Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fiona Reaches Resolute

Fiona arrived in the small Inuit hamlet of Resolute the morning of Tuesday, 4 Aug. In an email from Russ this evening he writes, "We're stuck in Resolute for a while. Eric was kind of thinking about heading south to 'wait it out,' 'it' being the ice melt. Last night's talk with the Enviro Canada pilots and ice experts convinced him otherwise. They said the lower Peel/Franklin won't begin to be passable by regular vessels for 'two to three weeks.' They have been up here long enough to have a grasp on these things. Unless something interesting develops this may be our turning point. We may be heading back from here in a week or two. We'll see." ~DH~

From Russ Roberts journal entry of 8/5/09:

Holed up in Resolute, we wait.  The ice situation 100 miles south in the Peel Sound and beyond prevents passage.  The Transport Canada people who fly the DHC-7 (or Dash 7, the same "Transport 922" from the Beechey overflight) on patrol, told us last night that we could expect 2 to 3 weeks before the ice opens.  This would put Fiona in a position of not getting beyond Alaska before it freezes up.

That dims prospects.  If we are to return to Greenland I would rather leave the boat and fly out of here.  My desire does not include turning around, backtracking where I have already been.  But I told Eric I am around until the beginning of September, so I have time to stick around and see what happens.

Yesterday I e-mailed everyone from the South Camp Inn here in Resolute.  Azzi, a Pakistani from Tanzania, moved to Resolute thirty one years ago.  It is his home name.  He married an Inuit and has children.  He is something of a kingpin in town.  When you want something done like getting diesel fuel, accessing the Internet, arranging heavy construction or having a meal, you see Azzi.  This seems to prove that in the middle of what seems like nowhere, a person can carve out financial success.  Azzi is, I am almost certain, the only man on Cornwallis Island who drives a Mercedes.  Even though it is a sensible 4 wheel drive "go in the snow" machine, it is a 'Benz.  Everyone else here seems to like Chevys.

Today we will pull Fiona close to shore.  Azzi has a 100 feet long fuel hose.  Since there is twenty feet of water to within a few feet of the beach, we can get close and put the diesel into the tanks without having to shuttle the fuel out in jerry cans.  Before that, though, Eric wants to "sound" the area using the inflatable dingy.  It looks like something of a "make-work" project to me.  However, it is certainly not a wrong thing to do.  More information is better than not enough.  Eric, though, seems the kind of man who always wants to be doing something.  An engineer, I do not think he is rewarded by the contemplative life.

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