Sunday, August 17, 2008

Part III, Day 11: 080718

Our last full day in Churchill. Most of my time today was spent packing my possessions for the train ride, trying to organize things so I’ll have a minimum of re-packing to do in Thompson before my flight, and helping my companions move things to the diesel shed. Plus, getting the Zodiac of Adventure out.

True to its name, the Zodiac of Adventure refused to leave the water without incident. We arranged to swap vehicles with another group of researchers who had been using the only open-bed pick-up truck available from the CNSC. Sally returned her rental a while ago, so we needed another truck. I drove it down to the Churchill boat ramp, and backed it down the treacherous soft-sand approaches. At about the high tide line, the substrate changes from fairly hard-packed coarse sand to a softer mix of finer sand, mud, and large rocks. Thinking I didn’t want to get stuck in the soft stuff, I parked the truck at the high tide line.

We deployed the lovely, lovely rollers I’d bought – they worked perfectly – and moved the Zodiac of Adventure, sans engine, up onto the back of the truck. Then, when we tried to leave, the truck was spinning its wheels. *sigh*

With much encouragement, good advice, and happily-supplied wooden boards from some locals, we dug the truck’s wheels out and Sally was able to back the truck down closer to the water. Then, to shouts from all assembled of “give ‘er!” and “fast!”, Sally motored out of our little predicament. Huzzah!

I didn’t take any photos today, so here’s a picture from last week of a lugworm we dug up from the sand-flats of Bird Cove.

Chen announced he was buying us all dinner tonight, at the fanciest restaurant in town. The Lazy Bear Lodge runs an excellent restaurant that serves no alcohol. I had the caribou, after Chen assured me that I should have anything on the menu, and not worry about the price, because George W. Bush was paying. Chen had received his US government whatever-excuse-we-need-in-an-election-year cheque for several hundred dollars, and said he was spending President Bush’s money on improved foreign relations.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to ride the train to Thompson, a trip of some 22 hours. Rumour has it the departure has been rescheduled from 8:30pm to 4:30pm; either way I’ve got to be moved out of the CNSC (e.g. luggage piled in a corner) by 9:00am.

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