Sunday, July 02, 2006

Weather Paranoia

While I generally check the weather forecast as a matter of course, I find myself paying even closer attention to them when I know I will be traveling. My plan is to fly out of here in a couple days to Ontario and I'm hoping the weather cooperates.

The runway out at the now decommissioned Nanisivik mine has no fancy control tower as would a major airport. Take offs and landings are all visual. Therefore if the weather is not behaving the plane doesn't land. The other thing that makes landing up here interesting is that the airport is 25-30km away and sits at 1700-1800 feet of altitude. So there have been days where it is bright and clear in Arctic Bay but overcast at the airport with little chance of a plane landing.

Considering the amount of flying I've done I have to count myself as pretty lucky so far. There have only been 2 occasions when I didn't take off as planned. The first was for the start of my Christmas break trying to fly out during my first year in Broughton Island.

The second time this happened. I was stuck in Iqaluit trying to get back to Broughton. Actually that time I got a two-for-one deal as I was stuck 2 extra nights. The first cancellation wasn't too bad as I didn't mind the extra shopping day in the territory's capital. When the flight was delayed a second day, however, things got a bit more dicey. I assumed I would get out that morning and failed to hold a hotel room for me again that night just in case. Turns out by the time I realized this, my flight was cancelled and all hotel rooms in the city were booked. Yikes! What to do? Fortunately, the second night there were a couple other teachers from my school who were also stuck (ah collective misery). We contacted our principal who put us in touch with a lady he knew in Iqaluit who put us up for the night.

Needless to say this second experience taught me a lot about patience, preparedness and the quirks of Mother Nature. I recall my university days in Windsor, Ontario where people would get upset over a city bus being 5 minutes late and I chuckle now.

In the meantime, I watch the sky and wait.


Anonymous said...

Hey Darcy,

Just wanted to let you know that I am an avid reader of your blog!
I always come back to your blog and it is a really interesting read everytime I stop by!
Thanks for giving an insight to daily life in the North!

Way Way Up said...

Thank you for your interest!