Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our First Float Plane Experience

Sept 7th – We had headed all this way north to Yellowknife for an Arctic Photography workshop at Peterson’s Point Lake Lodge, given by a noted photographer, Robert Berdan. We were scheduled to fly Air Tindi from Yellowknife to Peterson’s Lodge at Point Lake, a little over 100 miles north of Yellowknife – just 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The flight would take about 1 1/2 hours.
I will admit to being a bit nervous, in addition to being a whole lot excited. Neither Fred, nor I, had been on a float plane before. We did not know what to expect….and those who know me, know that I am not great with heights, or motion. But, I was not going to let that stop me……
Peterson’s Lodge sent someone to pick us up at our campground, so we could just leave our camper and truck parked there, and we headed over to the Air Tindi terminal. Margaret Peterson and her daughter, Amanda, had prepared a wonderful picnic for us to enjoy while waiting for the plane….A good thing, because we had to wait quite a while for our plane to arrive to take us to our destination. This is not their usual routine, but Peterson’s had to fly two flights out…the first with food and equipment….then there would be eight of us who would follow on the second flight.
Nerves mounted a bit…..but we finally loaded up on the plane, a Twin Otter.
The pilot and co-pilot seemed confident, though the array of controls looked intimidating to me.
The inside of this plane could only describe it as' ‘tiny’….room for three across,,,,,squeezed tight.
Robert Berdan (our photo expert) and Amanda Peterson
Fred and I ….before the flight.
A float plane (not ours, obviously) in flight.
Looking out the window as we leave Yellowknife. I kept busy looking out the window and taking a few pics to avoid thinking about the motion. All day, we had had quite a wind blowing……and it was making the assent a bit bumpy. But, once we hit cruising speed and altitude, it wasn’t bad.
It is hard to describe the vastness of this region that we flew over………
No houses or buildings for miles and miles……and water everywhere! Lake after lake….thousands of them! This is as far into  Barren Lands as we have ever gone…….
Then, we began our descent…..circling around so that we could get a good look. The pilot landed the plane on Point Lake, putting down without even a bump. He backed up….running the planes pontoons on the beach for us to unload…….
Right in front of Peterson’s Lodge. : )

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