Thursday, Aug 11th
Sorry that our host, The Minister of the Natural resources of Quebec, couldn’t meet us in person and explain why he let loggers cut down so much of Canada, we set out onto the lake.
The reservoir formed in 1918 when the Shawnigan water and power company built Barage Gouin. Canadians come from far and wide to fish it’s shallow miles. The sinuous lake has hundred of islands and fingers reaching every which way like a smushed millipede.
Our route tested our navigation skills which, until then, had mostly been to go left or right at a split in the river. We paddled between islands pressed against one another with barely enough space, and across vast sections of open water.
I took a bearing off my map to identify our target island. The bearing seemed wrong. The results of the check didn’t match my sense of direction. I checked again, and again. Finally I gave up, and went the way that I knew to be right.
My measurements were correct, not my traitorous sense of direction. Upon completing the crossing, we didn’t see what the map said we should be seeing, so I triangulated our position from scratch, figured out where my pride had taken us, and corrected our route accordingly. The mistake had only taken us about a mile out of the way.
We made camp at a small outfitter and hotel called L’aventurier du Gouin. While not overly sociable, they let us camp on their private beach, use their wifi and drink their coffee in the morning. Their lodgers were friendly and happy to hear about are trip.
Just above the fishing docks, we found more blueberries than we could pick.