Serenity in Nunavut


Imagery date refers to Google Earth capture of land forms. Ice extent is for August 26, 2016 from MASIE. Click to zoom in.

Cruise liner Serenity spent yesterday at Ulukhaktok and is at sea today, apparently paying a visit to the Kugluktuk waterfall just inside Nunavut.  I say apparently because the ship is not identified by name but there is nowhere else she could be on the way to her next port, Cambridge Bay.

Kugluktuk – ᖁᕐᓗᖅᑐᖅ – ‘Place of moving water’ (population 1400)

Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. It is located north of the Arctic Circle on the Canadian mainland at the mouth of the Coppermine River where it feeds into Coronation Gulf, which is part of the Northwest Passage. Situated near the border with the Northwest Territories, the scenic valley of the Coppermine River was an ancient source of copper for the Inuit people.

It has a unique microclimate that extends a narrow band of stunted boreal forest trees northwards toward the Arctic Ocean. Kugluktuk enjoys constant 24-hour sunshine from May 27 to July 17. The average temperature in Kugluktuk is the warmest in Nunavut, sometimes rising to 30°C in the summer. Winter temperatures range from -15°C to -40°C.

‘Kugluktuk’ means ‘place of moving water’ and the root word ‘kugluk’ means ‘waterfall.’ Upriver from this hospitable hamlet is the beautiful Kugluk cascade, also known as Bloody Falls, an ancient fishing and hunting location that is now a territorial park of historic cultural importance.

Meanwhile Northabout has made good progress and is approaching Barrow, Alaska, making her way between some ice and the shoreline.

The bigger picture below shows that the southern route through the Archipelago is mostly open water at this time, and the outlook is good for both Serenity and Northabout to achieve their itineraries.


For more context on Arctic ice extent see Arctic Ice Watch July 31.  For background on Polar Ocean Challenge see Laptev Wall and Nunavut Gauntlet.  For those who wish to browse Arctic ice in Google Earth, the procedure is simple.  Go to MASIE homepage and download the kmz file.  Clicking on the file should open it in Google Earth (presuming it is on your computer.) Then you can browse, zoom in and out, and take images.

Celebrity Serenity

I was once told by a fellow cruise passenger not to call our ship a boat.  He said in the Navy they knew if you were in a boat it meant something awful had happened to your ship.

The Good Ship Northabout






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