Hello all from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, population 1449. We’re here today to pick up a couple of people. I craftily managed to take advantage of this fact to finagle myself into town this morning.

Only to find out that yes, it’s the monday of a long weekend. Cambridge Bay was completely deserted when we flew in around 10:30. Part of the problem is that we’re not actually sure if it’s 10:30 in town – we’re operating on ship time, which can be different from actual time as, if you change your schedule too fast the crew tends to get over-fatigued. So, it could have been 9:30.

Regardless, it was completely deserted. As in, we saw two guys doing some construction work at the Royal Bank in town (holla RBC!) and then nothing. Nobody. Even the hotel was closed. I’m totally not kidding. Inns North had a locked door and a handwritten sign saying they were closed August 3rd. So, my colleague and I walked around the town twice, down to the ocean and around the bay before walking back to the airport. A construction company was open and let me use their loo, which was lovely cause yanno… in a flat landscape it can be hard to find somewhere to pee if there’s no indoor facility available.

The bugs were beyond horrendous. I’ve never in my whole life seen anything like it. Apparently they’re even worse in Kugluktuk, which is really making me look forward to Thursday! Anyway, it was bug city, and they were very attracted to my hat which is of course the only thing I didn’t spray with bug dope before I left the ship. Uh. Nasty. I only got one bite, on the right side of my face. Luckily it’s beside, not above my eye, as the last time I had a bite above my eye (okay, it was five bites, but who’s counting?) my eye swelled shut.

The bugs were better on the road than the marshy bits next to the road. We passed the municipal “Pebbles” golf course. Uh, too funny. My colleague went over to take a photo of a random Nunavut flag in the “grass”, and it was a hole marker. I got a photo. It’s about 20′ away from an awesome inukshuk. My dad would be very jealous of the awesome inukshuk stones in this town. Truly. You could make a thousand inukshuks a day and never run out of the good stuff.

Anyway, we hung out at the airport for an hour until the helicopter came back for us. We missed lunch, which lead to us scarfing down a meal at 2:50 when we totally knew that dinner’s at 4:30. And now I’m gonna have a nap until the aforementioned dinner starts. Why? Because I can. Tonight I’m going to try to schedule three interviews for tomorrow. If I don’t get them done, I don’t care. We got some awesome footage on this trip and frankly, I couldn’t have learned more about the work my department does than I did this week.

Which leads to Pam’s question about why I’m here. I’m here for two reasons: 1) to learn. We do a lot of science work in the north and we provide access to the northwest passage for ships. I wanted to learn about what it’s like to do science in the field, some of the challenges, and some of the opportunities. We turned that into interviews with some people about what they do and why they work for my department. And 2) I’m here to build a package of material that will cut across youtube, flickr, and our website to share basically in my voice, our journey from Resolute to Kugluktuk. It’ll explain the science, the work on the ship, the people who work here, what it’s like to be on a vessel like this, and so on.

Pretty cool, isn’t it? I’m still pinching myself that the department let me come and do this. Thank god my colleague was here on the last leg. He got a lot of great video that I’d never have been able to get. He really pulled out a miracle.

And that’s all for today! Happy Simcoe Day!

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