We made breakfast, packed up camp, and went to retrieve our map from the table where the moose hunter promised he’d leave it. The table lay bare.
We explained the situation to one of our hosts, a drunk. He went off to find the guy who had our map. We waited. The drunk’s brother came around. He too set out to get our map for us.
We had a GPS as a backup to the map. I’d saved way points to it, and they could be used to navigate our route. But without any information about the surrounding area, where to find nearest forest, the surrounding topology, and upcoming rapids, we wanted to avoid being solely dependent on it. Also, despite being marketed as waterproof, I’d lost way too many GPSs to water damage.
Outside of Obedjiwan, we were more likely to find a bear to ask for directions than a person.
The brother came back. He’d been our map thief's house, and found nobody home. He called the police for us, and they came.
The town’s two officers were French Canadian and spoke English! They listened to our story, and went to the map thief’s house. The house remained empty.
They took us to the station. I printed out some maps from a Canadian topographical site and thanked the officers greatly. Our new maps weren’t as large or waterproof as the map we’d lost, but would get us onto the next map, still in our possession.
“What do you want us to do when we catch the guy who has your map?” the police asked us.
“I don’t know. Explain to him the damage he could have done, I guess.”
Sunday, August 14th - Dov’s Birthday
On the water, we quickly learned that our map had been stretched when printed, and we could not get accurate bearings off of it. Fortunately, we could still eyeball our location pretty well. The four compass directions—north, south, east, and west—still lined up with the map the way they were supposed to. All the others were just a little bit off.*
We passed a couple of fishing boats, but didn’t catch anything ourselves. After the late start, we paddled over calm waters, hopping from one island to the next, then through a passage, and finally south along a shore.
Our tranquil afternoon ended with a fiery sunset mirrored on the lake. We watched it from a stone spit that reached out from the small beach where our tent stood between bushes.
*We did not identify the factor of the stretch, which would have let us compensate, and without knowing if the stretch was away from the origin, wherever that might be, or off only one the axi it would have been difficult to determine.