Wind Bound – part two

As I headed in the direction of the narrows, which was to my left, the wind and waves continued to increase. In this photo the wave tops were beginning to turn white and the water started to climb onto the left side of the canvas. A photo never does justice to rough stormy waves.

I had to keep the nose of the canoe directly into the waves and make sure I did not end up broadside to the waves or I would have lost control. The island directly ahead and the one to the extreme left marked the opening I was heading for. The closer I came to the narrows the rougher the water got and the taller the waves. The wind was trying to push the water into the narrowing gap so my route kept getting worse.

While I still had some control, I dug out my camera and took a photo of the nose of the canoe as it was heading down into the trough of a wave. The following photo shows the bow on the top of a wave. During this time I was trying to angle to the left to get through the narrows but making sure I was nosing into the waves.

Shortly after the last photo was taken a large waive came over the bow and rushed down the length of the canoe, then struck me in the chest. Once it was passed me it buried the motor and choked it off. The canoe immediately lost headway and started to swing to the left. I had to twist around in my seat to grab the starter cord and get the motor restarted.

I quickly regained control and steered nose first into the waves but I could see even larger waves heading my way. The next big wave had no trouble in climbing over the bow and soaking me to the top of my head. At the same time it buried the motor and choked it off. This time all efforts to restart the motor failed and I had to dig out the paddle and steer the canoe into the wind.

At this point I was starting to consider I was going to have to dig out the life jacket and start swimming for shore. There was nothing else I could do but keep paddling into the wind and creep forward to the narrows. As neared it I realized it took at least two hours of non stop paddling until I was in the mouth of the narrows. From that point on I angled over to the island on the left and got into shallow water filled with reeds.

After about another half hour I was able to reach the shore and drag myself and the canoe up onto the rocks. It was obvious that the storm was going to continue for some time so I made camp and climbed into the sleeping bag. When I awoke the next morning the rain had let up but the waves were as big as ever.

At this point I accepted the fact I was “Wind bound” and I was going to have to wait for the wind and waves to calm down before I went anywhere. Two days later conditions had improved and I had had enough canoeing and camping in the rain to do me until next spring. The trip home was uneventful and the sun was shinning when I got close to home. For a few days after I got home I was asked how my trip had gone but all I could say was fine, fine. After all the most important part was that I had survived.