Canoeing the Thlewiaza River, Nunavut

For those who may be interested, I have posted a 10 minute video of last month’s canoe trip from the south end of Nueltin Lake, Manitoba to Hudson Bay.

Most of this 400 km journey was on the Thlewiaza River in Nunavut. The local Inuit simply call it “the big river”. We had it all to ourselves.

Trip Overview

Access: by road to Thompson, Manitoba; then north by chartered float plane (single Otter turbo).

Start location: south end of Nueltin Lake (about 350 km north of Thompson).

End location: Hudson Bay at mouth of Thlewiaza River (about 200 km north of Churchill and 80 km south of Arviat).

Egress: chartered motor boat to Arviat , Nunavut, then by commercial aviation to Winnipeg via Arviat and Rankin Inlet.

Route: Nuelten Lake, and Thlewiaza River (including Edhon Lake, Seal Hole Lake and Ranger Seal Lake).

Number of participants: 5

Age range of participants: 8 to 63 years old

Canoes: Old Town Discovery and Kisseynew Prospector

Paddling days: 19 (out of a planned 22 days)

Number of days windbound: 2

Ice Conditions: Floating ice offshore in Nueltin Lake; other lakes and river were ice free

Lowest air temperature: about 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit)

Highest temperature: about 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit)

Biting insects: yes!

Fish: abundant

Water levels: apparently higher than normal (shoreline vegetation along lake and river was submerged – river was flowing high and fast)

White water: A lot of it! We ran most rapids; also lined and portaged (mostly short carry-overs) about 4 times. Some rapids very rocky and might be less passible at lower water.

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How did you keep the bugs out of your tents?
You set an adventure standard for the Fish Whisperer. My camping trips with my parents at that age are wonderful memories . GOOD job.

Thanks String

In general, we weren’t very successful at keeping the bugs out. Fortunately the blackflies that got in only seemed interested in getting out again and (mostly) left us alone. We used a mosquito coil in the kitchen tent and that seemed to help a lot.

As for the Fish Whisperer, he is all ready for the standard “What I did on my summer vacation” report.

Your video makes other videos on here look like the Boy Scouts.

Hi Ppine

I hear that some of those Boy Scouts can be pretty tough. Anyway, with a few infrequent exceptions, I do mostly day trips in a kayak on the St. John River (New Brunswick). It’s slow, deep and wide (the river not the kayak).

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