…We streak (literally) towards the dock. Waves crash over us and the dock as we try to reach Audrey.
Grenville Channel, south of Prince Rupert, is deep, dark, long and narrow. Without a north wind, it is well protected. With the north wind a-blowing you are in a wind funnel from hell.
Fortunately there are no winds as we cruise down its narrow depths at the end of October. The fog has rolled in, covering the mountains and spilling over to fill the channels. Audrey’s twin Perkin diesel engines rumble in deep rhythm, the muffled sound echoes back off of the steep mountain walls. The fog parts just when we need it to. I am the bow rider, holding onto the short rail with my ears cocked for sounds of other muffled engines. If we come to an abrupt stop I will flip over the rail into the black water.
We are running with our radar on, but the radar does not see all. Wooden boats often place metal plates on masts or bows as a salute to the scanners that prefer to identify objects made of metal. Radar sometimes misses wooden boats.
From the village of Fort Norman on the McKenzie River we are taking the junction at the Bear River on our quest to reach Fort Franklin on Great Bear Lake. It is about 100 miles (it’s the old days) by canoe to Franklin. This little hamlet is part of my father’s jurisdiction as Indian Agent. He has to visit Fort Franklin every few months. We are…
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