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PostPosted: February 20th, 2007, 7:07 pm 
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I just finished my last year's trip report, have a look here.

English is my second language, so please excuse some funny parts, especially the-a-an use. I'm sure Lynette will soon fix it for me.

I did it this time bit differently, with the focus on the photo location (I tried to show on the google and toporama topo map where each picture was taken). BTW, I wrote small windows shell application where on right click you get small popup menu with "Show Location" functionality similar to what you'll see in this trip report. Let me know if that could interest you.

Geocities is bandwidth restrictive website, so it you guys all jump at it at the same time, eventually it will shut down, but it will be again up the next day.

Let me know any comments and criticism.

Enjoy!


Last edited by Wolverine on February 27th, 2012, 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: February 20th, 2007, 7:43 pm 
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Great TR Wolverine!

I have yet to get that far east in my paddling career (furthest east I have been is the Nottaway). Thanks for sharing!

Question about your drysuits: Being early August, I am somewhat surprised on the choice for wearing drysuits? But I have never been in that part of the world, and with all the rain you get, perhaps it’s a good option? If you were to do the trip again, would you use the drysuits, or switch to another apparel? I paddle in the NWT and Nunavut mainland Arctic, and its gets so hot that most times it would be unbearable in a drysuit. Of course its gets really cold too, and I have been in the wet snow and cold rain periods many times, but gortex raingear, fleece and long underwear seems to be sufficient.


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 Post subject: Drysuits
PostPosted: February 21st, 2007, 12:05 pm 
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Drysuits: on the Broadback I carried my (Kokatat goretex) drysuit for 22 paddling days & wore it 2-5? days, due to cold, wet weather conditions. The water temperature was bearable for quick swims & washing. I'd carry it again. The big rapids on the lower section were mostly pool & drop.

On the Moisie I wore it the majority of the time, not wearing it for the FW days & long portages.
There was WW most days & the water temp was ICY cold (yes-even in August!)- the 'hard core' swimmer in the group only got up the gumption to swim once & it was a quickie! Paddlers who did not have dry suits envied us as they donned their freezing wetsuits day after day. My paddling partner did not have any cold water protection at all(his drysuit is coated nylon - a personal & fragrant steam bath; ie not worth bringing on a summer trip) , so we had to portage some rapids which we would have been capable of paddling, but we would have been on our own if we'd swum & the water temperature made this a BIG safety issue. The only dump we had was in a very long class 2-3, & the swimmer with the drysuit just hopped back in to finish the long swim to catch up to the canoe which we'd Finally gotten out, but the guy in the wetsuit was shivering violently by the time he got out & had hiked the rest of the way down.

I love my drysuit & will take it on all northern trips - the Moisie I would consider north because it's mean daily temp is at least 10C cooler than what us southern Ont folk are used to. Night time temps got close to freezing quite a few times. My experience of North Quebec weather is summarized in one word: unpredictable. Another word would be "variable" - you can get the whole gamut in one day & often do. The drainage basin of the Moisie is largely muskeg - when you sink into that thick moss, the water underneath is bone-chillingly COLD. AND I have the same drysuit on order for my paddling partner so he can be safe & comfy too, although he has his reservations about goretex. If I get too hot, I just go for a swim & wash my hair!!! Swimming/head dunking after a sweaty, buggy portage is refreshing & cooling off so quickly fools the bugs temporarily too.


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 Post subject: Re: Drysuits
PostPosted: February 21st, 2007, 12:42 pm 
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Lynette wrote:
AND I have the same drysuit on order for my paddling partner so he can be safe & comfy too


Yup, my drysuit is coming soon!! :D


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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2007, 7:25 am 
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Gulo gulo,

Thanks for the trip report and the missing definite and indefinite articles gives it an exotic flavour.
Was this your first trip with a pakboat. I would appreciate your opinion on it's suitability for a trip like this.

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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2007, 8:05 am 
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I found this river very scenic, but most of the reports describe a terrible weather: cold and rain appear to be a common denominator !!
Thanks for sharing, great report.

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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2007, 9:33 am 
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kingfisher wrote:
Was this your first trip with a pakboat. I would appreciate your opinion on it's suitability for a trip like this.


It was my first trip ever where in the group one of the canoes was pakcanoe. I first time saw it in real-time usage. Note that I paddled in ABS canoe (Old Town Appalachian).

What I will write is strictly my personal opinion, based only on this one-trip experience.

Pakcanoe seemed to be much slower than any other canoe. The main difference wasn't on the flatwater as you would expect. In the rapids, because it flexes, it gets much easier stuck on the shallow rocks that ABS boat. On the portage, it needed every time to install portable yoke, and it was hard to do, took a long time and tend to disconnect when being portaged. It was also the most fragile canoe - two poles got broken and we were fortunate to be able to fix it for the duration of the trip.

If we were all canoes pakcanoes, the dynamics & progress & problems would have been the same for everyone. Having only 1 pakcanoe, it wasn't good.

I think it is excellent canoe when due to flight & logistical restriction you cannot bring usual ABS boat. However, if you can bring ABS (i.e. the difference is only price you pay for transport or some logistical complication with shipping it in and/or out), bring it.


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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2007, 12:07 pm 
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Lester, again your trip report and info is outstanding. From some of previous discussions, it sound like a dry suit would be highly recommended for this trip. Also, I noticed on some of the pictures you had several type of spray decks attachments (to the canoes) did some perform better than others? My canoe is equipped for a North Water deck, did you used this type of deck on your trip?
Thanks


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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2007, 12:51 pm 
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I am not an expert on spray decks. I used it only on two trips so far, Broadback and Moisie. I don't think it matters much who makes it, as long as it connects tight to the body and it is easy to get out of in the case of dump (it's great to have small training session to test it). System of rods keeping spraydeck up around the cockpit is very important, too.

Here is nice thread on myCCR discussing Moisie and use of spray deck.


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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2007, 1:19 pm 
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When I paddled the Moisie in August I did not have a drysuit. Thankfully, I did not swim any rapids as others in our group did! The weather/conditions could justify using one. If I recall, it rained 13 of 16 days, and the water was very, very cold. I took a brief dip in Lake Opacopa on the 4th day in. It was the only "hot" day of the trip but seeing as it was 3 degees the night before the lake was pretty fridged. The only disadvantage of the drysuit is the portaging on the upper river. There are some long, somewhat difficult portages and I would worry about damaging the suit on those days. However, like Lynnette says you can just choose not to wear it on those days. When I return, I might bring my drysuit, but I'd be comfortable in just a wetsuit too.

Judging from the pictures Lester posted, we ran the river at a slightly higher water level. We had spray skirts. While an experienced paddler doesn't "need" a spray skirt to run the river, I would certainly recommend it. It's not pool and drop rapids, and the waves can be quite massive in long sections of RIII that are not practical to line or portage. Furthermore the warmth the skirt provides in the cool rain is makes it worthwhile alone!


BTW, Excellent trip report Lester!


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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2007, 5:13 pm 
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On spray decks, drysuits & cold weather.

Decks

I have an Outdoor Solutions spray cover, this past summer on the Seal I was in a tandem boat with OS cover, the other boat was a tandem paddled solo with a Northwater cover. Although the Northwater performed well there was one minor problem and one somewhat major problem. The Northwater decks do not cover the bow well enough and some leakage occurs at that point (minor irritant). The big drawback to the Northwater was the attachment method, while certainly strong enough is was a royal pain to open and close, somewhat offset by the centre hatch arrangement but still we were constantly waiting for it to be "done up". The Seal has NO portages so this problem would only happen in the morning or at lunch breaks, after a couple of days we made sure that most things that would be needed during the day were kept where they could be accessed without having to remove the cover. On a trip with numerous portages it would not be good.

I have an NSR Triton Drysuit, only had it for one season, even though the weather on the Seal was quite good and water temps not that cold I still wore the suit except for two days of flat water and sunny warm weather. I was able to adjust by varying the amount of clothing on under the suit from several layers of poly/fleece to nothing at all. There were only a few times when it felt too hot but as I said no portaging was involved. I did really like the bug and rain protection the suit provided. Getting to a extremely buggy site in the pouring rain was bearable since I did not take the suit off until camp was fully set-up, under the trap and then remove the suit without needing to change into dry clothing. For sure in a non-breathable drysuit this would have been brutal. I also really enjoyed never having to start my day by pulling on a damp/frozen wetsuit! Keep in mind that the big advantage to a drysuit is not when you are IN the water but AFTER you get out, the dangers of hypothermia are more likely when you stand around on shore in a (wet) wetsuit.

Cold & wet weather seems to be a fact of life on the Moisie, every report I've read confirms this but still it's a beautiful river. When I go back I expect I'll wear my drysuit every day with the possible exception of the big portages (if it's not freezing cold that is).

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PostPosted: February 24th, 2007, 1:54 pm 
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Drysuits: (breathable) my perspective (above) is that of a petite (easily chilled) female, however the younger stronger guy on the Broadback who had one wore his more often than I did, so my opinion is that: once you get used to the safety & comfort, you'll end up agreeing they’re worth their price.

Spraydecks:
First thing I have to say: If you’ve never used one & unless you’re a kayaker & used to being tied into an upside down boat, PLAY with one first in a safe, warm environment & get used to how it feels to get out of it.
I’ve used a few different types & my opinion used to be that they were maybe a necessary evil… until I finally used a well designed one: it was a Northwater 2-piece (split between stern seat & cargo hatch) with a full size cargo-hatch. Northwater (ps – I’m not a rep & they didn’t pay me!) will make a deck to your canoe specs (they have most factory specs for most canoes, but if you’ve done any customizing at all, it’s worth it to send Very Detailed measurements of your own), which means they fit tight & sleek to the boat but allow full paddler mobility. (Disadvantage: does not allow for expansion of load much above gunwale height). Stiffeners fore & aft of paddlers skirts essential for deflecting water rather than having it gather there & then collapse into the boat. Their lashing system is light, efficient & strong, though I’d recommend extra lashing points amidships in case of damage there – that’s happened to me. The full length cargo hatch will roll back & tie out of the way for portaging & cargo access so you don’t have to be dismantling the whole darn system several times a day (which gets time-consuming & annoying). If I was to order one again, I’d ask for more attachment points on top ( had to sew on my own for map case, camera, water bottle etc), a better ‘stuffing’ system (like a throw bag?) for bow & stern lining ropes, and I’d ask them to extend that 3” webbing that protects the deck along the gunwales ALL the Way to bow & stern (for some reason, they stop it 1 –1 ½’ from the ends & that’s where we now have abrasion holes).

Pakcanoes: Have only seen one ‘built’(demo) & did not have to paddle or portage this one on the Moisie… SO…not enough experience to give an opinion of value… but here ya go anyway… IMHO: This 17’ pakcanoe was not a suitable boat for the Pekans & some of the Moisie. I can see its value for big northern rivers (expense of flying it vs hardshell canoe in). Fragile for bouncing off rocks – field repair expert & not-too-cold weather required. Funny to watch it flex up & over smooth boulders & between & over waves. Slower than most hardshell boats. Better with a full load (otherwise the center oilcans like crazy with 2 paddlers in either end). Amazed at how well it stood up to its only dump – 1 km fully loaded bounce/tow down fairly shallow class 2. Luckily we managed to keep it lined up with current so it didn’t get a chance to broach or wrap: Would not have wanted to see the aftermath of that! I would use one if necessary, but would adapt my behavior accordingly. And Richard would have to delete any opinion of the guy who had to carry this one most of the time – it would be unprintable – the combination of flexy boat, wonky yoke system, & blinding spray deck resulted in much frustration, to put it politely.


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PostPosted: February 26th, 2007, 6:07 pm 
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Lllynette and/or Lester,

Did you have the Northwater deck on your Appalachian?
Was it a good fit?
Was it your first ww trip with this boat?
Did you use flotation bags?
Your opinion on its performance would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: February 26th, 2007, 6:31 pm 
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The Northwater decks are good although overall I prefer the Outdoor Solutions. It's mainly the attachment method I don't like but I have to admit O/S method has it's drawbacks as well.

Personally I don't use flotation with a decked boat, the gear which is held in by the cover provides quite a bit of flotation. If you have the space available you can never have too much flotation.

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PostPosted: February 26th, 2007, 9:26 pm 
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For the purpose of experimentation I tried out my spray deck last year on the Coulonge. I do agree that the lacing is time consuming and getting the proper tension in the lace requires several step by step pulls. I was planning on cutting the lace in two so the deck can be split in the middle. I was wondering if anyone has ever tried that and if it was successful. I agree with Illynette, exterior attachments for extra stuff would have some practical advantages. I will also study the forward attachments. I do recollect on one rapid getting some water under the deck and into the canoe. I have yet to fully test and find the limitation of a spray deck. Before going on the Moisie in 2009 I have some work to do which include running some grade III rapids with a deck.


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