Canoeing Coppermine River & Pikes Portage

Yellowknife to Arctic Ocean

Northern Paddling Adventure #8

39 days, 960 miles, Jul-Aug 2005

Ray & Jenny Jardine

2005-07-09 page 4 of 40

Day 4 - Hearne Channel

No rain during the night. We slept very comfortable on our heather mattress. We packed up and set off at 8:13 am. There was a light headwind, but we created a light tailwind instead. The sky was overcast, but gradually through the morning the clouds dissipated along with the wind. We couldn't paddle close to shore because the mosquitoes would soon find us.

We worked our way directly to Matonabee Point through a number of islands, mainly keeping to their outside. Devil's Channel looked intriguing but it would just add more miles and put us too close to the bugs so we stayed outside, rounded Gros Cap and headed east for the first time. We had a light tailwind across Campbell Bay and then light headwinds.

The mirages were playing tricks on the horizon, distorting islands and making it look like a huge portion of the lake was covered in ice. The headwinds were very cold and it had us wondering for awhile if there was indeed ice.

All along the way we've seen a number of motor boats. Late today a barge bullied by eastward. We crossed Beaulieu Bay in increasing crosswind that ultimately started whipping the bay into the first white caps. From there we had strong headwinds.

We saw a lot of beautiful, large fish near the canoe and we came close to a pair of loons with a young loonette. We stopped at 5:00 pm on a finger peninsula. Many people had stopped here before. There were dozens of old campfire scars and a fair bit of rubbish. But it was an extremely pretty area, smooth rock slabs, small groves of trees, wild strawberries, buttercups. The wind continued for a couple more hours which helped make our camp and cooking much more pleasant. By 8:00 pm though, the wind had died and the mosquitoes swarmed.

28 miles, 8.75 hours. Camp #4: UTM 12W 0392596 6877150 Map 85I

With one 10-minute shore break.

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