Day 13

Cabin in McLeod Bay

Icebound: Cumulative total 236+18 Km = 254 km

InReach: Day 13 Early AM canoe reconn confirms bk up now underway Big change in 48hr Cannot move until str NE wind moderates Forecast suggests likely Wednesday J

Camp: 62.611°N 111.520°W

Up early after a much interrupted night, we had an Arctic Hare under the cabin rummaging about, squirrels doing who knows what but making much noise and a cute mouse loose in the cabin causing havoc as he ran across the sleeping bags. By 7.15 am we had breakfasted and were on the water to carry out an ice movement reconnaissance. We went down the open lake side of the big island. Two days ago we were prevented from getting around the island by ice build up but this time we were able to circumnavigate it easily and there was clear water as far as we could see. John climbed up on the same high point he climbed Saturday and the view was reassuring, break up is definitely well under way.

We had been impressed by the rugged nature of the south side of the island but the cliffs at the far end of the north side are truly awesome, they rise perpendicular from the water for at least fifty metres. Superb countryside.

It was apparent that with break up under way we could now proceed down the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, firstly to Dave Olesen’s then on to Pike’s portage however, the weather forecast is for strong headwinds this afternoon and tomorrow so it may well be Wednesday before we get away, that will make a full week here. Thank God for the Lutsel K’e Dene Band and their cabin.

The expected blow was not as significant as predicated but had we been on the water we would have been hard pressed to paddle against it. We will see what tomorrow brings but it is doubtful we will get away. We have done every job we could think of, if we are stuck again tomorrow I cannot imagine how we will pass the time. Fingers crossed the cabin wildlife are subdued tonight by the very cold offshore wind and don’t go on with last nights shenanigans.

View looking east from the top of ‘Ice Reconnaissance Island’, far more open water than on Day 11

Near view with open water, this had all been ice two days previous. Our yellow canoe just visible in the bay, lower right

Spectacular cliffs along the west side of ‘Ice Reconaissance Island’ We were able to complete an 18km circuit right around the island in ice free water