Ice-bound in Avataaktu

Boating season has been super interesting this year. We have finally grown out of the babyhood of boating primarily in the fiord. It's Cumberland Sound time.

Past weekend we headed out on Friday with big plans: to head out about 90 km out to Cumberland Sound and towards Clearwater Fiord. We were accompanied by our friends Devin and Kendra. They also are proud owners of a 24 foot freighter canoe with a 50 HP outboard engine.

As a travel mascot in our boat we had our guest Anthony Berkers from Montreal. Anthony had just finished a canoe trip on Soper River, guiding for Black Feather.

The previous weekend we had camped at Qikiqtaluq and caught lots of large char. This time we would go even further - and hopefully get even bigger fish.

Not quite so. As I've been telling my southern friends, Plan C is always the most important plan in the north. Not Plan A. Not even Plan B. Plan C.

I think on this trip we were reaching the end of the alphabets. After about 40 km of driving we were forced to turn around due to heavy ice. Heading back, we thought of at least doing something interesting, and headed through a channel towards Avataaktu Bay. After squeezing through, we quickly found ourselves ice-bound in some inlets (the ice is constantly shifting in the tidal currents). After a little fishing, we tried to get out and go home. Not even a chance: the ice was blocking every way. We climbed up a hill to take a look at the ice in the area. It was closing in.

We tried every possible way out, but the tide was getting stronger. It's better to stay away from ice when it's moving fast, therefore we decided to wait and go fishing in another fishing spot where the boats were protected.

Hours later, after catching some char, hanging around, cooking food, and just generally waiting for conditions to change (and being mildly nervous), the tide was starting to get close to high and slacken. It was time to try again - this time with luck. It was quite nice to be back in the Sound again.

We returned to home the same evening we left. We had been nowhere neare where we intended. We had gotten stuck in the ice in an area where we had not intended to go. But it was a great experience and taught us a valuable lesson: if you get stuck in the ice, just be patient. Make yourself a cup of coffee. Try later. It'll be ok.