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My Arctic Adventure Begins: Traveling to Pond Inlet

In flight to the Arctic! Talk about solitude...

I'm on my way to northern Baffin Island, specifically Pond Inlet, a small community in northern Nunavut where sightings of narwhal and polar bear are commonplace. I'll be camping out on the sea ice for 5 nights during my Arctic adventure in comfortable safari tents and 24 hours of daylight. Our camp is located 45 miles from Pond Inlet near the floe edge where moving sea ice meets the fast ice that has frozen during the long winter.

I realize right away that I am traveling to a remote place when the passenger next to me in line responds “yes” when asked if she has any bullets or firearms in her luggage. That place must be extra remote when the passenger is a lone female traveling with a baby and toddler who next tells the clerk that ALL of her family’s bags contain firearms or bullets. Though I will technically be leaving from the "beach", this is definitely not going to be a typical beach holiday!

The feeling of remoteness deepens when the standard airline safety announcement onboard is followed by this message “For your ultimate safety, survival equipment is located at the back of the aircraft.” Looking out my window a few hours into the flight, all I can see are white hills stretching across the horizon. Yes, this is going to be a really fun adventure!

(Lest you confuse remoteness with lack of civilization, I haven’t been on a nicer flight than the one that took me from Ottawa to Pond Inlet. Ample legroom, newspapers, hot towels, and a full breakfast were served in the first 3 hour leg alone!)

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