Margot (my spouse and tour director for Great Canadian Travel) and I were escorting a group of clients to venture out to the Floe Edge in the community of Naujaat, Nunavut (formerly Repulse Bay and translated as “seagull nesting place”) and to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on the summer solstice – June 21, 2018. Naujaat is considered to be a “traditional” community in that they rely on hunting and fishing for their sustenance.
The Naujaat community has built a wonderful “elders’ retreat” outside of the community. It is away from the hustle and bustle of the community and allows for contemplation, quiet enjoyment of each other’s company and celebrations. Our group was invited into the retreat to experience and learn about drum dancing.
A Qulliq – a traditional, soapstone oil-lamp filled with sealskin oil – was ceremonially lit and placed on a table by a window overlooking the rolling hills and Hudson Bay in the background. It was very calming.
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Ian & Margot in front of Arctic Circle Marker, Naujaat
I was escorting a group of clients to venture out to the Floe Edge in the community of Naujaat, Nunavut (formerly Repulse Bay and translated as “seagull nesting place”) and to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on the summer solstice – June 21, 2018. It was a very special place to be on this particular day, in that Naujaat is located exactly on the Arctic Circle. Read More >
Attending the Spirit of the Arctic Tourism Summit in Nunavut’s capital of Iqaluit helped expand my knowledge on travelling to the North.
I have been lucky enough to visit 3 of the Arctic communities, including Pond Inlet, Cambridge Bay and Naujaat (which is located on the Arctic Circle). Read More >
Welcome to Dawson City! Home to the ‘Sourtoe Cocktail!’ Since 1973, the Sourdough Saloon in Dawson City has been accepting members. All you have to do is visit the Saloon and ask for Captain River Rat. Purchase a shot (I chose Yukon Jack), and pledge the oath; ‘You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips have gotta touch the toe’. Watch as the (genuine) dehydrated toe is dropped in your drink, and enjoy your shot.
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“Sssshhhh, turn around quietly and look out the window.” Those were the words said in hushed tones by our tour host as we were happily sitting in the lounge car of the Tundra Buggy Lodge™, having a wee drink before dinner. We turned and looked in awe, as right outside the windows, casually strolling by in the tell-tale pigeon-toed gait, was a big, beautiful polar bear. You could hear the intake of breath as we all marvelled at the incredible wonder of nature walking right by us. “That’s a young male, about 3 years old” our guide informed us. His powerful muscles rippled underneath his fur telling us that he is a force of nature, a natural hunter and predator. But the round, black eyes and black nose set in that white face offered all of us that unmistakable sense of “Oh, you look cute enough to cuddle”. A feeling best kept as thought and not action! These are not cute and cuddly toys! Read More >
Fish On. That is 2 words I love to hear. I was up in Northern Manitoba at Gangler’s North Seal River Lodge. I went fishing for Northern Pike and Lake Trout. Every few minutes someone would yell out “Fish On”; This meant that someone in the boat had caught a slimy, squirmy, yummy fish on their hook.
Gangler’s is a fly in fishing, hunting and eco-tourism camp in the north-west corner of Manitoba, near the border of Nunavut and Saskatchewan. The 5,000,000 acres of barren land, 12 river system and hundreds of lakes allows guests endless outdoor opportunities. Read More >
Wow. You can see and do a-lot of things when it is light out for 24 hours in the day. We have had a marvellous day of meeting, sharing and being involved in the community. I have never been so warmly welcomed by so many people. The kids are so keen on knowing what your name is and why you are there. By the way, I wrote this note at 11:35 at night after having just come in from playing soccer with some kids. We actually heard the kids’ laughter into the wee wee wee hours of the night. Read More >
Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, is a town located on the edge of the Arctic that has a distinctive frontier town feel. It comes alive every time a new group of tourists comes to visit. The people are friendly, and the scenery is spectacular. The northern point of the Canadian Shield as the boreal forest ends and the Taiga begins is where this magical place resides, complete with snowshoe hares, ptarmigans, arctic foxes, snowy owls, and the majestic polar bear. Read More >
During my time spent in the travel industry, I have been extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to visit some amazing and very remote destinations. One of the best experiences would be travelling aboard the Akademik Ioffe for 16 days, cruising through the famous Northwest Passage.
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After a few visits to Arctic communities in my past travels, I finally got to experience the floe edge. And, what an experience it was!
Approximately 25 miles, just under 2 hours riding in a kamotiq pulled behind a snow machine, we arrived at the edge of the ice. It was almost surreal… the beauty, remoteness and peacefulness. The only sounds were the gulls overhead and the sound of the water. Where the ice stops and the open water begins. Read More >