So the milkrun from Baker Lake that I anticipated didn't come about as planned. Now normally that would be a good thing, but at the end of the day I spent more time travelling then if the original flights had fallen in to place.
In order to escape traveling in the arctic with your sanity intact, you have to realize that things will often come unravelled and have a lot of patience. There are not a lot of options, and in most places you can't just hop on a later flight if yours doesn't happen as planned. And we had planned to start our day of travel by getting to the airport at 10:30 last Tuesday morning in Baker Lake. The bus dropped us off at the airport, a ways out of town and left.
Good thing we got there early. The plane had problems, and they worked and worked on getting it going. As it became more and more evident that our plane was staying put on the ground, the organizers of the conference clicked into contingency planning mode. Finally it was announced that the our flight was pushed back until 2:30 pm. As it was almost lunch time, a few people jumped in a cab, and headed back to Baker Lake to get pizza for us all. Meanwhile people were searching for alternatives, including a charter back to Iqaluit.
About the time the Pizza arrived it was announced that our plane was not going to be ready for any flight for us, but that another plane was being sent to get us. New ETA for departure was 4:30 pm. We ate pizza, talked business and otherwise, and played games. When it came time to depart for Rankin we had been at the airport in Baker Lake for six hours. There is no mall there.
Rankin saw more delays, and eventually it was announced that we would no longer be landing in Chesterfield Inlet, Coral Harbour, and Cape Dorset but we would proceed directly to Iqaluit. More delays and then an announcement that the plane had excess weight and that not all of our luggage would make the flight with us. Finally, at around 8 pm we left Ranking direct to Iqaluit.
Arriving at Iqaluit around 11:30 I soon discovered that one of my pieces of luggage was one that didn't make the flight. It wasn't critical, as the "luggage" was actually a cardboard box with caribou meat in it. But it still necessitated a stop and a wait at the counter to fill out the forms. So by the time I made it to the hotel room for the night it was 12:30 am. I had been in travel mode for about 13 hours (there is a one hour time difference between Rankin and Iqaluit.
Although I wasn't scheduled to leave for another day, I was at the airport bright and early as I had hoped to get wait listed for the flight back home that day. As it turned out there was a cancellation and I did get on the flight. Which was a very good thing as the flights for the next several days were all cancelled for one reason or another.