Thursday, 1 September 2016



The North has left a lasting impression on us. It is difficult to describe the magnitude of the landscape. All sense of proportion is distorted - ice floes look small, mountains look like hills. That impression lasts only until you see a dot in the landscape that turns out to be polar bear or a zodiac boat. Only then do you realize how huge the ice floe or hill must be. The glaciers we saw were larger than our ship but at first glance seemed small. We had to compare them to the size of the ship to realize how big they actually were.

The sunrises and sunsets are absolutely gorgeous. The sky and water turn all different shades of pink and gold. The photos I took don't do them justice.

The Inuit are a very friendly people. They have welcomed us with great hospitality at every stop. The government seems to have done a lot for these very isolated communities. The ones we have visited have modern schools and community/recreation centres and nice looking homes. Unfortunately, there is way too much garbage strewn around the houses and communities. In Cambridge Bay, I noticed both blue and black recycling bins at each house but there was still a lot of garbage lying around. More disturbing was the garbage strewn around the tundra. Saying that, despite regular garbage pickup, Ottawa cannot claim to be litter free. Walk around my neighbourhood on a garbage day that is windy. It ain't pretty.

The ship's public areas are lovely but we don't find the seating very comfortable. There are no comfortable couches to curl up in to read a book. They look soft and inviting but are not. Maybe they are designed so that we senior citizens can get up out of them. Our room is tiny. There is about six inches between our beds and a foot between one bed and the closet, and one foot between the end of the bed and the wall. There isn't enough room to pass by each other. Getting dressed in the morning and for dinner has to be well choreographed. Getting dressed in our outdoor gear is even more of a hassle. We have solved the problem by waiting until one of us is in the bathroom to access the closet. The closet is the bane of our existence. It has heavy sliding doors and invariably what you want is in the side that isn't open. We have a tiny love seat in the room that has to be the most uncomfortable seating devised. We avoid using it if possible. We use our comfortable beds to watch TV or to read. I would say that the room is smaller than my second bedroom. Lest I sound ungrateful, we both realize how fortunate we are to be here and can laugh about the manoeuvres we need to do to get ready to leave the room. We've met some wonderful people and seen some wonderful sights and that's what it is all about.

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