Black Point

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    • Day 12

      Welcome to Pond Inlet … Nunavut, Canada

      August 9, 2022 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 46 °F

      Shortly after lunch, we arrived at our anchorage overlooking Pond Inlet — an 1800-strong Inuit hamlet that is known as Mittimatalik in the Inuktitut language. Names in the indigenous language are meant to be descriptive of the place. This one means “the place where the landing place is.”

      First up, clearing the ship and the passengers for entry into Canada. We had all completed our ArriveCAN apps and our passports were in the hands of the purser’s office. Thus, no action was required on our part. Alex, our Assistant Expedition Leader, went ashore with the zodiac and brought back the authorities. I understand each passport was reviewed and stamped as part of the process.

      At 3:00p, the announcement was made to say that the zodiacs were going into the water. The Fram group was advised to head to the ready room to get ready. And off we went. On the landing beach, we were warmly greeted by the local community members. After our names were checked off a manifest, we joined one of the many locals who would be acting as guides and escorting us around the hamlet.

      Our first stop was at a sod-house still under construction. Here, one of the women had prepared tea, using Arctic willow to build her fire. The fragrant smell had added a smoky flavor to the tea … interesting; would take some getting used to.

      Next we headed to the library where several locals had set up tables where they were selling their handmade wares. Inside the building was also a small museum with exhibits about hunting in the Arctic.

      Our walk continued through the village to a hilltop for views of the mountains on Bylot Island across the waterway of Pond Inlet. And then onward we went to the supermarket … more like a Walmart … very well provisioned. Chatting with one of the locals, we learned that fresh goods are shipped up several times a week and other goods are replenished with once-weekly shipments.

      The highlight of our visit was the stop we made at the community center. Here we were treated to a very special performance … a mini Inuit Games, if you will. These games consist of sport and cultural events. The participants are the circumpolar people who reside in communities/countries that border the Arctic Ocean. The games are intended to showcase activities that build endurance to survive the rigors of living in the harsh Arctic.

      (More info here …….)

      After the performance, we made our way back through the hamlet to the landing beach. Bidding “Tavvauvutit” [goodbye] to the friendly locals, we hopped back into the zodiacs and returned to the ship to wrap up our first day in the northern reaches of Baffin Island.

      We'll be continuing to play around the North Baffin area tomorrow.
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