CLOSED Byron Bay Airport
Byron Bay, Nunavut, Canada

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Picture of

1985 (Maybe 1984) Visit

I spent a day or two here at the end of a month-long sovereignty patrol. We started at Lupin Mine site, Nunavut (65 degrees 29' 12.61"N, 110 degrees 21'1.33"W) in rubber boats (15-man rubber assault boats, for those with military experience) and made out way north along the Burnside River, up Bathurst Inlet to the top of the Kent Peninsula. From there we were supposed to lash our little boats together and motor across Dease Strait to Byron Bay, where we'd be extracted by C-130. Well, we got socked in by weather on the south side of the crossing point, and started running low on food and fuel. Luckily, the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker HMCCGS Camsel was in the area, lifted us on board by helicoper, and ferried us across to Byron Bay on Victoria Island. The staff at the DEW station there treated us well, and we were warm and dry - a welcome change from our 33 days on the water and tundra. When the Hurc came in to get us, the gravel strip was so soft (it was beginning of August) he couldn't stop for fear of sinking into the muskeg, so we did an engine-running onload (plane rolling at the time), tossed the loadies our gear and packed-up inflatable boats, scrambled in the back while he taxied down the runway to the end, turned around, and took off for home. Looking back, it was quite an adventure. If anyone else out there remembers "OP OPINGAK ODYSEY", drop me a line at

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