Richard had one further addition to my last post. He wanted to add the following:
April 5: Ice Fishing:
Yesterday I went out on the land with my students (grade 8/9) for a day of fishing and sledding. It was a challenge to find enough volunteers to bring their snowmobiles and Qamaitiqs which were needed to ferry the kids out the lakes. The morning was mayhem trying to find enough space for everyone and make sure we were all packed. There were about 75 students and 25 adults in all. I figure we had about 15 snowmobiles and 8 qamatiqs in all. Once everyone filled up at the gas bar we headed out. It was a pretty neat sight seeing so many machines travelling across the frozen landscape in a line. The day started out a bit cloudy but quickly cleared up to a balmy -16 (-27 with the wind-chill) at the lake. We drove for about 45 minutes, stopping from time to time to regroup. There was only one crash along the way when one of the qamatiqs hit a large piece of ice on a side slope and flipped. Luckily the kids were just a bit bruised. When asked if they needed to head back to town to see the nurse, they replied quite strongly that they were alright and wanted to keep going.
Once we got to the lake, most everyone pitched in and set up the cook tent and made holes in the ice for everyone to jig the Arctic Char in the freshwater lake we were at. It is interesting to see people up here ice fish. They lie down on their stomachs and peer into their hole in which they have placed there lure which is tied to a small length of stick (like a hockey stick or broom handle.)They wait for a fish to come near the lure and pull up trying to hook the fish with a large 3 pronged hook. Only 3 fish were caught in all, but when they were, everyone cheered for the fisherman.
The day was spent fishing, playing soccer, sledding and hanging out. For a little while, I made a towrope and was pulling kids around the lake which was a big hit. We stayed until about 2:30 and began our trip home after packing up and doing a head count. Sadly about halfway back to town, one of my qamatiq’s ski’s buckled under too much weight tipped over causing the ropes to loosen. I re-tied some extra rope to it in hopes of limping it back home. It would have been fine, but I think I had about 900 lbs on the sled. That combined with the uneven terrain caused it to break. The good news was I got the kids back to town (with a little help) and I have fixed it now.