The good news is the flying has been great. CFMDS, my Cessna 182 has done everything I have asked of it thus far. I truly appreciated the high wing design of our plane today, as it was raining steadily in Rankin Inlet this morning, and Bren and I were able to take shelter under the wings while arranging luggage, charts and donning our survival suits.
On the other hand communications technology has been a source of frustration. Many of you have noted that our tracks from our Spot tracking device have on occasion been late showing up. Also, Spot failed to record our leg from Stony Rapids to Rankin Inlet. Fortunately I'm not relying on Spot as a primary emergency locator transmitter, but if I was, I would be feeling a little queezy in the air.
Internet communication has also been difficult. Finding a connection to file this blog and check email is a constant challenge. Little did I realize that Rogers doesn't service the North, only Telus and Bell.
On a positive note, the highlight of today's flight for me was flying over Coral Harbour in northern Hudson's Bay and discovering how aptly it is named. The tropical turquoise waters, surrounding islets that resemble submerged Mayan pyramids made me think of my similarly coloured 57 Chev minus the tail fins.
On a technical note, I was surprised to learn that though I was in uncontrolled airspace for most of the trip, I was not off the radar, so to speak. Air Defense Radar, a product of NORAD and the Cold War ensures that planes are well tracked even if radio communication with air traffic control is not possible.
Our adventures in refuelling were easier today. We still had to buy fuel by the drum but at least this time two refuellers rolled our drums and used an electric pump (jump wired to their truck battery) as opposed to the hand pump yesterday. Cost for the drum was $440 - we were warned to expect about $800/ barrel in Greenland.
Speaking of Greenland, the weather is looking good for tomorrow. We've done all our flight planning, reloaded the Atlantic (European) database into our main GPS and established a waypoint for crossing into Sonderstrom's Flight Information Region. We've been warned several times not to arrive after 1845Z lest we be charged $900 USD for an after hours fee for keeping the airport open.
An additional advantage of travelling to Europe in a small plane is that one doesn't suffer jet lag. We have been losing on average an hour a day as we cross time zones and am merely pleasantly fatigued at the end of the day. In fact I can feel that fatigue setting in right now. Off to dream about approaches up coastal fjords.