Allen Island - Un-named Island, Reindeer Lake
Distance 23km [387.5 km]
Woke at the usual 6am to a cloudy but still morning, packed and on water by 8am. Good paddle on flat water through a series of islands. We saw two white de Havilland Beavers come into land at a fishing camp on Tate island, that made John’s aviators heart race. Not far past Tate Island we could hear howling. Sure enough there was a dog that had apparently been marooned on a small island. We felt awful paddling past as he could see us and ran the length of the island parallel with us howling plaintively, however he did look in good nick so we guessed someone was feeding him, possibly one of the First Nation guides from the fishing camp.
Having paddled through a number of islands we reached a stretch of open water, about 5 km and wouldn’t you know it a cross wind sprang up. The sky became overcast and the wind continued to pick up, having paddled 20 km we decided to stop for lunch. Whilst looking for a lunch spot we passed close to an island disturbing a pair of what I think were Golden Eagles. They were on the rocks and took off as we approached but were close enough for us to get a good look.
By now the weather had deteriorated sufficiently that we decided to take the first reasonable camp site we saw rather than end up looking for a spot in the rain. We soon found a good site even though it was just after 1pm. Our plan is to say here tomorrow providing the weather is fine, I have a mountain of washing to do and this island has flat rocks making washing clothes and ourselves much easier. We are only a day from the end of Reindeer Lake and the entrance to the Swan River so it will be back to portaging, however we still have some open water to navigate.
Spent a relaxing and interesting afternoon wandering around the island taking photos and being amazed by the incredibly thick moss, up to a metre thick along the shore line. The island also had large “gardens” of crunchy grey caribou moss, it to is unusually thick, 20cm to 25cm, indicating that this particular island has not been burnt in a very long time. The piles of tortured, bleached Black Spruce drift wood that had been forced up on the shore by ice during the winter were a photographers dream and John spent much time getting that perfect shot. Afternoons like this make you forget the tough headwind days.