Oct 7 2022

Day 13 @ sea


Caviar tasting – Carelian is still my fave 

Day 13 at sea: bbq lunch on pool deck, visiting the navigational bridge tour at 3pm, and caviar tasting at 5pm.

Although cloudy but it’s warm enough to eat on the pool deck. The food they prepared is really good. Philip manned the deck wine stand. Ian spotted a small group Orcas, which was exciting for him, and many others on the deck. Carine rushed out with her cannon.

As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship


Oct 5 2022

Day 11, at sea


I got a little yoga in on the pool deck

Day 11: at sea, a cloudless day. Don’t we all wish that yesterday’s weather was like this?!

It feels a little tiring that many excursions have been cancelled. No one looks forward to this break: we all want some actions. Unfortunately, we will just have another full day on the ship.

3pm: kiss the fish, a silly thing but thanks to the crew for entertaining us. After kissing da fish, we’ll become the person we want to become -:)

Between the queen and the king. Exec chef Avhier Singh holds the fish –  大厨是🇿🇦的🇮🇳 小哥, 米其林二星. 卧虎藏龙的. 120 工作人员 服务不到60位乘客 

 

5pm wine tasting with a great sunset: Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru 2018, and Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Selection Farconnet 2017 are really good, both retail in the neighborhood of $70.

 

The dinner: slow cooked Peking/Beijing duck – great texture but too big portion and way toooo sweet. Two appetizers – eggplant and scallops – are awesome, so is the chocolate souffl


Oct 4 2022

Saglek


1:53pm on 2022.10.04 by Torngat national park

Day 10: Saglek – park hiking is cancelled, unfortunately.

During the briefing yesterday, Sarah said very few people has visited the Torngat national park, all about 500 because of its remoteness.

Watching the sun rises (7:32am; set 6:59pm) from our balcony. Actually the orange light woke me up – we leave the curtain open. I made coffee ⇓

8:01am and rainbow at 9:40

The boat docked at Seglek at 12 noon. They showed the movie Secrets of the Whales (2021; trailer), produced by James Cameron, Brian Skerry photographer; narrated by Sigourney Weaver @ 9:30am. The sun never left us; and I even saw a rainbow, faintly visible.

11:34am, two serious hikers are warming up in the pool … 

 

… then right before lunch at 12 noon, the ship announced that the hike in the park is cancelled due to rough water. The white-capping is all over the place. Too rough to land, that’s for sure. The ship circling the park for hours.

Oh well, here is the sunset

We danced into the night, Ren


Oct 3 2022

Akpatok Island 


From our balcony, after lunch

Day 9: Akpatok Island. What a day. When I woke up, the sun was about to come out, with pink could. Then as we were about to set out, the sky became cloudy and ultimately rained. At end, an ungrateful passenger lost her phone. Afternoon’s schedule to go out on Zodiac, circling the island, looking for wild life was cancelled due to weather and rough water.

7:37am, the day started out nicely with pink clouds; … and yoga  

A happy camper, under the water fall. The first & last photo is by our ship’s photographer. 

 

According to the ship, very few people, even the Canadians know about Akpatok Island, due to its remoteness and uninhabited. No one lived there for more than a century, except thick-billed murres 厚嘴海鸥. The island is about 28 mile (45km) long and 14 miles (23km) wide, it’s the largest in Ungava Bay, separated from Baffin Island by Hudson Strait.

wiki. With the largest number of breeding thick-billed murres in Canada, Akpatok Island – whose name in Inuktitut means thick-billed murre – is an important birding area. More than half a million pairs make their home on the ledges of the sheer limestone cliffs, while glaucous gulls keep a beady eye out for unprotected chicks and eggs. Seals, walruses and polar bears make up the scene. The brutish act of cannibalism was practiced here as recently as 1900.

Although it was cloudy, but we enjoyed the site very much. The straight cliff, the vastness and the remoteness is just unique. And the water!! Unfortunately no one can swim there. Not even a polar plunge.

Two staffers are carrying guns, just in case polar bears show up.

Dinner: slow cooked lamb rack (interesting that the staff asked how do l like it cooked, rare, medium rare … how could that be?) Carine (?) joined us for dinner, and shared her experience, thank you!

Afternoon tea: caramel torte, eclair, banana-chocolate cup cake, egg and tuna sandwich. Their porcelain tea kittle is pretty fancy. The staff said there is also stainless steel model.

Lunch: monk fish, etc.


Oct 3 2022

An entitled bitch


The trip to Akpatok Island was great, although weather wise was terrible: rainy and windy. Worst of all, at the end when the last Zodiac was about to come to take us back, a woman said she lost her phone by the water fall, which is the far end of the beach.

What would you do, in a such remote area, with a group of people??

Apparently, she boarded the Zodiac with Liz at helm. Then she suddenly realize that she lost her phone. She got up … Liz told her to sit down for safety. She won’t have it and got off the Zodiac.

She and her two men friends or coworkers went back to look, toward the water fall, without consulting the staff. The weather has become unbearable, very windy and rain came down pretty hard, in gust, and the staff is trying to get the last zodiac out safely.

The last four of us boarded (incl. the birthday girl) with four staff got on the last zodiac. Sarah said into the intercom/walkie talkie, that our zodiac is going to the water fall to pick the guests/phone lookers up.

The last Zodiac before ours; two staff on our Zodiac, all soaking wet. 

Karin drove us out, and U back to the shore, to pick up a woman. It WAS a major struggle to get onto the shore and then leave. Sue who is 70 years old, also jumped out of the zodiac to help steady it without hesitation. The water was more of waist high. The lone woman boarded the Zodiac and showed NO sign of gratitude. NOT a single thank you. I couldn’t resist by saying, “oh thank you all so much, for working so HARD to get us out and back … just hope all of us are more cooperative and considerate.” Maybe the word considerate hurt her, when we were at basecamp, the narrow walk way, the woman walked right into me. Ok, bitch, you’re big. That much is obvious. Hope you’ve a sizable brain and decency to go with it.

I heard from others that she didn’t find her phone.


Oct 2 2022

Iqaluit, Canada


From our balcony at 9:53pm on 2022.10.01 @ Baffin, Canada

Day 7: Iqaluit, means place of many fish, our first stop in Canada, after two days at sea, crossing Davis Strait.

Highlight of the day is aurora or northern light and seeing how hard the staff works; perhaps, the Hudson’s Bay Company.


Steve, one of the staff who drives the Zodiac 

On our way back to the ship, seeing Steve the kid wears so little, I ask if he feels cold.
“I’m soaking wet inside and out since this morning…”
The mother of me, thought oh lord, helps him or them … but then I thought again, he sure enjoys it: he relishes the moment, doesn’t he?

Live your dream, kid. And have fun while doing it.


We docked just as the sun rises. It’s 7am, the ship‘s time, which they changed during the Davis Strait crossin on Day 5 and 6 to Halifax. However, my iPhone insists its 6am (on auto change) and my laptop says 10am (I’ve no idea why …). It’s very confusing, if you need to make certain engagements. To solve it, I changed my iPhone from auto to manual, and to Halifax too.

Iqaluit is the capital of the Nunavut, part of Canadian territory. It’s largest community, and the only city. They have just built a new airport, that is serving about 100 flights a day! Small place like this, they’re promoting their tourism as well.

The native Inuit are an integral part of Iqaluit, a remote community at the head of Frobisher Bay. Once-considered the possible entrance of a Northwest Passage, the bay provides insight into Inuit history and culture including dog-sledding on handmade qamutik sleds led by qimmiiq – North America’s oldest and rarest purebred canine. Inuit artworks are showcased at Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum while Inuit history is evident at Crystal II, an ancient Thule Inuit settlement outside of Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park.

It was known as Frobisher Bay from 1942 to 1987, after the large bay. In 1987, its traditional Inuktitut name was restored.

Our bus guide Jeff is a local, who said the government’s count of population is around 8,000 but he knew the actual figure is around 10,000. Our bus #6 drive Mike is a settler, who said he’d bad accident when he was 23 and that had changed his prospective. When his friend there offered him a job, he came. Shortly after, he married his boss’s daughter.

At the tourist office, I heard one of the two staff said, he just got a contract to work that came with $2.5 or $5 per hour raise. “I work overtime today, so it’s $7.50 per hour for me today.”

The church and school.

We did a little walk on their beach (… thanks to their mud boots … ha ha ha), in front of the Hudson’s Bay Co.; and at their park

Lunch was provided by the bus / land operator – they gave each of us a huge brown bag, that consisted: a bottle of water and an orange juice, fruit box, salad box, a sandwich and a bag of potato chips. This is just way too much.

Dinner – the girl is really sweet who sees me doing my braid, so she does it too and calling me mommy -:)

Afternoon tea: the sundried tomato quiche hits the spot.


Oct 2 2022

Lady Franklin & Monumental islands


11:08am on 2022.10.02, Monumental Island 

Day 8: our 2nd day in Canada, scheduled to hop around two islands on Zodiac.

However, the water is too rough to set out on the Zodiac, so our AM excursion to Lady Franklin Island is cancelled.

Monumental Island @ 2pm: the advance/scouting team went ahead and reported back that the condition is more sporty than one feels comfortable and there is no wild life, SO this excursion is also cancelled.

Another day at sea.

The sunset at 6:37pm and the aurora at 10:03pm 

More lectures. Sarah recommended two books: Michael Palin’s Erebus: The Story of a Ship (2019), and Geiger & Mitchell’s Franklin’s Lost Ship (2015)

… why is everyone so obsessed with Franklin anyway?

  1. everyone loves a mystery … Great unsolved mysteries in Canadian history”
  2. England had a lot invested in finding the Northwest Passage
  3. Lady Jane Franklin was a master at 19th century social media
  4. lots of intrigue surrounding who made what discoveries; attributed to Robert McClure in 1850, but really it was John Rae in 1848…

Ok, it’s food time …

Dinner: the Spanish wine Altado, scallop ceviche, cream of artichoke soup, Chateaubriand of beef, AND the sticky toffee pudding, which is heaven. It’s someone’s birthday

Afternoon tea: Boston cream cake is light, and caramel cake is chewy and delicious, lamington squares are coated with coconut is ok.

Lunch has crab legs and curry. The naan bread isn’t fluffy – rather dead – maybe the oven is different on the ship? The lentil soup is wonderful, with ginger.

We had our breakfast in the room, due to the sea sickness – I’m fine but my better half isn’t; and I got to have mine in the balcony.


Oct 1 2022

Hudson’s Bay Company


Igaluit, Canada

HBC was, perhaps the answer to East India Company (1600-1874)? A historical Anglo-Canadian business group, mostly doing retail, especially fur trading. It was founded on 2nd May, 1670. The current CEO & chairman is Richard Alan Baker (1965-), an American.


Sep 30 2022

Sauna & whirlpool

Deck 8 on the Vega ship has sauna, whirlpool, two showers, and fee based spa.


Sep 29 2022

Day 5 & 6, to Canada; @ Club


Day 5 and Day 6 are at sea, crossing Davis Strait (D