Lake Athabasca 2013
July 10, 2013
Arrived at the launch at around 7:15am. It was so muddy as to be unbelievable. We watched as the ministry truck had to get winched out after launching their boat thinking “uh oh”.
Kevin jumped on the boat & trailer and I backed our truck in deeper & deeper. Once the boat slid off I put her into 4×4 and chewed my ass out of that mess. The Big Green Tractor pulled thru for us once again. Nothing can hold her down 🙂 I’d really hate to be the next guy though.
We made it upriver to Fort Chip in about 6 hours. There was a tough wind on the big lake which made the going pretty rough. One hand holding the “oh shit” handle and one arm across my chest. Ouch!
Once in Fort Chip the same wonderful lady at the ranger station lent us her truck to fill our gas cans. Man she’s awesome. We said our goodbyes, I gave her a rough idea of our route and we jetted (lol).
The south wind was now our friend. Unlike last year when we were forced to turn around because the north waves were so high they were coming over our top and crashing in the rear of the boat. (That shit was scary let me tell you.) Our boat moved easy across the water this time.
We sailed past Sand point, where we saw a magestic bald eagle cruising just above the waterline, all the way to Lapworth Point where we found a beautiful little sand beach in a tiny bay. We were starving! Kevin cooked up some burgers and I pulled out a salad. No hotdogs for these guys 🙂
It was about 9pm and there was still plenty of sun being so far north. We were both exhausted though as we’d only had about 3 hours sleep the night before. Throw in the white water rafting, underground caving and an 8hr drive from Calgary.
I think I fell asleep 5 seconds after saying I wasn’t sure if I could sleep while it was bright out lol.
July 11, 2013
Slept like a baby til 7:30am. Woke up to the sun shining and the sound of waves against the shoreline. What a peaceful, easy feeling. Now I know what the Eagles were singing about. Kevin is out making coffee so I guess I’ll get up and dressed and go see my amazing man for a morning hug and see about making him and I some breakfast.
Kevin found an old oil container some wanker had left behind. A bear had been chewing at it. I’m suddenly wide awake 😉
9am: Mmm, coffee is delish thanks to our Southern butter pecan creamer. Going to pack up camp and fish our way up to Fiddler point. The sun is shining and it’s looking to be a good day 🙂
The boat is packed up. Beers are within arms reach in the cooler and Kevin is sitting in the bag naked running the kicker. It’s a gorgeous, sunny day & 25 degrees of beautiful. Going to explore the shoreline slowly for a bit.
We are 3/4 ways across the lake towards the islands where all the fly-in fishing lodges are located. It’s been a calm ride and the boat is planing smooth as butter. Crossing over the deep trough in the center of the lake. It’s reading over 250′ deep here. We have about 8 miles to go before we hit land again.
Trolling the islands down-rigging
So far we’ve reeled in 4 lake trout around the 8lb mark and one big one that gave me a major fight but spit out the barbless hook 😦
Kevin reeled in a massive Pike that weighed in at 22lbs and measured 37″. The fishing is amazing here!
Cruising around looking for a place to set up camp. The rocky shoreline is making this a bit difficult. We need to make sure we find a sheltered spot to avoid a repeat of last years “beached boat incident”. Don’t ask…
Went to the fishing camp at Jug Bay. They were so nice they even brought us to a secluded spot up a river to set up camp for a night or two.
There’s a little waterfall that pours into the river right next to us. We cast from shore and hammered two beautiful pike in the first 2 minutes! Dinner is served 🙂
What a great day of fishing. We found a 120′ trough full of fish less than a mile from our campsite. We’ll head back there in the early morning if the storm that’s coming holds off that long. I’m feeling tired from all the fun and fresh air.
July 12, 2013
Woke up to an epic storm. Intense rainfall and high winds. I’m starting to feel like Dorothy. Where’s that damn Toto anyways? Screw him… I’m not looking for him in this crap;)
The tarp is going haywire in the wind so we may have to go take it down before it gives us lift off. On a good note… We tucked the boat in the perfect spot. She’s barely moving. One less thing to worry about.
The storm has finally subsided. What a night! Scary and exhilarating all at once. Our bladders are full and our stomachs are empty. Time to switch that around.
Decided to break camp and try for Jug Bay because the mosquitos are so bad. We cooked Bacon, eggs, toast & coffee on the boat with the Coleman. I’d like to hug the person who invented that gadget. Made a run for the bay after but the waves are massive. Far too risky to continue on so we turned back and tucked in behind an island to wait it out. Time to catch some fish while we wait.
Weather shows no sign of clearing. Winds are at 42 knots (78km/hr) out on the lake. Two of the locals were forced into the same bay on their seadoos. The winds are supposed to start dying down at midnight, so it looks like another wet night of camping.
Set up camp in the bay. We seem to be fairly sheltered from the wind but the rain is unrelenting. Poor Kevin is out getting firewood while I blow up the air-bed. I think he’s being very optimistic about having a fire lol.
I said screw it and went to sleep. Constant rain and damp makes my lupus act up, so I’ll try to catch up on my rest for tomorrow.
July 13, 2013
Woke up to what I perceived to be sun but in reality was a single tiny gap in the cloud cover. I can almost her Mother Nature saying “psyche!”
We’re going to make a run for Jug Bay Camp.
We made it! Waves were high but not crazy like last night. Jacquie and the guys were super welcoming. Their dock was ripped off from the waves last night so we used the beach.
After a hot coffee (heaven) and a chat we settled into our cabin. On went the heater to dry our rain & wave soaked gear and off we go to the shower house. Ahhhhh…
OMG… Best moment ever. Q-tip in my ears. Woo Hoo! I’m officially clean again 🙂
Back from fishing. I caught a nice Laker:) Back for a home cooked meal at the camp.
Spent time around the bonfire with the other two guests and the camp guides Devon & Quinton. Man can they drink!
We’re up and at ’em early this morning. Breakfast & coffee downed then off to the Sand Dunes on the other side of the lake.
The waves are nuts! This is gonna be a bumpy ride. No more typing for a while. I need both hands lol.
Took this long just to get across. The troughs were deep and rough so it took longer than it was supposed to.
The sand dunes were beautiful. Got great pics 🙂
The waves are still high. We’re going to shoot back across to the other side and down-rig our way amongst the many islands there.
Caught a multitude of fish and marked some nice spots for the next trip out here. One fish spit the lute right back at us and I got it on video!
July 15, 2013
It’s Monday. I packed the gear while Kevin gassed the boat up. Time to start the two day trip home. There are some serious black clouds forming in the distance. We’re going to try to end run them like footballers at the Super Bowl. Fingers crossed!
Made a good run all the way to Fidler Point. The waves are getting nasty so we’re tucked in behind a little island. Hoping it settles down but not counting on it. Need to decide in a bit what to do.
Lol. The emergency weather radio kicked in. It’s decided. Major thunderstorm blowing in. Time to make a run for it!
Managed to wiggle past the storms edge and avoid the serious stuff. Gassing up at Fort Chip and then heading upriver. Looks like a two day trip home just turned into one. We’ll be getting in late. We’ll have to run the last half of the river in the dark 😦 on the bright side 😉 I took some amazing pictures today 🙂
It’ll be nice to sleep in our own bed tonight and have the day off to relax tomorrow. Err… Or do laundry, unpack the boat & empty the coolers 😛
We’re losing light fast and we’ve caught up with the storm that we dodged. Damn you Mother Nature. The river has so many dead trees in it it’s crazy. The flooding really tore up the banks and weakened the root system of a lot of really big trees. Next year is going to be like an obstacle course coming down here lol.
Not sure if we’ll risk running the river in the dark. Might end up sleeping in the boat… In the rain…fml…
July 16, 2013
OMFG. It’s safe to say that we will NEVER sleep on the boat again unless the only other option is certain death. And even then I’d have to mull it over for a while first. Kevin is starting to drive again. He’s letting me “sleep” a while longer lol.
I’m up. The boat is sucking gas like an Irishman that hasn’t drank in a week The boat needs to be balanced better and the top needs to come off to lessen the drag. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we ran out of gas a mile from the dock? Umm… NO! Actually yes, but not for like a week lol.
Saw my fifth Bald Eagle of the trip just now 🙂 Kevin was lucky enough to see one take off from by our campsite a few mornings ago.
The water has really dropped the week we were gone. Sandbars and huge trees popping up all over the place. I’m glad we stopped last night regardless of the comfort level. (Which was about -6). I’d hate to hit one of those suckers in the dark.
Finally made it to the boat launch. It’s even more of a muddy mess than when we left. The F350 got stuck bad trying to pull the boat & trailer out. It took 2 trucks to get us out and something let go in the front end. The drive home was a bit slow as Kevin could barely steer the truck 😛