We lost an hour overnight… altogether; we would sail through 4 time-zones, Central, Eastern, Atlantic and Greenland. Even though we wouldn’t sail that great a distance, lines of longitude and time-zones get squeezed together in the far north. For the entire 12 day cruise, we would be above the Arctic Circle the whole time, except for a few hours on day 11, which is the only time I would see darkness at night. I hope all this scientific stuff doesn’t get you frustrated.

Today we were landing at the village of Arctic Bay, but before that, we had lots of Inuit orientation by Kathleen, Heidi and Derrick, who are Inuit AC staff. We had a zodiac landing on a beach about 2 km from the village, where the locals put on a show of dancing, throat singing and food samples. Narwhale blubber was offered, but I declined, as I just had a large lunch on the ship. After that we walked into the village.

So many kids! The Arctic has a very young population – attributed to the long, dark winters. The people are very friendly and love to have their photos taken. Talked to lots of people and Sarah and I had fun in the playground pushing the kids on the swing. With the village being so remote, of course they love to have visitors – 160 odd visitors added to a village with a population of 800!

In the Co-op store I met a musician, Jordon Muckpa, whose CD I purchased. I also met Kelly, who works in the store. She’s probably the only white person living there, comes from Nova Scotia, and lived for a while in Clarkson, just down the road from Port Credit (AC’s head office). Note that my branch office, Starbucks, is 3 doors down from there.

Walking around the town today is one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done, and I had a few tears thinking about these kids, watching them and playing with them. Another thing I noticed was that they’re all playing outside, with “toys”! Forgot what that looked like.

Arctic-Explorer-Route-Map

[click on any image for slideshow]

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Heidi with the oil lamp. Apparently this is a “good wife” requirement

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Our zodiac landing site

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Local women throat singing. They try to make each other laugh.

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Inuit jewellery

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The walk to the village

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ATV’s are very common in the Arctic. Snowmobiles in the winter, of course.

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Peek-a-boo

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ATV’s are very common in the Arctic. Snowmobiles in the winter, of course.

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I asked these guys to pose.

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Local kids

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This is the koolest kid in town!

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Cute little guy!

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Mysterious native god faces on the hill.

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This young girl was having too much fun on the swings.

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Hey, look what I’m doing!

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Kelly

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Kids up here really like to be photographed.

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Our zodiac drivers were really making these kids work.

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Bye bye Arctic Bay

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