I was packed and on the water by 8:00 AM, paddling into a very strong wind. As soon as I rounded Pukaskaw Point I was met by winds so powerfull I was forced to hold onto my paddle with a death-grip, paddling hard but barely moving. According to the forecast, the winds will build during the morning and afternoon and there wasalready a small craft advisory on the lake. I checked my “speed” on my GPS and was knocking off a staggering 2 kph! Frustrated by what will become an even stronger wind, I turned around and took shelter on a stony beach just inside the mouth of the Pukaskaw River, I’ ll at least be able to get in a few hours of paddling.
By about 5:00 PM the winds did indeed seem to have dropped and the whitecaps, although still present, were not nearly as bad looking as earlier. I packed up and got in a short paddle, still fighting against a stiff wind, but at least wasable to get in a few kilometers of paddling before setting up camp on a beautiful cobblestone beach.
The following morning I awoke to a very foggy day. It had rained overnight and only just stopped minutes before I got up. There was athick fog for most of the day and light winds. The lake had settled down somewhat and I was mostly paddling small swells of 3 or 4 feet. In places, around headlands and over shoals, there were some steeper breaking waves, maybe 5 feet or so but nothing major. I paddled past a couple of beautiful waterfalls today, water cascading down and into the lake from the freshly swollen rivers due to last night’s rains. One place, Broken Heart Bay, Broken Heart Island and Broken Heart Flaas was particularly nice.A small bay with a rugged heart-shaped island and a pretty waterfall. What a beautiful place, I’ll have to be sure and plan on camping here next time through here.
As I was setting up camp tonight, my mood went from very good to , well, not so good! My tent, which has been problematic practically from the start, just got worse! As I was setting it up, one of the poles broke. The end piece on one pole section literally shattered as I was erecting the tent. Not good!Normally this would not bother me so much. In this instance however, with the tent already leaking from numerous places, I’d pretty much had it with this tent! I made the best of it though, making a temporary repair of the pole section and then gently erecting the tent. I went to sleep tonight thinking about whether or not I should buy a new tent or just try to limp through the rest of the trip with what I have.
Well….what I day that came next! This one will likely end of being one of the more memorable and interesting days of the trip. It certainly put my tent problems into perspective!