Day 2 – Missi Island/Amisk Lake Canoe Trip – Westward Across the South Side of Missi Island
By morning the rain had stopped. Got up at 7 am to sunshine and partly cloudy sky. Explored the island.
Breakfast and packed up camp. On the water at 9:10 am. Crossed the open waters of the East Channel (southeast of Missi Island) with strong side wind from the north and gathering ominous clouds.
Some of the larger waves lapped over the side of the canoes, requiring some minor bailing effort. I always regret we never take photos of large wave action, but of course the risk of pulling a camera out never seems worth it at the time (and probably isn’t)!
After crossing the open waters of the East Channel, we meandered through a group of small islands (generally 50 to 300 m across) and reefs. This provided much desired protection from the wind and waves, especially since we were not using spray decks on the canoes. Some reefs are hidden just below the water surface requiring diligent navigating by the front paddler.
We stopped for a morning snack break and leg stretch on a nameless 500 x 500 m island with 20 m high exposed rock outcroppings, about 1 km NE of Crater Island.
We heard and saw many loons on the water that morning. Always a highlight while paddling in the north.
We then faced the challenge of paddling across another open stretch of water, travelling west against a strong northwest head wind. This involved paddling across the southeast corner of Missi Bay to reach the protection of shoreline along the north side of Crater Island. We could barely make progress forward against the wind, with any stop to rest resulting in drifting backwards! This was likely the biggest challenge of the trip, especially being my first wilderness canoe trip.
We watched a pair of bald eagles soaring above us while navigating the north shore of Crater Island. At 1:30 pm we found a “suitable” campsite 2 km west of the west shore of Crater Island.
The campsite was on a point with two small bays on each side.
Had lunch and set up tents. The trip log reports: There were lots of ants, and it was warm out.
Relaxing afternoon reading, napping, fishing, swimming, exploring, hiking and paddling around the bays.
While attempting some fishing in the bay adjacent to camp, we constructed a makeshift anchor consisting of 15 m (50′) of nylon rope tied to a large rock. We canoed into the bay and were surprised when the anchor did not hit bottom! We discovered the anchor would just start to hit bottom when about 25 m from shore.
Doing the math that’s about 1.5 to 1 slope on the sumberged rock bottom. As you can imagine, this makes climbing out of the water after swimming a challenge, as the rock is relatively smooth with a slippery biofilm coating it. Getting in the water is inevitably quick, no gradual wading possible!
We did not catch any fish, but enjoyed the relaxing time.
At 6 pm we attempted a hike to a small lake (500 x 300 m) shown on the topo map 200 m northwest of camp. We trailblazed with relative ease through minimal undergrowth and some fallen rotting tree trunks. We discovered a scenic lake. The lake was murky, likely due to minimal inflow/outflow. I recall wondering if we were one of the few humans to ever visit this particular lake.
Back to camp at 6:30 pm. Supper at 7 pm consisting of canned beefaroni and ravioli, warmed on the fire. While solo canoeing after supper in the fading sunlight (8 pm), we discovered a well-worn trail at the northwest tip of the little bay west of camp. We discovered this trail led to the same lake we had discovered earlier. So much for being one of the few humans to visit the lake! The trail was obviously a popular route used by fisherman.
Bed at 9:30 pm just before the mosquitoes came out in full force.