East Bay Island, 2013, field preparation

This summer I am doing field work in northern Hudson Bay at East Bay Island, Nunavut. Myself, Nik and Frankie are the early crew going into camp this year, which means that part of our task is getting the camps gear ready in Iqaluit in order for it to go out to the camp.  This involves lots of lists and running around Iqaluit. A large part of this is buying groceries.  The groceries have to feed between 4 and 14 people from late May until mid August. This is roughly 2200 lbs of food. We spent about two days at the local NorthMart getting it all together. Here Nik is checking the lists twice to make sure we haven’t missed anything. You can see five shopping carts full of food behind him, and that is about half of what we end up with.

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Getting the food off the shelves and into the carts is just the beginning. We then have to set up about a 2 hour window with a cashier to ring in all the items.  Everything is then packed in boxes, taped up, labelled and put onto a pallet that we have delivered to the airport. Here Nik and Frankie sort the food into boxes (making them not to heavy to carry) and load them up on the pallet behind them.

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But food is not the only thing we need in camp. Something to cook it with is key. We must carry in all our fuel as it is heavy, and difficult to get in the middle of the summer when there are few planes going into the camps. Below the crew adds the fuel cache to the growing pile of equipment on the tarmac in preparation of our flight. Even the ATV gets flown in!

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So, a 2200 lbs in groceries, 1200 lbs in propane, 200 lbs in boat fuel, 2300 lbs in science and safety gear, 600 lbs of personnel and personal gear,oh, and don’t forget the ATV and trailer. Some building supplies as well (another 400lbs).  And all this to be done before we even get to do any science! But all in a days work as we head into the field.

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