Well, this was pretty much the view I had from my accommodations in Hall Beach for 6 days of this past week… last year’s pack ice and lots of fog. The only change, from day to day, was the amount of ice (which varied with the wind and tide), and how much of it could be seen through the ever present ground-mist.
My colleague and I arrived in Hall Beach on the Friday and interviewed court-bound clients over the weekend. The plan was for the rest of the court party to arrive on the Monday, conduct court for two days, and then de-camp for Igloolik to repeat the process for the rest of the week. The Court party managed to land, during a brief respite in the cloud cover, but then, after we finished court, as scheduled, we waited (and waited… and waited) for the fog to clear enough to complete the rest of our circuit. It never happened…
Here you can see pretty much the same view (taken from outside this time) but on a different day.
My colleague (and co-defense counsel) was Patrick Bruce who has been just two months in the territory and was experiencing his very first court circuit. Had we been required to stay at the main hotel building, we would have had to share a room together but he, I, and the Court Clerk, were given the three room ‘Blue house’ which is about a quarter-mile down the road. We had to cook, clean and otherwise fend for ourselves, but it was well worth a private bedroom (if a shared bathroom).
Oh…Those who follow my blog will probably recognize the church steeple visible in the above picture as featuring in a very Halloween sort of picture in a post from almost a year ago.
Anyway … when court finished in Hall Beach we were expecting to leave for Igloolik that same day but, as so frequently happens, the best laid plans ‘went south’. All the commercially scheduled flights were cancelled and so the court arranged for a charter to come and pick us up in Hall Beach, fly us to Igloolik, do Court, and then take us home. It might have worked, but Mother Nature intervened and the routine went something like this:
- Get up … find out nobody is coming … go back to bed;
- Get up… make coffee … discuss why Charter didn’t arrive… read e-mails;
- Read weather reports … get a new arrival time for our Charter … eat way too much;
- Go outside, listen for a plane, hear it circle and then fly away;
- Check the weather reports … get a new ETA for our Charter … start to pack;
- Watch the old ETA come and go … speculate why … eat way too much (again);
- Receive a new ETA … wait… go outside and throw rocks randomly;
- Compare weather reports with what can actually be seen… discuss the same both endlessly and pointlessly;
- Eat something … make more coffee… calculate recent caloric intake;
- Throw rocks outside again … sweep floor … sweep again … scan internet weather reports (50th time);
- Decide we need to buy more food … do that and eat way too much again;
- Ponder whether leaving the toilet seat up justifies killing house-mate… check weather again;
- Sweep floor again for something to do … discuss the chances of actually leaving for the 8 thousandth time … go back to waiting;
Well… Like everything, the wait came to an end. Our Charter managed to land under the weather, despite or belief that it couldn’t, and whisked us away. Igloolik is only 15 minutes away by air from Hall Beach but the pilots said there was no point in even trying to land there given the fog and so we winged it home without finishing the circuit. It meant a loss of a day’s income for me but, after the enforced idleness I was more than ready to head back home to wife and kitties.
And, now, I am home for a week before the next circuit…