The Char

On Saturday we had a brilliant visit to Avataktoo Lake with some friends. The day started with veritable difficulties but ended with success.

First our ski-doo had two electrical problems in a row between 7:45 and 8 am. After hurriedly troubleshooting both, we rushed over to the rendezvouz spot on the ice to meet the others. Once everyone had arrived, we left the town in a group of snowmobiles and kamotiqs, winding our way west along Pangnirtung Fiord.

After a few kilometers, one of the kamotiqs broke loose and the pulling hitch was effectively bent double. The fix we concocted was probably the ugliest I've ever seen, but it worked. We used parts of a hockey stick, metal bands and meters of rope to "secure" the sled. The hitch turned out to be a great conversational piece that day.

Avataktoo Lake was packed with people basking in the sun and catching arctic char through the ice. We were psyched to try fishing again. After several attempts to catch fish this winter, we had caught absolutely nothing. On Saturday we finally broke the spell and caught several fish. At the end of the day, I was even lucky enough to catch a nice 3,1 kg char, pictured below.

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The Hudson's Bay cabin

About 25 km from Pangnirtung lies an old Hudson's Bay cabin. At a beautiful location by a frozen blue water flow, this small structure fights the conditions. The wood is preserved by the cold and dry climate.

I don't really know the history of this cabin, but apparently it used to be owned by Hudson's Bay Company for fur trading purposes before Pangnirtung existed. That would probably mean it was built in the late 1800's. Later on, the Company built a store in Pang.

We visited the cabin one pretty weekend afternoon by skidoos.

(Click on the above image to see a bigger version.)

Finally fishing.

The sun is slowly coming back and with it is the opportunity to get out and travel. We are slowly starting to explore the land around us, something we've been aching to do since we moved here in May. A few weeks ago we went fishing with a friend and his grandson to a local lake that is very popular in the springtime. It was refreshing to see something outside of town, the mountains, the creeks and valleys along the way. Nearly two hours saw us safely to Avataktu lake. We rose early in the morning, didn't catch any fish, it was quite cold at -26C but was it ever FUN. We still have much to learn, like where the best place is to make a fishing hole, but slowly we learn more and more. Our friend was more successful with his nets.

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