The rain had stopped sometime during the night, but the trees were still dripping. It was a cool morning, I could see my breath when I stepped out of the Tent, and my semi-wet sleeping was no incentive to stay inside.
Todd was up first. He had made a fire, coffee, and oatmeal/ porridge for breakfast. I had not had porridge since I was a child - I quite enjoyed it.
It was a semi-clear day and the north wind was cold. A good day to make miles ...or 4.5 km.
There were eight swifts divided into two sections. Dave and I dumped the canoe three times. The second time was the worse. When I bobbed back up to surface, I was greeted with a canoe in the face. I lost my hat at this point. Dave was clinging to the canoe and being pulled left. I too was at the mercy of the currents, but travelling right. I tried to stop. I put my feet down - they just bounced off the rocks. I kept going. I tried to grab different rocks with my hands - I was not strong enough to hold on. I got a "road rash" from my right elbow to the palm of my right hand ...in a river? The knuckles on both my hands were bloodied. I was being dragged, out of control, until the river got bored and dumped me in a pool. The canoe had gotten wedged against some rocks and Dave was still hanging on. I swam over to Dave. Todd too was in the water and coming to the rescue as always.
As we unloaded the canoe, the water was surging and boiling all around us. We lost a few things - Dave's paddle(rescued by Carl), my bag of ropes, but worst of all Dave's tent !! It was going to be a very crowded and interesting two weeks without Dave's tent.
he three of us were about to wrestle the water filled canoe through a huge water chute to shallower water when I yelled over the roar of the rapids " Whatever you do ...don't scratch the canoe !!" We all burst out laughing. Canoe humour.
We got the canoe to shallow water when Dave saw it. Todd and I could not see it, but Dave did. It was his Tent. Teetering on the lip of a rock about to be swept away by the current on either side of the rock was Dave's Tent. The Tent should have been far away. The Tent should have sank. But the Tent waited for Dave, and only Dave, to rescue it. It was a miracle !!
We eventually found my long, heavy duty rope which became our primary clothes line and an important part of our camping family, but the other ropes, my hat, and whatever else we lost were gone.
We stopped for lunch at the Campsite on the Brown Rapids portage. We thought about staying the night and maybe a chance to dry out, but the north wind seemed to be funnelled through the Site. We could not stay here. Both Todd and I were cold. Despite the warmth of the River water, we had been wet too long and lost too much body heat.
We reached the next portage around the Kettle Rapids in less than an hour, and the Campsite was suitable. Between the ongoing wind and part time sun, we began to dry out and warm up.
It was a cool, clear, starry night. We even watched the Moon rise. Good, the weather was finally cooperating.