Home View Blog

Canadian Arctic Expedition Blog

Sachs Harbour, NWT, August 14, 2013

posted August 15, 2013

The last full day in Sachs Harbour! A lot of running around, saying goodbyes, packing, trading stuff I don’t want to bring home, getting game export permits for muskox horns for carving, checking a few low priority items off my list. I visited the little building at the west end of town which still bears a sign “MUSEUM,” but which is actually a storehouse full of old mildewy clothes, furniture, and junk. But buried under the garbage I found the broken frame of a small home-built kayak or “open water boat” used in winter in the old days for retrieving seals from between the ice floes. It seems when the museum was disbanded, the boat was accidently left behind. Now that it has been re-discovered, I hope it will be restored and put on display at the Parks office.

Twice I have attended funerals here in Sachs Harbour. Today I was pleased to attend a wedding. It was pretty much the same as any wedding in the south except that virtually everyone in the community was there. The post-ceremony car-honking drive around the community was different! No cars, two trucks and a small flotilla of quads, ATVs, and Rangers. Oh yes, and someone spotted a polar bear heading towards town from the school gym door during the wedding “feast.” So of course half the crowd was out the door to look and a few left the feast to jump on ATVs for a closer look and to insure that the bear turned back the other way (which means by now it would be at our Mary Sachs site).

I have been having discussions here about how we can turn the results of this year’s research project into a product that can help the community by telling the story of the CAE, the Mary Sachs, and the schooner days. And hopefully increase the numbers of tourists wanting to come here.

The latest ice charts are still showing the heavy ice pushed against the west coast of Banks Island, from our farthest north at Terror Island, all the way up to the NW tip, the Gore Islands and Cora Harbour. No-one is finding the northern bones this year!!

Tomorrow will include a meeting at 9am, final packing and farewells, and a plane trip to Ulukhaktok (used to be called Holman; the name means place where you get ulu making material) on Victoria Island, before turning back to head south to Inuvik.

Next blog from Inuvik… if the weather holds!   David