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

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer has come and gone

Summer is over already or almost over. They stopped processing crab at the plant weeks ago now. Luckily Julie is still getting some work. Some of the boats are fishing turbot or shrimp and are offloading it here. Operation Swift Current got off about a week ago now. It was an exercise involving the Royal Canadian Air Force, Navy and Army, and Canadian Rangers. HMCS Goose Bay was in port to participate as did several aircraft. I didn't get to see any of it though. We had to have Jazmin medevaced to Goose Bay a couple days before and we ended up spending three or four days there. She had pneumonia.
Jazmin recovering in hospital
Blue berries and black berries are ripe. I picked about a liter or two of blue berries up by the weather station. Quite a few people are picking them. Bakeapples weren't as plentiful this year and there were a lot of people after them. We caught a few trout at Muddy Bay Pond today. Julie had one big char on but lost it. We were only in there a few times late this summer but it seemed the char were scarce this year.
James starts his first day of school tomorrow. He is very excited. He is doing well in therapy academically but his speech still needs a lot of improvement. Hopefully he won't have any trouble adjusting. I guess it is only natural for a parent to be a little worried especially if their little boy is autistic.
Weather wise the summer was pretty good. At first it was very hot, and now it is cold and wet. But most of the summer was pretty good with regards to weather and lately(up until today) the weather was really good, with no flies to bother us.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fire forces evacuation of two Labrador communities

The summer so far has been very hot with a few cold days in between and very dry. There are more than thirty forest fires burning across Labrador right now. Last night North West River and Sheshatshiu had to be evacuated because of fires. There is a fire near Charlottetown that is out of control as well. Just a few days ago there was a forest fire at Eagle River just two kilometers from an outfitters camp and another one at Dove Brook Valley. Both are just up the bay from Cartwright. For several days there was quite a bit of smoke in the air and you couldn't even see across the bay. There was also a large fire burning on the edge of Canadian Forces Base Goose Bay a few weeks ago. The airport had to be closed down a while because of that one.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Some wild weather today.

It was quite a day weather wise. The temperature got up to 31 degrees when the forecast maximum was 22 degrees. The normal temperature for this time of year is 9 degrees. Then the temperature plummeted from 31 degrees  down to 19 and then all the way down to 7 in two hours. And that's not all. When the temperature got cold we had a thunderstorm with lightning, thunder and heavy rain which lasted several hours. Total precipitation after it stopped raining was 11 millimeters. Very unusual to have a thunder storm this early. I have seen a thunder storm in early winter though and there is one recorded in October several years ago. The picture above shows some cumulus fractus below the cumulonimbus cloud.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Local news

Work has started at the crab plant once again. Early for work to be started, at the crab anyway. Renovations were being carried out on the plant all fall and winter. Julie and my Dad were lucky to get work at the plant this year. Two crab plants are closed this year which was very bad news for the communities of Black Tickle and St. Lewis as they were the only employer in their respective communities. Some people from Black Tickle were able to get work at the plant here and I would imagine there will BE more work at the plant here in Cartwright because there will be more boats bringing crab here now.

The icebreaker Ann Harvey was in yesterday to break up the ice. She also escorted a longliner in from Dumplin Island about 12 nautical miles North North East of here. Apparently they had stopped at Dumplin because they had run out of food and gas. Three of the crew walked all the way in to Cartwright on bad ice for help. They had contacted the Ann Harvey previously and had some rather heated words with the skipper.

The snow and ice is almost all gone now. Just a week ago me and Julie spent the night out at Hare Harbour about 15 nautical miles East of here. There are some geese and ducks around but not a whole lot. Robin birds and Morning Doves have come back and the familiar sound of Snipes flying in the air doing their annual mating ritual is a sure sign of Spring.

James' asthma attack

Turns out James had bronchiolitis which was caused by a virus. The nurse practitioner in Cartwright said it happens sometimes in boys his age around this time of year which was really surprising to me. He has to go to Goose Bay for pulmonary tests Monday and soon after he will see a pediatrician.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

James' asthma attack

Last Friday, April 20, James had a severe asthma attack. It was so severe he had to be medevaced to Goose Bay. It's an awful thing for any parent to have to see their children sick but even more so for James because he can't communicate like other children. He was walking around with a 'pain in his belly' and crying. So his Nan(I was working) brought him over to the clinic at 11:30 am. He never got back home till 5:00 pm April 23. He had a total of 8 masks. Three were equivalent to about 125 shots of his puffer. His heart rate was almost double for his age and his oxygen saturation was down to 80 when it should have been 98 to 100. He had a sleepless night on Friday and didn't get any rest till Saturday which is when he finally started to improve. And the drama didn't even end when we flew home. Upon final approach to Makkovik we had to abort our landing because another plane was already landing on the runway. The pilot applied full power and pulled up and away. I didn't know what was going on till I looked down at the runway and saw the plane landing. But thankfully James is doing well now. He now has a Flovent puffer to help with his bronchitis, has finished his medication to take down the inflamation in his lungs, and has a referral to see a pediatrician in Goose Bay.

Very Warm Spring day

Yesterday and today was VERY warm even for this time of year. Max temperature yesterday was thirteen degrees and today was even warmer, around fifteen I think. The snow is melting fast. The brooks and ponds are flooded after only a day. I would expect temperatures around this time of year to get up to five or maybe even ten degrees but no more.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring in Labrador

Two signs of Spring in Labrador: Snowbirds and really bad roads.

Temperatures have stabilized again somewhat compared to plus nine degrees last week, which is way above normal. Traveling on snowmobile has been really good. You can go just about anywhere and have a firm footing. James spent some time out at Hare Harbour  with his Nan and Pop last week. He had a wonderful time sliding and playing with the other kids. We went fishing yesterday at Table Bay Pond. The weather was not the greatest but we got some smelts (66 and one trout) anyway. After trying many times over the winter, we finally got lucky. We've got a nice bit of snow again now. I guess Winter isn't over yet.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Operation Noramex

Operation Noramex was a joint Canadian US Navy amphibious landing exercise meant to test "amphibious cold weather doctrine and equipment". However I found two sources of information giving two entirely different dates. The first source says it took place 21 October, 1949 at Cape Porcupine. A Batallion of Marines, around 2000 men were set ashore. This was a significant force considering the current population of Cartwright is only four or five hundred people. The objective was to capture an enemy meteorological station and airstrip. A special underwater demolition team swam ashore to make a beach recon before the main landing force came ashore. Another team went ashore in rubber boats from the troop submarine 'Sea Lion'. The second source says it took place 1 November 1954 at the mouth of Hamilton Inlet.

The physical evidence supports the information I have found. I found the remains of some kind of aerial and many bomb fragments at Cape Porcupine. In the summer of 2010, I think, a friend of mine and his girlfriend found dunnite at Cape Porcupine having at first mistaking it for some unusual rocks. Dunnite is an explosive used in naval artillery shells. There is also the remains of an amphibious landing craft near Woody Point, Porcupine Strand. About a mile inside Woody Point is where they carved out a landing strip. I guess this is the airstrip they supposedly captured. Again there is physical evidence there. There is also evidence of activity around Woody Point and at at least two other places on the North side of Cape Porcupine including wires strung in the trees for communications.

There is a lot of evidence of military activity at Upper and Lower Sandy Cove, which is at the mouth of Hamilton Inlet. There is a road carved out of the sand starting from the beach and going inland. This is easy to find. There are artifacts everywhere at this location including spent rifle casings, ammunition cannisters, cleats from the tracks of some kind of tank or amphibious vehicle, and remains of mess kits just to name a few.

One thing is certain, and that is Operation Noramex involved a lot of men and equipment including several major war ships. And the evidence supports it.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Burton Winters tragedy

I have decided to write about this story now despite it having occurred about two months ago. Burton Winters was a 14 year old boy from the community of Makkovik, Labrador. He had gotten lost in bad weather after visiting his Grandmother and perished on sea ice 11 km from Makkovik. He was first reported missing Jan 29, 2012 and was found three days later Feb. 01. There are two things that really stand out in this story. One is Burton's sheer determination to make it back home and his apparent will to survive. He had gotten stuck and abandoned his snowmobile. Apparently he walked 19 km before he succumbed to hypothermia. The other thing that really stands out in this story is SAR's response to the incident. They failed to show up in time to save the boys life. Their assistance was requested but by the time they arrived it was too late. Admiral Gardam of DND's response was that the two CH-146 Griffon's(secondary search assets) in Goose Bay were out of service, it was not their responsibility to call back to confirm if military search and rescue assets were needed or requested(it is interesting to note here that this so called "time tested call back protocol" was never even heard of by search and rescue officials) and that their primary search and rescue asset the CH-149 Cormorant could not be used in case a major event occurred at sea. The third reason was particularly cruel given the fact that a CH-149 Cormorant picked up the Minister of National Defence from a fishing lodge and flew him to the Gander Airport. CBC's The Fifth Estate did a story on Burton Winters and turned up more questions than answers.

Just got hit with a major storm

Everyone is digging out after our first big storm of the winter, winter being almost over. It started Monday March 26 and we didn't see the sun again until yesterday, Friday March 30. I figured we had around 100 cm of snow from start to finish and I wasn't far off. We had more than 90 cm I think. Snow is almost up to the eaves of our house. Some peoples houses are almost buried over. Dad went to Goose Bay for medical appointments on Monday and never got back till Friday afternoon. There were quite a few people waiting for the road to open to get back from Goose Bay. James was quite happy to try out his new snow shoes as you can see.