Before I was officially offered the job, my new company flew the both of us up to Baker Lake to come meet the people and see where we would be staying. To say that it was a quick trip would be an understatatement - we were in and out in the blink of an eye.
Our trip started bright and early one morning where we caught a flight from Toronto to Winnipeg, which was followed by a 5 hour layover in the Winnipeg airport. I thought/hoped that it was similar to the Toronto airport and figured I'd grab some Starbucks, maybe get a massage and my nails done...boy, was I disappointed. The airport had a Starbucks, and even a Tim Horton's, but that was pretty much it. There was 4 or 5 places to eat and...nothing else to do. We contemplated leaving the aiport and going to the downtown area because we heard it was only about a 15 minute cab ride, but we didn't really feel like leaving the secure area and having to go back through security and such later. So we stuck it out mainly in the Starbucks area and played on the iPad, read some books...wrote our Pros & Cons to Moving to Nunavut list...it was a long 5 hours to say the least.
The best (and by best, I mean the COMPLETE opposite) part is that we had been at the airport, close to the gating area for the entire time and were sitting at the proper gate for our flight about an hour before departure. 20 minutes to flight time I looked up and noticed on the screen that our gate had been changed to the gate directly behind us, and people were boarding (it's a small airport, so we walked the 8 steps over to the new gate). The girl at the desk took our passes and said that we were considered "no-shows" because we weren't checked in and they had boarded everyone already. I explained that we couldn't be no-shows because we were very obviously standing right there, and had been on a connecting flight that arrived early that morning. She hemmed and hawed and said she didn't know if we could get on the plane because she would then have to add the no-shows (I swear, if she called us no-shows one more time...) to the passenger list and then print it off. I didn't see what the problem was, she said she could do it, she just didn't know if she should do it. There was still plenty of time before the scheduled departure, the cabin doors and the cargo doors were still open (we could see the plane)...she was basically telling us that she was lazy and didn't want to have print a piece of paper and have to call down to let them know we were here. After a very, very long morning already, I was going to lose it if she didn't let us get on that plane. I remained calm and bit my tongue and eventually someone else came by and told her to let us on and we got on the plane....but wow. Ironic that the airline was Calm Air, because I was anything BUT calm by the time we sat down.
The rest of the flight after we left Winnipeg was like a flying bus. We would fly for a bit, stop for a bit, people would get off or on (mostly off) and then we would continue on to the next stop. I think there were 4 stops in total before we got to Baker Lake, and by then it was just us and one other passenger on the whole plane...so I knew we were pretty far up there!
There is no words I can use to describe the first view of Nunavut after we left Churchill, Manitoba and descended below the clouds. I liken it to looking at the top of a globe where it's all white and bumpy to show the mountains...that's exactly what it looks like. White and ridgy with greys. No green that I saw, and this was at the end of May. To put it into perspective, we left Winnipeg that afternoon when it was 30 degrees, and by the time we reached Baker Lake, it was maybe 4 degrees.
12.5 hours after we left our home in the GTA, our plane touched down in Baker Lake and we were about to go see what we were contemplating getting ourselves into.
Next up: our first impressions of Baker Lake