Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thursday, August 5: Tomorrow.

It's the climax of the summer. Tomorrow, I leave Charlottetown en route to the Torngat Mountains.

The Torngat mountains are located at 58 degrees, in the northern tip of Labrador.


At the bottom of the picture, you'll see saglek Bay, where kANGIDLUASUk (yes, printed like that) Base Camp is located. This will be our home for 7 days, where we'll camp on perma-frost, participate in Inuit culture and of course, take tons of video. We'll be teaching local children to use the video equipment and doing a special project with them. I'm most excited about this.

The base camp has a perimeter for polar bears, and we'll be escorted everywhere by inuit with guns. We've gotta take a polar bear safety course when we get there. We'll be eating the traditional foods, such as seal and caribou.

This is copy/pasted from the base camp website; I think it speaks volumes about the adventure I'm in for.


Base Camp Facilities
The base camp provides basic sleeping, eating facilities in a safety enhanced environment so visitors should bring anything else you might need for personal health and comfort. Please be prepared to be as self-reliant as possible. The base camp facilities are described below.
  • The base camp is operated and managed by Inuit.
  • The camp is alcohol and drug free.
  • The camp has a cook and 2 cooks assistants who will provide meals. Wild food such as arctic char, caribou and seal will be part of the basic menu.
  • There is a fully equipped cook tent, an office/operations tent and another heated tent for use as a meeting space and visitor reception tent.
  • There are limited single and two person tents provided. Those who have good 3 or 4 season tents are encouraged to bring them, since there may be up to 75 people in camp during some weeks and the available tent space is very limited. Please let Parks Staff know if you are able to bring your own tent.
  • The camp will be surrounded by an electric and alarmed fence, and there will be Inuit polar bear monitors on duty at all times.
  • A 55 ft longliner will be available for day excursions as required and weather permitting.
  • There will also be 2 speed boats and a zodiac for excursions and to support research programs.
  • A helicopter will be available from July 25th – August 20th to support base camp projects and provide transportation in the case of emergencies.
  • There are pit toilets and some portable backcountry toilets.
  • Water will be collected from a nearby stream and pumped to water containers by a small Honda pump.
  • There are outdoor shower stalls with solar shower bags
  • There will be a small (quiet) 2400 watt generator for power for the fridge, freezer, charging batteries, computers, camera gear etc.
  • There will also be solar power for lighting and recharging batteries, radios, sat phones etc.
  • A small incinerator for burnable waste such as cardboard and paper and recycling boxes will be set up for pop cans, plastic bottles and juice boxes. The recycled material is donated to the Jens Haven Memorial School breakfast program in Nain. Glass, tin and plastic will be cleaned and shipped back to Nain.


I truly think this is going to be one of the biggest adventures of my life. When else would I ever have gotten the opportunity to do such a fantastically crazy thing?  The only thing I'm dreading is the end, because that'll mean one of the best chapters of my life will be coming to a close. Trust me, it's all bitter and no sweet. 

I might post one more time from my iPhone in Goose Bay tomorrow, where we'll be overnighting before taking a charter plane to Nain, then another to the base of Seglek Bay, where a longliner boat will take us to camp. There is no internet or telephone at the basecamp, so this will not only be a test in my limits physically and mentally, but a break from technology. I hope it all goes well. I bought a new sketchbook that will serve for both a journal and visible representation of my interpretations of camp. I'll hopefully be uploading a video about each day in the mountains as well. Wish me luck. 

Thanks for coming on this trip with me! I'm beyond excited, and exhausted. Good night. 


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