Loc: Dease Strait
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4
Dist: 59,7 km
Start: 6:35 End: 18:40
I start into my third-last paddling day of this section – if all goes well and the weather holds up as forecasted. All I need is to refill water once. I know about many streams on th way, but somehow feel I like to get the job done when I come to the turning point of the peninsula going due east. A large pole marks something – the first good river since a while. It is also a campsite from other parties, as I see rocky tent rings on the western shore. I can paddle inside the opening, walk a bit to a narrow well-running spot and refill two bags without feeling the need to filter. What is done is done, and those additional eight kilograms do not make me any slower. I find another half caribou antler, and move on.
The still quite strong wind cannot decide if it likes to come from a pushing or slowing me down offshore direction, but at least, the sea stays low and I feel safe in the shallow water. Finally, it is mostly pushing, thank goodness. It also calms down to a lovely sunny afternoon, and I have no problem to paddle my due sixty kilometers for today.
At a wide rivermouth behind a point, I spot a boat. The first sign of civilization! But it turns out to be abandoned since years, despite the big engine is still attached. A double caribou antler is buried half in the sand on the other shore, and I see wheeltracks! It seems like people take their quadbikes over from Cambridge Bay to the peninsula for hunting, or store them close to a cabin I have not found yet.
I do frequent shore breaks to losen up my icy lumps of feet and to stick my hands for at least a while under my armpits, as landing is easy everywhere. But it is not that cold to have unfunctional feet and hands, though it is getting close.
Two large bearded seals stick their heads out of the water on different spots, but there are no signs of caribous or bears anwhere. The low coastline changes from sand with a wall of dark sea weed at the rivermouth to some rocky foreshore with boulders where I can also land with some care. The tundra has a hard time to look like an inviting meadow for grazing caribous. But I feel more comfortobale with this barren sandy flat landscape than with the steep barren rocky shores where barely anything is growing. I miss the lush green tundra meadows from the earlier weeks. Maybe it is also the late season making things look not as friendly anymore. Time to finish this section.