Bill's Great Northern Adventure,
2 - 12 December 2013

SMART Training along the East Coast of James Bay
Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, and Moose Factory

(Click a thumbnail to embiggenate it.)

Air Creebec DASH-8: Timmins to Attawapiskat in 4 hops The Hudson Bay Lowlands: the world's largest wetlands, punctuated by hummocks of Tamarack and scrub Spruce Approaching Attawapiskat: along a river that floods annually, like most First Nations communities up here. Sunrise 3 December i Attawapiskat at 0831h. Looking over the site where the elementary school used to be until contaminated ground was discovered 11 years ago.

Leaving Attawapiskat - 30 kn cross winds, ceiling about 200 ft


Inside the plane: 4 seats, 3 passengers, 2 captains The clouds opened up just before we took our one try at landing in Kashechewan. At CC's Bed and Breakfast: spotlessly clean, decorated with love by my Cree hosts, Cheryl and Chester.
Saturday 7 December, 0814 - rush hour. Sunday 8 December, 0831 - note the rise in the land: this is a dyke which surrounds the entire town due to many past floods. CC's Bed and Breakfast, one of the times when wind and/or snow didn't prevent me from getting knocked over The nursing station and high school: where nearly all of the non-Cree people work (less than 10% of the population).
The only gas station in Kash. Regular gas $2.25 a liter. The only store in town. Prices high, not just because of a monopoly but due to the fact ALL foodstuffs are flown in. Bananas 2.79/lb. King Air A100 - our lifeline from Attawapiskat to Kash, and from Kash to Moosonee. Kashechewan through a frosty windowpane. You can see parts of the dyke around the town: the airstrip is at far left.
James Bay in the distance: the bold white line is shore, the Bay's mix of undrozen near-shore water and frozen offshore waters is clear. Airlifting Moose Factory's foodstuffs and all other supplies was a continuous process. At this time of year, one either takes a "snowmobile taxi" to Moose Factory or a helo. I opted for the latter. All I need are speakers playing Wagner. Moose Factory is on an island in the Moose River estuary: it lies just below the horizon in this image.
My room at the Cree Village Ecolodge. As good as anything "down south" (i.e., Timmins or Sudbury). Looking out from my room. Note the "Snowmobile taxi" - essentially a box on a sled, in which you ride, pulled by a formula-1 wannabe. Looking south from my room. Just out of the image at left is a helo pad used to ferry Moose Factorty non-native students to school in Moosonee when either boats or the ice road aren't open. DDECS, a grade 7-12 composite school in Moose Factory
Current weather in Attawapiskat
Current weather in Kashechewan & Moosonee
Leaving Moose Factory on a "snowmobile taxi". behind is the Cree Village EcoLodge and another couple of snowmbiles. (Temps approx -42 with wind chill)