DÉSALER at La Vérendrye
By The Club
We were just about to have a snack and some wine, when suddenly we heard a loud yell along with a hard «plouch». One of the two canoes that we had seen that same morning just before the rapids, had tipped with its occupants taking a bath.
Panach and Lux, the two boy scouts of the Club, wanted to come to their rescue. «They don’t seem to be drowning, it would not be worth humiliating them more» says Maximalist. Ten minutes later, the two unfortunate from France, who did not want to leave our quebec province without having explored La Vérendrye, were still in the water and their friends in the second canoe were still trying to turn back.
Having seen enough, our two young beavers set out with their canoes to relieve the sufferings of our two castaways. But the two frenchmen refuse. The only option left is to tie their canoe full of water and drag it to shore where we were having our picnic. This option pleases Panach and Lux because they can practice making these special knotts that they learned while being in these open waters.
After arriving on the ground, our two unfortunates are a bit drawn. «Hey friend» says Le Chamane trying not to show his smile, «this will take quite a while if the water keeps on coming in» because the castaway was trying to get the water out of the canoe while the nose was still under 20 cm of water.
Even though we laughed it up in our fur traders beards, without even knowing it, they just served us a lesson of humility. Those canoers of one day, capable of capsizing on the most calm water of the world, had crossed the rapids which we are so proud of.
The RI, RII, RII et RII III serie that divides Lake Poulter from Lake Jean Péré, will not have impressed Radisson or des Groseillers, but we did proceed all the same according to the rule of book: docking, reading of the current, execution. And in spite of all this caution, at the end, some small waves had begun to fill Chamane et Maximalist’s canoe.
In the rapids or in the middle of a lake, the fate of the «désalage», can catch up with us, especially without expecting it. This permanent uncertainty is a perfect reminder that here, in the woods, the elements maintain control over our fate.
- Wine shoud be a must to canoe-camping; you drink it warm, shares well, and flows at all hours. Priorize the «cubi» in 3 or 4 litre bags. Don’t go with the cheapest: you will long regret it.
- The recovery in the T form, shoud be practiced as often as possible. It’s an excellent pretext to jump in the water once the canoe is ballast and the camp is all set up. And it will inevitably be of use one day.
- The 45 km loop made during this adventure is ideal (circuit 15) to launch the season and test the human resources and material. There is a bit of carrying, a few rapids and lakes to strenghten the shoulders. We feel often alone in the world, but the 3G is never far.