Aug 11 (day 3)
At breakfast, we get some bad news – our charter boat needs some kind of repair and won’t be departing until later in the afternoon. What to do for half a day? A hike to the radio tower seems most promising…we depart about 10am. By 11:30am I’m back in the hotel room. Black flies were terrible! Biting face, neck, hands. I don’t want to pull out my bug jacket yet – if its this bad here, what’s it going to be like in the country? However it’s another 30C windless day. I’m hoping for cooler temps and a continuous breeze when north out of the tree line.
Suddenly we get word that departure is imminent. It’s a mad scramble to check out, load the van, head down to the dock. I opt to walk, knowing it will be the last land my feet will be seeing for 48 hours! As a novice ocean traveler, I have a stock of gravel pills, which I hope not to use. Willie and John, two Inuit men from Nain, are going to be taking us up the coast on ‘Sprit of the Torngat’, Tom’s 42’ foot boat.
Once on the water, things seem to look good – the sky is blue, water calm, no bugs. We chug out of the harbour and I settle back to enjoy the scenery. But then we enter the open ocean and swells make their effect know. At first, the white caps are small and I fight the nausea. One by one, most of us succumb – well, after a few hours I’m not paying any attention to who’s puking and who’s not. My entire being is focused on hitting the small stainless basin – Julie and I are almost delirious with dry heave agony, making jokes about good aim, lunch and clean up. Not a pretty sight! This goes on for at least 6 hours, finally by 10pm the boat enters calmer water near Okak Islands.
We are behind schedule due to the late morning departure and heavy swells. The threat of ice and dark cloudy weather stops us from traveling at night. I wonder, when did the weather change from sun to overcast? the silhouette of hills is very faint in the dark sky. It’s black out here far away from any city light pollution. John fiddles with the anchor, he’s wearing a down jacket in the rain. Finally we are secure and dinner commences. My stomach won’t even let me think about eating. The guys bed down on the floor, the gals take the bench seats. I close my eyes and fall into a black black hole.