Day 3: Headwinds

Date: Monday, August 3, 2015

Weather: 21 degrees Celsius, sustained winds

Distance: ~5 kms

We dawdled a little, slowly tearing down camp, enjoying the return of the sunshine and delaying the inevitable.

A weak ray of sunlight beamed into my tent on Monday morning of the August long weekend. Red squirrels scolded one another. Someone shifted in her tent.

It sounded as if I might be the first one up so I packed up the inside of my tent aware of every rustle and squeak I made. The plan for breakfast was pancakes which always slows down the morning routine. I wanted to make sure I was available to help everyone pack up as needed. By the time I finished, others were stirring in their tents.

We savored our pancakes and real maple syrup, our camp coffee, and the return of the sun. We did dishes, shook out wet tarps and flies, and packed up our belongings. We shot last-minute group photos, looked at our watches, and realized we needed to get on the water to leave ourselves enough time to deal with the inevitable headwinds.

The return trip to the 30 meter carry-over was short and sweet. The eight of us were a well-oiled machine now, moving gear and canoes efficiently to the other side. We enjoyed the last bit of protected paddling, rafted up one more time at the girls’ request for a mid-morning snack, and steeled ourselves to leave Three Mile Lake and face the music on Bell Lake.

The moms had their daughters in their bows which proved challenging for the boats with the two youngest girls. They were no match for the 50 kilometer an hour gusts coming our way and their moms fought valiantly to keep their noses pointed into the wind to make forward progress. Jenny and I divvyed up, each taking a girl in a boat and allowing two women to paddle together to rest a bit (as much as that could happen with sustained winds). However my solo boating skills were no match for the wind either. We decided to put two girls in the middle of a canoe with us and we towed a boat loaded down with gear. We stuck to the shore until a rocky outcrop forced us to the middle of the lake. With one last push and the girls singing us battle tunes, we made it into the protected bay where our outfitter was situated. Relief!

We debriefed as a group about the whole trip as we unpacked gear and reloaded cars. In three quick days we gave them the bulk of what one might encounter on a classic Canadian canoe trip and they had a blast. Fantastic!

Everyone made their way out of the park and towards home. I followed Jenny to Sudbury to unpack this trip and repack the next one. Stay tuned for the Temagami trip report.

For the rest of the trip report, click here.

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