Monday, January 26, 2015

new year in Cambridge Bay

the restaurant view of the frozen Arctic ocean

Well, 2015 started out with a huge bang in Cambridge Bay, and by bang, of course I mean two big blizzards in one week. Luckily the weather's settled down since, resting at a fierce temperature of -55 with the windchill on average.  It's cold, folks. The kind of cold where you look up and admire the pretty moon in the sky, and then rush on because it's too cold to linger outside for more than a few minutes, and if you stop to take a photo, your hands will get frostbitten. The kind of cold where if you grip the doorknob with bare hands, you'll instantly feel freeze burn. Even the snowmobiles are frozen and having trouble starting.

It's that time of year where you stay indoors, warm. Until you get driven out of your house because your roof vents are blocked and your house is slowly filling with the smell of sewage. Then you send your most unfortunate household member to climb up to the roof and clear the snow from the vents.  Christine and I sat at her living room window, with binoculars, spying on her neighbours doing this, because sometimes that is what counts as entertainment in Cambridge Bay. do I get in?

It's also that time of year where it's so cold that the vehicles often refuse to start. The automotive garage has been busy this week, with calls from truck owners who all need a jump start.

To make sure that our vehicle continues running smoothly, I went for a little drive out of town. Not very far out of town, of course, since I didn't want to get the truck stuck in the snow, but far enough to get out of town and lose sight of all "city" life.

I'm glad I went out. It's been a while since I've wandered out of town and been able to appreciate the tundra view.

the Distant Early Warning Station

Construction equipment waiting in the snow

The Canadian High Arctic Research Station, under construction

Beautiful Cambridge Bay

I love Nunavut. I love that I only need to walk a few steps out of town and then suddenly I am all alone in the tundra, lost in the beautiful wilderness that stretches on forever.

What I am especially grateful for, despite the astonishing cold, is that the sun has begun to rise again, painting the skies with long extended sun rises and sun sets. The sun still doesn't get very high in the sky, but it's lovely to see, since we missed it. And soon enough the days will grow drastically longer, until it stops setting in May.

a sunrise/sunset over the frozen Arctic ocean

We've also been getting some gorgeous northern lights at night, right outside my living room window.  I still haven't developed the knack for capturing them on film yet, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Also, beautiful moons