Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Storm

continued from Telluris Vultus II

A light breeze had risen as I paddled on the edge of the Canadian Shield of granite. To my right was open water and the left were the smooth rocky islands. I left Norgate Inlet and moved south towards Nasicoot River. Passing tree covered rocky shores.

I spotted a cottage in the trees on the edge of the open water and thought of storms that may have cast waves large enough to hit the home. The trees all leaned towards the east. Winds could be a constant at certain times of the year. Next to the home there stood a large rock carin as I called it but the Canadians called them Inuksuk. Markers on the trail.

Three canoes emerged from behind and island moving in the same direction I was headed. The water in front of me started to get choppy as I made my way towards the canoes. I was hoping to get a clear idea of my exact location, as there were no sign posts or named areas. I paddled over very shallow water that would rise and fall on the flat rocky area I was crossing. The rough water would lift me up and drop me to the rocks and I hit the rock shelf a few times.  I was a bit puzzled because there was only blue sky and a slight wind in my face. Turning around I saw a white sheet of cloud surrounded by a dark grey sky that engulf the island I had just passed. It was barely visible as the rain started churning towards me.
This squall was moving fast, over taking me and I decided to get to land. There was some thunder, but I didn't turn around to look for lightening. I was the high point on the water and I didn't want to get fried.  I paddled towards the canoers who had landed and were now taking cover in the low trees. I paddled after them and landed.

I thought I may be there for the rest of the day so after pulling the boat up to high ground I grabbed the tent and other gear from the boat to set camp. I ran across a swampy area, the kind I had been warned about. Tall grasses, low lying juniper trees, and water. Hearing the sound of fast rustling and feeling something hit the back of my leg I jumped straight up and turned around, thinking I had been snake bit. The self rescue air bag had unfurled and made the noise and hit my leg. Even in the rain I had to stop and laugh at how comical it must have looked like to see me jumping up and turning around trying to find a snake. I continued on to the trees to wait out the storm. I found the canoners sitting on the soft mossy ground under a blue tarp. A group of 9 boys from Camp Huron, on a five day trip. As we waited out the storm,  Killareny ON came up in our conversations and the rocky areas there. I had heard how different it was compared to the Britt and Bayfield areas. The islands were rougher, larger,  and the water deeper.

I thought about staying where we were for the night, but then I remembered the mosquitoes and changed my mind. They aren't as bad out on the rocky openings, but in the trees they can be ferocious. We waited out the storm for about an hour, then they went on south and I continued my search for faces and thought about Killareny.

The storm wind was still blowing and the water was still churning. The reflections seemed to be gone for the day. I discovered some basalt streaks running through the granite. I paddled around them  marveling at the forces that had put them in place. Heat, molten rock that at one time must have swirled. Metamorphic rock.

 I decided to paddle back to Britt and drive north, The wind and waves still kicking a bit, but not intolerable. Behind the islands there were sporadic winds and small gusts. Occasionally I would find some reflections.

Paddling by a smaller group of islands, I came across some boulders lined up in a trough.  I wondered who had rolled these stones into place and propped little stones at their base. I figured a group of people had spent an afternoon using some pry bars and a few beers to make this arrangement.
Later in the tip I met some local folks who talked of storms waves large enough to move boulders larger than these.

I paddled through some other small canyons
on the way back, past the outer light house,
and continued on to Britt.

I carried a small transponder called a "SPOT". A Spot is a small locater and communicator letting those know on your call list where you are and giving them updates on your location. In an emergency there is a call for rescue to the Canadian Coast Guard in this case.  I checked in home to let them know I had decide to head to Killarney. I didn't realize the number of hours in the boat or the miles covered until I called in. 
I was beat. The marina had a shower for a dollar.  Oh ya! 

The boat loaded I headed to Killarney,
next week "Cerulean Waters of  Killarney ON"

1 comment:

  1. Steve, thanks for taking us along! This is great! Looking forward to next post. Joel