Naujaat -A Part of the Community

Oksana Szwaluk

Naujaat (ᓇᐅᔮᑦ – ‘seagulls nesting place’). Where’s that? What are you doing there? Questions when I advised family and friends of my trip. It took 3 flights to get there, but it was worth every minute. 

I have never felt so welcome by the locals in all my travels; the people are very polite. The children run up to you and want to know your name, where you are from, and why are you here visiting. Walking around town everyone waved to us passing by. I don’t think I have ever waved to so many people at once, it was great! I felt part of the community.

One evening we had dinner at the Tundra restaurant as this was the happening place in the town. Children and adults all socializing while they waited for their food orders. I was sitting and enjoying my poutine while watching the young children run and dance around, the teenagers coming in for slush drinks and ice cream. Oh the different concoctions they came up with – slush drink and ice cream together. I will need to try that one day.

I came up here to go see the floe edge. I was advised that it is about 25 miles (40 km) out on the ice. I was dressed for -30, the temperature was +10, but it was drizzling. Six of us, including our two drivers of the two kamotiq (sleds), headed out around 9:30 am with several stops to see if we were all okay. It was a bumpy ride. We were sitting in a kamotiq being pulled a snow machine over turquoise coloured water that has melted on the ice. We watched as a seal dove back into an ice hole when we got too close.

We arrived at the floe edge just after 11am and it was like Mother Nature knew we had arrived. The rain stopped and the clouds slowly started to break up. This was our stop for the next few hours. We watched several seals plus a few different varieties of birds swimming around while we had lunch.

On our way back to town, we stopped at the harbour walked up the rocks to see a thousand-year-old carving cut into the road. The 360 degree views are pretty spectacular also. We returned to town in time for our homemade dinner. What a great day on the ice. 

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