North of 60: The 45 Minutes Expedition
On Sunday, June 17th, the “Boss” and I decided to go and do some exploring. The weather forecast for the day was:
- Predicted high: +13°C or 55°F
- Predicted low: +5°C or 41°F
- 50% chance of showers
- Cloudy the whole day
It looked like a good day to go and do some exploring. It was going to be warm by Easter Arctic standards, so I only got a T-Shirt under my Goretex. We took a taxi to get us to the area and started walking toward the beach. The temperature was on the cool side around the +5°C/55°F, but it was supposed to improve. 10 minutes after we arrived at the beach, the weather changed and there was a light drizzle. No heavy rain but sand, rain and photo equipment like tripods, lenses... do not mix well.
By that time, the temperature dropped like a stone by another 10°C to 15°C with gail winds and -100°C or whatever with the wind chill factor. Only 4 or 5 photos done, but it was becoming dangerous. The last thing we needed was snow. It was time to walk back to the main road and see if we could find a ride back into town. I saw a cab driving down the main road, I flagged him but he first had to drop somebody further down the road and would be back soon.
It started to snow, June 17th! Not much snow, it was a mix of rain with a little bit of snow, but when you are not ready for these kind of temperatures, you can easily start to loose a nose, some toes or some fingers through frostbite. The main problem was not the temperature or the snow but the 40 to 50km/h (25 to 30 miles/hr) winds.
In anyway, the taxi came back a few minutes later to pick us up and drive us back to the town. It was good for him or he would have to drive back without any customer.
So in all, we only spent 45 minutes exploring the area before having to seek the refuge of civilization.
- All taxi rides are $6 per person, anywhere. 1 person is $6, 2 people are $12... The taxis do not have any meter.
- It looks like you are not allowed to wear seat belts. Nobody uses seat belts. Drivers, passengers, kids, babies... And people have told us that we didn't need any seat belt.