Episode 32: New Views

7:01 pm Doug

For the crew of Lisa, Eric and Mark that was camping out, an early start brought a spectacular sunrise. After a quick breakfast of oatmeal mixed with granola and powdered milk, the tips tanks were topped off from jerry cans and 2SF broke water a bit after 9 AM Atlantic Time (we keep losing hours) from a pristine Labradoran lake. The short flight to Goose Bay was spent discussing great canoeing rivers in the west, with many good recommendations shared. The placid waters of Otter Creek were a welcome sight.

Freeman Poole, base manager for Air Labrador was on the dock to greet us along with one of the fine dock hands, Bush. Also on the dock was CBC Radio Goose Bay Bureau reporter Kate, with her microphone, recording the idling sound of the Beaver as it pulled up to the dock. Once Doug and the crew returned to the base, we had a pleasant chat with Kate, discussing our adventure for the benefit of listeners all across Labrador. I’m sure there is a way to access Kate’s feature on the trip, which we understand will air in the next couple of days, by logging onto the CBC website.

We had a nice chat with Warwick Pike, who, along with his brother Roger, are the proprietors of Air Labrador. Besides thanking Warwick for his hospitality at the base, we listened some of his stories about bush flying in Labrador during the last 40 years. It is interesting to note that while Air Labrador no longer operates Beavers, the company has a rich tradition spanning several decades of operating De Havilland aircraft. The current fleet is almost exclusively De Havillands (they operate ONE Caravan) including Dash 8’s and Twin Otters on wheels, skis and floats.

Freeman, Eric and Mark held a ceremony for Doug’s benefit. While we have been previously a bit disappointed at not attaining our goal of reaching the Magnetic North Pole, Freeman pointed out that the lake that 2SF camped at last night was named “North Pole Lake”. Well that was good enough for us, so we surprised Doug with a Santa hat, meant to be presented at the MNP.

Fueling went very quickly with the aid of dock hand Shane, and a fuel hose, an odd new contraption with which we have been unfamiliar for the past few weeks. Strangely and conveniently, it allows one to refuel an aircraft with out using a fuel drum, hand pump, jerry can, or pick-up truck. It is as if the fuel appears magically. We were all delighted at this new invention.

Subway sandwiches were purchased by the airport shuttle team of Dave and Norma, Robbie was met at baggage claim, and we all enjoyed a reunion and lunch on the dock as the temperature climbed to 85d. Hugs were exchanged as we said goodbye to David and Lisa. David has been such a key member of the team, who along with his wife, Carol, has kept our website fires burning. Lisa brought fun, hard work, and great weather to the team during her brief four days with us. She also brought Mark some needed family time. Thank you to David and Lisa. Until the next adventure, happy travels to you both.

Thank you also to Warwick, Freeman, Bush and Shane for their hospitality at Otter Creek.

Our departure in blustery winds brought new views. First of all, the addition of Robbie and Norma has once again energized our team with new team chemistry. Secondly, our 320 nautical mile sightseeing tour out to the Atlantic Ocean, down the coast and into Belle Strait at the mouth of the St Lawrence Seaway, revealed the amazing quilt works of rocky islands, shores and fishing villages that is the Labrador Coast. We had not seen such scenery prior to today. Seeing the Atlantic, and finally making the turn westbound on the one month anniversary of our departure from Lake Washington, caused us to reflect on the past four weeks and all that we have experienced. For fun, Doug brought up PAE on the GPS (the identifier for Paine Field in Everett, a few miles north of our hometown of Kenmore) and found that we have 2553 nautical miles to go, and two and a half weeks in which to do it. We have gone as far as we can go in this great land of Canada. Turning towards the setting sun and donning sunglasses, our little band of adventurers is finally heading home.

With fond thoughts to all our missed friends and family,

From our beach front campsite at N51d.38 W56d.52,

The GAAA Team

5 Responses
  1. Marshall H. Massengale :

    Date: September 3, 2008 @ 4:20 am

    Hey y’all!

    If, along your route between Hauterrive and Montreal (according to your map), you get a chance and can spare the fuel as you fly over the village of Tadoussac, turn west northwesterly and follow the Saguenay River fjord a little ways until you find Cap Eternite and Cap Trinite. There is a fine photo op for some spectacular scenery and the beautiful statue of Notre Dame du Saguenay standing high on a bluff overlooking the river far below.

    Kind Regards,

    Marshall H. Massengale
    Sugar Hill, GA USA

  2. Normand Denis :

    Date: September 3, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

    It is a nice area indeed, Marshall.
    I sure wish I could meet you guys in Montreal if you land nearby.

    Normand Denis

  3. Normand Denis :

    Date: September 3, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

    Marshall is right. Very spectacular area.

    Have a good trip back home. Maybe we’ll have the chance to meet in YUL

    Normand Denis

  4. Christina Lucas :

    Date: September 4, 2008 @ 7:08 am

    Canada Aviation Museum and Vintage Wings of Canada are looking forward to welcoming you to Ottawa.

  5. Mitch & Alice Thompson :

    Date: September 4, 2008 @ 10:25 am

    Glad to see Norma has safety joined up with the GAAA team. She will add humor and warmth to the group. Wishing you all a safe return.

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