Exploring Our Site

Posted On February 8, 2008

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Our freight didn’t arrive from Montreal today as expected. I hope it will arrive tomorrow, as we need to get our equipment unpacked and assembled. Meanwhile Helen, our PhD student, and I have been helping the people from Leeds and York Universities move their boxes from the airport to the research station and the site.

The airport is down by the Bay, and its single runway runs North-South along the shore. Our research site is a couple of miles north of the end of the runway, so the planes pass right over us. This has made it difficult to get permission to fly the tethered balloons and kites that carry our meteorological sondes at the research site, so I spent some time looking for alternate sites. The buildings and electric lines here on the edge of town make the research station itself a bad place to fly the instruments, but to the northeast is a barren hill that might be a good location.

Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui is located at the mouth of the Great Whale River (Poste de la Baleine).

 Map of Poste de la Baleine on the Hudson Bay

The research station is at the southeast edge of town, just uphill from the river. On the website is a photo of the research station, taken last summer. The two storey building is where we live and work. The top floor has rooms with bunk beds, and downstairs are labs. The building to its right is the mess hall, where we take our meals.  http://www.cen.ulaval.ca/english/station.html


Also in our missing freight is my really heavy expedition coat, about 20 pounds of down in a parka that reaches almost to my knees. I haven’t been cold yet, but I’ll need it for snowmobile travel or extended periods out on the ice. Today it was warmer than yesterday, about -15◦C midday, but the high winds made it seem much colder. Current weather where we are can be found here


I wear three long sleeve shirts under my coat, running tights and polarfleece sweatpants under my snowpants, two pairs of wool socks, two pairs of gloves, a balaclava, and a hat. The hat is leather with rabbit fur earflaps, so every time I see it lying on my bed, my first instinct is to pat it and say “Good dog”, because I think it is alive!


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