Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 31: Salt

Too excited to sleep, I woke at 6 am, packing extra clothes and towels to be prepared to jump into Hudson Bay! We finally left at 8 and barely had time to put our costumes on when we found ourselves at the edge of the bay with a guy with a megaphone shouting, "GO!" (Thank you Fiona for the great photos!)

Costume prep during the storm last night. I'm wearing the
Daphnid head!

Minutes before the race, standing on the beach as the four of
us (Celia, me, Brit, and Matt) mime daphnia in our ridiculous
costumes! I don't know why we thought anyone would ever
get what we were. We were asked if we were some sort of
recycling thing... Oh well, that's what we get for being nerds!

And I'm off! And very first thought: Salty!
I've only ever lived by large bodies of
freshwater - Lake Erie namely. And I knew
that Hudson Bay was salt water, but to jump
into the cold and get a gulp full of salt water
was completely unexpected. I thought more
about the salt than about the cold. It was such a
beautiful day (24C!, and not a cloud) and I
was full of such anticipation that I didn't even
feel the cold.

And coming out of the water, losing my

So maybe it was a bit chilly.

The beluga babes! That's Kelly, Lisa, Hope, and Andy from
the Centre.

The Narlywhals! Anne, Madi, Hannah, and Carmen - all

Me and celia posing after the race. Do you notice the blue
tape in my hand? That was the flag that was attached to the
rope in the bay. We didn't win the race and we didn't win
best costume, but it was a lot of fun. I'm glad I was crazy enough
to jump into the freezing Hudson Bay. It was pretty cold when
we went in for the photos. I guess the adrenaline shielded the chill
when I was racing.

I stayed in town with Kelly and Val to watch the Canada Day
parade! It was over in about 15 minutes, but it did have a
tundra buggy in it. Just notice the size difference between the people
who are shorter than the wheel and the buggy. The original
tundra buggy was an old school bus retrofitted with monster
truck tires!

This devilish little dog is Barley, Kat's german shepherd, husky,
chow mix, not quite 2 - perfect mix. We dog sat him in exchange
for a shower to wash off the salt at Kat's place. He was mostly a good dog
except when we came across other dogs, at which point he
would try to tear my arms off! I guess that was a sneak peak into
what it would be like to own a dog? Still want one!

We went to Cape Merry again, along the mouth of the Churchill
River after listening to a talk about canoeing the north. So I
saw some more belugas, then got interested in the mussels!
The other reason this post is called salt... it is so hot! The 24C is the type of heat I was trying to escape by coming to the subarctic. I complain about the heat when it is above 15C! And the bugs... I think I failed today with my less than 10 mosquito bite rule. It was the going into town that destroyed me. Who would wear a bug net in town?

Saw another bear today on the way back from town. He was on one of the bluffs near the bay, about 1 to 2 km off. I thought he was a rock, even through the binoculars, until he moved. At the same time, I saw a bald eagle sitting on shore, probably scavenging something.

The lecture on canoeing was really interesting. The guy has been taking arctic canoe expeditions since the 1960s and has everything figured out. He has foldable canoes that he will line across ice drifts in the northern lakes! He has seen muskox, shot caribou, caught arctic char, watch a polar bear kill a seal outside his camp... Really interesting guy. I kinda want to get back into canoeing now! We went up after to ask him how expensive his trips were. He said with the flights up, since that's the only way to really get out there, it can get to $3-5,000 for the month! That's a bit steep! He then told us about some of the more affordable ones, such as.. Missinaibi River! Catch the train up and on the way back, and it's around $500 for food and transport. Just need to have the equipment and you are set for a month!

Also had to filter the water samples from yesterday and today, so I put in a decent amount of work as well. Tomorrow I get off so I've made arrangements to get on an ATV to go out with Ryan and check some fox dens!

1 comment:

  1. That looks absolutely amazing. So... how cold was the water?