Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Look Up, Waaaay Up

The VP sends me a kmz file and asks me to recommend a suitable airport to base at for this work. I'm looking for sufficient hard-surfaced runway length, fuel, local services, not prone to fog this time of year, that kind of thing. The file is named Bathurst. While I'm waiting for Google Earth to load and open the file I try to remember how far out of town the Bathurst, NB airport is. New Brunswick is an east coast province. Designated mountainous region three. Fish, lobster. Borders Maine. French and English speaking. This is where the Cajuns lived before distance and language changed their name from Acadians. The file brings me out by the river, but I don't see the airport or the town. I zoom out a little bit. Oh it's a lake, not the river. This doesn't look like New Brunswick.

Oh, Bathurst must be the client name. I think there's a pulp and paper company called that. I must be in Quebec or Ontario. The middle of the country. I zoom out a little more. I don't see the Great Lakes. I don't see the St. Lawrence. I don't see the Hudson Bay. Where the heck am I? I zoom out some more. And some more. And then finally I see where I am. Bathurst Inlet. In Nunavut. About 65 degrees north. No wonder he needed a pilot to comment on this one.

I seem to recall something about funding for paving the runway in Cambridge Bay, but the latest CFS still calls it gravel. I know it's good gravel, but if they want pavement we'll have to work out of Yellowknife. There isn't a lot of pavement north of Yellowknife. There isn't a lot of anything except rocks and lakes. Even trees are in short supply.

I tried to duplicate my zooming out in confusion experience with a Google Maps link, but now that I know where I am it seems obvious that it's in the arctic on first glance. Expectations influence experience.


Sue said...

I searched for Bathurst, Nunavut in Google Maps and was immediately shown the Bathurst Inlet, north of the Beaufort Sea. Then I searched nearby for "airport," and Google said, "Your search for airport near Bathurst Inlet, NU, Canada did not match any locations."

Aviatrix said...

Yeah, and try getting Google directions to any of those places.

Anonymous said...

...and here I was waiting for you to say that you were instead being shown the Bathurst in New South Wales...