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PostPosted: February 25th, 2002, 12:00 am 
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Joined: February 19th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Sanbornton, NH, USA
Anyone have recomendations for an air charter outfit flying out of Baker Lake. I've realized that Baker Lake is closer to Warden's Grove on the Thelon and would like to compare prices vs. Yellowknife or Ft. Smith. My internet search didn't turn up much but I've read accounts of people flying out of there.
Thanks.


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PostPosted: March 3rd, 2002, 2:47 pm 
I think that Boris, who runs the baker lake lodge, has a twin otter, perhaps its a smaller plane, but he's got something on floats.

I'm flying out of baker lake this summer on Air canada, they offer service all the way to Winnipeg, via Churchill


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PostPosted: April 26th, 2002, 1:57 pm 
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Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota USA
I think it would still be cheaper to charter out of Yellowknife, because everything brought into Baker Lake (like aviation fuel, etc.) either comes in by barge during the summer or is flown in. Have fun on the Thelon. Great river!


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 Post subject: Baker Lake aircraft
PostPosted: May 1st, 2003, 1:39 pm 
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Joined: April 30th, 2003, 1:28 pm
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Location: Baker Lake, Nunavut
Nobody in Baker Lake owns a Twin Otter. Local operators have really been scratching for something over the past couple of years, but rumour has it that Jimi Oonalik's Twin Otter on tundra tires from Iqaluit's Unalik Air will be in Baker Lake starting June 10 for the mining companies and I suppose anybody else who wants to use it. Aircrews will be provided by First Air which has some kind of agreement with Unalik Air.

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Paddle up the Thelon to the Thelon Game Sanctuary, 150 miles west of Baker Lake


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PostPosted: May 5th, 2003, 10:48 am 
Guest,
I'm curious, are you actually flying Air Canada? Wondered if maybe you'll be on Calm Air, which is a partner airline of theirs. We're flying Calm Air in and out of Baker Lake in September (via Winnipeg).


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PostPosted: June 9th, 2003, 1:46 pm 
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Joined: April 30th, 2003, 1:28 pm
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Location: Baker Lake, Nunavut
There's a Twin Otter in Baker now from Arctic SunWest but I think it's on contract to one of the mineral exploration companies. We'll post an update here once the Unalik Air Twin Otter shows up. Again, that is also supposed to be for the exploration companies, but there might be an opportunity to use it for a canoe charter.

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Paddle up the Thelon to the Thelon Game Sanctuary, 150 miles west of Baker Lake


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 Post subject: Baker Lake Aircraft
PostPosted: November 1st, 2004, 9:56 pm 
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Joined: October 29th, 2004, 8:15 am
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Location: Huntsville, Ontario Canada
The only aircraft available on a permament basis in Baker Lake is a single engine Otter that belongs to Boris Kotelewetz. It is on wheels at present and the fuselage is not long enough to put a 17' boat into. If he ever gets floats for it then he will be able to strap canoes to the supports. Boris controls most of the Fuel supply in Baker Lake and it is my recommendation to contact him to try to arrange flights into any river in that part of the Barrens. He is extremely fair and has never charged us for making these arrangements. His business number is 867-793-2234 and his fax is 867-793-2965. He does not have email. One plus - if you need canoes he does have them for rent with spray skirts.

George Drought

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Avid canoeist and filmmaker. Have been canoeing for about 50 years and filming for about 10. Have run about 50 rivers of which 10 are in the Canadian Arctic.


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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2004, 5:51 pm 
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Joined: July 3rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario canada
Well said George,

We spent 4 days in Baker Lake this summer, after flying in from Yellowknife (w/tundra tom at expeditions plus), and paddling the Thelon.

I met a group of 4 that flew in on the tundra plane (Boris’s). The seemed fine with the operation.

I also spent some time with the pilot in Baker Lake. He said that it is probably most economical to be a group of six. He would be able to fit 3 pakboats, 6 persons and all gear, without much difficulty.

Another source of canoes is David Ford from Okpiktuyuk Art (Ph: (867) 793-2534). He has canoes people have traded for carvings. He will rent them and have someone take them out onto the barrens in the winter. (I have not done this.)

If you plan to rent canoes, question the quality. There were a lot of used/abused/aged boats in Yellowknife and Baker Lake (and probably the rest of the north). They have been out of shop for many years, and show it. They are not your sothern rental boats. We decided to purchase a pakboat last summer, it was perfect.

From Baker there are many amazing paddling opportunities as well. Look at the map!

To access Baker Lake, you can get there with Calm Air, via Winnipeg, or you may be also to arrange something with First Air, via Rankin inlet, to Ottawa. Flights up here are a prime opportunity to use your aeroplan points, but book early, and be flexible.

Any question, please write me back, here or with a pm.

Stephen


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PostPosted: November 8th, 2004, 3:00 pm 
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Joined: January 14th, 2003, 7:00 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, WI USA
To add to what Stephen wrote.
I did trade Ford my 17' Penobscot for a carving. I had the boat for five years - five long expeditions. I would paddle my Penobscot again but would be very careful. The bottom is well worn and we placed a kevlar/epoxy field patch on it during it's last cruise on the Dubwant.
Most of the boats Ford has there are pretty beat.
And David is a good guy but works on Indian Time.
Love the carving!


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PostPosted: November 8th, 2004, 3:47 pm 
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What kind of carving did you trade it for and where do you keep it? In/out door?

cb


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PostPosted: November 8th, 2004, 3:56 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, WI USA
It is indoors.
It is a hunter standing on top of a seal. Black stone. About 12" by 10" high. Weighs about 20 pounds.
He had it for sale in his shop for $1300. I paid $900 plus the canoe.
The canoe would have cost me about $300 to ship home and I decided it wasn't worth the cost of shipping.
It did take me several phone calls and about 3 months to get him to ship it. Indian Time and I say that with a smile and a lot of understanding.


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PostPosted: January 13th, 2005, 5:19 pm 
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Joined: April 30th, 2003, 1:28 pm
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Location: Baker Lake, Nunavut
I expect the turbine Otter will be back up here this season. It is currently down south somewhere with its pilot for an engine change. Baker ran out of AvGas and Jet-B this summer due to all the diamond exploration craziness around here all summer. In fact it started a year ago this month when an unheard of two helicopters were parked on the ramp here in January for a week or ten days in preparation for going claim staking. The high point was July 2 when there were 12 helicopters parked on the ramp waiting for weather (we had had light snow and freezing drizzle). Today it's a balmy -45ºC (-49ºF) with ice fog and a four-day blizzard forecast for this weekend. Time to dream of canoes and kayaks six months hence...

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Paddle up the Thelon to the Thelon Game Sanctuary, 150 miles west of Baker Lake


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PostPosted: February 19th, 2005, 7:27 pm 
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Location: Baker Lake, Nunavut
The turbine Otter is on wheels and goes for $12/mile. Not sure if you can get a 17' canoe in it. Being on wheels means you can get dropped off in June instead of waiting til the ice goes out in July. June means no bugs. ;-)

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Paddle up the Thelon to the Thelon Game Sanctuary, 150 miles west of Baker Lake


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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2005, 10:08 am 
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Location: Huntsville, Ontario Canada
Thelon;
I would have thought that living in Baker Lake that you would be in touch with Boris. He has told me categorically that unless he removes or changes bulkheads in the Otter that it will not carry a 17' canoe. For other people have fun paddling up the Thelon without a motor assist. The river drops at 1 meter/kilometer. Coming down the river last year with a GPS we measured our canoeing speed at 18km/hour. If paddlers are interested in flying out of Baker Lake with hard shelled 17' canoes, the options are not great. The least expensive is to have your canoes hauled out in March or April overland to the river of choice and tied and rocked down on location or at vast expense bring in a twin Otter from Yellowknife.

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Avid canoeist and filmmaker. Have been canoeing for about 50 years and filming for about 10. Have run about 50 rivers of which 10 are in the Canadian Arctic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2005, 5:32 pm 
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Location: Baker Lake, Nunavut
Hi gdrought,

Ya got me beat--I started canoeing in 1961 in the BWCA (not counting running around the bayous of LA in a pirogue a couple years before that). And lived for a few years in Northern Saskatchewan (on the Churchill River). My favourite trip used to be spending a couple days paddling and poling upriver on the Canoe River (no need to arrange being dropped off by another vehicle). I don't value much yer typical canoe expedition where you run down the Thelon for a couple hundred miles, frantic to get to your takeout by the prearranged hour. When I say "paddle" up the Thelon, I'm including poling and lining, like we used to do in the old days. Sure the current is going to be 18 klicks down the middle of the Thelon, but it's much slower or almost stopped right along shore where you can pole in the shallows, and/or where you can line the canoe. There's some great trips you can do from Baker on other lakes and rivers without getting dropped off anywhere--start and end at Baker. You'll see quite a bit of wildlife and get a much better view of the Barrens.

>>I would have thought that living in Baker Lake that you would be in touch with Boris.<<

You can also get dropped off at different points from Baker by boat (with a motor) and paddle back. Like I said in a previous post, the turbine Single Otter on tundra tires is a great asset here as it allows you to get a one-month jump on the regular tourist wave and you get out there before the bugs hit. You also have a chance to catch "la Foule"--the great caribou migration--on the way to the calving grounds.

Getting your boats hauled to a specified dropoff point by snowmachine before the snow melts is not necessarily a cheap option--last year three canoes were deposited at the wrong location by Bombardier. Not sure how that was rectified, but I'm sure there were some disappointed canoeists. Also sometimes the canoes end up looking like somebody shot them full of holes with a .22 (grizzly claw marks).

>>The least expensive is to have your canoes hauled out in March or April overland to the river of choice and tied and rocked down on location or at vast expense bring in a twin Otter from Yellowknife.<<

Our favourite summer haunt is to plop down in the Thelon Game Sanctuary near one of the small rivers and camp out. If we want to paddle we take a folding kayak.

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Paddle up the Thelon to the Thelon Game Sanctuary, 150 miles west of Baker Lake


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