Canada Diaries : Journal note 5 of a Wandering Sherpa : Aurora at Yellowknife


Aurora Borealis: a much awaited item off the bucket list

When you see that on a summer night, it cant get any better

Our travels to Arctic (2022) and Antarctic (2019) were absolutely mesmerizing but always felt incomplete because we travelled in summers and did not have a chance to see the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis. Polar regions without the polar lights …. hmmmm

the stunning purples and greens that fill the sky and our hearts

Yellowknife, Canada was a great answer perched at a happy 62.5 degree north latitude… shy of Arctic circle but nearly there.… You can get great Aurora Borealis ( Northern lights) sighting in the comfort of a summer night in August and September and at a comfortable 9 degrees Celsius night we had last night. Pretty unique, perhaps due to where Yellowknife is located.

My first viewing of the Aurora last night was great in how it felt. It wasn’t the best display nature puts up, but what the hell, it was our first viewing and pretty good and I will not complain. I would, instead, gloat!

an absolute well organised Aurora viewing experience centre

It truly was an Aurora chasing / hunting night in every sense of the word. We drove around ( in a small group tour) for 189 km over 6 hours ( 11pm to 5am), checked out 5 different candidate locations for Aurora Viewing and actually succeeded in 2.

The night was cloudy the viewing probability was only 35% and we had some rain making the hunt for a clear sky a little harder. Patience and perseverance (on the part of our guide Julian) paid off and we did get lucky, finally, at 3.30 am.

Aurora Village : An amazingly well organised Aurora viewing centre

First viewing from the banks of the Madeline lake was a sampler but dull. The last stop further west was our first wow with a grade 3 sighting ( it can go up to grade 10 which is considered the WOW in capital letters).

Really happy getting an item off the bucket list and also trying my first Aurora photography… not bad at all. The first Aurora shooting, the old jungle saying goes, is more enthusiasm and less experience like the first time you realise you are in love!!!

We went back the very next day, this time with an absolutely professional company the Aurora Village and I am so so glad we did.

The day the skies cleared and the Aurora Borealis danced in sheer abandon
the Auroras appeaeared on their celestial stage from 11.30 pm and danced on and on and on like Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady… I could have danced all night, you could hear the lights say…
We got super lucky on day 2 of our Aurora quest. Aurora Village was an awesome Northern Lights tour organizer with their own dedicated Aurora village off the highway, 3 beautiful spots where you can watch the aurora from and the warmth of your Teepee tent if you wanted to duck in for a hot chocolete between lights in the sky and unending photo binges

The sky was absolutely clear, it was the newmoon night and the moon was safely tucked away on the other side of the earth leaving a good dark sky, there was not a cloud in sight and the sky was starlit. The bonus was watching my favourite constellations with northern lights for a backdrop ( see the picture of Ursa Major (Saptrshi) picture)

The burst of green started filling the skies and our hearts ...

by 3 am, it was time to head home ..happy, smiling and with a bunch of pictures and memories
For the photography enthusiasts: a lot more lessons ( I am a total green horn at Aurora photography and I was learning through a fire hose). I now know what to pack for the next Aurora day. But in all,fairly happy with what I shot

A pro-tip for aspiring Aurora photographers. I went with a 24-70mm / 2.8G and shot at 24mm. But in hindsight, I should have brought my ultrawide fast lens. If you shoot at 11mm / 1.4G … that would be awesome. You can shoot a larger part of the sky. I missed that

#auroraborealis #auroravillage #Aurora #yellowknife #wandering_sherpa #learningsherpa #ilovemytravels #ilovelife #achutanrao

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