Day 1
  Day 2
  Day 3
  Day 4
  Day 5
  Day 6
  Day 7
  Day 8
  Day 9
  Day 10
  Day 11
  Day 12
  Day 13
  Day 14
  Day 15
  Day 16
  Day 17
  Day 18
  Day 19
  Day 20
  Day 21
  Day 22
  Day 23
  Day 24
  Day 25

Canoeing the Kazan River

Kasba Lake to Baker Lake

Northern paddling Adventure #7

25 days, 560 miles, Jul 2001

Ray & Jenny Jardine

2001-07-21 page 12 of 25

Day 12

The storm has abated and it's time to be moving on.

The sky was still 100 percent greased over, but the wind was down to 8 or 10 knots northeast. We packed up and set off at 6:45 am. The morning was quite chilly, a drastic change from three days ago. Such a drop in temperature we usually attribute to the northerly winds bringing cold air from the polar ice pack.

Headwinds slowed progress as we paddled across the strait, but the seas were not large enough to make the going boisterous. Reaching a gap between islands we paddled around a large island/peninsula to its northwest, then through the wide and deep channel taken by the river itself. From there we island-hopped southeast along the deeply crenulated northeast shore of Angikuni Lake. This, again, with the wind on the nose, as the apparent wind had veered unfavorably southeast.

The day remained chilly, and since I had dressed lightly I spent the first three hours trying to warm up, to little avail. Finally I dug into my clothes bag for a hat, shirt, pants, and pile booties. As we rounded the corner and headed northeast the wind slowly dropped, nearly to nothing in fact, so of course the bugs came out in great numbers. Sweatting under my bulk of clothing, I steered us across a wide stretch to an island, through a strait to its northeast, northeast past a large island, and then along the eastern shore of the mainland to the lake's outlet. Again our eyes were very strained from the day's paddling. The problem is that the sky is bright and the low lying land is dark. To see features on land in the distance one must keep the pupils open, meaning that the eyes receive too much light from the sky, hence the fatigue.

Mid-afternoon snacks are served: cheese and crackers.

Navigating throughout the day was tricky but we had no real problems. As the afternoon wore on we gradually gained Angikuni Lake's outlet. A light southwest tailwind wafted us along for the last couple of lake miles. Half an hour from stopping for the day we trolled the lure, but to no avail. As we padded toward shore at 5 pm intent on making camp, Jenny said she saw a fish feeding at the surface. We were both famished for fish, so while she unloaded the canoe I grabbed the pole and cast a spinner from shore. In a few minutes I landed a nice 16 inch grayling. After helping Jenny unload the boat and carry it up to camp, I then cleaned and scaled the fish and chopped it into three pieces suitable for the cookpot. Jenny was just lighting the stove as I handed her the fish.

Sometimes the bugs can get a bit pesky.

The black flies at this camp were unbelievably numerous, collecting on our head nets and clothing in what seemed like solid patches, at times. They gathered under the tent fly in layers that repeatedly grew so thick they broke away under their own weight, only to start growing again straightaway. For an hour we labored to clear them from inside the tent. Three times we opened the door and chased a wave of them out. But the others we had to dispatch. We are loathe to kill blackflies inside the tent, mainly because they leave the tent smelling fishy. The fishy smell of fish is actually that of the bugs they eat. Curiously, there were no mosquitoes involved in this frenzy. With the last of the black flies removed from our living quarters, we removed our bug clothing and relaxed with a pot of savory fish chowder made with instant potatoes. Around 8 pm Doug and Howard paddled by, calling out a greeting and we hallooing back. Typically, I think we paddle more miles than they, but they had chosen a shorter route around Angikuni, one that entailed a lengthy portage. In retrospect their route must have been quicker.

Note how these blackflies are stacked together on Jenny's jacket.

We had yet to see any animals on this trip, aside from the moose 10 days ago and the birds, what few birds there have been. The usual geese, ducks and loons have not yet started gathering for their approaching migrations; they are still raising their young out on the tundra. The lack of wildlife notwithstanding, we had enjoyed the day and had come 30 miles in the process.

Camp #12

The story has 25 pages. This is page 12.
<---- Previous page   Next Page ---->
<< First page   Last page >>
Previous Article
 1999 Back River 
Copyright © 2018
27,187,473 visitors
PLEASE DO NOT COPY these photos and pages to other websites. Thank you!