Loc: before Kanauguk river
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 27,6 km
Start: 7:15 End: 12:35
We had two more visitors on our tent last night, those 4 ATV’s we saw when we arrived on our crossing came back from their hunting trip. First, around 8 pm, three guys on two ATV’s came with a whole moose in pieces packed on the racks of the bikes. They were so friendly to offer us a piece of moose, but before I could say something, Ross said: “no, thank you…”. Well, he’s the cook, and he would have to store and prepare it…and he was already half asleep, dinner was done…those guys didn’t stay that long for a chat, they could probably not understand who can reject a piece of moose…
The other party of two bikes and three people, two guys and a woman, came back around 11.30 pm, I woke and greeted them outside with their prey of a moose plus a caribou – and also everything fitted on two ATV’s! Amazing! Renee, Gus, and John stayed for a chat and a picture, and I learned again a lot of things from the locals.
The evening and night were dead calm, and we could have started over paddling around 5 pm…but to paddle twice a day, I would have to really be in an urgent rush. We started again in the morning as early as possible, and it was still dead calm. The forecast was for light south-southwesterlies in the morning, and stronger south-westerlies up to 14 knots in the afternoon – headwind. Karel is rarely wrong with his forecast, but thank goodness, today he was. We had a light north-easterly in the morning, and around 11.30 am, it breezed up from the south-east – following wind – but onshore. Unfortunately, it blew quite soon around noon about 18-20 knots, conditions Ross was not really happy with anymore, not even in tandem. There was basically no swell, just the sea got a bit more choppy on almost 20 knots following winds. But Ross started to brace more than to paddle when were still along some cliffs. Basically, it was more a psychological bracing, as there was no landing for about 15 minutes, and me upfront our tandem was at some point also not feeling comfortable anymore with my partner mostly bracing behind me. We were not even far away from today’s goal, the Kanauguk River, and thank goodness we soon had a good beach beside us. I decided to call it a day, we both landed safely, the shore break was rather a wash than a break.
We paddled most of the day along some steep impressive cliffs, of which the first mile were the most picturesque ones. But thank goodness, they mostly had some kind of sandy beach on their bottom where we could land mostly anywhere, and quite often, there was a river mouth opening or such with some flat area around where we could even camp. So not much to suffer on calm seas as long as we had the low offshore south-easterly. Still, with that forecast in the neck and very bad satellite pictures, I liked to be off the cliff area as soon as possible, and Ross and I paddled all day again in tandem. We had also some lovely current with us, so paddling together in this way, we averaged 6 km/h! But the exposure of the steep cliffs and the not-everywhere landing and camping still weighted on Ross’ mind as a “cliff-newbie”, and he was finally at the end just happy to stay upright – as much as I was…
We had already filled up water on an inviting looking rocky creek with a waterfall, water even Ross felt not necessary to filter, as it was filtered through thousands of rocks. Good, as our large Kanauguk River was at the river mouth rather a dead salmon graveyard. I think this is what they do – go upriver, spawn, and pass away? Or did those hundreds of dead salmon simply not make it upriver enough for this job? Not really sure, it just looked sad to see hundreds of dead salmon in more or less seagull-eaten eaten or dried stages. But mother nature knows what she does…?
Our hike to this impressive Kanauguk river delta showed us how it can look like in springtime – all flooded, we assumed. To the right of the river, here was a flat rocky field, we guessed it had been the path of a glacier in former times. Allover, a very impressive area! But no large animals to see nowhere, no moose, caribou or reindeer, no bears. Not even footprints on our beach, just some small fox-like prints. It will give us a good sleep – if the wind lets us! Not sure when we can continue for the last 30 km to Wales. But we have ample time if we like to attend this Eskimo dance festival in Wales next weekend!