Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The docks in winter

I went for a walk one bright, sunny but still cold afternoon. I headed down to the docks to enjoy the view of the frozen Arctic ocean in winter time.

Last week had been a tough week for the community of Cambridge Bay. During the first weekend, some people had broken into Kalgen's Dis & Dat, our local convenience store, stealing cigarettes and fireworks, and causing so much damage that the store has remained closed ever since in order to deal with it. There were also a number of troublesome events that weekend that involved alcohol and drugs which disturbed the community.

Then we were hit with the three day blizzard. It was bad enough that most of us were stuck inside our homes, conserving water and waiting out the storm, slowly growing more and more irritable, but during the blizzard there was a rash of break-ins.  Some people took a crow bar and broke through the wall to break into the Elks building, the only place in town where we can drink alcohol, and they stole a large quantity of alcohol.  It seems the same people also broke into the post office, and caused further extensive damage, ripping open everyone's mail, presumably in search of drugs to steal. The post office has also remained closed all week.  With the post office and the convenience store forced to stay closed, we could not receive or send mail, nor did we have a place to buy basic supplies like Tylenol after the grocery stores closed at 7PM.

Everyone felt disgusted by these actions and I think disturbed that such terrible things had happened in our community. A lot of people spoke out about condemning these actions, even people that normally have a very positive outlook.

So for me, it was nice to get out of the house after the blizzard and enjoy the sunny weather, out on the ice, far away from where these awful crimes had happened.

It's not obvious where the ocean is in the winter time when everything is frozen. You could easily mistake the frozen ocean as more land.  But the sight of the ships and boats frozen in the ice is unmistakable, and a very beautiful sight to see.  The larger majestic ships like the Martin Bergmann looked frozen not just in the ice but in time as well.

more boats parked at ht dock, waiting for the spring thaw

Is that a stick? Nope, we don't have trees here. Someone left their foot here!

I also came across a patch of ice with shells from fireworks that had been set off. Presumably these were the individuals who broke into the convenience store. I wonder if they were caught.

In other news, a newspaper from Greenland, the Arctic Journal, recently published my piece about Cambridge Bay's blizzard last week! You can read it here.