Day 60

Qamanaugaq Bay to Island in Qamanaarjuk Lake

Distance: 25 km – [cumulative total 1311 km]

InReach: Day 60 V str winds moderated at dawn Paddled another 25km, on island Qamanaarjuk Lk 2nd extreme wind event now raging, will be a sleepless nite

Camp: 64.716°N 97.967°W

Wow, what a night. Heavy rain and gale force winds kicked in about 1am and precluded much more sleep. Expecting strong winds John had over engineered anchoring the tent but he still sat up ever vigilant and anxious as the tent flapped and made terrible noises. Eventually the wind calmed and we were fortunate to pack up between showers. We made good headway with something of a tail wind. However because we knew the forecast was for even stronger winds later today and overnight we looked for somewhere that might possibly give us some shelter, a big ask on the relatively flat, treeless tundra. We needed to set up camp early giving ourselves time to anchor the tent as much as possible. We stopped at lunch time and set up camp on an island near the exit from Qamanaarjuk Lake.

We both gathered as many boulders as we could and weighted the tent inside and out literally with tons of rock. We filled the canoe with boulders and lashed the now almost empty food drums together and weighted them. Before the wind suddenly blew up about 4pm we gathered everything we might need into the tent and John caught a couple of smallish trout for tea. John was blown over several times whilst hauling extra rocks for the guys and I got caught and blown off my feet on the way to get water. The wind lifted me into the air and dropped me on the rocks so I now have an extensive bruise on my leg and chest, my only experience of flying. The onset of the wind was both sudden and scary. I had never seen wind like we experienced, it was certainly far stronger than the predicted 60 kph. It was terrifying in the day light so one hated to think what the night would be like. John hates wind even when he is in a secure building so he went nuts as the wind howled and the tent strained in every direction making the most terrible noise.

Even before it got dark the drums had blown over and we had added rocks to the guy tie points. This was just a prelude to the tempest!