Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Some home made culinary treats last evening. I corned some beef  purchased locally. Left it in brine for 4 days, shorter than recommended, but infused brine into the meat, not recommended, but it hasted the process. The meat does not have that red look of commercially produced, then it does not have any saltpeter in it either.

I think next time just a little more salt.

BigLand had some filo pasty, I had never tried filo before so purchased some, made up a refined version of apple strudel using some mincemeat in with the apple and sugar.

The Astron docked early yesterday morning and had departed by 9:30

Now I know some people may think I exaggerate with all these goings on with shipping and the like up this way.
I kid you not folks, things just get weirder and stranger and more incompetent.

Reports from yesterdays offload were: Several container loads of perishable foods were frozen. Seems they were put in uninsulated containers.

The insulated containers had                           wait for it                             yep, they has snowmobiles in them.

You cant make this stuff up. For one the government cant be blamed for this. One has to ask if these things are done deliberately for surly to heaven no one could be that stunned                 or can they?

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The big day

finely arrived. Carter and mom and dad touched down, we had some time for a short visit while the plane was refueled.

After a little apprehension Carter reacted in his usual happy way. Cousins Enrique and Terrence were happy to see him also. 

Carters rash had cleared up a bit while in Hopedale, could be the new cream or the fresh Hopedale air.
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Cooling down day by day, we missed the snow falls that towns south of here received yesterday. The downer for us was that Cater and his parents were unable to get out of Hopedale as planned, we were looking forward to a brief huge as they passed through Nain on way home.

Another two caribou we wish moose were taken these past days. Not far from town too, that leaves just three more animals left on the 6 animal quota for the next 11 months.

The towns Christmas tree was lit up on Sunday night. We did not go to the ceremony, but I know it must have happened as the lights were on yesterday.

I was hopping to report all positive news on marine shipping, alas the trials and tribulations with marine shipping do not abate. The Astron is due this morning from Goose Bay.

All the fright left in Lewisport destined to Nain and Natuashish is loaded aboard the Sir Robert Bond, alas she has not left the dock. 

MV Sir Robert Bond (Freight Only)
 Monday, Nov. 28th
Finished loading 5:30 pm.  Currently on mechanical hold in Lewisporte.  ETD to be advised.
Next ports of call:  Nain, Natuashish

All that rush of empty rhetoric by the minister of transport is put in it's true perspective, stuff about the boat is ready and the Feds Dept of Transport was holding things up.  

There seems to be another brouhaha brewing due to incompetence within the Provincial Government with the folks in Nunatsiavut the victims. I need to garner more information but it is all a-chatter on facebook and was mentioned on CKOK..

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Guess who received there Advent stocking first?  Siutik was laying in front of the chair all morning, not her usual place this time of day.
Dogs are some smart, she knew there something there for her. 

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"Effective immediately", the MV Sir Robert Bond will bring freight to the communities of Nain and Natuashish.

Language is a little overblown, but good news anyway.
Advent is here: Fran goes to quite a bit of trouble effort and gets a lot of joy out of finding stocking stuffer's. Nothing expensive, just small things that she thinks the recipients will appreciate.

Only four little feet trampled in last evening, plus there is Carters who will get his as he passes through on way home on Tuesday. 

Advent is a nice little custom [I leave the religious side out of it] that the people stick to up here. Many have a tree specially for advent, then another for Christmas. 
A big deal and pride is taken in "hunting" for a nice tree.
We don't have a tree inside but have some lights on a tree outside.

Happy Advent everyone.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Early morning stalkers are out.Discoloring the nice fresh snow no doubt.

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I have been giving the new Lodge cast iron pan a good work out. Made these great grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Using the press the results were more than pleasing, crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey inside.

Ribs were good too, and the chicken legs were chard outside and still moist inside. Good investment me thinks, mind you I will have to start doing weights again, bloody heavy lifting it sure. Good thing I did not get the 16 inch job.

Nice light snow last evening, and more overnight, no warming trend please.

On the shipping news front; no news is usually good news. Alas in our case no news of the Bond arriving at Lewisport is bad news.
Word is the Bond was still sitting in St. John.s as of last evening.

Twenty five days and counting since we last had freight from Lewisport. The Astron is in Goose Bay loading for who knows where and the Bond is awaiting federal inspection.
Sort of puts all that bullshit [guaranteed two week turn around] that spews out of the minster of transports mouth in perspective. No MSM types have taken him to task for that really.

Still do not know where she is headed; 

Saturday, Nov. 26th

Currently in Goose Bay -holding due to winds 40 knots.  Estimating to leave Sunday, Nov. 27th

Latest is:
Saturday, Nov. 26th
Currently in Goose Bay -holding due to winds 40 knots.  Estimating to leave Sunday, Nov. 27th.
Next ports of call:  Rigolet, Nain, Natuashish, Hopedale, Postville and Makkovik

That will make it well over a month that any freight from Lewisport made it to Nain. Weather and ice permitting and leaving aside the Bond making it passed the inspection.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Carter with his gift from mom and dad.

At first he did not want anything to do with opening the box, took more interest in a tv remote. The after dad opened it and took the toy out he still had no interest, even when the lights flashed, the engine roared and the propeller twirled. 

Dad tried lifting him in but he still resisted. Finely he settled in and once he figured out that this was fun then smiles all round.

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Bit late for thanksgivings, but plenty of time before xmas to learn how to cook that f'ing bird.

Happy Birthday Carter.

It was 365 days today that Carter made his entrance into the world.

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We sent him some balloons in lieu of a card on Tuesday. He is with his mom and dad in Hopedale now until Tuesday. Many relatives to admire and spoil him from both side of family.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Well if ya wana listen to a bloke who can talk the legs off a wood stove while saying absolutely sweet bugger all then have a listen to Minister [verbal diarrhea] Heddersonon on CBC Labrador Morning. 

Dave Chaulk of CAI-Nunatsiavut comes on after Hedderson. He seems to make a little more sense out of the shipping debacle, but there are still many unknown unknowns.

What we do know from Henderson’s spiel is that no mention was made that the Bond had been inspected and turned down by Transport Canada, so back to work to try fixing the problems.

Hedderson makes out like it is all TC and today’s snow fall that is holding things up, to quote Hedderson old boss, “nuting could be furder from da trut”.

Ana nuver fing, both interviewees mention  ad nauseum the term "freight will be delivered on time". 

What the hell does this mean?  Does it mean in there minds that freight that has been UNDELIVERED for one, two, three months gets delivered in the next week or so is all of a sudden ON TIME.

Finement quelques fromages différents.

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After waiting through the spring, into the summer and then the fall one of the stores has something other than the bland mild cheddar and sliced processed cheese.

This may not seem exciting to southern folks but for those in the north, well my taste buds are salivating.

BigLand had four different cheeses come in, the camembert and the blue were ordered but not shipped, perhaps next time.

I do not know how the prices stack up but what the heck. Add these to what I already ordered from Hickory Farms and the nice Quebec soft ripened one that was given me I am all cheesed up for the short term.

Another tasty morsel were the calamari I cooked up the other night.

The light beer batter made them crunchy outside with the distinct taste of squid inside.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meanwhile life in Nunatsiavut speedily heads

for the precipice of the middle 20th century.

Yesterday our MHA reported that he was informed that the mv Sir Robert Bond was “gearing up’ to take freight from Lewisport to Nain and Natuashish.

CBC asked CIA-Nunatsiavut if this was the case, CAI said that was the first they had heard of it.

The MHA is now saying that he is being told there ‘could be complications’ with that.

Meanwhile the Astron has made it into Makkovik, unloading containers and freight sitting around the dock in -16 to 20 degree wind chills. 

Then this morning I called the company that was due to install the oil tanks on the coast under the oil tank replacement program of NL government.

A company representative said that they are no longer interested in the contract as ‘complications’ arose in dealings with government.

Lots more on the go but it is getting too ridicules for words.

Meanwhile our elected NG officials will be getting handsome pay increases, yet can’t find the wherewithal to even make a public statement as we head towards the abyss.

President, ministers, speaker, AngajukKaks will be getting 65,400. Plus 36,000 indemnity for President then decreases down to 7,500 as lowest indemnity.
Then there are travel and other perks.

Base Salary* Indemnity
President 65,400 36,000
First Minister 65,400 25,000
Ministers / Speaker 65,400 15,000
Deputy Speaker 65,400 7,500
Ordinary Members 65,400
AngajukKak 65,400
Chairs of Inuit Community Corporation 65,400
More than the casual smokers one would think, but boy what a rousing drinking song.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Word: The mv Sir Robert Bond is 'gearing up' then heading to Lewisport from St.John's. She is to load freight for Natuashish and Nain.

The forecast is for cooler temperatures, hope we don't end up with ice beer. Not that it is funny, far from it.

Should be interesting down the dock when she arrives, the Bond only carries freight in pallets, not in containers, not sure why. People receiving freight will want to get there stuff up out of the cold ASAP one would think.

Word: The Astron is hunkered in among some islands for shelter from the winds.  The red is where she is at. Rigolet is inside to the left.
UPDATED TUESDAY, NOV. 22ND @ 3:15 PM Anchored at Run by Guess due to high winds (35-40 NW).  Will update as soon as winds subside.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nice cooler weekend, in the –high single digits with wind chill in the high teens. Winter is well on the way.

To keep with the shipping issue: the CIA-Nunatsiavut shipping update is now showing the Astron not coming to Nain this trip. She is scheduled to go to Hopedale then do ports south of there.
It has been 20 days since any freight from Lewisport, by the time she gets loaded again and back who knows how many days will have passed. That would break the record for sure.

Added to the woes CBC is reporting that the Aston is now heading for Makkovik instead of Hopedale due to weather.

We are certainly fast reversing into days gone by.

From the "whose on third" shipping news. 

MV ASTRON (Freight Only)

Monday, November 21st
Due to high winds, the Astron will not be going to Makkovik.  Will divert to Rigolet.  ETA 2:00 pm

Next ports of call: Rigolet

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The old body is feeling like a played 4 downs in the CFL playoffs.

Wednesday I took a fall on ice and bruised the left knee, so have been very cognizant of not wanting to fall on it again.

Saturday I was out getting the ski doo going, it was starving for some gas so made several trips in and out of the porch getting things.
On the third trip out I slipped on a small bit of ice on the middle step. Amazing how the mind processes when in stress. My left knee was heading for the ground first [[this is not good], my right shoulder dropped and my body followed, doing a side ways head over heal roll [even though my back is in bad shape] and onto my arse, then up on my feet.

So my back is aching, I pulled my right thigh mussel and the left knee is still tingling.

Planes came in in great numbers yesterday, lot of people to shift and freight to bring in. Nice day though with wind chills from -17 to –14.

Today is about the same, maybe the wind is lighter at moment.

The mv Astron is on route to Black Tickle today. Not sure its routing as the CIA-Nunatsiavut vessel update is not saying as yet.

It has been 18 days since the last freight arrived from Lewisport.

The store shelves are extremely poorly stocked, lots of people not happy, but it must be OK as no one in elected office [except the newly elected Liberal MHA] is saying boo.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Take a seat,

Fran insists.

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I am told that this video will excite more woman into breast cancer testing. I can just take the word.

Well we ended up with a nice bit of snow from yesterdays storm. Some ski doos out and about and the scenery is very pleasant to the eye.

Yesterdays CKOK phone in was a little disappointing from a participation perspective, but technically it went off without a hitch, if you don't count the mike level issues, then those seem endemic in the industry.

Six people took the time to call in, which is sort of understandable given the complexity of the Uranium mining issue. I forced myself to call in, as did Fran speaking in Inuktitut.

Out of the six two were for lifting the moratorium on uranium mining and four were against lifting it. It would seem that those for lifting the moratorium are basing their decision  solely on economics and those against solely for health concerns of people and environment.
Those opinions seem universal in the uranium mining and nuclear use debate.

Now when OK staff go in to work this morning will someone kindly switch the wrap around feed back to CBC North, Fran missed her Inuktitut programing last evening.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

CKOK radio will be having an open line show today on the possibility of the Nunatsiavut Government lifting a moratorium on Uranium mining on it's lands.

I sincerely hope there are some differing and Independent views put out there than what the "consultants" gave the public in recent NG community consultations.

A special Committee of the Nunatsiavut government recently completed their consultations on the moratorium currently in place on uranium mining and now we want to hear what you have to say. OKalaKatiget Radio is hosting an open line show to discuss the prospect of uranium development within Labrador Inuit Lands. On Thu...rsday, November 17, 2011, we want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on uranium mining? Would you like to see the green light given to uranium mining within LIL? What do you think the economic benefits of uranium mining? What do you think of the environmental impact of uranium mining? What are your thoughts on the Nunatsiavut government’s consultations? Give us a call at the OKalaKatiget Radio studio at 709-922-2955 on Thursday, November 17, 2011, between 1p.m. and 3.p.m. to share your thoughts with our audience.

The vessel updates on the CAI-Nunatsiavut web site continues to confuse [or is it just me].  These are the latest.for the Astron in the order they appeared. 

Tuesday, November 15th
ETA Hopedale 2:00pm

Tuesday, November 15th
ETA Hopedale 9:00 am

Wednesday, November 16th
ETA Hopedale 12:00 pm

Wednesday, November 16th
ETD Natuashish 6:30 pm
ETA Hopedale 11:00 pm

The first two I think I have a handle on, the Astron was on its way north, left Hopedale for Natuashish [though you could not tell by the updates] and have an ETA back in Hopedale on its way south. 
The second two I just have no idea about. Good thing I have no freight waiting to be shipped, but I sure pity those that do. 

Weather wise we have a snow fall warning issued. I have no trouble with that sure. Despite my taking cautions and wearing ice grippers I came a cropper in a slight icy mound yesterday. Left knee is tingly and ripped my pants in the knee area.  

Cutting it fine: Buddy asked if I would take him and his dog to airstrip for their trip to St. John's leaving around 11. OK says I. 
Little later buddy calls back and says, "plane leaving earlier seeing that some weather is heading this way".
Get down the strip before 10, plane lands not long after, bit of delay with getting the dog out, pilot is very agreeable, except when he says, "lets get a move on the front is coming across the harbor", and it was.
An hour later there is a mini blizzard out there. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Carter cant wait for the snow and colder weather now. Right proud in his new Stonz winter booties his Great granm and granpa sent him, a pre-birthday gift seeing as he has them on now.

The first moose under the new moose hunt program was harvested just inside Nain yesterday. Quite a large bugger it was, it was the license that was for the community freezer, still five more licenses for private use.

It was a warm one yesterday, up to +6, about 10 degrees above the normals.

Much chatter about the state of the dock in Hopedale after the Astron arrived yesterday. Containers, mini homes and other freight all but block the access road to the docking area. Nain used to suffer from that until a larger lay down are was constructed.

From looking at the vessel update the Astron will be back in Hopedale today, hopefully to pick up any empty containers.
Maybe in another week or so other communities will start to receive their much delayed supplies.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The dock in Hopedale as she is/was before the arrival of the Astron today at either 2 pm or 9 am according to the vessel update.
or those that don't know Hopedale, the vessel unloads arse on just in front of the little white shed to the left.

Upurty date from CKOK

Borrowed photo.

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Casual Carter,

he da man.

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Bellow is taken from Facebook page "Food Subsidy and Food Issues on the North Coast". It is from a local store owner.
If it is true then it will be well over the two week turn around into Nain, Makkovik, Postville and Rigolet that Government expects of the service providers.

"Just called Lewisporte to see what was on the Astron for the store and was told that the Astron was not coming to Nain. The boat is loaded for Black Tickle, Hopedale and Natuashish only. He said it was lots of freight there for Nain".
 One wonders if any further funds will be held back, it would be hard to keep justifying these penalties seeing as it is the Governments total lack of due diligence and common sense that has caused this debacle in the first place.

I think the people of Nunatsiavut are very patient, maybe to the point of being overly patient. The store shelves are becoming bearer as time goes by, not filling up as they should this time of year, but less choices. Too many items to list, but just for example; choice of cheese has been the pits for months, I was told today at one store that the cheeses are coming from Lewisport, so more wait. The biscuit section, crackers in particular, is almost devoid of any choice, and has been for months.
Same with condiments, and on and on.

Plus at the risk of repeating myself [which I will], where are the Nunatsiavut government spokespeople during all this? On free boondoggle trips out side and bringing in bundles of cheap fresh food on the return trip no doubt.
Plus I would really like to know what role NG plaid in this shipping horror story.

Since writing the above I have learnt that the Astron has three mini homes on board for Hopedale, that takes up some deck space.
Also the dock at Hopedale is hopelessly blocked with empty containers, one can hardly maneuver a pick up let alone deliver three mini homes. Going to be some delay there for sure.

More upbeat; the shoring up of the ditching [with crushed rock] on the new road has started. There is a holding pond sort of thing being constructed at the moment, then rock will go down on the high side ditching.
The holding pond, at a low point, has rock then a layer of filter cloth then more rock, supposedly to catch any silt and dirt sent down in the spring run off.
I am a bit vague on the hydraulics of this when taking into account our weather and the snow falls, at the will moment wait and see how it plays out I guess.

Weather front news: Warm this morning, +3, all the snow we had has either melted overnight or turned to ice on the roads, pedestrians be careful out there, drivers be more careful.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Not that many days ago the sun rise would be coming up over these hills to the east.

Now we can see the results but not the sun as it is hiding below the hills to the south.

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A tale of two drug busts: One on a rather large scale, the other on a very small scale.

I am not going to advocate drug trafficking, but it does seem the Nain drug bust did not warrant a MSM story, on a weekend.
It is the second bust [of similar size] in Nain in the past few weeks. Many advocate for the legalization of
marijuana, I do not have any problem with legalizing it, though limiting supply to younger people would have to be a priority.

I hear that other more serious drugs are available on the coast, they are the ones that should be targeted. Much more complicated in investigating we are told, and with these smaller busts, If the cops receive 'certain information' I guess they have to follow up.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Well that November eleven was not much to remember weather wise.

Being inside did give one time to reflect on the many lives sacrificed over the years, and on a personal note I had time to reflect back on many ANZAC days, the big event of remembrance in Australia.

In my pre youth I spent many April twenty fifths being a goffer for my dads friends who usually gathered at our place after the ‘dawn service’. Much drinking, laughter and comradeship while playing two up, with me making a few bob running down the lane to the shops for the odd chips and other requests.

I thought it cool then to have had the opportunity to ‘go to war’ and return. It was a few years later that the reality of what it was all about hit home.

Yesterday’s weather had a similarity to many of the images one sees of those terrible times in two wars. Bleak iron gray sky cast with light drizzle. Snow turned to slush on the roads. Why we even had the sound effects, a large excavator rumbling down the road at two points in the day.
Quite bizarre.

Looks like the iron grayness will continue today with perhaps some clearing tomorrow.

Friday, November 11, 2011

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.

A day to reflect and hope that many of these unnecessary conflicts cease.

We had a nice surprise in the mail this week, some small gifts for Siutik and myself and a nice wooden bowl [cherry] for Fran from Hopewell woodworks, thank you Jonathan.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Air labradors

newest addition to its Twin Otter fleet had its first rune up the coast yesterday.

Here are some shots of the landing in Nain [CYDP].  I like the tail logo on this one, all the Air Lab twin otter fleet have logos depicting the older Inuit way of life.

Busy day down at the dock too. The Northern Ranger was in on its scheduled weekly run, quite a bit of freight on board. Then the Astron arrived in port about 3 pm.

It has been 12 days since the Astons departure from Lewisport. She has done the run up the coast, back down to Goose Bay and up the coast again. She now heads back to Lewisport with a stop in Black Tickle.
Should be close to the 14 day turn around that the Government said is required in the contract with CAI-Nunatsiavut.

But all is not black and white with these things, diversions for construction equipment; oil delivery, unknowns and weather all play a part in how quickly boats do the run.
But I think it safe to say there was no way that “the Dutch” could do the run in less than three weeks let alone two. 

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011


making friends down the airstrip. Outside a bunch of adults passengers were all gar gar over her, Siutik that is.

If not the best,

then close to the best ever red berry muffin.

Couple of years ago I teased about not giving out the recipe for red berry muffins. Changed my mind. 

Of course you can add any berry, or rhubarb or whatever.
1 stick [14 ounces butter]
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 cups red berries, or whatever.

Pre heat oven to 400 c.

Line 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In medium bowl beat the sugar and butter with electric mixer until smooth and light in color. Add the egg, mix in the vanilla and mix until well blended, about a minute.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and the salt. Add half the flour to the batter and partially blend. Add half the milk and blend.
Add rest of flour and the milk and mix with hand spatula just until the batter comes together, it will be lumpy. Lumpy is good.

Fold in the berries and evenly distribute.

Fill the muffin cups to just below the top.

Bake the muffins in the center of the oven for 30 minutes or until muffins are golden brown and a tooth picked inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack. Give them away to all the people you don’t like cause if you start eating them you wont stop.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


A tweet by Wally in Ottawa brought back some fond memories of several decades ago.
Wally tweeted that the Pacific Aurora was on the sale block, perhaps for 1.3 million, but that could just be a guess.

Pacific Aurora was originally mv Taverna, at the time I arrived in Nain she served the coast along with the mv Bonavista. They alternated runs up the coast out of Lewisport on a by-weekly turn around.

Carrying cargo and passengers these ships were an essential part of people and freight moving. The airstrips were still under construction back then, so trips on either boat were a great way to meet people and have a right royal time.The price was right too, being way cheaper and more reliable than flying.
Rules and regulations were more relaxed, the food was great being cooked fresh on board.

Those days the feds ran the coastal boats under Marine Atlantic and its forerunners. I am sure most Labradorians would pine for the return of them days, if only for the comradery and the food.

After being sold and re positioned to BC the Taverna had its freight hold replaced with crew accommodations and a viewing lounge up forward, just in front of the wheelhouse.

She would make a nice cruise ship for up this way. Lots of potential, but the fluctuating world economy and logistics of getting people in and out of here are daunting. Of course some of the decor would need a rejig as well.

You can view some photos and general specs here.

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Monday, November 07, 2011

Carter had his first haircut yesterday.

Photos showing before-during-after.

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Weekend weather was mixed, nice mainly sunny day Saturday and a cloudy light rainy day Sunday, all told not bad.

Things continue to look gloomy on the shipping/food front. The Astron is on weather hold between Rigolet and Makkovik, not unexpected this time of year.

We did not hear until later in the day, then we did not pay much attention to it, but Northern had a 50% off sale of frozen items yesterday.

Word is that all the freezers are on the fritz. By the evening most of the freezers were empty.
Let’s hope they get un-frit zed real quick.

Later: Just back from the shops, a correction is warranted, only the large freezer that holds the meats, sea foods and vegetables is down. Not much in the other freezers though.

Carter had his first haircut yesterday.
Photos showing before during after.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Bad day at the office.

Office Worker Goes Absolutely Insane - Watch MoreFunny Videos

Fried bologna

is very popular these parts. I put my own spin on this dish, with peas, garlic mushrooms and potato scallops [thin slices of potato deep fried in beer batter].

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Busy day at the airstrip yesterday, catch up from day before plus scheduled traffic.

This is a reminder of happier days in the marine shipping department. Happier days in the mind of government officials, not in reality, due diligence has been removed from these yobbos lexicon for some time.

The final stage of our new dam and water supply is on hold. The money to finish what has been an on going project for two years has not materialized. So no pumping station and reservoirs built this year.

The material and work force is here but no start to date on the upgrading on the ditching of the new road as yet.
One will remember the chaos caused during the spring run off last year. I sure hope we don't have to go through that again.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Yum yum pigs bum,

red berries in a muffin. I have had that childhood saying going through my head all day since having a muffin with my morning coffee, man they are good.

Neglected to post pictures of the only great gran kid to visit us on Halloween, not sure what happened to Enrique. 
Terrence was a robot.  Siutik thought his treat bag looked interesting.                                                                                      

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