6/8/98- Sept-Isles to Iqaluit
This was a long day of flying. We slept last night in Sept-Isles, Quebec and flew to Kuujjuaq, Quebec in 3 hours 12 minutes. (Many of the cities names have been changed to Inuit Names. Kuujjuaq used to be called Fort Chimo.) Our next flight was 2 hours 30 minutes to Iqaluit, Northwest Territories. (Formerly Frobisher.) This city, pictured at top right during final approach, has a population of 4,500. It is getting busy in Iqaluit. Starting in March, 1999 there will be a thirteenth province or territory in Canada. It will be called Nunavut Territory and its capital will be (you guessed it) Iqaluit.
I was never out of touch with the office. In the middle picture, I used the satellite phone to call the office from Kuujjuaq. It is really easy to use and works great. Bottom right shows Sharon in beautiful downtown Iqaluit. This picture was taken at about 11:30 PM Monday night. This is about as dark as it gets this time of year. It was strange for us to see people walking around in shorts. The temperature is about 36F during the day but to the people here, it's summer time. (In the winter it goes down to about 70F below zero.)
The food was a surprise. We had an excellent meal at the Discovery Lodge Hotel in Iqaluit where we are staying tonight. We don't mean just excellent for where we are, but really excellent. It seemed unusual for this town which is basically bleak, even during the day.
(Aviation) The flying was interesting. After about 30 minutes out of Sept-Isles on an IFR flight plan, I was told to monitor 126.7 (Flight Service). In this part of the country you are basically in uncontrolled airspace other than around airports. For the flight from Sept-Isles to Kuujjuaq I attempted to contact Flight Service but basically was out of range. I was also out of radar contact. After landing at Kuujjuaq, the Flight Service personnel there explained to me that even if one is IFR, most of the flying will be in uncontrolled airspace. My only responsibility was to announce in the blind on that frequency if I changed altitude or course. Actually I found that there was a reasonable amount of traffic for that area doing just that (about four an hour).
The aviation fuel is still reasonable at $2.50 per gallon. Everyone took credit cards for fuel and there was no landing or parking charges. There is no mineral oil at Iqaluit, which would be a problem since we have newly overhauled engines. However, we brought a case with us. (They do have Aeroshell 15-50 AD.)
We just filed a flight plan for Sondre Stromfjord in Greenland and called the Kangerlussuaq Hotel to make reservations for one night. Actually, Sondre Stromfjord is now called Kangerlussuaq. Thank goodness, because I was having difficulty spelling Sondre Stromfjord. This is it. Our first leg across the North Atlantic.