Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ice bound

I wrote in my last post about shocks to the system when coming back to Iqaluit (I will get back to the European adventures, I promise). None more so than realizing the ice in the bay was still here. When we left at the end of June, the last gasp was going on. There was still ice there, but it was melting quickly. I figured it would be gone a few days after we left. I remember being in Ottawa a couple of days later and reading the first boat of the year had made it into Iqaluit. A bit later than in previous years, but it was the start of resupply season in Iqaluit.

Except the ice didn't go away. Not really.

When I came back on the 23rd I flew over Frobisher Bay and I could see plenty of ice out there. There was a sealift boat in the bay, but it didn't take long for me to hear that she had been damaged trying to get to Iqaluit. She had about a six-foot gash on her hull. Bad enough that she had to unload the rest of her cargo onto another ship before she headed back south for repairs. Then the CBC started reporting that two other sea lift boats were stuck at the mouth of the bay. They couldn't get through because of the ice and even ice breakers were having a hard go of it.

I hardly claim to be an expert on such things as I've only been in Iqaluit for seven years, but it's the first time I've seen ice like this at this time of the year. There's the real possibility the bay may not be ice free all summer. I took this photo last Friday and was cursing as the ice seemed to be drifting closer to shore.

Which I thought sucked. I didn't realize it could get worse until I opened the curtains this morning. It was raining then, so I didn't take any pictures, but it cleared up this evening. So this is what the bay looks like right now.

That is a shitload of ice. Aside from it being a touch depressing to see that much ice floating around the bay and knocking several degrees off the temperature, there is a more pressing problem. It effectively stops the sealift from continuing. You'll notice a boat in one of the pictures. She should be unloading material right now. She was yesterday. But when all the ice came in this close to shore, they can't run the barges back and forth. There were great big chunks of ice aground down by the beach this afternoon. It's not melting any time soon.

Sealift schedules are always part fantasy. We were told our order should arrive in late August. That roughly translates into mid-September at the earliest. We have orders arrive as much as two months behind schedule (that was our last one with NorthMart. We were done with them after that fiasco). So while I'm not waiting for stuff to come off that boat in the bay, it's a sure bet this ice is throwing that boat off schedule. And future boats off-schedule.

So yeah, getting a little worried about all of that ice out there. We bought a lot of stuff and we would actually like to get it at some point. We're not on the last boat, so there's no need to panic. But I promise you, there were not many happy faces looking out over the bay today.

Ah, the north...

Last Five
1. Long since gone - Matt Mays and El Torpedo
2. Sleep together - Garbage*
3. Fashion coat - The National
4. Elenor - Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies
5. Takes this waltz (live) - Leonard Cohen


Matthew & Michele said...

On a bright note because of the delays in Iqaluit we got our first sealift in Cape Dorset earlier than normal.



Jefferson said...

We feel your pain. We moved to Baker Lake in July and our furniture and fridge have been delayed until mid-September...we hope. BLCS gave us a bar fridge in the interim (I have to get on my knees to pull anything out), but it's a crapshoot whether it will arrive before the lake starts freezing again. Here's hoping...

John, Perth AU said...

Finished the novel yet? Or have you been guest starring on Doyle for the summer?