In past two months, I had opportunity to visit east arctic again to hold public meetings in 11 remote cities and communities. Some facts about travel in arctic are very interesting:
Time zones. Canada has 6 different time zones from Atlantic coast to Pacific coast, but in Nunavut, there are three time zones, so you have to adjust your watch frequently to make sure the you are at right time. One community in Nunavut, Coral Barbour, make this even worse, it is located in Eastern Standard Time zone, but its time turns into as the Central Standard time as it does not adopt the Daylight Save system in summer season. because of the time zones, you flew two hours, but the arrive time was the same with departure time.
Transport. There is no road in Nunavut connecting neighbor communities and cities. Except hunting, air is the only way for business travelers, even it is as close as 60 miles. Take the trip from Igloolik to Hall Beach as an example, we still had to travel by air, and that was only 15 minutes flight. You can see your destination when air plan climbed to normal flight elevation from departure airport, and you are ready to land.
Logistic. Logistic is always the biggest challenge for traveling in arctic. Some places don’t have enough hotel rooms for a large team ( our team consisting of 7-11 people). so it was very common for us to share rooms with coworkers or strangers in some cases. Rooms were shared, but don’t expect cost would be reduced by half, one night hotel cost (actually spend on one bed) is more than what you pay for a week long holiday in Las Vegas from Toronto. In addition to accommodation, food was another challenge, some small hotels did not have restaurants, we had to prepare our food from previous location.
Travel in arctic is tough, but picturesque landscape and breath taking aerial scene will make every effort you made worthwhile. Here are some photos I took during the trips.
Strange patters and open water lead on pack sea ice in Lancaster Sound, Lancaster Sound is the east portion of famous Northwest Passage connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Actual, some of the arctic ocean never frozen up even under minus 60 degree due to strong ocean currents, the opening is called lead, which is critical to marine wildlife living in arctic year round.
Rough fast ice in front of mountainous Grise Fiord, it is the Canada’s most northerly community with a latitude 76 degree, and distance to the north pole only 1040km. How northerly it is? it is 1160 km north of the Arctic Circle, with in which, any piece of land or water is called arctic.