A Rainy Day, July 25

Paddling in the rain

Paddling in the rain

About 5 am I heard misting rain, or so I thought as it woke me from sleep.  It stopped almost right away, so then I thought perhaps it was just the sound of bugs on our tent, because there were a lot of them.  However it did start to rain, suddenly, and hard just about 6 am.  I got the tent shut up just in time, before the downpour started.

Graeme and I both rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.  We dozed, but didn’t sleep soundly until we got up at 7:30 in what seemed like a lull in the rain.  I just managed to get the tarp set up before a real deluge started.  I sat under the tarp for a while getting things organized for breakfast, then Graeme joined me after he had organized the tent.

It stopped raining long enough that we were able to get the tent down without getting it too wet.  We packed the fly in a separate garbage bag, because it was soaked.  Then we finished packing under the tarp, took it down and were off in the rain about 9:30.

It didn’t rain too hard at first, and Graeme actually said, “it’s evaporating about as fast as it’e making my coat wet.”  However, that didn’t last long.  Soon we had several major downpours, and it didn’t really stop raining until noon.  It rained very heavily before that, so when we stopped on a point for lunch, we both found our clothes were soaked, even under our rain gear.  Fortunately it was not cold today.

We shot the west channel rapids (13 U 645453 6159879) by Cameron Falls.  It is a long fast water run, with big eddies.  I took the bow today, as my left hand is very sore, and so it was nice to have Graeme take the stern.  As usual I tried to steer from the front the wrong way in the rapids.  Knowing I wanted to go a bit to the left I started to J.  I realized it immediately, so drew instead, but then did it again just a few seconds later.  Fortunately it was an easy rapids, so there wasn’t any problem.  Forty years in the stern of a canoe leads to muscle memory habits that are hard to break!

There is another set of fast water (13 U 646001 6162035), just at the end of this channel.  I had a hard time seeing much in the rapids today, as my glasses were so covered with rain water.  But they were very easy rapids.

Just before lunch we stopped to bail out the canoe.  This time the water wasn’t much from running the rapids, but rather almost entirely from rain water. Graeme took out several litres of water.

Just as we pulled in for lunch the sun started to break through the clouds, so we were able to stay dry while we ate.  We did take the tarp out though, and needed it for just a couple of minutes as it started to sprinkle rain again.  We only used it for one or two minutes.

There are several cabins across the lake from where we stopped for lunch (13 U 651665 6162567).  We saw a boat leaving from them while we ate, and another small 14 ft motorboat with three fishermen, and a very small motor pulled up just as the rain started.  I wondered what they thought of us under the tarp!  I said to Graeme that their boat didn’t really look safe, and I’d far rather be in the canoe.  They left the point right away, and we passed them about a kilometer down the lake after lunch.

It was sunny enough as we left from the point after lunch that we put on sunscreen.  I told Graeme that we were being optimistic, and the sun didn’t stay out for long, but it didn’t really rain again on us as we looked for a good campsite.  We found this point, and it has a nice area for cooking, though no one had set up a firepit before.  We had to clean out a few old dead trees in order to make room for our tent (there is much more room back further, but it isn’t as flat).  We cut some wood for cooking, and then had a swim.  After that we set up the tarp, which we did by using two poles on the lake side, one of which is fastened to two heavy rocks, the other to an old dead log.  The other side of the tarp is tied to two solid trees.



About 4 pm we brought the canoe up for use in covering our gear.  It soon looked to me as if it was going to rain, so I flipped the canoe over.  Graeme thought it looked like rain, and our raincoats and towels on the line had all dried already in the wind, so he took them in to the tent.  Suddenly I felt a drop of rain so went to the back of the tent to close it up.  Graeme got the front closed up.  By the time I had the back done it was starting to pour, so I hustled under the tarp.  Fortunately their wasn’t much wind, as the rain pelted down, and I didn’t have my rain gear.  It was in the tent with Graeme!  He brought it out right away, and we sat under the tarp in a very, very heavy rain storm.  There was a lightning stroke six seconds away that we saw clearly across the lake.  There was another that must have been much closer behind us, as the thunder was much louder — but we didn’t see the flash.

We had two or three more very heavy rainstorms before supper.  We commented about how very glad we were to be sitting under the tarp all set up and prepared for the rain, rather than looking for a campsite in these rainstorms.  That would have been extremely miserable.

By the time we finished supper the thunderstorms had stopped, though there was still a lot of cloud around.  It is quite warm out now, though the sky is overcast, and the bugs aren’t bad under the tarp with a fire.  Before we started the fire for supper they were wicked!

There is a small current in the channel of the river in front of us.  We noticed it while swimming.  Now that the water is calm you can see very small eddies in the river.  The fish are jumping and if we get up without rain tomorrow morning, we plan to fish before leaving and take some fish home with us.

Paddled 21.49 km

Camped 13 U 0653256 6156152 (NAD83)

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