Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The long way around

And now, less ranting and something just plain weird.

This is my favourite story in recent days. A 32-year-old Romanian citizen showed up in Grise Fiord, which is the furthest north community in Canada, last Monday in a boat and was hoping to sell and then head down to Toronto. He had also been in the country back in 2000 and was deported.

A follow-up story that aired today, but isn't on the CBC's site, said that he had been deported after being found guilty of several criminal offences.

Now, this is funny and weird on its own, but it gets weirder. Someone from Grise Fiord spoke to the guy and took some photos. They've been making the rounds over e-mail. Now, I'm not going to put the pictures of the guy on the blog because he is arrested (and the best part, is actually being sent south to face charges. So instead of paying for a ticket, he gets to go for free). However, I will put a picture of the boat he arrived in.

My fellow northern bloggers are no doubt looking at this picture and going "this idiot went from Greenland, across the Davis Strait, and to Grise Fiord in this boat?" Which is, just for the record, 18 feet long with minimal shelter. He also forgot to bring food because he didn't think the journey would take that long. It took seven days. The boat also suffered damage to its windshield and prop blades from waves and ice.

Also, the follow-up corrected an error in the above story. When I heard this guy came over from Greenland, I wanted to know from where. The story says Sisimiut, but that's where he landed in Greenland. He bought the boat there and then headed north along the Greenland coast, to Qaanaaq. Which is closer to Grise Fiord, but you would still have to be nuts to make that trip in that boat. Take a look at this map to get an idea.

Ironically, if he had just headed west from Sisimiut he almost would have come to Iqaluit. Certainly to Pangnirtung. I'm not saying it's any less of an idiotic trip. But you might have an easier time blending in arriving in Iqaluit (pop. about 8,000) then if you're a Romanian than showing up in Grise Fiord (pop. about 150). And the plane ticket would have been a damn sight cheaper.

Still, I'm sure Stephen Harper will be reassured to know that our northern borders are ably protected from foriegn intrustion. Especially when the foreign intruder is really, really dumb. Or crazy. Or maybe just both...

1 comment:

Clare said...

Yeah, hard to disappear into the crowd or escape notice in Grise Fiord.