June 10th, 2019
Today we awoke for the last time on the Saskatchewan River! Everything was soaking wet and it was pretty cold. As nice as the river looked it was still muddy as hell and we were all eager to put it behind us. Oatmeal with banana and coffee for breakfast – the bananas are a welcome addition to our diet. Fresh fruit has not been a common occurrence.
We pushed off around 6:00 AM immediately entering the tearing river. Small set of fast water at the start set the tone for the morning. We were in and out of the boats often pulling up rocky sets of fast water on this small muddy river until 11:00 AM when we saw a deer on the last set which was nice…anything but birds is a welcome sight.
Cumberland Lake is large and pretty but we did not see much of it. Immediately heading east, we entered Cross Lake, having sailed for most of the stretch with a nice western wind. Floating/sailing and a PB&J lunch.
Out of Cross Lake, we flew through Whitey Narrows for a stretch then busted out the sails again at the start of Amew Lake. We were flying on Amew – clocked in an 8 minute mile only for the winds to pick up even more and gave us a scare. Frantically we all took down the sails and urgently got to share a ripping tailwind. Conditions went from fun to dangerous quickly. We pulled over and a short lightning storm passed us. After the minor delay we got back onto calm waters with the intention of pushing 10 miles to Sturgeon Point. We turned north and after a 1/2 hour to 45 minutes of paddling the winds picked up in an instant again. We pulled over and made camp while the stallions galloped off in the distance.
A Mexican burrito with cheddar cheese fiesta, followed by monkey munch for dinner, followed by lots of bathing and drying gear and repairs. We set the clocks back an hour thus we must wake up earlier to utilize the abundance of daylight.
Today was a very good day. Nice warm-up for Sturgeon-Weir tomorrow. Time to pull up some rivers!