Day 40

Wharton Lake - Dubawnt River 7km Above Marjorie Lake

Distance 22 km [884 km]
Portage 2 [18]
Very Fast Water 4 [37]
Rapids 1 [33]

Cloudy and cool morning with lots of friendly insects! We had to paddle a longer route around an island as the low water levels blocked the shortest route to the lake outlet. The exit rapid from Wharton was long and on a definite curve to the right, it had very big waves and gave us quite an exciting ride. We ran RR then moved to the right of centre as the river swung back to the left. After the rapid we made a small navigational error and paddled extra kilometres which got John riled up. We took the northern channel into Marjorie Lake. It had a strong current and several sections of very fast water, lots of fun, however we had been fighting a strong headwind which slowed our paddling rate. It is weird to have a strong current pushing you along but a wind so strong that even paddling flat out it is difficult to make any headway.

Though it was still early in the day we gave up battling the wind and set up camp on a reasonable beach about seven kilometres short of Marjorie Lake. Whilst setting up the tent we saw our first sign of civilisation in forty days when a helicopter flew overhead. The early stop was a good opportunity to have a very cold “bath” and sort the food drums. It is now becoming a challenge to spread the remaining food over what, weather gods permitting, should only be about twelve days until we reach Baker Lake.

Camp on the north channel out of Wharton Lake, about 7km above Marjorie Lake

Camp on the north channel out of Wharton Lake, about 7km above Marjorie Lake

As evening came the wind moderated and the insects came out in their millions. It is such a shame we were forced to cook and eat in the tent and limit the time we spent outside. Tonight we had planned to walk along the river channel that we will paddle down tomorrow but the swarms of insects made it impossible even dressed head to toe in our bug suits.