Battling the arctic winds off Hudson bay and the deep snow on the ground, I slowly make my way back to my accommodations. Its 4:05 and the sun has already set, stars beginning to twinkle behind a cloud covered sky. I make a quick dinner and settle down with a tea in front of my computer, an electric heater beside my feet. Today marks the end of the third week I’ve spent on Hudson Bay and I’m missing the sun, stars, and warm weather! (*and my little brat Oliver*)
Even though I miss the comforts of home now and again, especially when I’m barricaded indoors because of wind storms and snow, my time on Hudson Bay has been positive overall. In fact, the two weeks since my last post (First Few Days in Whapmagoostui) have flown by! Whenever I can spend time taking photos in between tutoring students at the school, I do! Living on Hudson Bay is a true marvel (when it’s not a complete blizzard) and I am delighted to be able to stay up here for a few more weeks.
My explorations on Hudson Bay have met two major setbacks during these past two weeks. A lot of snow and a faulty camera charger!
As I write this post, there is about a foot of snow on the ground and more on the way. Although the water in Hudson Bay has yet to freeze over, the last couple weeks have seen plenty of blizzards and ever-decreasing temperatures. Thankfully, the community keeps on top of snow removal and the streets are smoothed out and relatively ice free.
The second thing that happened was my camera battery charger stopped functioning! Initially I was frustrated because I couldn’t believe the poor timing of this incident as I’m hundreds of kilometers away from a camera store. However, upon further investigation I found out a sneaky way to use Henry’s.com’s “Toonie Tuesday Shipping” to have a new charger delivered to me at the local post office without costing more than $2!
10 days later, before I was notified that the charger had arrived at the local post office, Canada Post sent me an email reading “Parcel being returned to sender. Location: Kuujjuarapik”. Alarmed, I quickly ran to the post office (which is right across the street from the school) to inquire as to the status of my camera charger. I discovered that my package had arrived safely but was set to be returned because of an ‘incomplete address’ (I used Canada Post FlexDelivery). Thankfully, I was able to intervene and claim my package before it was sent back to Toronto!
Anyways, here are some of the photos I’ve taken over the last couple weeks.
Docking on the Great Whale River
There are many people who live across the river or use the the river as a means of fishing and hunting. Although I have photos of two larger fishing boats, the majority of people docking on the town side of the Great Whale River use smaller boats or canoes. These are a few photos I shot at one of the well trafficked docks on the river.
On the Beach
Before the snow arrived, I went out a few times to take some more photos on the beach. Although Hudson Bay hasn’t frozen over, there is an increasingly large amount of ice buildup on the shore. Watch out for the next couple weeks when I post more photos of the bay freezing over!
One of the cool aspects of living so close to the airport is being able to take photos of the planes as they come and go through the Kuujjuarapik airport. It is difficult to tell when the planes will arrive because the schedules are often changed and weather often forces cancellations. Although I haven’t been able to get my desired photo of a plane landing in snowy weather, these photos will have to do for now!
Walking down the streets everyday to get to the school or to go to the grocery store, I am often given an animal companion. There are a few dogs that are more than happy to walk with me on the beach in exchange for some scratches behind the ears. Here’s a photo of one such doggo walking on the snow covered field in front of the bay.
The Tundra Floor
Closer to the beach, I found the ground to be very soft and squishy. That’s because the ground is made up of different types of moss, lichens, and labrador tea plants. Upon close inspection you can really see all the different types of vegetation on the ground. This was one of my most interesting discoveries yet! Unfortunately, now that the snow has covered the ground, all the plants have gone into hibernation until Spring.
A View From Above
This afternoon I climbed the foothill behind the house I’m living in to get a better view of the community. The terrain is a mix of large boulders and small ponds with small shrub-like plants scattered around. Although the snow wasn’t too deep, it was difficult to navigate through because the boulders often dropped off into drifting snow, a dangerous optical illusion! I carefully plodded through to arrive at the top of the mini mountain where I was able to snag a few shots of the community in the twilight hours.
The Next Few Weeks
The next few weeks I’m going to be continuing my search for a few of the photos I’ve been looking for. Don’t worry, photos of a polar bear are not on that list! Let me know if you have any suggestions!