Wednesday, January 11, 2017


    I enjoyed writing a series of posts on my northern adventures from 1963 to 1966. I was young and adventurous. I was with many other young people and as young people we tended to have a good time.

    On my second venture things were different. I was older. I was married. I had much more responsibility. I saw things through different eyes.

    So in August 1967 I was on my way to Kangiqsujuaq (formerly Wakeham Bay.) Kangiqsujuaq is in northern Quebec. It's below the Arctic circle but the climate is very severe. It's on the Hudson Strait and Wakeham Bay which is a 24 mile deep bay. The tides are very high ...40 ft. The Bay froze up in late November. Small lakes froze up in late Sept. or early Oct. It was a very windy area as winds blew in from the Hudson strait or westerlies blew across northern Quebec and when they reached the east coast they dropped down to sea level with a bang. Snowfall wasn't great but what there was blew around and we had many blizzards. Snow would last from mid October to June. the ice on the bay would disappear in late July or early August. The ice actually went out on a tide to Hudson Strait rather than melt.

    Because of the severe climate vegetation was sparse and small. There were willows, spruce and birch trees. Some of these trees were knee high but most were half way up the knee. There were grasses , sedges and other plants. Flowers were plentiful and the spring was beautiful. In the fall much time was spent picking blueberries.

  So August of 1967 found me making my journey across Canada to this small isolated settlement.

  I first flew from Saskatoon , Sask to Ottawa. We were to spend 10 days in Ottawa for orientation. I was pumped for a 10 day orientation as I was going into something that was a completely different experience. There were three couples. We met the old superintendent the first morning and he suggested we look around Ottawa for the ten days and discover what we could find. Awesome. Just hang out. He shouldn't have given three young guys so much leeway. The 10 days went by . We learned a few things,  had a good time and felt more prepared for our postings.
    Notice that there were no flight delays or excitement over airplanes. We flew 900 miles northeast of Montreal on a Super Constellation. We were then in the small northern outpost of Fort Chimo. After a few days we were on our way to Kang on a twin Beech 18..a rather old airplane on floats. So another 300 miles and we land at Kang. The landing was exciting as there were 5 to 7 ft swells. the pilot had to hit the top of a swell and skip and bounce on two or three until the plane slowed down and awkwardly settled into the water. It was a landing like no other I had made.