Warm, welcoming, wonderful people!

L-R: RCMP officer, Josh Dubois, with wife Natalie (far right), son Aiden and daughter Sarah (front). ©Arctic Return

Hello, Richard and David checking in again from Gjoa Haven.

What a great start to the day! We were delighted to be invited for breakfast to the home of the local RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officer, Josh Dubois and his wife Natalie, and their children Aiden and Sarah. Fellow RCMP officer, Pong, his wife Tarra, and their young son also joined the gathering. How lovely it was to be so spoiled… being served lashings (‘rashers’ in Canada) of bacon, scrambled eggs, waffles, syrup, coffee, orange juice and peaches! Oh my goodness—what a feast !

As followers of the blog, you will know that we had often fantasized about bacon over the month, and here, at last, after so many days of deprivation… our dreams really did come true! Heavenly! Putting the bacon aside, the real highlight of the morning was our interesting chat about what it was like to live and work in a northern Inuit community.

Thoroughly sated now, thoughts of bacon banished, at least until the next morning, David and I set out again, in the early afternoon to meet with the local MLA, Tony Akoak, and his colleague David. We spoke at some length about the recent historical finds nearby: the discoveries of HMS Terror and HMS Erebus (John Franklin’s ships from his 1845 expedition seeking the Northwest Passage) and what the future might hold for the management of the sites and how Gjoa Haven might be affected by them.

Later in the day, we visited the Hamlet offices to meet with Mayor, Joannie Sallerina, once more. How surprised and tremendously privileged we were to be presented with Gjoa Haven’s official flag, and to receive a tour of the Hamlet office. Thank you!

In the evening, thoroughly ensconced now, as Gjoa Haven’s newest (and likely most curious) inhabitants, we readily accepted Northern Store managers, Marlin’s and Gayle’s generous invitation to join them for dinner at their home. Experienced gourmands that we now are, David and I, dove in—to a delicious feast that began with absolutely fabulous, candied wild (Cambridge Bay) Arctic Char—a delicious red-fleshed fish somewhat akin to fine Scottish salmon; accompanied by salad, garlic bread, pasta and a delightful pasta sauce (Yes, I confess to having had second helpings). Again, a very congenial evening of great company, interesting conversation and heavenly northern food.

In all, it has been wonderful to receive such a genuinely friendly, welcoming reception in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut—adding up to experiences so especially appreciated, I must say, at the end of our very long, very cold, Arctic Return expedition in Canada’s Arctic.

Oh yes. To show our appreciation, David and I were thrilled to be able to gift our expedition sleds to Marvin, Jacob, Leeroy and family, for kindly coming all the way to Point de la Guiche to fetch us. Very good of them indeed!

Richard and David