Monthly Archives: August 2010

Boxtop I is in the history books

Boxtop I (dry boxtop) is now done & over with. Seven C-17 flights was all it took top transfer all dry goods to the station this year. Instead of 125 or so flights of the C-130 Hercules aircraft, there were just seven(!) flights of the new C-17 Globemaster! One plane (177704), two crews, seven flights, 4 days and a year’s worth of dry goods. They returned twice today to drop off some more fuel. They leave Thule tomorrow, bound for Trenton.

There were a few theatrics going on for the final flight today. The pilot called me on VHF saying that they’d be delayed in landing, to burn off a bit of fuel. Next thing I see, as I look up from my desk is a C-17 bearing right down on the Met Shack. He mad a couple more passes. This one was the second pass, flying over top the runway.

I wish I had a video camera to get the fly-by’s. One more very cool fly-by on departing, and off they went, south to Thule.


The first time I saw one of these, was in the middle of the night, in the middle of W601. W601 is a naval training area off the coast of Washington. Being a weatherman, you’d think I’d see them all the time. But they don’t occur too often. I had thick fog up here the other morning, and with the sun shining brightly, a fogbow appeared. They appear colourless  as they are made up of tiny water droplets. Check out Wikipedia  for more info.

Ski-doo’s ready for flight

Here is a tightly cropped shot of a few of the four or so dozen ski-doo’s ready for a flight south. They were used here earlier in the year for Op Nunalivut. It struck me funny seeing a row of them ready to be loaded onto a flight. There are still about 6 left to be shipped.


Friends sent an e-mail yesterday saying Whisky will have her final day today. I’ll always remember her running with a stick.

Rest In Peace, Whisky

A Hike Around Cape Belknap

It was a nice day on Sunday. The temperature was around 7 degrees C, and the sun was peeking out from the clouds every so often, so I decided to take a bit of a hike around Cape Belknap. Turns out it was about 12 kilometres long! I started my Forerunner late, and stopped it a bit early. Herewith is my trek at Garmin Connect and a few photo’s I took along the way.

via Untitled by brightonpete at Garmin Connect – Details.

I checked the temperature in the Stevenson Screen, and it showed 7 degrees. Nice! I  headed out to the Ceiling Projector, but it is in the swampiest, wettest part of the airfield! No wonder it is off-kilter. You think they would have placed the light in a drier part of the tundra. I then turned northwards and headed towards Black Cliffs Bay. As I approached the bay, no longer protected by the hills, the wind picked up, and the temperature dropped. Pretty soon I had to don my toque and gloves. Snow started to fall, and ice pellets pelted my face. It was downright cold – the snow & ice pellets were accumulating on the ground. It must have been below zero. But then I started heading with the wind and all was good. The ice along the shore pushes the sand and stones up a fair bit. But the tide was low, so most of the ice was grounded here. I hopped out onto the bergy bits to do a bit of exploring. At one point, I thought there was a polar bear stalking me. Splashes every so often, and then a chunk of iceberg broke off as I was turning. It looked like it might have been a polar bear. Too bad I wasn’t wearing my heart rate monitor too. My heart raced for a bit at that point.

You can see the tide line on the pyramid. I am fascinated with how the forces of nature sculpt the ice into an amazing variety of shapes and colours.

I was struck by the intensity of blue in this berg. I had never seen such a deep blue before in any ice.

On the other side of the airfield, a sad, constant reminder of a crash that occurred 60 years ago. On Monday July 31st, 1950, a Lancaster airplane was flying in much needed parts for a bulldozer that was going to be used to construct the airfield. Unfortunately, something happened with the airdrop, and the Lancaster was pulled down. It crashed on the east side of the cape in a ball of fire. All hands died.

Here is what 60 years does to an engine…

A wing section, complete with landing wheel is still dug in to the tundra, where it had crashed.

There was a Memorial Service held at the cemetery where the eight souls on board were buried, on the 60th Anniversary of the crash. I’ll post some photo’s of the service if I can find any.

More wolves

After dinner the other night, I looked out the picture windows of Hut53’s common room, and saw the wolves massing to the left on a small hill. I ran for my camera and raced outside. What a racket! They were all howling like crazy. Eventually, mom started walking over towards the incinerator building. I took a bunch of photo’s and here are 4 of them.

Mom was looking right at me, as I snapped a picture of her. There are 3 photo’s of her kids along the side. Eight this year! They are growing fast, and in the larger version, you can see the longer coarse fur growing out – esp. the middle photo.

She took them to the incinerator building, then laid down for a nap while the kids played. Later in the evening, they headed back to the quarry. All but one that is. He/she was howling like crazy, wondering where everyone went. Eventually he headed over to join the others, who were howling also. These wolves love to howl!

Beech & Ptarmigans

We had a Beechcraft King Air 200 here this week. Some people came up to finalize the new lighting systems on the airfield. This is the aircraft that came up. I didn’t get a photo myself, so this is from their website. Keystone Air out of Winnipeg was the charter service used.

Shortly after they took off this morning, I stepped outside to check the temperatures, when I noticed a flock of baby ptarmigans in the backyard. See how many you can count in this photo I took. You might want to click on the photo to open up the full size version.

You can see our slightly damaged, tied down Stevenson Screen on the left. I counted eight of them. They shuffled out of my way as I approached them, but didn’t seem flustered at all by me.

We also had yet another Polar Dip today. I again, missed it. Ah well – next time I’ll get down there. I have stuck my foot in the ocean. That’s good enough for me! It has been blustery for the past few days, but at least it is a southerly wind, which keeps the temperature warm – as high as 12 today!

I hope everyone is doing well down south!