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.