Thursday, July 20 (Day 7):
After two days of being weather bound, the third day was sunny and calm. I had about 6 or 7 rapids to get past. The size and volume of water were noticeably bigger.
I had lined about half way down the second one when I ran out of footing for lining, with portaging not being feasible due to alders. The water ahead looked canoeable. I was wiped out, however, by a hay stack after being destabilized by a boulder. I got clear of the canoe okay, but had to let go of my paddle as the canoe and myself went through the maelstrom and hit two or three boulders, with me being caught partially between the canoe and one of the boulders. I finally got the canoe stopped in the lower part of the rapids, with it floating up side down. When I flipped it over, there by a miracle was my paddle. Other than for a bruise or two I was fine. It was a bit tricky bailing out the canoe in the rapids but finally got underway again.
Everything had been tied in except for my paddle. I finally tied it in with a nylon string running to the front of the canoe which would allow me to paddle without restrictions while at the same time ensuring that I could not get tangled up in the string in the event of a dump.
I got through the remaining rapids without incident. It started to cloud over and a strong southwest wind came up, which it made canoeing very tricky in the expansions between rapids. I finally came to Wayne’s recommended campsite, another beach which happily had a small caribou moss covered area immediately above it.
A pair of otters approached the beach 50 metres to the north of me. Initially, just their seal-like heads emerged as they carefully examined me. Finally, each one in turn left the water and trotted into the forest behind the beach, revealing bodies about 4 feet in length, with a flat tail about half this length. Their bodies were sleek and seal-like too and they only lacked flippers. Mina Hubbard’s log has a note about her thinking that she saw a seal in about the same area. Unfortunately, there was no opportunity to get my cameras before they disappeared.
Location: N55º04.392’ W064º23.753’ Straight-line distance covered: 13.5 kilometres