Sunday, July16, 2006 (Day 3):

 

It had rained during the night and the wind velocity varied widely from one moment to the next during the morning.  I had a bad feeling about going around the point immediately to the north of me and potentially being caught in huge waves during the 6 kilometre run to the rapids at the end of Lake Cabot.

 

It stormed that night with heavy wind.  I could hear the waves breaking close to my tent as I prayed that my boulders would not let go.

 

Monday, July 17, 2006 (Day 4):

 

The morning was sunny and perfectly calm, and I paddled off madly, knowing that even a small amount of wind could produce huge waves over the six-kilometre stretch facing me.

 

I covered the distance in about an hour thanks to the boost I get from my rudder.  I began to look forward to a record day and making it all the way to the campsite identified by Wayne, many kilometres away. 

 

I then got into a complicated passage where each rapid had to be lined in turn.  There is a certain high tone to rapids where there is water cascading over numerous boulders and where it will be impossible to find a passage allowing a canoe to be paddled through.  The rapids on the upper Naskaupi are exactly the same.  I lost my way again and attempted to paddle up against the rapids coming out the second passage from Lake Cabot, before I realized my error.

 

My difficulties in navigating in spite of having maps, GPS and compass made me think about what it must have been like as Mina and her team, but especially Wallace and Easton, subjected to the reality that winter was not far off, attempted to find their way.

 

I finally made it out of the passage about 3:40 p.m., with Wayne’s suggested campsite still many kilometres ahead. There, right in front of me, was a beach.  Behind the beach was a lovely sheltered meadow, covered with caribou moss.  It was the first campsite not on Wayne’s list and I set up without a second’s hesitation.

 

The picture is looking back at the exit from the rapids.

 

The sheltered meadow behind the beach.

 

It rained and stormed most of the night and my tent took a battering in spite of the shelter.  I was sure glad it had not caught me on the previous night’s beach.

 

Location:  N54º57.148’ W064º22.39’  Straight-line distance covered:  10.1 kilometres

Go to July 18-19