Canoeing Coppermine River & Pikes Portage

Yellowknife to Arctic Ocean

Northern Paddling Adventure #8

39 days, 960 miles, Jul-Aug 2005

Ray & Jenny Jardine

2005-08-03 page 29 of 40

Day 29 - Point Lake

Our camp on the rock above the water was comfortable, but the sound of the water waves lapping at the base of our rock woke us several times.

We set off at 7:30 am. The sky was mostly clear and the bugs were few. The wind was out of the north and the air temperature was pleasant as usual.

We paddled the two miles across the bay, in 12 to 16 inches of chop, and at the far point made a minor mistake in navigating. I jumped across the lake to the north instead of the west. I wasn't watching my map often enough. I soon realized the mistake, which added a mile or more. The wind was shifting and diminishing, but no matter where we went, we had headwinds, whether we were paddling north or south. The wind seemed to be following the long and narrow serpentine lake.

A couple hours later the wind died and we began making some longer jumps, point to point to straighten our course somewhat. The rest of the afternoon was beautiful, sunny and windless. We kept away from shore and did not have very many bugs. In such calm weather we tend to get drowsy, but on other hand, the calm allows us to make the miles much easier, less strenuously.

We made a couple of stops on small islands of flat slabs, just to get out of the canoe and restore circulation. At one stop we removed the spray cover partially.

Late afternoon, with the sun glaring, we began shedding layers. At one point we saw a small snowbank on shore near the water. How ironic because the sun was so intense, and we were so warm.

We saw lots of fish rising to the surface. The first half of the lake was lined with beautiful rock slabs. Away from shore in the protected vales were stands of tall spruce. We saw very little bird life.

The face

We paddled past a 5-foot tall rock cliff that had cracks and crevices that look like the profile of a face. Remarkably, it looked like a face from any angle as we passed by it. The "eye" was actually a large, unoccupied bird nest.

We stopped at 7:30PM and set up camp. I sealed Jenny's leaking boot. The night is still calm but the sky has clouded over.

Camp #29

35 miles, 12 hours. Camp #29: UTM 12W 0382765 7242802 Map 86H

The story has 40 pages. This is page 29.
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