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Top 10 Travel Destinations Nunavut

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5 travelers at this place

  • Day454

    An actual Visitor---A human one!

    December 8, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ -26 °C

    Last week I had the great privilege of hosting my first visitor to Igloolik. My cousin, who was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where peaches and pecans sell on the side of the road, braved the cold and Journeyed to the North. I capitalize "journey" because as anyone that has traveled further north than Iqaluit knows, it is always a Journey with a capital J. lol.

    After traveling from Atlanta to Ottawa by way of Philadelphia and Toronto, he spent the night at the airport and then got the dismaying news that he would be spending an extra day in Ottawa. The jet had a dent in it. Apparently. Boeing said it was too big to fly safely. So, my cousin got his bag, hotel voucher, and left the airport. He put on his tourist hat and ventured to Parliament Hill in Ottawa and joined a tour to learn about Canadian governance and history. He had his first shawarma, a delicious wrap not unlike a gyro but yummier that originates from Lebanon. If you like garlic, you will like shawarma! He learned about the canal that runs through Ottawa and freezes in the winter providing an ice rink for all to enjoy.

    The next day, he tried again and experienced his first flight in which you walk out onto the tarmac, to board the plane...from the back. The front of the jet coming from Ottawa to Iqaluit is for cargo. The lack of roads or rail leaves only the planes to bring everything that is necessary to support thousands of people. Once in Iqaluit, he once again, walked across the tarmac to the 1-yr old new airport. There, he managed to not get lost in the 6 whole gates of the airport. The final leg of the journey is on a twin prop, 18 passenger plane sitting out on the tarmac.

    He boarded the plane that had been sitting, unheated on the tarmac for hours, and learned how cold a plane can get! Turns out it's a metal tube! Two hours later, a brief stopover in Hall Beach allowed him to see a town even smaller than Igloolik. Hall Beach is our neighbor with 800 residents that is reachable by skidoo during the winter on the sea ice with a 1.5-2hr ride. My cousin saw the one-room airport with baggage carousel that is a sheet of metal angled down so when the airline employee shoves the bags through a baggage door, the bags slide down the metal slide.

    Then, it was short 15 min flight to Igloolik. I picked him up and showed him the town which he remarked seemed bigger than he expected. Over the next days, we walked and experienced the shock and awe of grocery prices, of walking on sea ice, of realizing the sun was not going to crest over the horizon.

    He saw me gather and prepare dinner at 3pm because it felt later. He had his eyelashes frozen and frosted all of his clothing. He got to shovel snow for the first time as we unburied the qamatik that was going to be pulled behind a skidoo so we could out for a ride around the land. It turned out to be too windy for a good ride, so my cousin got his own personal chauffeured ride on the back of a friend's skidoo.

    He got to buy a local carved narwhal made from caribou antler. Great find since he'd been wanting one of those. He got to visit my work and see animal specimens that he may never get (or want) to see again. lol.

    We played bingo over the radio and lost. We went to a party and he wowed everyone with his knowledge of Nunavut and Inuktitut. I had no idea how he knew all that he did. He said he just read the magazines and talked to the people next to him on the plane. I mean, he came in rattling off towns like Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq while explained the pronunciation of Inuktitut letters. It was hilarious.

    We threw hot water in the air and watched it vaporize. We did this particular exercise at least 5 times. We saw great Northern Lights and he was shocked to learn (as we all are) that I live too far north for the best Northern Lights. (I personally think that is one of the best things to say to convey to someone just how far north Igloolik is----"well, to see the Northern Lights, we have to look South." bahahaha)

    He got to feel -40 with the we stood out there trying to take pictures of those Northern Lights. He quickly shifted to choosing the parka when the windchills got past -35C. He remarked as well that with the proper clothes, it is not bad. It is only bad for long periods of time or for exposed skin----it's not that my hands haven't been cold before---it just usually takes longer than 10 seconds.

    I am so lucky to have been able to share this with my family. A trip like this is not feasible for most and to have the stars align so that he could come was very cool.

    And of course the Journey couldn't be complete without a little leaving drama. His exit flight out of Igloolik was cancelled 5 days in advance. The auxiliary power unit that starts the planes after they've shut down in cold temps broke in the town north of us. Thus, no plane could leave there. My cousin's flights were canceled for 4 days. I guess that's the time it takes to get a replacement sent up. Rather than bank on the fact that they might or might not get the power unit replaced, I immediately booked him on the only other airline that serves here (though those airlines just merged a few months ago so after January, we will only have one airline----what could go wrong---nothing bad gonna happen with that situation. Sigh). We drove to the airport in somewhat foggy conditions not knowing if the plane would make it out. The plane was fully booked. They landed in Igloolik and my cousin safely left in a fuzzy, dusky morning.
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  • Day483

    How not to volunteer

    January 6, 2019 in Canada ⋅ 🌬 -27 °C

    Christmas was surprisingly tolerable by myself, largely because I wasn't by myself. My family and friends made sure of that! I spent a lot of time on the phone and messaging while also bee-bopping to various gatherings at other people's houses that decided to stay through the holidays.
    I also saw a post on the town's facebook page asking for volunteers to help put together the food and toy hampers for needy families and children on Christmas Eve. I thought, "that will be a perfect way to congratulate myself for being a great and caring human while investing little to no time. Perfect!" So, on Christmas Eve I showed up at the elementary gym at the facebook-indicated time and discovered that my little idea of showing up for, ummmm, maybe a half-hour, was sorely wrong.
    There was a TON of stuff that needed to be sorted and arranged and prepared into the gift bags for each of the 900 children on a list that the organizers had. 0_o 900?! The town's population is only 1,500! Holy moly. After about 3 hours of doing more activity than I've done in months, I left to have lunch. When I returned, the food had arrived which was donated by private individuals, companies and groups. Four hundred 20 lb turkeys. Enough so every household in Igloolik could have a turkey dinner. Do you know what 400 turkeys looks like laid out in a school gym? We were like the images you see of volunteers passing sandbags to shore up homes and towns against rising floodwaters. Potatoes were unloaded off pickup trucks in 50lb bags. Turkeys were offloaded in 60-80 lb boxes. Stuffing, cranberry sauce, and rice came in. It was incredible. When I stopped to think about it, it became more incredible given our location.
    The food drive is sponsored by a not-for-profit organization called "Feed Nunavut". Their objective is to ease food insecurity in the North. Surveys find that a full 70% of Northern families skip a meal at least once per month. This organization spotlights every year a few projects to focus donations on for folks wanting to do that sort of thing. Igloolik's holiday food and toy drive is one such project. Most of the toys and gifts came from Southern Canada donations and even a few United States donations as well. But what is impressive is that for the food, people give money and then someone here in Igloolik has to figure out how to buy the food in Ottawa, get it shipped here, pick it up at the airport, store it somewhere, and then bring it to the gym. This is a feat anywhere, but in Igloolik!! Even more so. A company started here in Igloolik, Arctic Fresh, donated their money, time, and resources. They bought the turkeys at cost in Ottawa and stored them in their warehouse in Ottawa. Then, the airlines of Canadian North and First Air (not sure which one donated) donated, or heavily discounted the freight up here. I mean, can you imagine the cost to ship 8,000 lbs of turkeys? It costs $500 to ship 100lbs down south.
    More volunteers met the freight at the airport and unloaded all those potatoes, turkeys, stuffing, etc, by hand. BY HAND. Then, stored it and unloaded it again at the gym where volunteers started putting together the fixins for the turkey dinner. They laid out a turkey every 1-2ft in the gym and then a bag of potatoes which had been prepared by the volunteers divvying up the larger 50lb bags of potatoes. Stuffing and other fixings came next. Finally, there were supposed to be mandarin oranges.
    Ah, the mandarin oranges....such a nice gesture.....if they hadn't been right at their expiration and rotten! One of the volunteers discovered that many of the donated boxes of mandarins were terribly rotten, to the point that the boxes were sometimes leaking putrefied orange juice. Someone in charge made the decision that we could not, in good conscience, give these rotten things to people. So, we had to go through, by hand, every single box and separate the good oranges from the bad. Wow. Tedious. Let me offer some unsolicited advice: when volunteering, do not open the box of oranges. Assume they are good and be secure in your altruism and holiness. Otherwise, you will spend hours hunkered over fruit trying to not put your fingers through one more rotten orange and sneeze from the aerosolizing mold.
    Finally, all the dinners had to be bagged or boxed for delivery. The hamlet agreed to allow their school bus to be driven around for deliveries and the school bus driver volunteered to spend his Christmas Eve driving around house to house.
    It was impressive to see all the work and time that went into the whole operation. I gave up the ghost at 5:30pm and returned home with achy feet and a very tired back. I was sore for 3 days. I laughed at my grand plan to feel good about myself backfiring when I actually had to work. I should have just donated money and stayed on the couch. That's a smarter move. That's your second lesson ladies and gentlemen. First lesson is: no mandarin oranges. Second: write a check.
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  • Day545

    Greasy bones mess up labeling

    March 9, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ -28 °C

    Before we begin, please allow me to share the good news that my toilet and plumbing have been working with perfection since I last wrote. Yep, turns out getting to the cause of a problem rather than just treating the symptom gets you a consistently flushing toilet!

    Currently at work, there is actually almost a full complement of staff in our group. This is practically unprecedented. It has been fantastic for allowing the jobs and tasks to be done properly. It also has allowed me time to try and work backwards and try to address some of the shambles. It's clear that previous staff were doing their best, but with limited capacity, it is not physically possible to do the job fully. We all know this. Put out the fire and leave the building a wreck.

    Once such shamble relates to bacula. Improperly boiled penis bones, like any bone, seeps oil and grease over time. All those bones at the museums we've all seen are the product of meticulous, tedious boiling/macerating/cleaning/etc. It's not an easy task. So yesterday, I walk in and pull out a big plastic bag of greasy bacula from the "f**cked up" box. Yes, we have a box for all the f**k ups no one knows what to do with. I ask what the deal is and I'm told that the markings identifying the individual bear that the bone belongs to was not properly written on the baculum and thus, got smudged off with the ensuing greasiness. Now, the task is to take each of these bacula and examine them under a microscope to see if we can make out any faint, etched ID marks. Huh. That is what my life is now? Taking greasy penis bones and examining them under microscopes. Cool.

    You just never know what type of "problems" have to be solved here.

    For the last couple months, we've had a student intern. She is in college for biotechnology and it is solely designed to teach students all lab procedures, equipment, and assays so they can go get a job in a lab anywhere doing most anything. She wanted to come North and cut up teeth to try and age animals. Part of her work has been helping me establish a repeatable, understandable process for inventorying extra teeth. Typically, only 1 tooth is necessary to get an age. But, we ask for 2 because sometimes 1 breaks, etc. Teeth also have dental ligament tissue surrounding them that we've purposefully left on. This is because if an animal is harvested but there is no tissue available to run DNA for identity, the dental ligament could work. So, our student has been pulling off hundreds of old, sometimes rotted, tooth ligament tissue from individual teeth. I walk in the lab and it smells of death. She looks up and grins with a pair of pliers in one hand. "This is SO fun!" she exclaims. "But, I think I have rotted tissue on my sweater cause it sometimes flicks off. But that's okay!"
    Huh. Okay cool. I walk out again.

    Rotted teeth tissue. Greasy bones. I think I'll go run stats.
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  • Day519

    Toilet travails

    February 11, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ -33 °C

    It's been a while since I posted and quite frankly, it's because I've been in a sour mood. Why, you wonder? Well, dear readers, allow me to oblige you....

    Toilet troubles.

    That's why.

    Nothing will make me want to leave, quit, fight, burn the house down more than a consistent, unresolved, non-functioning sewer system.

    It started back in January shortly after the New Year. January 6th to be precise. I knew something was odd before then because the toilet wasn't flushing normally. Then, no flush. Frozen. I left the 9th with a toilet that still wasn't functioning.

    I returned on the 21st to a semi-functioning toilet. One that would burble, gurgle, and erupt like a geyser upon flushing. Yep, that's neat. But don't worry, I was told this was normal because they removed a vent pipe. Again, that's neat.

    Typically, the pipes here have a heat trace line that runs alongside them then a thick layer of insulation around them both. Finally, the pipes and insulation are boxed in by plywood. Well, when they "fixed" my pipes, they didn't bother to reinsulate or box the pipes back in. I bet you can guess what happened next!

    Pipes stopped working at all a few days after I returned on the 21st. I did not have functioning toilet until January 31st. It was a damn damn good thing they started working that day because at 5am in the morning, I awoke with a fierce stomach virus. It was brutal. My body expelled all its stomach and intestinal contents violently until there was nothing but bare bags and tubes of organs inside. I have never been so grateful for a functioning toilet as then and I was so scared every time I'd hurl from one end or the other that that flush would be the toilet's last.

    The toilet worked for Feb 1 and 2. I left the morning of the 3rd, still nursing a wounded digestive system (for supreme fun--have a stomach virus and take 4 flights back to back to back to back from Igloolik to Edmonton for 12 hours with no time to stop at an airport bathroom).

    I have just returned from Edmonton last night. I got two flushes in. The third failed. I have no working toilet again. Despite a call to the emergency line, no one came today from the Housing Corp, whose responsibility it is to keep these units working. They didn't call, they didn't leave a note, nothing. Nothing.

    I may burn the whole place down.
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  • Day636

    Do you Seal what I See?

    June 8, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    The summer melt is full upon us here in Igoolik and with it brings much surprises at what lay underneath that obscuring blanket of snow for 8 months. Lots of pooled water that the kids absolutely love. Sometimes makes getting from your front door to some dry land a bit tricky. Rubber boot season.
    Where the snow is gone and the water is gone, we’re left with mostly trash underneath, unfortunately. The snow acts a great eraser. The 8 months of winter creates a giant layer cake with snow layers alternating with trash layers. It’s extremely effective. During the winter, the town landscape appears pristine. The ugly reality of non-degrading objects becomes painfully obvious at this time of year. I think the contrast between the impossible cleanliness the snow imparts and the accumulation of 8 months of dumping is what makes the change seem so stark. There is everything from dirty diapers to snowmobile parts. From the banal cigarette butts to the shocking dog carcasses. My pictures on here show a full seal just chilling in the trash. Looks perfectly edible to me. Not sure why it was there. It’s like the curtain got pulled back from the Wizard.
    Every year the community organizes a clean-up and there is good participation. Last year, the person that collected the most cigarette butts received quite a monetary reward—can’t remember how much, but it was probably pretty good because the monetary rewards/incentives here are usually pretty darn good. Unfortunately, the clean-up has to wait until the snow has all melted and the pooling lakes and mud have dried.
    This isn’t aimed at being negative about the town. It is a fact. There are no municipal services that clean the streets or remove general waste and garbage other than what is in the plywood garbage bins outside each house. In a place where you can’t go to the local home hardware store or Ski-Doo parts store to get things, many people’s land surrounding their home looks like a junk yard. Broken and discarded objects of any type you can imagine are there, just waiting for the time that a throttle cable is needed or a 2 inch hex head bolt. You never know.
    It makes me think of 2 things: 1. The unsung work of municipal/city works that keep your cities and neighborhoods looking clean is like a mother running the household behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly without ever getting the credit she deserves. And 2. The impact humans have on the landscape when we live in a place. I had a coworker that went to Myanmar during the Rohingya refugee crisis. He went there not to provide aid to the people or help the people live, but to assess the dramatic impact the almost instantaneous flood of 400,000 people had into an area with no infrastructure. The refugees had to dig latrines and wells. They dug them very close to one another because, well, that is convenient and there are no codes/bylaws. The refugees need fuel to cook with and heat their shacks with so they cut the surrounding forest to nothing. Mudslides ensued---Onto the refugee camps. It was an aspect of human inhabitation that I never really paid much attention to, and definitely not one I thought about in terms of an unplanned, inundation of people into an area.
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  • Day8

    Off Devon Island

    August 30, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 3 °C

    Leaving Terror Bay we hugged the coast heading West to Bradstock Bay

    The fossil collected is some 400,000,000 years (400 million) moved by teutonic plate from a warm tropical sea to this Arctic DesertRead more

  • Day9

    Dundas Harbour

    August 31, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 4 °C

    Site of an archeological Thule Dwelling at Morin Point which was hard to decipher, even with Linda’s guidance

    After that we boarded the Zodiacs again to ? and walked over to Johnson Bay the site of the RCMP station which closed 1950’s, not a good story for the Inuits, or the Canadians come to that!

    So, just how many people do we know who’s had a ‘pee’ here!?

    Departed at 12:30 heading West, then North, to Ellesmere Island
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  • Day13

    Fecham Harbour in Buchan Gulf

    September 4, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 3 °C

    1 view from window
    Mother and two cubs...dots in distance unsupervised walk in foreground

    Lainey found several archeological sites of some interest, not shared by Linda unfortunately, but we enjoyed them!

    Polar Plunge this afternoon, and we got a badge...ooooh!
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  • Day12

    Philpots Island

    September 3, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 2 °C

    We’re in Bethune Inlet just off Queen Bay the Island is quite barren but off our port side there is a huge glacier which deserves some investigation

    We spent the morning out on the Zodiacs, we saw Walrus on the rocks and sitting in the shallows for a while before moving onto a breakwater and watching Arctic Terns feeding which was lively and sadly difficult to photo after which we spent circling the icebergs and glacier, which was quite a size

    Our Zodiac Pilot was Tua a really lovely guy who’s from the Cook Islands and who’s giving a lecture this afternoon on, ‘Viking and Polynesians - Early Day Explorers’ (Voyaging and Navigation)

    We departed Philpots Island at 12:30 for Bucane Bay heading into Lancaster Sound, ‘Silver Cloud’ is some 12 miles off our starboard and we headed into a misty sea which has now (16:48) become quite heavy so little to see out there
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  • Day9

    Flexibility is the only ability.

    September 19, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    That's right. I'm not in Igloolik right now. That's because last Friday I got a call from someone I did not yet know wondering if I was headed down to help with the field crew. Ummm, nope. I kinda knew that wasn't the end of it and sure enough, yesterday, on Monday, I got the call to come to Iqaluit and be prepared to go anywhere for anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks. The person watching Dubby said as he dropped me off at the airport, "See you in 45 days." And, I think that sums it up.
    I arrived here and man, oh man, did this town of about 8000-9000 seem HUGE! Bustling. Busy. Whoa! So many stores. There is even a chiropractic store. I'm staying in a B&B for goodness sakes (albeit, a B&B where you make your own breakfast and I'm pretty sure I'm sharing the same bathroom as the people that live there...). There are multiple RESTAURANTS and PAVED roads. I'm tellin ya, this place is big time.
    I arrived and got some lunch and then went about to try and find the department I'd been directed to. Mind you, I did not get an address and could not find an address online. I just figured if I asked around, eventually I could find it. When I actually arrived, at HQ, actually, they thought I was a bit crazy to just have wandered around until I found it. But, oddly enough, they all knew me (well, the front desk didn't--they thought I was crazy), but the HR and travel staff did. Pretty funny. I wasn't able to tell them anything about what I needed or what my plans were because I actually do not know. Literally just told to get down here and go to HR. Hilarious. The HR manager drives me over to where I'm actually supposed to be and there is a couple people in there that exclaim when I am escorted in, "Oh Jasmine! We've been looking for you! We went down to your B&B and you weren't there!" Lol. That's because I was wandering around Iqaluit trying to figure out where I was supposed to be.
    Tomorrow I get an orientation AND maybe even a tour. Then, off to get kitted out for the field. No idea folks. No idea.

    Lesson: flexibility is the only ability...especially in my current situation.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Nunavut, NU, نونافوت, ܢܘܢܐܒܘܛ, Нунавут, Νούναβουτ, Nunavuto, نوناووت, Nûnavût, נונאווט, Նունավուտ, Núnavút, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ, ヌナブト準州, ნუნავუტი, 누나부트 준주, Nunavutas, Nunavuta, नुनाव्हुत, Náhookǫsjí Hakʼaz Dineʼé Bikéyah, ਨੂਨਾਵੁਤ, نناوت, Nunavute, Nunavuts, நூனவுட், นูนาวุต, 努那活, 努納武特

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