Heart of the Arctic – Predeparture

Thursday, July 16, 2015
Ottawa, 45˚42′ N 75˚69′ W
Sunny, 24˚C

I did running around, last minute stuff this morning, but was packed and ready when the incredible photographer Lee Narraway arrived at 2:00 p.m. at my house. We had tea, of course, then called a cab and headed downtown to the Novotel. Dumped our duffles in our room, then walked up to the Chateau Laurier, arriving at the Drawing Room before the 4:00 staff meet and greet.

So nice to see the folks we’ll be travelling with through the Heart of the Arctic – I recognized most of them from their photos on the Adventure Canada website.  We pulled the fancy Chateau Laurier chairs into a big circle and introduced ourselves. Then we all donedn our new long sleeved blue shirts with the AC polar bear logo on it – how cool is that! – ready to meet the guests at 6:00 as an identifiable group.

Dave Freeze, our host for the trip, talked a bit about what to expect on an AC adventure cruise. To illustrate, he told a story about a farmer who had a horse, but then lost it, then got it back…. And each time the town folk said he was lucky and his answer was always, “Maybe I’m lucky. Maybe I’m unlucky.”   I suppose the moral of the story was it’s all how you look at things. Which I wondered if that was meant as a little foreshadow and maybe things weren’t going to go as planned. But that could be a lucky thing if we thought of it that way.

Then, each staff member introduced her/himself. Lee sang a great introduction about being the trip’s photographer. After a bit of mingling, the guests left and the staff went to the Metropolitan, a bar across the street, for dinner.  Everyone dispersed early and Lee and I were back to the hotel and were asleep by 9:00. An unusually early hour for me, but then, we had to get up at an unusually early hour. I set both my phone and the little clock that Stephanie Egan had leant me for 4:30 a.m., just as a precaution.



About Season Osborne

I am a writer with a love of Arctic history. After finding a photo of Capt. Joseph-Elzéar Bernier, who claimed the Arctic for Canada in 1909, I was inspired to write my master’s thesis on Bernier’s contribution to Arctic sovereignty. This ultimately led to extensive research into Canadian and ‘foreign’ expeditions to the North, which morphed into my recent book, In the Shadow of the Pole: An Early History of Arctic Expeditions, 1871-1912.
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