Dubawnt River at Moffit's Rapids - Dubawnt Gates
Distance 37 km [945 km]
Portage 1 
Very Fast Water 0 
Rapids 1 
Another productive and interesting day.
The river is now broad and fast flowing and fun to paddle. Just after leaving camp we passed through an extensive esker system and all morning we could see Tyrrell’s Twin Mountains in the distance. These are more impressive from a distance than when you come close to them. We also had another brush with civilisation, a small cabin overlooking the river and belonging to Environment Canada, apparently for the use of Water Resources. We stopped to explore and it looked as though someone had been there recently. We were sorry we didn’t meet them as it would have been interesting to know if the current water levels were low, high or average.
The river was really charging along and we reached our only rapid for the day by lunch time. It was a set of three with some holes but easily run, RR, RL, and RR. Immediately after the rapid the character of the river changed again. It became broad and deep, flowing between high sand banks all the way to the magnificent Dubawnt Gates. The GPS registered us as travelling at almost 14 kph as we paddled. We certainly were moving and looking at the bottom through the clear water it felt as though we were flying.
The Dubawnt Gates are awesome; high cliffs on both sides, a number of high ledges and huge waves. We eddied out on the river left at the foot of a very steep point jutting out into the main rapid. After John climbed the cliff and scouted we realised we needed to be on the right side in order to run the rapid however the swift current and strong wind made it too dangerous to try and ferry across the river unless we lined back up a very long way so we elected to portage up and over the hill.
After climbing the very steep side with the canoe and all our gear we decided to camp on top and complete the portage tomorrow morning as it is another steep climb down. Landing on the left means we will have completely portaged around the rapid. In the evening we walked along the cliff top, the “gates” are a spectacular sight and you also get a magnificent view back up the river we had travelled down and onward to where we have yet to travel.
Tomorrow we will reach the confluence of the Dubawnt and Thelon Rivers. It will be sad to leave the Dubawnt. It is truly a magnificent river, with its swift current, challenging rapids, delicious trout and ever the ever changing scenery. It has given us the rare opportunity to experience true wildness, there is something special in knowing that the country we are passing through looks the same as it did when Tyrrell passed through in 1893. Perhaps our only disappointment has been the lack of wildlife but that is possibly due to the unusually hot conditions. That said, today we have been seeing Canadian Geese with advanced young and a number of Golden Eagles.