View topic - Nibiischii Trip Report Days 3 - 4

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PostPosted: September 19th, 2019, 3:34 pm 
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Joined: February 26th, 2009, 11:13 am
Posts: 121
Location: Eganville, ON
Tue August 27th: 16km, 0 portages

After waking to another bluebird sky, we had a leisurely breakfast, packed up and headed north through a long narrow channel. The channel was lined with a lot of scenic rocky cliffs, and had depths from 50 to 80 feet. I should have put on a diving lure and ploughed the depths for trout, but did get a few small pike trolling large spinners.

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As we paddled down the channel, the wind kept picking up. By the time we reached a large open portion it was really starting to howl. We stopped at the end of the lake for a rest, swim and lunch. After lunch we continued on through more narrows, and noticed a small rapid dumping in through a channel on our right. This is where we merged onto the Rupert River. Not long after we had to run a relatively easy rapid with a good volume of water running through. The bay on the other side of the rapid had a channel that reached 150 feet deep in places!

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Shortly after another narrows we took a minute to gather our energy in the lee of an island. We were now entering one of the large bays of Lac Mesgouez roughly 3km wide by 10km long and in a howling wind with 2 foot waves and whitecaps. We were heading for an island about 2km away with a huge sand beach on it. The wind was at least going our way, so if anyone was to capsize in the waves, we would still be pushed toward the island. Steeling ourselves we pushed off. It was a good paddle, I recall hitting nothing but air a couple of times as the boat was riding the peak of a wave, but only took on a small amount of water.

When we landed on the beach we were surprised to see some pole structures setup for erecting tarp shelters. The site is obviously used regularly as tarps were stored in the bush, and there were even a couple of box privy’s; a true luxury on these trips! We setup camp behind the first row of bushes, giving us some respite from the wind.

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Per usual, we still had a quick swim to wash off the grime from another days travel, and then proceeded to prepare dinner. I had kept one of the large pike caught earlier in the day, so we had delicious fried pike on a bun with mayo and onions. We had so much meat, that after a couple of sandwiches each, we still had leftovers for breakfast snack the next day. After dinner we had another nip of scotch, while lamenting the clouds that had moved in and spoiled our star gazing, and potential for northern lights. We also discussed rerouting our trip through a series of narrow channels and lakes if the wind continued to howl, rather than be exposed on the large bays of Lac Mesgouez.

Wed August 28th: 16km, 0 portages

Woke up this morning to still howling winds, and ominous looking skies. The weather sealed the decision to avoid 2 days travel on large open bays of Mesgouez and we planned to explore another series of small lakes and channels instead. We had our usual breakfast ritual, after which we all planned to use the box privy while it was available. After packing up we donned some rain gear, or at least kept it handy, then pushed off into a fierce headwind. The first couple kilometers across the large open bay was very taxing, especially in my solo boat. After that we entered a long narrow channel roughly 6 km long, but generally less than 150 meters wide. Most of it was into a headwind, but the channel certainly moderated the force compared to being on the exposed bay earlier. At the end of the channel, a short creek brought us into a lake about a kilometer wide by 3 long. At this point the howling headwind made progress very slow. We opted to take a break on a beach roughly halfway down the lake. As we wandered around eating lunch and blueberries, we came across a rather large burl on a dead burnt over spruce tree. With a bit of effort it was liberated for a souvenir to be used for a winter woodturning project.

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After lunch we battled the headwind through the second half of the lake before entering some more channels where the wind was much more manageable. We were privileged to come across a large bull moose on the edge of one of the bays in this section.

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As we continued through a series of channels, we eventually squeezed through a short tiny creek into a larger lake with a large beach on the north end; our destination for the night. It was a thin strip of land separating 2 bodies of water. The sun made a brief appearance allowing a quick swim, followed by a challenging setup in howling wind. Eventually we got the tent and tarp setup, even having to use the canoes to guy to in the howling winds.

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As we setup and prepared dinner in the tarp shelter we could see very ominous shelf clouds forming.

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The crazy clouds eventually turned into a pretty fierce thunderstorm. The shelter and tarp held up well, and we prepared and started cooking a nice deep dish pizza while the weather did its best to wash us back into the lake.

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After dinner, the storms finally blew away. It looked like we might get some more sun, but it eventually clouded over again to stay for the next few days. We could feel the warmth disappear with the storm, and were now in a much cooler pattern. We had our usual nighttime libation, followed by another well-earned rest after a hard days paddle.


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