Don’t let the sun go down on me

No actually. The sun can really go the hell away right now for all I care.

A while back I promised to do a follow-up to my Twilight post. I wanted to take yet another set of time-lapse photos on the Summer solstice (June 21st) but unfortunately I was done in by Iqaluit treachery and it rained for several days. Don’t get me wrong. I relished in the fact that it was cloudy and rained for about 4 days. Whenever there are thick heavy clouds it blocks out the sun and midnight almost gets sorta dark.

Anyway. I won’t bore you to tears with more details with words. I’ll just let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy!

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… just so you know, by 4am it looks like pre-8pm once again. Thankfully though the longest day of the year was spent under cloud cover so it’s all downhill from here. I will twiddle my fingers menacingly as I await my beloved darkness to engulf the wonderful city of Iqaluit.

Twilight

I know we promised more updates and random observations but once again I’ve neglected this blog in favor of spewing my thought vomit all over my other blog. I can’t just post anything over here. It’s a hump I can’t seem to get across. It was easy to babble on when we first arrived because there were so many new experiences and sights. That’s not to say it’s become uninteresting now. Far from. We’ve just become so immersed in the town that we’re not only far busier than we’ve ever been but are starting to take for granted some of the things we see and hear because they seem “common” now. I keep forgetting that this blog is primarily geared towards those who haven’t been up here, plan on coming up here or just want to know what it’s like up here.

I had a busy week at the shelter last week. The Katimavik volunteers were off and the regular IHS membership had to fill the gaps. I can’t stress how much disarray ensues whenever they’re not around. Those who don’t know about what the Katimavik program is all about I invite you to read up about them. They are an amazing group of young people (gah… did I just refer to them as young people like old people do…) who are the life blood of this community’s volunteer efforts. They do tons of backbreaking work for virtually every event and not-for-profit organization in the city and to be quite honest I don’t know how things would get done without them. With that said with them off and our illustrious leader Janine out of town on business, those that remained had to pick up the slack.

We live literally a construction yard’s walk away from the shelter so armed with a key to get in now I covered a week and a half’s worth of shifts over there. There are 4 primary shifts – 8am, 12pm, 5:30pm and 9:30pm – and I managed to try my hand at each one, sometimes multiple times in one day. Let’s just say that by the tail end of my tour of duty I learned about as much as I could about the whole operational procedure and was dead exhausted. The shelter has some really great people who volunteer so you’re almost guaranteed to meet people you’re bound to get along with. I mean how bad can people who love doggies and volunteer their free time to tend to them be, right?

I was starting to lose track of days after a while. When you work till 10:30pm one night and go in again at 7am the next day and it looks exactly the same outside, it starts to play tricks on your mind. I absolutely love it up here but the one obstacle I seem to be having the most difficult time overcoming is the whole Endless Day thing. I had reservations about it prior to coming up but it’s nearly impossible to account for how it will affect you mentally unless you experience it first hand. It’s not even that bad right now and I’m feeling like a space case. The month of June marks Hell Month for me because we’ll be marching our way towards the longest day in the history of mankind (or something like that).

It’s hard to explain the dementia that results from the sun being the annoying houseguest that won’t go away. I can sleep just fine with it being light outside. That’s not a problem whatsoever. It’s when I’m awake that the psychosis sets in. It’s incredibly hard (for me at least) to ween myself off the southern Ontario “it’s supposed to get dark at night” mindset and as a result my body just keeps forcing me to stay up throughout the night sometimes. I think I chose to overwork myself at the shelter in the hope of tiring myself out so I can get on some kind of a regular sleeping schedule, but it only served to dislodge my pattern further. I can’t say this is an issue I can’t overcome and it certainly isn’t something that’ll make me regret coming here. This place is far too intriguing to have something as miniscule as insanity thwart me.

However I wanted those who really can’t visualize the whole concept to see what we see. I took some time-lapsed pictures of the night (ha ha) sky over an 8 hour period last night. The only setting I had on the camera was Auto ISO. The shots are taken from our balcony with the first one at 8pm and the last being 3am.¬† I’ll do this once again on June 22nd – 23rd and we can compare the changes.

N-joy

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…and then along came Winter.

So having mocked our dear friends and family in their south over their snowfall hardships, Old Man Winter sneezed last night and let Suzanne and I know he’s beginning to stir. For the first time since we got here the temperature finally dipped well below freezing. It was nothing comparable to the bone-chilling temperatures the dear folks out at Baker Lake had to deal with, it still served notice to the both of us that this is real deal cold. I finally had a chance to break out my parka. As I set out to go meet Suzanne at Inuksugait I was met by some pretty vicious wind hitting me dead on the entire walk. The snow was lightly falling but with the wind gusts it felt like I was being sandblasted. I couldn’t tell if I was leaking out my nose or if it was just the snow melting on my facial fuzz but whatever it was froze into little ice clumps on my ‘stache. As I trudged along my glasses (which are scratched already and my only usable pair at the moment) fogged up only a block into the walk. I could hear almost inaudible crackling coming from around the frame so rather than risk my lenses popping out I had to remove my glasses and tuck them away.

This was only -17 c folks with a wind chill in the mid -20’s.

It was at that moment, as I had coyote fur whipping into my eyes that I realized this isn’t even a taste of what’s to come. That’s fine with me. I’d rather ease into this brutal cold like an old man getting into a warm bath rather than be violently introduced to some frigid -40 c or -50 c temperatures right off the bat. No I’m absolutely not regretting coming up here. In fact that taste of the cold invigorated me quite a bit. i was going a little batty being stranded in this bloody hotel for going on 3 weeks now so any chance I get to go outside – even if it’s wicked out – I take advantage of.

I have to say there definitely is a noticeable difference in the type of cold it is. It’s hard to explain. I’ve been told this is a polar desert region. If that means anything like it sounds (cuz I’m a doof and don’t get Suzanne’s geography terms most of the time) that’s pretty much exactly what it feels like. While it is snowing and what not, it feels exceptionally dry. I know… it’s contradictory but it’s something you have to experience in order to understand. Those who are used to that usual wet, humid winter snow will notice the difference right off the bat. Either way, the wind is what defines the cold up here. I went for a stroll to the NorthMART this morning to go grab a coffee and doughnut as well as some cat food for the monsters and I didn’t even need my parka this time. while it was -20c or so outside when I left, the wind wasn’t kicking around much at all so I was basically able to just throw my usual layered getup on and be fine. It’s cold out there but not bad at all. I even managed to wander back down to the coast before going to the store. The bay is finally starting to freeze and looks downright awesome. I snapped a couple of shots of the beautiful sunrise on the horizon form my usual favorite spot. The sights alone are enough to inspire…

I love the way the clouds just hang there...


I hope we keep getting sunrises like this...

My favorite boat spot...

As always, remember to visit the Photobucket Iqaluit Photo Diary to see all the pictures we take including the unpublished ones we don’t end up posting here.