having decided we looked like a bunch of traffickers! They proceeded to search every single bag that was going aboard the ship. I'm not sure what the justification was considering that we (and our luggage) had already gone through security TWICE today for our flights, and we weren't traveling INTO Canada, but hey - who're we to question the might of the government?!
An hour on an exposed northern beach is not fun after the tropical climate in Ottawa! We made it aboard eventually, though, and I was happy to ditch my heavy camera bag and head topside to take a look at the view.

By this time, I was tired and getting peckish, so was very happy to spot this vision which awaited us:

The meals aboard ship were incredible - a fact to which my waistline will attest (I've not had the courage to step on the scale yet)! There was an "early bird" continental breakfast in the lounge for those of us who were up before everyone else, and who didn't need a full spread of bacon, eggs, sausage, porridge, etc, which was available every day. In the end, I only ate the early bird breakfast, I had just one of the buffet lunches during the whole cruise, and I chose the main course and dessert at dinner (out of five courses on offer!).

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