Pilots Lodge - 1km Above Hawkrock Rapids
Happy Birthday Shona
Distance 23 km [738 km ]
It was still raining hard when we woke up but the wind had dropped, we waited until 7pm when it was looking better and had packed up and were on the water by 9am. We were both tetchy, partly because packing up in the rain is difficult and we are both experiencing cumulative fatigue but mostly because we were anticipating two difficult rapids today, Brink Rapids, class 2+ and 2 and running for 1.2 kilometres and Brassy Rapids also long and class 2/2+. Even after all the rapids we have run successfully on the Fond du Lac I still feel the fear whilst John feels the responsibility of getting us through safely.
As expected Brink was awful, three class 2+ sets with class 2 ledges, John lined over the ledges apologising to “big red” all the way for scraping her bottom. We then ran the next kilometre plus of boulder garden, having to get out and line once we reached the shallow boulder apron at the end of the rapid. Brassy started out with a class 1 turning into a class 2 rock dodging exercise then a very fast chute with big waves breaking over the bow, it was at least half a kilometre of flying whilst bumping and grinding the many big boulders. John did an amazing job yet again. It was good to be through both and lunch on a sand escarpment below. After lunch it was straight forward paddling and two small class 1 and class 1+ rapids before finding a camp site about 3pm. The bugs drove us into the tent by 7.30pm. We kept hearing moose calls from across the river by despite going out to check we saw no moose. It was a very cold night but we were cosy with our sleeping bags zipped together.