Uskik Lake, July 21

Current in the narrows between Trade Lake and Uskik Lake

Current in the narrows between Trade Lake and Uskik Lake

We slept in a bit this morning and didn’t get up until 6:30. It was a nice night, and a nice morning.  There wasn’t a lot of wind as we got going, and what there was from the north-west so mostly it was behind us.

Trade Lake though is a very large lake, and by the time we were in the middle of the first crossing the waves were large swells.  Occasionally there was a whitecap, but very few, and the waves threw the canoe around a bit and made it hard to steer.  I doubt that we would have been able to cross it when we arrived yesterday, as the wind was much stronger.

No rapids, and no portaging today, though there is a fair current through the narrows which join Trade Lake to Uskik Lake (13 U 596787 6145994).  We didn’t see much sign of people, until we were almost done for the day, and looking for a place to camp.  Then we saw a boat coming down the lake.  They stopped and talked to us, a First Nations family from Pelican Narrows.  We talked a bit about where the portage was at Kettle falls, and they said to make sure to stay to the left.  They wondered where we had come from today, where we’d started the trip, and where we are going.  They wanted us to be sure and be careful in the rapids, as they said the water is very high.

Very few of the sites marked as potential sites by Laurel Archer are very good, or are in the wrong places.  There is an island across from us here that is marked as a campsite.  The island is burned off so of no value to camp now anyway, but it is hard to see at least from here where you would be able to land.

By the time we were paddling north in the main channel of Uskik Lake the wind had shifted more to the north.  It was coming pretty much straight down the lake, and we were heading right into it.  We still made pretty good time though, as we averaged about 5 km/hr today.  Graeme is now rearranging our maps and said “we did come a long ways today, 3 1/2 maps”.

Campsite on Uskik Lake

Campsite on Uskik Lake

The site we are camped at has a nice place for a tent, though it has a lot of mosquitoes back in the bush.  But there is almost no where that is good to cook.  We couldn’t find any stones to build a fireplace, so cut two large poplars instead.  Since there are a lot of freshly cut beaver logs here, we had lots of choice.

We went fishing and Graeme caught a small jack that was good size for us to eat.  We have lots of rice, and we had the fresh carrots, which were really good, so had enough to eat even though there wasn’t a great amount of fish.  After fishing we went swimming.

While we were eating supper about two or three boats went north.  Across from here a burn starts on the other side of the lake, that looks not more than a year or two old.  Much of the rest of the lake has been burned too, but longer ago so it is starting to regrow.

We are making very good time.  Graeme commented about how much faster we are than the outdoor ed club.  He also does remember things about the trip even though it was 16 years ago, for example where Geoff Shynkaruk dragged a jack fish behind his canoe on a painter, and where he lost a fish-hook.

Paddled 38.81 km

Camped 13 U 0604338 6152320 (NAD83)

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