Thelon River, West of Aberdeen Lake - Koangok Narrows, Aberdeen Lake
Distance 41 km [1028 km]
Portage 0 
Very Fast Water 0 
Rapids 0 
It was another ‘buggy’ start to the sunny, warm and almost windless day as we continued down the broad Thelon River, around various islands and into Aberdeen Lake. Just before the entrance to Aberdeen we saw a tent with what appeared to be three canoes on the north shore. There were no signs of life so we paddled on without dropping in.
Aberdeen is a large lake [80 km by 20 km] with very few islands so wind can be a concern on the long open stretches of water. We elected to take the slightly longer southern shore so we would have some protection if the quartering tail wind picked up. As with all large lakes there were no reference points when paddling so it seemed to take forever to get anywhere. We stopped in the middle of one open ten kilometre stretch for a rest and a morning snack and were just drifting when I realised my paddle was missing. I have the bad habit of putting it in front of me on the deck cover and it had apparently fallen off without either of us noticing. We had no idea how far we had drifted but thought that the canoe would drift faster than the paddle so we turned back into the wind against the waves. Talk about looking for a needle in a hay stack. We searched for about thirty minutes with no luck and were just trying one last sweep when John sighted it up ahead. It was my lucky day because, despite us searching logically, it was remarkable that we should spot the paddle in that vast area of water disturbed by wind and waves. I was glad to get it back, not just because I felt stupid for being so careless but because this is the paddle I have used on all five of our paddles and I intend to retire it to Australia. Using the spare paddle would not be the same.
After that excitement we paddled on and on and on, it seemed like forever. The day got hot and the black flies multiplied into plague proportions, though only God knows where they come from in the middle of the lake. After 41 kilometres we are camped on yet another “goose meadow”. These are patches of green moss which occur near the shore, usually behind an extensive cobble beach. They are flat, dry and soft, excellent for the tent and we have used them as camp sites frequently. Canada Geese show a preference for these areas, both to graze and to defecate on, hence our name “goose meadow”. We were both tired and glad to get into the tent and away from the bugs but it is a relief to be half way down Aberdeen Lake as these big lakes can be a real hold up. Weather Gods permitting, we are now less than a week from Baker Lake.