Small Island - Dene Fishing Camp, Swan Bay
Distance 30 km [417.5 km]
A day of tactical decisions. Woke early as usual, following a night of continuous rain, the rain appeared to be easing but there was a strong headwind and white caps so we decided to wait. Finally the wind eased and we got moving by 9.30am and were on the water by 11.15am. It was a day of long open stretches of four to five km, interspersed by islands. We made it across our first section of open water before lunch despite a very strong cross wind. Cross winds are a real stress on John who has to work extra hard to steer the canoe, keeping it straight. It was cold and overcast all day, the only time the wind stopped blowing was when we stopped for lunch when it was calm hot and humid. It was tricky navigating between islands, even John whose navigational skills have me in awe had a moment of doubt, disturbing for him.
As the afternoon wore on we finally got a following wind and made it into Swan Bay about 5pm. Our plan was to to camp near the the mouth of the Swan River giving us a whole day to get up to Swan Lake. The weather gods had other ideas, a squall rapidly developed with very dangerous crosswinds, this forced us to put into shore and wait it out. Eventually the the rain eased but the strong winds continued. There were no suitable camping areas nearby so we made a second tactical decision to return several kilometres to a Dene fishing camp we had passed earlier. The site had the usual rubbish everywhere but was otherwise reasonable. It had a small sandy beach for landing, it was flat and open with a firm place for the tent and bliss oh bliss a table for me to use as a kitchen. In tent for the night by 8.30pm.