Saturday, August 27, 2016

Operation Noramex

After further research I have determined that there were two exercises named Operation Noramex, Noramex I and Noramex II. Noramex I occurred in 1949 and Noramex II occurred in the early 50's. Haven't got a date on the latter yet. Both occurred when NATO was in its infancy and starting to flex it's muscle. The purpose of both were to test cold weather amphibious exercises and were part of larger fleet exercises conducted by NATO. Noramex I was conducted at and around Cape Porcupine, a point of land jutting out from Porcupine Strand, also called the Wonderstrands. Noramex II was conducted further north at the mouth of Hamilton Inlet which is just a little past the north end of "The Strand". Both exercises involved a large number of troops and ships. Although I do not yet know exactly how many troops were landed on the beaches I do know it involved a Batallion of Marines. Canada was only able to contribute one ship, HMCS Haida at the time. After World War II Canada vastly cut its naval forces.

More than one resident of Cartwright witnessed these exercises including the late Malcolm Pardy. During an interview with him he described being on top of "the base", which is the term we use to describe the hill where the Americans had a radar station at one time, and watching planes flying towards Cape Porcupine.

Just recently a family from the community of Rigolet were out berry picking and came across some unexploded ordnance 40 kilometres south of Rigolet which is about around where Noramex II occurred.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Climate change is here, but it's not what you think.

Many people think climate change means warming temperatures and rising seas. That's true but those effects are gradual. The more immediate effect is extremes in weather, for example more storms more often. A good example happened just recently. A couple days ago(Tuesday May 24) it was sunny and 26 degrees celsius, everyone was going around in t-shirts and shorts. The next day I had to wear a jacket and warm cap. It was only 3 degrees celsius. This morning it is snowing. I don't think I have seen such an extreme temperature swing.
Many years ago, twenty or more, the weather used to be more stable. Temperatures would warm or cool gradually depending on the season and time of year along with the weather. Of course later on in the Fall the weather would  typically be stormy and you would even get the occasional storm in the summer. That was normal. Now you often get long stretches of cold wet weather lasting a week or more followed by a stretch of stable weather, any time of the year. And last summer was the coldest I can ever remember. Even the elders say it was one of the coldest they ever seen.
Taken late June  94
I do remember one time, however, back in the 80's I think,when it was snowing in mid June or late June. I know because I have a picture of the snow man I built in front of our house. There is also a reference in Captain George Cartwright's journal when he was sailing up the south coast late June or early July, and got stuck at Batteau for several days because there was too much ice. That's unusual for there to be so much ice around that time of year.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cartwright Hotel Destroyed By Fire

AT 6am this morning the Cartwright Hotel and adjoining lounge caught fire and by dinner time were completely destroyed. The hotel was in business for about 25 years. Nearby residents and the clinic was evacuated because of the risk of an explosion from the propane tanks located at the hotel. The local volunteer fire department could do very little as they had only a small tank on their truck and apparently there was no fire hydrant nearby.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Update on the stomach bug

Julie is very sick as of 5am yesterday morning. This is the second time she has had the stomach bug now and this one is way worse than the first one we had before Christmas. She had a fever for almost 24 hours and was throwing up for almost 24 hours straight. Jazmin had it a second time also and only got better a few days ago. This particular bug is a different strain and is much nastier. I heard in the news that the HSC in St. John's was overwhelmed with influenza cases and gastrointestinal cases. Apparently it is widespread.

On a more positive note we purchased a snowmobile for James a few days ago. We can't wait to see the look on his face. He was wanting one for a long time.

The weather is warmed up finally after some extreme cold temperatures in the minus thirties. Labrador City reportedly had temperatures in the minus forties, this without the wind chill.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More of This and That

There is a bad stomach bug getting around town for the past week or two. It is very contagious and when it hits you it comes on fast. Everyone in my family except my mother got it. Me and Julie, James, Jazmin and my Dad had it. Common symptoms include fever, stomach pain, vomiting, diarhea, and nausea. When I got it came on suddenly just after I got off work around 6:30 and I had a fever up until around 11:00. I was up off and on every 20 or 30 minutes the whole night after my fever broke. Fortunately I didn't throw up and it lasted no more than 36 hours. I am glad that I didn't get it during Christmas.
On another note, as usual we are not ready for Christmas yet either although we have most of our presents wrapped and I expect we will have them delivered this weekend.
Weather is cold, at least it seems cold. I am just not used to the cold like I used to be. The temperatures are actually way above normal for this time of year. The harbour should be froze over by now but it is blowing so often it never gets a chance to freeze.
James was in his first school concert last night. I went to the concert only to discover I had left my memory card for the camera in our computer. So I didn't get any pictures or video of him. Hopefully I will be able to get copies from someone else who was there.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our first snowfall



A Couple days ago, Oct. 16, we had our first significant snowfall for this autumn. We had about 6 cm I think. Then right after the snow came the rain, about 40 mm I think(good bye snow). We had the wiring done on the new room in our house yesterday. It only took two or three hours. Here are a few pics of the two boats that were driven ashore in last weeks wind storm, all courtesy of my aunt Marg Holwell.

Wind and Moose

Last week was very busy and I guess you could say stressful. I had to take James to St. John's for medical appointments and therefore there is a lot of travel involved which is also very expensive. He had to have an audiologist check his hearing, he had to have a pulmonary function test done which is something used to determine if you have asthma and he had to see Dr. Crosbie the developmental pediatrician. Fortunately everything went well and he was very cooperative although the audiologist said he either had some fluid in his left ear or he had an ear infection. The trip itself certainly wasn't uneventful. To start with we had to switch to another flight because ours was delayed, the flight itself(especially landing in St. Anthony and St. John's) was rough due to high winds. Last Friday, Oct. 12, there was a wind storm affecting the south coast and Labrador Straits area. At least one fishing vessel and a sail boat broke their moorings and were driven ashore. The crab boat had her hull punctured and the sail boat was so badly damaged she was written off. The owners of the sailing vessel Taravana have their own web site detailing their travels in Labrador and are from Marseille France. James' appointments were one after the other the next morning and in the afternoon we had to go several places to find things for Halloween and Christmas which took all afternoon(James was quite tired).
Me and James on Signal Hill
The road trip between Cartwright and Goose Bay is a long one and it certainly didn't help almost hitting a moose on the way back. We were about an hour away from Cartwright and it was just getting dark when there is not enough light to see well and not enough darkness for the vehicles headlights to highlight anything on the road. You have to be very careful at this time of day when traveling by road in areas where there are moose around. This particular one just popped up on the road out of nowhere right in front of the vehicle. He was so close he almost touched our bumper. Antilock brakes and the ability to steer at the same time without your wheels locking up was a significant factor in us not being injured or even killed.
James at St. John's Airport

On one of the rides at the Avalon Mall