Cheerleaders for American business used to get peeved when cynics contorted a quote by General Motors CEO Charles Erwin Wilson in 1953. The popular, misinterpreted version: “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country.” What Wilson actually said: “I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa.”
Being back in the south for a couple weeks has given me a chance to reflect on the Adventure Canada Heart of the Arctic expedition. The biggest imprints are three things: the inclusivity of the people, the vastness of the land, and the need to continue to do all we can to develop in compact settlement patterns as one of the many things that can help keep us from further damaging earth’s cooling system. The images on my mind for today happen to be from the one day of our expedition that did not upload successfully, due to intermittent internet access.
This is the second of two parts addressing Hurricane Katrina 10 years after the storm. The first looked at issues in New Orleans. This one focuses on one hoped-for innovation in the storm’s wake in Coastal Mississippi.
Right about now, a couple and their two children are getting much-needed affordable housing help via a move into one side of a cool-looking modular duplex in Mobile, Alabama.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
We docked in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, around dawn. We had successfully crossed the Davis Strait, formed 65 million years ago by a rift, thanks to a massive movement in the earth’s crust.
Our landform today was a peninsula, which is what the word “Nuuk” means, or some would say that the word means “the headland.” It’s actually a peninsula on a peninsula, at the mouth of a complex fjord system. Dominant rocks here include gneiss, schist, and basalt.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Kimmirut is a community of about 500 people, with the buildings clinging precipitously to the sloping landscape. The day was surprisingly warm, with a high of 14 C and sunny skies. Children were lining the shore to greet us, and their inquisitive brightness was the highlight of the day. We were the one and only passenger ship into the village this year, and almost every villager came out to spend the afternoon with us. Some of the stories the children told me were rather tough, and it clearly isn’t easy making a life here.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Today we explored the Nunavut community of Cape Dorset, also known as Kinngait. Cape Dorset is a meta-incognito micro continent, which simplistically means that there are a lot of different rocks, but mainly glacially-sculpted granite. It is a crag and tail shape landform that the locals think looks like a polar bear lying down.
Monday, July 20, 2015
This is the first time we’ve been north enough for sea ice, which reinforces the fact that we are on an expedition, not a cruise. We traveled through 1-3/10 sea ice for 45 nautical miles, starting around midnight with high seas. This means that this particular ice is 1-3 years old. It provides a great opportunity for viewing wildlife, and we all spent much more time outside on deck than during the last three days.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Overnight, we entered Hudson’s Straight, where an immense amount of water comes from the Atlantic Ocean, creating massive tides and whirlpools of mythic proportions. With an early wakeup call, we headed to Kangiqsujuaq, a small community of 720 Inuit, a few of whom joined us on the ship for breakfast.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
In the Arctic, summer sunrise comes more or less immediately after sunset, but thanks to the ship’s portholes and calm waters, we slept through. At 6:45 a.m., a happy voice over the sound system awoke us earlier than expected, calling out four polar bears on the beach of Aktopak Island, just starboard of where we had anchored. Sleepy passengers gathered on the 8th deck, talking in hushed excitement.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Launching Adventure Canada’s Heart of the Arctic expedition, we left Ottawa at dawn by charter flight, landing in Kuujjuaq before lunch. One glance out the window of the plane reinforces that “open space” has a whole new meaning here.