Mike's Log

99-07-22

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Mike's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

We checked the temperature of the seawater in the Hudson Strait.

We surfaced slowly the weather was not too marvellous outside. I checked the weather with the FSS (flight service station) in the tower. We refuelled and packed our aircraft and prepared to fly northwards after spending some time trying to get onto the Internet to check on the status of the Greenland insurance saga. The weather wasn't too good, but there was no threat of a front coming through or strong headwinds. We were in the air by 2 pm. We avoided a few light rain showers ahead of us by flying around them. At one stage Olivier was about 6 km off to my right and I kept loosing sight of him.

Olivier called me on the radio to say that he needed to land at Kangirsuk for a technical stop. That meant he was either cold or needed the toilet badly. The toilet it was. We decided not to stay for too long. The mosquitoes arrived in swarms and tried to carry me off to eat me in their den. (Eat, eat, eat doesn't anybody f...k anymore?) The Canadians have a great invention it's a mosquito net that fits over your head and ties under your arms. At best you need to put a hat on your head first, then put this special net over your head and Bob's your Auntie no more bites on your face and neck. I got great pleasure from watching some of the mosquito swarms disappear into my fast turning propeller!!

As the afternoon progressed, the weather improved and the last 150 km we flew there was absolutely no cloud. The view was breathtaking. It felt like I had the eyes of an eagle the air was so clear.

Approaching the peninsula that Quaqtaq is situated on, the GPS indicated the distance to the town to be 50 km and off to my right. My mind wouldn't allow me to believe that the distance to the end of the peninsula was 50 km it looked like 10 km, so I headed further west along the mainland, expecting to find another larger peninsula ahead. Olivier called me over the radio and asked where I was going. I was confused by being able to see so clearly and realised that the GPS and the map and Olivier were all right and the distance that seemed like 10km was in fact 50 km. I had been looking at the town all the time and half of my brain said that it was where I was looking and the other half said it was too close. I turned east and headed up the peninsula behind Olivier.

We landed on the gravel runway and very quickly were surrounded by locals. We were offered space for our trikes in the garage at the runway.

Johnny, the community manager drove us around for a while and even arranged to get the shop opened for us. George had organised a house for us to sleep in it was a policeman's house, who was away on holiday. We had bacon and eggs and tomato and onions and toast for supper. Confused? Don't be!

We checked the temperature of the seawater in the Hudson Strait and estimated it to be about 5 degrees C. Also, an interesting fact the height difference from low tide to high tide is 40 ft (about 13 metres).


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