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Day 6 - Thursday, 7/25/2002

9:30pm Island campsite approx 2km from Hartley Bay

So we made it back to our first night campsite. And dinner went okay thanks to our food surplus and Leo and Denise's suggestions.

We awoke at our usual time and ate millet with dates for breakfast, with other bits of dried fruit mixed in. Filling, tasty fuel.

Rick asked me to paddle with Helmut today. I agreed. And we paddled about 2km to our one "serious portage" with an exquisitely maintained boardwalk running the length of its 250 metres.

After the portage, I switched canoes with Fred to paddle with Denise M. After the portage, we had a swim break and then headed on.

Denise and I saw a rattlesnake sunning itself on the rocks by the river. So still you'd swear it was dead. Further on up the Eastern Channel we stopped for lunch: chick pea salad, cheese, salami, tabouleh and yet more dessert bars.

After lunch I switched canoes again, sterning the bathtub with Denise and her self-loading cargo, aka Leo. Leo's arm is a lot more mobile today but still in no shape to be paddling. Rick soloed again today. Happily the (light) wind was at our backs today.

So off I went in my third canoe of the day. That was enjoyable. Robert's boat is huge. But I like the gunwhales.

After wrinkling our noses at a lousy site, and finding others taken, we settled on our first night campsite which was being beseiged by a horde of Austrian youth in Canada for Pope-a-pollooza. However they weren't camping, so we plunked our tents in the usual spots and went for a swim. I think we were there for 3pm.

So then came the big trauma. Dinner. All the food had been so good -- well thought out, tasty, fortifying, practical etc etc. I was quite intimidated. I didn't want to let everybody down. I mean I've always been much better on the lake and on the portage than in the kitchen.

It started off badly. The carrots I had brought were useless. Turns out if you don't pack them in newspaper or something that breathes, they rot. Denise and Leo came to the rescue. They had some dehydrated carrots for the now non-existent Day 7 lunch. I used them instead. They gave me their raisins too. Then the tofu smelled odd. So I chucked it too. Leo told me about a type of tofu that comes in a drink box-like container that lasts forever on canoe trips. The naan was okay. And Denise M coached me on quantities. I have enough potatoes left for a meal or two.

So the whole dinner took too long but everyone ate it up anyway, or rather because dinner took too long everyone ate it up. I got some good feedback on it and even Helmut -- who's not into anything spicy -- liked it. Of note: if you've got ten trippers, make rice for 12.

Afterward, we all sat around where a fire ought to be until it was time for the bugs.