Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cambridge Bay

Do you have a bucket list that you're systematically working through?

Cambridge Bay

I believe it's incredibly important - no matter what your age is - that you have dreams and aspirations and a bucket list of must-see or must-do items to keep you inspired and to broaden your mind.

The cliche, all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy, is never more appropriate than now. Life is passing you by but it's your choice as to whether you will continue to ride the wave, or hop off and partake in the pleasures our planet has to offer.

One of my fondest memories is of a trip I did to Cambridge Bay, which is situated up in far northern Canada in the Nunavut province.  Cambridge Bay has a community of about 1400 people, of which the vast majority are Inuit.

The people

Elders teaching the youth tribal dancing
The Inuit are an amazing group of open and friendly people, with a great outlook and fantastic personalities.  They are quick humoured and wonderful hunter gatherers.

Their lifestyle is generally filled with adventure and one can easily see their love for their land and why.

The Elders are a great example to the younger generation by passing down stories from generation to generation.



They don their tribal suits and dance out stories, teaching their youngsters what it was like in their generation, showing them how they used to hunt,  and teaching them to play the traditional tribal drum. They also teach them to throat singing, to name only a few.

The Landscape

Remarkably, Cambridge Bay is the largest stop over for passenger and research vessels.  These vessels travel up the Northwest Passage - a disputed area since the Canadian government claim these waters to be Canadian Internal Waters, while others claim that they are either international waters or territorial waters.

Wild flowers
There is no doubt that Cambridge Bay is a huge attraction for tourists and visitors alike.  The surrounding landscape is filled with beautiful low lying wild flowers in summer.  These flowers carpet the ground and are a marvellous contrast against the ochre stone beaches and calm waters of the ocean.

When riding around on a quad bike one can smell a hint of perfume from all the flowers, and a hint of drying fish, since some of the fishermen fillet their Char and hang them outside to dry - a wonderful treat for the long cold and dark winter months.  The ocean air is crisp and clean.


Cambridge Bay is surrounded by landmarks, which include Mount Pelly, Lady Pelly, The Augustus Hills and many lakes.  You will find that many of the locals own cabins outside of the town for an escape over the weekend or 24 hour summer days.



The Attraction
Arctic Char drying on racks
Undoubtedly, one of the best attractions is fishing.  It is essential when visiting to try your hand at fishing for Arctic Char, however if you are not successful at catching any, the local fish processing plant sells them direct to the public.  In Inuit, Cambridge Bay is known as Iqaluktuttiaq,  which means good fishing place.  In addition to fishing there is a considerable amount of wildlife, from Musk-ox, Caribou, Fox, Arctic Hare, and a wide variety of birdlife and ducks.



Feet in the ocean, and feeling the almighty cold!

The accommodations include, The Green Row, The Green Row Executive Suites and the Arctic Island Lodge.  All are neat, clean and comfortable to stay in.

In summer, the community hosts a music festival which concentrates on local northern and contemporary music.


If you've never put your feet in the Arctic Sea, now is the perfect time to do so.  How many people can boast that achievement?

For more information and the history of how Cambridge Bay came about, visit:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Bay

Of course if you wish to comment or ask for more information, please leave a comment.

~  Vanessa

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