Day One: Flindt Landing To Flet Lake
distance: 25 km.
Flindt Landing and the CN rail tracks cross Heathcote Lake about three kilometers from its south end. Its 16 kilometers length makes it the main wider section of the Flindt River system. The Flindt’s actual headwaters is Vanessa Lake, another thirty-five kilometers further south of Heathcote. [See here for an overview map.] We would spend the first three days paddling down the Flindt River system to where it merges with the Ogoki River below Tew Lake.
We started a bit late on our first day out, still tired from that 27-hour train ride! Nice sunny weather and no wind made for a gentle introduction. Within three hours we were 16.5 km. downriver. We would stop for a leisurely lunch on the far side of P01. Including the short carry, we spent an hour and a half there, enjoying the shade and very fact that we were finally in trip mode.
We portage when we have to, run or line & run when we can, always making sure to check things out beforehand. Sometimes the carry is actually more efficient than an attempt at lining the canoe down a difficult stretch of river.
P02 was one of those we lined and ran without difficulty. P03 was a quick carry and we were back to cruising speed.
P04 was a portage that took us about a half-hour; we lined and ran through P05 in about ten minutes. Then it was time to look for a campsite, given that it was already 6:20. (We had moved the hour hand back by one when we entered the Central Time zone somewhere near Collins on the train in.) We found our spot in the small bay on the west side of Flet Lake indicated above; we were done for the day.
Late-ish start and late-ish finish to Day 1 but it felt great to be back in Wabakimi!
Day Two: Flet Lake To NE Corner of Big Island on the Flindt River
distance: 26 km.
This morning we lined through P07 in ten minutes and did the same with the next set of rapids. When we came to the rapids indicated by P09 we did a carry. P1o we paddled right through.
We did waste some time this day! When we got to the south end of Big Island, we took the left-hand turn and paddled up for about forty minutes. Not having a complete map view of the island, we thought we had paddled into a long narrow bay! Back we went to the bottom of what we only later realized was an island. Back home in Toronto my wife just happened to be monitoring our progress at this time and having a WTF moment as she tried to figure out what was going on!
We paddled down the right-hand side of Big Island to a decent campsite just above a set of rapids. It was 6 p.m.