Vieno returns.

Two evenings in Vieno, our boat; two fish. Nice to be on the water again.


Ice-bound in Avataaktu

Boating season has been super interesting this year. We have finally grown out of the babyhood of boating primarily in the fiord. It's Cumberland Sound time.

Past weekend we headed out on Friday with big plans: to head out about 90 km out to Cumberland Sound and towards Clearwater Fiord. We were accompanied by our friends Devin and Kendra. They also are proud owners of a 24 foot freighter canoe with a 50 HP outboard engine.

As a travel mascot in our boat we had our guest Anthony Berkers from Montreal. Anthony had just finished a canoe trip on Soper River, guiding for Black Feather.

The previous weekend we had camped at Qikiqtaluq and caught lots of large char. This time we would go even further - and hopefully get even bigger fish.

Not quite so. As I've been telling my southern friends, Plan C is always the most important plan in the north. Not Plan A. Not even Plan B. Plan C.

I think on this trip we were reaching the end of the alphabets. After about 40 km of driving we were forced to turn around due to heavy ice. Heading back, we thought of at least doing something interesting, and headed through a channel towards Avataaktu Bay. After squeezing through, we quickly found ourselves ice-bound in some inlets (the ice is constantly shifting in the tidal currents). After a little fishing, we tried to get out and go home. Not even a chance: the ice was blocking every way. We climbed up a hill to take a look at the ice in the area. It was closing in.

We tried every possible way out, but the tide was getting stronger. It's better to stay away from ice when it's moving fast, therefore we decided to wait and go fishing in another fishing spot where the boats were protected.

Hours later, after catching some char, hanging around, cooking food, and just generally waiting for conditions to change (and being mildly nervous), the tide was starting to get close to high and slacken. It was time to try again - this time with luck. It was quite nice to be back in the Sound again.

We returned to home the same evening we left. We had been nowhere neare where we intended. We had gotten stuck in the ice in an area where we had not intended to go. But it was a great experience and taught us a valuable lesson: if you get stuck in the ice, just be patient. Make yourself a cup of coffee. Try later. It'll be ok.


Season's end

Fall season is a wrap. Before heading to Nepal for a little holiday in early October, we pulled out the boat from the water and waved goodbyes to the waves. The last trip on the fiord we did while the first snow was falling down. Floater suits were worth their cost on those cool days.

In this blog entryy you will find a mixed collection of photos from October.

Our new team member, Sola, followed us all over on our trips. She handled the boat well except for jumping in and out of it: she always gets stuck by the belly on the side. We have to give her a lift. Now she has learned how to appropriately stiffen up into plank position for easier lifting convenience.

Aulatsivikjuak Bay:

Mouths full of trail-mix ("no, don't take a picture now!"):

A hike that I enjoyed especially much was from the Hudson's Bay cabin towards Moon Lake at the end of Pangnirtung Fiord. We traveled to the cabin by boat, barely making it in through the barricading rocks at a quickly dropping tide. The propeller got dinged there a few times and now it's looking like we've actually been to places.

The blue spot in the image is a ghost of an ancient shaman.

In the bay there was a great little spot for parking the boat. The hike was very fun, steep with great views, sporty. Thanks for Devin and Kendra for company there! We didn't quite go all the way to Moon Lake but I would be interested to do so in the winter with skis. The approach would have to be less steep, though. Summiting Moon Peak would be well worthwhile.

All in all it was a great fall season. We did the mileage we wanted to with the boat and learned the basic skills. Tides do not seem that complicated to keep track of anymore. And it was positive to observe that our boat didn't sink.

Having a boat is a lot like having a baby. You have to constantly keep an eye on it and if you don't, something bad will happen. The only difference is that babies are probably less work.

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