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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nancy Twinkie goes Big Time

A DeHaviland Beaver like the ones we had except ours were on floats not skis.
Photo by Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens



Every summer after black fly season was over Kenny, Hans and I used to go prospecting in Northern Canada in the Arctic Archipelago.  By that time I had married Nancy Twinkie.  It turned out to be an excellent choice and Nancy had developed into a good prospector and part time gold miner.  When she got wind of us going up north again she let out a howl that almost took the roof off the house.  She wanted to go too!   She also made it quite clear there was no reason why she shouldn’t.  Besides she could even get in a TV Special about prospecting in the far north.  Well, you know how a woman is when they get their head made up?

Kenny, Hans and I had a powwow about this development where at first the other two didn’t want to hear anything about Nancy’s plans.  She only howled louder, I never realized how much noise such a little snippet of a girl could make when she didn’t get her way.  I soon found out, so we decided Nancy could go with us as the camp cook, besides that we were sick of our own cooking.  It left too much to be desired.

With that we started the long trek by car to Winnipeg where we left our planes during the off season.  When we weren’t using them we leased them to the charter service in Winnipeg so they kept earning us money when we weren’t using them.  We had a pair of DeHaviland Beavers, a big single engine plane with a pair of pontoons bigger then canoes.  They also came with Pratt & Whitney radial engines that if they weren’t dripping oil we wouldn’t use them.

While we were getting the planes ready and buying what prospectors supplies we needed, Nancy went shopping for food.  She bought the usual, but even some things to eat we would never even thought of.  One of the items she bought was a big bag of marshmallows; can you just imagine taking a bag of marshmallows on a prospecting expedition?  I thought I’d never live that one down!

We took off on the long trip north to Victoria making our first landing on the lake at Thicket Portage.  It felt pretty good to have Nancy along she flew with me; Kenny and Hans were in the other plane.  After getting gas we continued to fly north to Churchill were we laid over for the night.  Rather then spending money it was our habit to sleep right in the plane.  The next morning we took off and continued north to our next gas stop at Baker Lake.  From Baker Lake we continued on north to our final destination at Cambridge Bay where we finally set down on the bay.

Cambridge Bay is on Victoria Island at 69o north.  The Arctic was abloom with flowers, and although the black fly season was over there were swarms of mosquitoes that took their place.  This surprised Nancy because she hadn’t counted on mosquitoes, and can they make your life miserable.

This story is going to take several episodes so be sure you see the next one: Nancy Twinkie meets the Inuit

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