Saturday, August 26, 2006

Give us a lift

As several other bloggers up North have noted, this is the time of the year for sea lifts. It's not quite the same level of excitement in Iqaluit as it is in communities like Arctic Bay, where they might only get one or two sea lift boats per year visiting the community. In Iqaluit, it's a fairly steady stream of them as soon as the ice disappears from the bay in late June. The last boat will arrive sometimes in early October.

I have no idea the number of boats that will visit, but I should certainly think easily a dozen or more. If you want to get an idea of what it's like for those communities when the boat arrives, I encourage you to click the links and read the blogs. It might seem silly to people living in the south where even the most isolated of communities can still probably drive somewhere and resupply with only a minimum of fuss.

Now imagine the excitement when a boat arrives bringing everything from food, building supplies, new vehicles and more. And it's the only visit for the year. So yeah, it can get crazy.

In Iqaluit, it's a little more diffused, but still interesting. For one thing, I can already notice new cars around town. Obviously because of the costs, most people are not flying in new vehicles. So when the boats arrives, there's a steady stream of new cars and trucks in town. I've heard, and it could just be pure rumour, that there could be up to 300 new cars in town once the sea lifts are over. Which for a city the size of Iqaluit is quite a lot.

There's lots of construction going on, with the most visible being an apartment complex and a new hotel. And there are sea lift cans and boxes scattered all over town as people get their orders. Ours won't arrive until the middle of September.

And another rite of summer is the Sea Lift Sale at Arctic Ventures. They open up their warehouse and let people buy items in bulk. For us, it was a chance to pick up some stuff to either hold us over until our box gets in, or stuff that we forgot to order. It was just slightly crazy, with the line up to the sole cash register about 30 minutes or more long in the cramped confines of the warehouse.

For example, we picked up a couple of cases of pop (24 cans of Diet Coke go for $20 in case you're wondering), another box of paper towels (having a puppy is kind of eating into our supply) and some chocolate bars.

Between that and a foodmail order that arrived today, it's been a busy resupply day for us. It was kind of needed, what with our supplies running down over the summer (I let things get low rather than having to move them) and the deep freeze breaking. Still, it was a pretty good day, especially since Ian, Jennifer and Kuniq are in town and we hung out with them for a bit today.

It's all nice, but it's kind of the slow wind up to things going back to normal. Summer is very quiet in Iqaluit, with many people out of town on vacation, some residents moving south once the school year is over and many of the Inuit either out on the land or off visiting family in other communities. However, the temperatures are already starting to get a little colder, hovering around 10 C the last few days. People are resupplying. Teachers and other people are returning to the city after being away for the summer. New people are arriving. We're probably about six weeks or so from first snow on the ground.

It's still August, but it's already beginning to feel a lot like Fall...


John Mutford said...

Hey Craig,
Had to like that "sale" at Arctic Ventures yesterday, eh? Spend $500 and they'll throw in a case of 24 pop. Wow.

John Mutford said...

Ever thought about setting up a Nunavut Blog Roll like the one in Newfoundland?

towniebastard said...

There's sort of an unofficial Nunavut blogroll that Claire has going. And really, there's only handful of Arctic bloggers anyway that I've been able to find. A blogroll like the one Newfoundland has might be a bit of an overkill.

It's just a pity that I think all of the blogs that are currently being regularly updated are by southerners and not Inuit.

And yes, the sale was wonderful, but really, it doesn't take much to get towards $500. We only picked up a few things and we hit $200 pretty easy. More than one free case of pop went out of there yesterday.