Thursday, June 30, 2011
Not sure why we were there, just for the craic I guess.
Did not hear any grumblings about time of night, the weather was OK, +4 and calm, but the fog was there but unsighted.
Good group of Labradorians on board along with less than a handful of tourists and maybe a handful of research types.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Any tourists on board must be a little miffed, only one hour in each port and some in the dead of night.
Local people who have freight on board must be a little miffed having to get up, make sure staff are up etc.
Crew just have to grin and bear it as that is what they signed up for.
One more, cant forget this fella, no name but one of the 'outdoor' dogs. Never barks and look friendly.
OK, all is well, things working again as they should.
Vell vell, uploaded from Picasa OK, but not from desktop.
Mostly sunny this AM, no fog to report, nice. Trying to unload some pictures from yesterday but Blogger is on the fritz.
The minister for transport was un-available to talk to
Should be interesting as host [for one more day] Cindy replayed an older interview with the minister on the introduction of
Lots of mentions of DU DELERGENCE, assurances asked, and assurances given by the new operators, that service would not be downgraded from the previous.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Labrador Mornings Cindy Wall interviewed Dave Chaulk, a principal with CAI-Nunatsiavut Marine, this morning. No audio up yet, but if it does pop up I will link it.
Main topic was the troubles with the freighter Dutch Runner.
Mr. Chaulk seems to have a genuine concern for the problems and expressed a keen interest in solving the issues.
Some should have been foreseen, like the height of the vessel in relation to the height of the docking faculties in each community. To be fair this may not been in Mr. Chaulks mandate; it is definitely in the provincial minister of transports mandate. Cindy said she will try getting hold of the minister for his comments.
Then again there is room for caution in Mr. Chaulks comments. Like when he said the Dutch Runner was more suitable for heavy cargos like steel and such. In all the blurbs and available photos on the owners site ‘
So the bottom line is they are going to attempt to weigh the vessel down with a full load of fuel and ballast in containers for the next run. Plus send fork lifts and drop trailers into each community.
My birdie tells me that the fork lifts will not be suitable for the conditions on the coast, time will tell.
Speaking of Cindy Wall; oh Cindy is retiring this week. Cindy started at
We will miss her cheery voice and bubbly persona for sure, best of luck for the future Cindy.
Monday, June 27, 2011
The down side to all that is; only one drop trailer on board, this had new ski doos on it.
With 8 sea-cans for Nain it meant that they will be off loaded by crane onto the dock.
What happens then was up in the air at the time I was down at dock. They cant be left on the dock, so maybe they will have to be dragged off the dock to the lay-down area as happened in Makkovik.
It took years to developed a system to ship goods to the coast the most effective and efficient manner given the circumstances.
Bringing sea-cans into each community without a method of moving them around [drop-trailers] is a big step backwards.
For Nain alone at least 16 drop trailers are required [it is not unusual for up to40 containers to be dropped off on any one run into Nain], plus whatever the other communities require.
Lets hope this is just teething problems and things will be sorted out as the season progresses, remembering that the season is awfully short.
Pictures below show the stern and loading ramp of the Dutch Runner, plus sea-cans on a trailer that belongs to the previous operator.
The picture below shows what happened in Makkovik on the run up the coast. The sea-cans had to be dragged off the concrete wharf [by Makkovik council equipment] and placed in the gravel topped lay-down area.
Update: The first sea-can off was unloaded and then dragged off the wharf sans Makkovik. The drop-trailer on board was taken off, the ski doos unloaded and then two sea-cans were being dropped[not literally] onto it.
That is where it is at at 11:30. Plus the removal of some vehicles that were on board.
A little word the wise at CIA-Nunatsiavut: If you are going to load and off load sea-cans with that 4 point system then your load masters need some instruction on loading sea-cans in the correct manner.
The first sea-can off this morning had damaged freight in it. It would be a good idea not to load two pallets of pop at the front of the sea-can with lighter freight at the rear.
It is not all negative for CIA-Nunatsiavut Marine. There is the promised computerized fright tracking system. The aforementioned new sea-cans. The updated boat location section on their web sight, even if they were a bit overoptimistic with first stating that there would be a 2 hour turn around at each northern port.
As previously mentioned the Northern Ranger has a lot of changes and upgrades. It just seems that the fright boat system has not been fully thought out. The people of Nunatsiavut do not deserve going back in time, joint venture Inuit company or not.
Upertydate: NO, not good enough Provincial Government and CIA-Nunatsiavut Marine.
Northern Ranger departure from Goose Bay first delaid to 4 pm today, now it is delaid untill 10 am Tuesday according to what the passengers who have to get off the boat are saying.
First the Dutch Runner debacle now this.
Upertydatedate: Now we are bordering on the ridicules folks. it is going on 7 Pm, the Dutch Runner is still at the dock in Nain. Been there just under 12 hours now. It delivered 8 sea-cans and several vehicles. Loaded 3 sea cans that were at lay down area plus some of the sea-cans it offloaded this morning.
Time for some of the infamous Provincial Government due diligence, due diligence that should have been undertaken before the contract was awarded to CIA-Nunatsiavut.
Miserable day for sure yesterday, and it continues into today. It was so miserable that Siutik had no interest on going out as per her schedule, except for bathroom breaks she was content to lay around all day. Who could argue with that.
There was at least one plane that arrived in under the fog and cloud.
The mv Dutch Runner is scheduled to arrive Nain 7 this morning. It has been a leaning curve for the new operators of the vessels, one that costs people on the coast dearly.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
As usual reality bites you in the arse quick up here, cloudy and light rain with temps predicted to be constant at + 6 today.
Couple of anecdotes from last week: Out Zoar at the re burial ceremony.
The gathering had moved from the spot where speeches and such were carried out to the spot where the grave was located. During the re burial ceremony people noticed two black bears in the vicinity. One bear was sitting and observing in the very area just vacated.
Not sure about Inuit but black bears at funerals/burials play a role in Innu mythology.
Then talking to some visitors from Iqaluit, who observed that Nain was decidedly cleaner in general than their home town. They were particularly impressed with the cleanliness and operation of the Northern store and the low level of litter around the streets.
Which is a darn side better than what seems to be going on at the Northmart in Iqaluit.
Goes to show eh?
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
The kudos go to the refurbishment of the Northern Rangers passenger lounge, expanded staff, the helpfulness of the staff, expanded cafeteria hours and expended menu. All of these changes have been confirmed by a recent traveler.
On the kvetching side one would be remiss if the bad start to the freighter mv Dutch Runner was not mentioned.
I can’t think of the last time a freight boat was so late in arriving. It has been over two weeks since the Rangers first run into Nain, yet still no freight boat.
Mechanical problems delayed the first run up the coast in Goose Bay. Once it departed Goose Bay it was RECALLED back to Goose after unloading in Rigolett.
Now this may not all be the fault of CIA-Nunatsiavut, but it is sure indicative of the inept way marine shipping has been run for many a year.
One would think that all players; retailers, wholesalers, shipping companies etc. would have a good grasp of the logistics of shipping up this way by now.
Hopefully the winkles will be ironed out; I have heard that a new MODERN computerized tracking system for freight is in the works, which should help consumers on the coast and, retailers specially, know exactly where freight is.
In past years it was impossible to track freight once it was dropped off at marine receiving centers. It resulted in much confusion and he said she said situations.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I’m still here, flue is clearing [I hope] just like the fog.
Fog looked bad yesterday morning but cleared enough early for the long liners and speed boats to ferry the 80 to 90 people over to Zoar for the internment of the 22 Inuit remains.
Long day for some [live people] leaving at six and returning at about 8. Nice sunny day though.
Bit of a ceremony followed by the re burial followed by a picket fence and monument erected.
Emotional for some Inuit and solemn for all others.
John and David Terriak were two of the very few who new there relative [great grandfather] was among the interned.
Photo credits to Alana Johns, Linguistics Department University of Toronto.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I picked up a guest at strip about 3. Later in the evening we had visitors from Iqaluit drop in. They seemed enamored by the number of planes coming in to land.
Lotsa folks in town [upwards of 70 and as high as 100 I have heard] for the big event tomorrow; the re burial of Inuit bones out at the abandoned community of Zoar.
Here is a link on the bones via a commenter.
And today is National Aboriginal day, events and games planed all day.
Monday, June 20, 2011
No freight boats by the look of it either for awhile. One has to wonder how long the Governments lets this go on before making any comments.
Busy times in Happy Valley Goose bay over the weekend. A Lufthansa jet did an emergency stop over.
Fire destroyed a pizza place Saturday night then fire destroyed the offices of NLHC last night.
On the coast three people whose boat floundered and hit the rocks were lifted to safety by Rescue squad 305 out of 444 Gander.
You can listen to an interesting interview with one of the rescued here.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I replanted some tomatoes, leaf vegetables and herbs in the greenhouse. Have a heater in there for now, see how things go. I usually become impatient and put things out too early. That or the weather does not co operate.
Fog rolled in thick in the evening.
Fog looks like it might lift early this morning.
Pictured above is our repast of last evening. It has been a few years since our last Montreal smoked meat meal in that city. From memory I did not do a bad job of emulating that famous meal, for sure the multi grain bread is superior as is the coleslaw. Or is that just me being modest.
Update: I was wrong about fog lifting. It did look like it early, about 600 Ft, staid like that for a bit but then light rain and the fog dropped to 500 to 400. On our walk a plane flew over at 2 PM, could have gotten down at that time I think, but not now.
Good afternoon to watch the US open golf.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
While up taking shots from on high planes came out of the blue in quite a rush. Three in a short space of time.
Just back from airstrip seeing Carter and his mom off, back home to daddy. Good to have them here for the three weeks.
Cleared off nicely, the in wind keeps things a bit cool but away from the water [yep almost not ice now, just along the shore mainly] it is nice and warm, relatively speaking.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Hany way thought this story of the new twin otters going to Peru interesting. Who knows maybe one day we will have new jobs to fly in, not that there is anything wrong with the ones we have. All the planes are reliable and the pilots first class.
If this is legit then this Russian woman is one brave lady. Not sure about the captivity part, but then the way we are going about damaging the environment unabated maybe animals in captivity will be the only ones that survive.
She reminds me of the Sedna legend.
The photo I took the other day while shooting the Northern Ranger. I asked these two young guys what the pegs topped with color were. They ran over and reported it was a spring where people had been accessing water. Quite the climb but sure clean and pristine.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Plus the ice and one of the famous "polar bear of Nain". Must give the mythology behind that when time permits.
So much excitement and lots of people at the dock as boat arrived. Not as many as in many past years, but not shabby either.
After docking and checking of people disembarking [non that I saw], and unloading of freight [non aboard] the dock then all but cleared of people leaving it to the crew and wharfingers [non hired as yet].
Some may wonder; whats it all about then? Well it is about tradition, right of summer, socializing for some. After the long winter any break in the norm is good.
Of course them days the first boat meant freight and passengers and one time the Spanish flue. With modern transport and phones and the internet it is not important for freight and contacts, but I am glade the tradition continues.
In related marine news: The new ship on the block mv Dutch Runner is having a spot of mechanical problems.
Nothing new for the fine folks of the Labrador ships breaking down, but lets hope it is not an ominous sign for the new ship. What is new is the the company puts it out there and is not hiding the difficulties like companies of old.
Yesterdays weather was not very good, no planes, today it is worse with no planes.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I figure similar excitement would ensure up here if an oriole or a blue jay pitched up on Nain hill.
According to the shipping update the Norther Ranger may attempt to get into Nain today. Looking out the harbor a doubt that, still lots of ice, then again depends on the new operators I guess.
We were aboard one year when she went through some growler ice outside, bumping them out of the way, but that is nothing like we have in the harbor.
Seems the plans to divert water from another source into the towns system are on hold at the moment. It has cleared up for sure, still I feel a report from the Department of health or some such authority would not go astray.
We still have a state of emergency, boil water order still in effect. Council going to do some more flushing of water lines today to see if this helps the chlorination unit work correctly.
Asked why this situation happened, the mayor promptly lumped all the blame on the engineers and the construction company [without mentioning their names or mentioning engineers or construction companies].
“We pay good money for these civil works and companies are going to have to pay more attention to how they go about things” or words to that effect.
It will be Friday before the next update by the sound of it, then it
Incidentally, the reverse osmosis system that Northern had in place gave up the ghost some 3-4 weeks ago, about the time the water started to go dirty. It is still out of operation.
Something like that would help with cost and litter potential of bottles. But then someone recently mentioned to me that I expect too much. Jokingly or half jokingly or what I don’t know.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
For sure the water has cleared up significantly from seven days ago, it is almost perfectly clear but up to last evening it still had that earthy odor to it.
This morning the chlorine odor is back, with is more like normal.
I have not had a drink [filtered through Brita] of the tap water for weeks and will hold off for some time I would think.
NICG dropped another 24 bottles off yesterday, not sure how the 'fix' is progressing, not heard hide nor hair from any source.
The harbor ice has broken up and shifting back and forth with wind and tides. Not long now for our 'first boat'.
Hopedale had an oil boat in last week. The freight boat Dutch Runner is heading for there on its first run up the coast.
Not sure if the Northern Ranger will get this far on first northern run.
Monday, June 13, 2011
But I would like to attempt through 22 pictures to show something of what caused the situation with our water supply these past weeks.
I did not take any photos when the situation was building, it was inevitable and was only dealt with towards the last of the snow melt.
Moderate rain then added to the run off.
To be fair there was most likely nothing that could have been done at that time. Any mitigating should have been foreseen and a larger effort done to minimize the mud, dirt, silt from reaching the dam back last fall.
Pictured top right are scenes from the brook that runs into the dam from higher sources. It is virtually untouched by man so it does not pick up much silt and muck in the early spring run off. It then clears to pristine water come summer.
The pictures at left show the original construction efforts to "minimize" silt and dirt heading towards the dam. You can see how large amounts of slit and mud were washed down towards the dam.
The first half of the road to its height naturally runs down towards the dam, so it was inevitable that large run off would occur come spring.
Luckily we did not receive a large snow fall, but enough to make the mitigating efforts all but useless.
The NICG did some digging and fixing early last week to divert some of the run off that was heading into the dam.
You can see one of the culverts blocked with plywood at right.
Water run off channeled through former sand pit to the brook below the existing dam. This then flows down stream to the older dam then on into the harbor.
It seems that the intent was to run much of the run off from the construction this way, alas mother nature intervened with lack of snow and freezing of culverts etc. preventing this.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Ice fishing and modeling sneakers [it was rubber boot conditions] at Trouser Lake.
Trouser lake will be the new water supply for the town.
The fishers said the ice is still up to two feet deep most parts.
Carter enjoying the sunshine and the goings on of the air boat out on the ice.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Finished off nicely with a slow brazed arm of caribou with vegetables. The smoked bacon added a nice earthy tone.
No, the earthy tone was not from the water, I used bottled water actually.
Speaking of water; some may argue that the authorities were a bit slow on the uptake on the town’s water situation.
But after they did pick up on it things started to move along nicely. Not sure how many agencies played a role; NICG took the lead with assistance from Department of health at NG, provincial municipal affairs, RCMP [flying in some of the bottle water].
I am missing some but their efforts are much appreciated.
The original targeted group for supply of bottled water has been extended to the whole community. Not sure how long that will go on, it will be Monday before any fix to the town water supply according to reports.
An offshoot to supplying thousands of 500Ml bottles of water is what to do with the used bottles.
NICG distributed a flyer with the 2 cases delivered. It urged people to recycle the bottles, and if the household did not usually recycle then they are asked to contact the NICG and they will come pick them up.
As an aside; I have not read or heard any statement from people at the provincial Department of Labrador and Aboriginal affairs on the water issue. I could have missed it; Municipal Affairs have been involved but no news if the other two played a role of even if they give a rat’s arse.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
From that high angle the hills dwarf the twin otter sure.
I will try to stamp all my future photos, though time constraints might prevent that occasionally.
I was sitting watching here & Now last evening, a piece on the water situation came on. Then lo n behold a picture of mine came up on the screen. Then it cut away then another two pictures of mine came up on the screen.
Kind of nice to have CBC use my pictures, but no credit given and no ask was asked.
CBC Labrador Morning TOOK one of the photos mentioned above and used it on their web sight, but credit was given. Lab Morning usually don't ask anymore, and I am OK with that.
I know that photos but up on the internet can be taken and used by anyone and their dog, but silly me thought maybe our national broadcaster may have the decency to ask, especially the regional news cast.
Update: This is the first regional coverage of the water situation, which is not going to improve anytime soon with this wet weather.
And just had two x 24 x 500ml cases of water delivered to door courtesy of Nain Inuit Community Government and delivered by Nunatsiavut dept of health.
Thanks for that folks.
NICG declares state of emergency for Nain after meeting with Provincial Department of Municipal Affairs people.
Twin Otter load of bottled water arrives in Nain to be distributed by Department of health of Nunatsiavut Government to children under 2, elderly and those with medical conditions.
Equipment on the way to somehow divert the water supply so that it can be filtered, no details on that yet.
Will take at least two days to get things sorted out the mayor says.
Rain with up to 15 mm forecasted is now underway.
I would anticipate a delay on any fix to the water problem, plus new run off will add to the problem.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Frans memory of the day is not that great, but it was winter of 1953.
Fran and brother Boas at front, grandparents behind them.
Then Isac and Verona and then two of Verona's sisters.
Pity about Isac's head not being in the shot.
The weather cleared up nice yesterday to sunny and warm, +10 is warm for us. Fog is back this morning but if it ends up like yesterday then no complaints.
The ice should not last much longer, bit of wind from the land should give it what for.
I had some good shots of the ice and of a plane approaching taken up Nain hill after a walk up the pole line at back.
What used to be a steep but pleasant meandering foot track has been tuned into a quagmire of mud and exposed rocks and degradation from spring run off.
Like out present water problems it is not a natural phenomenon. Again it is caused by man and his total disregard for the environment in his quest for the almighty dollar.
Shame in them and shame on us for letting it happen.
Wow, that was quick, fog burning off already.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Fran arrived back home yesterday morning, Siutik was sure glad to see her, as I.
Five minutes after arrival Fran gone down to see Carter and his mom, Siutik left looking around the house.
But all was well in the evening with Siutik back into her routine of laying right under Fran’s feet. Siutik refused to lay in that spot when Fran not around.
Water is still light brownish. Council must have done some flushing of the lines late yesterday evening, not a lot of grit but color and the smell is still there.
I spoke to the town manager, they were already on the job doing some checks and picture taking up the new road way.
It sounds like the contractors and or the engineers are in the old deny mode, par for the course unfortunately.
Now council has to make a decision as to whose well being takes precedence, the citizens of the community or outside interests. To date outside interests are to the fore, council attitudes have been steadily harking back 30 years with the way public works are carried out, little or no regard to the environment or the citizens well being. Three wise monkey syndrome prevails. Trouble with that is when things go wrong, and they invariably do, then our personal health or the health of the local environment, or both, suffers. Not to mention the fiscal costs to re mediate all that has gone wrong.
Then; maybe that is the method in what looks like madness to the layperson.
The Northern Ranger is on the north run, she is in Makkovik, heading for Postville and then return to Goose Bay.
Ice is still blocked in here, but some wind should change that.
Update: Boy it turned out to be a nice day once the fog burn rt off. St. Jawns is still pea soupy I hear, with fog horns frightening all the moose away.
Any way the main reason for the update is this newscast from CKOK on the situation.
I guess one could ask what took so long, but we will be content that things are moving.
Monday, June 06, 2011
So, returning [after the nauseating water issue] to what I was originally going to post:
Sunday turned out to be pleasant weather wise. The afternoon saw a large number of people out walking the streets in groups of friends and family. Kids were out with their bikes, some were down the ice edge looking for ice pans to jump on [not many yet as they are all jammed up].
Away from the ice it warmed up to about 15, it sure felt warmer that the official 10 degrees.
This time of year is also the towns clean up time, while there is a modest amount of garbage and litter around it is nothing like past years, the ban on plastic chopping bags sure makes a difference.
Some folks down in Chestertown
. Op-Ed: Plastic Bags the Tipping Point
On Easter Sunday, almost 1000 signatures were turned into the Board of Elections from voters who wished to put a Chestertown Town Council ordinance banning plastic bag use on a ballot referendum. This is reportedly the first time in over 30 years that citizens have been motivated to start a petition drive to overturn a Council ordinance. Is it the actual plastic bag ban itself that has caused such a disturbance among the Kent County electorate, is it the process by which it was passed on a 3-2 vote, or is it a symptom of a deeper divide in the whole country between those who put environmental priorities above rescuing our struggling economy?
If you want to read the reminder of the Op-Ed, which incidentally has nothing to do with plastic bags or anything else environmental you can read it, and the comments here.
Makes ya wonder sure.
We do get some discoloration and some grit in the lines every year with the spring run off.
But this morning all bets are off. After about 3 weeks or soIt is getting worse, despite councils work in flushing the lines, and despite the fact that the main spring run off is down to a trickle.
This is what the toilet looked like this morning before and after flushing. The grit and residue accumulated overnight.
And this is what the water out of the kitchen tap looked like this morning.
I am now upset because this is not a natural spring run off situation, it is a man made situation.
Town engineers and the contractor doing the work on the new waterline and road have some explaining to do and perhaps compensation talks should ensure.
Who knows what this is doing to our bodies, both inside and out, not to mention to heating system pipes and pumps.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Friday, June 03, 2011
This time last year we were in Goose Bay on our way down under. We were headed for some really nice southern winter weather, from memory it was quite a bit warmer and more sunshine than Nains summer.
But then Nain did receive some nice weather after our return.
So I am sowing some herb and lettuce seeds in the hope it will be warm enough in 3 to 4 weeks to plant in the greenhouse.
With Fran away I see no need to eat out of a can or have beans on toast, not that there is anything wrong with that.
Schweinefleisch schnitzel, Zitrone haben Kartoffeln gebacken, Krautsalat.
I have enough schnitzel left for for another meal, I might do an english version.
Maybe we should take a page out of the emperor penguin play book. We could all huddle together and inch forward the next four years, we can beat this Harper philosophy.
And I don't care what all the smart arse pundits and juno's think, that young lady who used to be a Senate page is some kind a wonderful.
While on the subject of ripe offs, this bandwagon seems like something that local artist/carvers could jump on the back of. After all iJake took an age old idea and modernized it to make a buck, so why not take it back and make a few bucks while your at it.
Weather is unsettled to put it mildly and politically correct, fog, drizzle, wind. All this precip keeps washing all that silt into out water supply making for very brownish brackish water making for unsettled tummy's and the like.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
The forecast for light rain and the dreaded fog has moved in and could be here for awhile.
The trip to Hopedale is to attend the granddaughter high school graduation this Saturday.
My executive decision is a vow to help the province deal with the Governments projections of a power deficit in the medium to long term.
Yes by, we are going to forgo [at great sacrifice I might add] our morning toast. If Fran and I know she will, has an issue with this then she can contact the Dundergov with her concerns.
We may even think about reverting back to burning wood for heat and cooking, and converting over to candles for light. No bloody way am I going to do without the computer and the Internet though.
Listening to an interview with the head of the company this morning on
New flooring and re upholstered chairs in the lounge. Extended hours for the cafeteria, water and drinks available all hours, extra staff to accommodate the extra services, other upgrades to cabins and such.
One cause for concern: the guy mentioned that the newly upgraded engine [one of two] is still undergoing checks and balances while she is underway to Goose Bay, this has caused the arrival departure times to be revised on the first run. Hopefully all will be sorted out by the time the scheduled summer runs start operating.
And yes exsham; Fran will be extra careful in Hopedale.
For those who are interested in the arctic, a site that may intrigue you. The fog that moved in on them soon after departure from Newfoundland [see ships log] maybe the norm rather than not.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Had a pleasant surprise at Northern this morning, they have reintroduced the 10% discount for seniors to all day everyday from the standard once a week 10% discount on OAS/pensioners cheques day.
Not sure why, possibly gray power or the fact BigLand had not stopped their all day everyday discount.
Any way all helps, it will go towards offsetting the 50% more a kilo a paid for some pork chops there yesterday.
Clouding over some, forecasted is some rain or showers for the next few days. Will cut into the ice for sure, some are saying another two weeks before some open water.