Day 4, Thursday, August 8, 1996
We awoke to a constant drizzle and a heavy fog over Cunningham Inlet. This did not bode well. We were expecting to fly to one of the destinations to see either whales or the bird sanctuary. The NY based film crew was expecting to fly out early to Resolute to catch an afternoon flight back to Edmonton via Yellowknife. However, the Twin Otter was grounded due to a heavy blanket of low clouds leaving the airport socked in, which would have made it impossible to land.
Heavy fog in Resolute, Northwest Territories
This year the weather has not been very cooperative in the District of
had been many days were one could not fly. And it was appearing that today
would be one of those. The TMI MSAT communicator was in heavy use to make
a few calls to try to rearrange travel schedules. Being situated on the
remote northwest corner of Somerset Island along the Northwest Passage,
Arctic Watch certainly identified quickly the benefits of an MSAT
Pete Jess with the MSAT
Shortly before lunch, it was determined that it would be a go, to fly
the film crew to Resolute. At that time, we decided that it may
be best to fly back
to Resolute as well, in case this scenario repeated tomorrow with a
different outcome. Our next available flight to Iqaluit would have been
Monday. We hastily packed our gear and was ready to join the NY based film
crew for the 23 minute flight across the Barrow Strait to Cornwalis
Island. However, this flight was delayed as a request came in to help
evacuate someone with a broken leg to Resolute. This provided us the
opportunity to have lunch as the injured party was being transported to
Arctic Watch. As well to have another one of those delicious chocolate
chunk cookies, that are freshly baked. Ultimately, we received
word that the injured party was flown directly to Resolute. After saying
our goodbyes and taking a few photos in front of the Twin Otter, we
In the Kenn Borek plane
Flying out over Cunningham Inlet, Bill noticed a couple of belugas. Sure enough, there they were, close to shore. So we finally did see some whales! Upon our arrival, the folks at Kenn Borek Air helped to get the NY film crew processed to catch the First Air combi flight to Yellowknife. At the airport we were met by Terry of the High Arctic International, where we would be staying for the nite.
After getting settled in at the High Arctic International located in
downtown Resolute, with a population of 190, we took a stroll through town
and dropped into the Tudjaat Co-operative. One is struck immediately by
cost of everyday items. A softdrink, for example, is over three dollars.
is of course expected, as there are high costs in shipping by air many
of the goods to the high arctic. This is why the majority of the
commercial flights such as those by First Air, are combination passenger
and cargo. Arctic Watch as it exists today, for example, represents 180
Twin Otter flights from Resolute. The bulk of the heavy supplies arrive
by barge once or twice a year at Resolute.
Thule settlement dating back 500 years
Resolute was originally a weather station outpost, established in the 1947.
Following a great supper with the other guests at the High Arctic
International, Terry took us to see some of the sites of Resolute.
At Allan Bay, which was to the southwest of Resolute airport we were able
make out seals on the ice floes still present. Following this, we drove
South Camp, home of several government research activities to see an old
settlement which dates back about 500 years.
The sad departure of Arctic Watch
During our evening tour it began to snow and fog appears to be settling in. It appears that conditions tomorrow may not be ideal. So departing Arctic Watch early may have been the correct choice. But, as folks here will tell, condtions change quite rapidly.
Mail us on our actic adventure at: firstname.lastname@example.org.