La Ronge Waterbase

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Written by Mike Rabe
Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mike RabeWe finished the transects north of Prince Albert and moved north to La Ronge, Saskatchewan. Because there is a water base in La Ronge, and we are in a float plane, we end up docking the float plane at the water base each evening. This way, instead of having to rent a car to get back and forth, we have a 5-minute walk to the dock in the morning and the same in the afternoon. The exercise is welcome after a day of sitting in a bouncing airplane looking down for hours, scanning for ducks. Survey is mentally taxing but you don’t get much physical exercise. Your eyes are moving constantly but the rest of your body just sits (or bounces, depending on turbulence). I do get some exercise pumping the floats dry every morning. Pilots analyze and worry about weather, examine the plane every day for airworthiness, plan survey routes, fly, and count ducks. Observers clean windshields, pump floats, and count ducks. Pumping floats is a small price to pay for water landings. Not everyone likes small airplanes, but if you do, it is hard to beat landing and taking off in a floatplane. I love it!

Outside the motel in LaRonge.

Outside the motel in LaRonge. Photo by Mike Rabe, Arizona Game and Fish Department