A great day in the town of Cambridge Bay today! I met Chris Brown from CBC Vancouver who had brought a crew of radio and tv reporters to cover the arrival of Crystal Serenity which spent a full day here. Staff hit the beach at 7 am and returned about 6.30 pm, helping guide over 800 of our guests to the attractions of this large (1600 people) northern administrative centre.
At the high school there were crafts for sale and a selection of local delicacies like narwhal muktuk (skin and fat), musk ox sliders, and Arctic char jerky. The main action was at the Community Centre which was hosting the annual Nunavut Arts Festival; the building was full of artists selling a variety of sculpture, prints, fabric arts, etc., people who had come from all over the territory.
My own duties focused on the fine little Visitor Centre at the end of the main street, just before the bay; it houses good panels on Arctic exploration, a spectacular ten foot high stuffed polar bear, a display on St Roch with a good model, and a variety of odds and ends. Across the bay are the remains of the recently lifted Maud, Roald Amundsen's ship that was sold to the HBC in 1925 to pay his debts and that sank five years later; a Norwegian team used air bags to get it up and on to a pair of huge pontoons which will carry it back to Norway next summer. I managed visits by both land and sea and even did an on camera presentation about the vessel. Tuesday will be a day at sea with talks and activities galore. Please stay tuned....