We awoke to the new day with the realization that the strong northeast winds with spattering rain had us stormbound. And also that we needed to relocate. Initially we had pitched the tent on the brink of the plateau overlooking the water - on theory that maximum wind equals minimum bugs. Also we were thinking of maximizing the scenic view of the bay out our doorway; and of apprising the conditions directly. Unfortunately, we had also pitched the tent sideways to the wind. This model of tent was significantly longer than it was wide, and as the tempest had since intensified we now needed to reorient the tent into the wind to lessen its stress. Also we needed to withdraw it from the edge where it was taking the full brunt of the blow.
Unloading the tent of everything heavy, we figured we could simply pick it up and move it without the usual dismantling. This proved in error, for in an instant the extra strain of moving the tent broke a pole. Hurriedly we finished moving our precious shambles to a new site 100 feet away, and then belatedly we took it down and removed the broken pole. About which time the skies began to drizzle. The cause of the broken pole became apparent on disassembly. The pole had split lengthwise on both sides like a green stick, caused by its joint ferrule having slipped out of position. The mis-alignment had created an unfavorable stress riser. Using epoxy to keep the ferrule from shifting again, I then press-fit a larger repair sleeve over the entire broken section.
Experience has taught us to take an expedition strength tent, and a generous repair kit. Here I am repairing a broken tent pole in strong wind.
We are well experienced with broken tent poles in the Arctic, and carry a selection of repair materials accordingly. Even so, we now wish we would have brought a few more sleeves and a spare pole segment or two on this trip to the sub-arctic. And as yesterday's astounding storm burst had suggested, we really should have brought a stronger tent, for example of the type we use in the Arctic. Anywhere north of tree line the tent is vital to one's survival. And these high-latitude storms will test the mettle of anything standing in their way.
With our domicile safely restored, we spent the day napping and reading, lulled by the rain pattering the tent overhead. For the record, Jenny had selected Atlas Shrugged. I had chosen Unveiled Mysteries and for contrast Lord of the Rings.
In the tent with us was a satellite telephone, which we carried purely for emergency. Once we discussed taking the phone from its waterproof bag and actually using it to connect with someone on the outside. But the thought of dragging our perfect adventure out of context lacked appeal. How could we convey even the most rudimentary aspects of our journey? Mere words would never do.