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The Voyage:

Day 7: Recharge the Batteries

Seeing that we were not traveling this day everyone slept in and got up whenever they felt like it. It was a great time to recharge the internal batteries and allow the body to heal from the little injuries and pains from the portages. During the morning I herd the call of another bird that I had not yet heard before. I looked to the sky to see a couple of Osprey. These birds have a wingspread 54-72 in.; almost eagle size; females larger than males; sexes outwardly alike; adults very dark brown above; clear white below; breast somewhat spotted or streaked with brown; head largely white like bald eagle, but broad black mark through cheeks, side of neck; bill and claws (talons) black; eyes yellow to brown; cere pale blue; legs and feet green-white; overhead, distinguished by white under parts, narrow wings, black patch at sharp bend, or "wrist", of wings; tail fairly long, narrowly barred; flies with slow powerful wingbeats alternated with glide; usual call is melodious whistle, chewk-chewk-chewk or cheap-cheap-cheap.

One by one the other members of the crew awoke and got out of their tents. With no planned activity we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, morning cocoa and coffee and just relaxed. Joey wanted to complete the canoeing merit badge that he had started a couple months earlier as well as finish the fishing merit badge. I gathered the scouts that were interested and we started to review the requirements of the fishing merit badge. We tied knots, reviewed regulations, and tackled the majority of the requirements.

After lunch while some of the scouts were swimming, Joey Z and I took out a canoe to complete the canoeing merit badge. We capsized the vessel and paddled it to shore. We capsized it and emptied it. Joey slalomed around the island and several obstacles and we up righted a capsized canoe utilizing a second canoe. Joey entered and exited it in deep water without capsizing it and eventually we completed all the remaining requirements.

When we came in we decided to conduct our service project so that the scouts could earn the 50-miler award. We choose to rebuild the fire pit that was in disarray and in need of much repair, maintenance and cleaning. We started by making cuts in the groups away from camp and peeling back the topsoil and greenery. In these holes we buried the years of built up ash and cinders in the fire pit. We then took the pit apart stone by stone and completed smoothed out the area. Then rock-by-rock we build a new, improved fire pit. We built a nice hearth and shelf so that a breeze could naturally fan a fire and a cook could set a trail stove, pots, pans and utensils. The crew did a great job. The fire pit was now ready for the evening’s campfire.

When we finished everyone decided that they would go fishing for a fresh dinner. Joey and I grabbed our fishing gear and headed west to a rock face cliff about a half-mile from the camp. We docked the canoe, traversed the terrain and found a good spot to cast from shore in at the foot of the cliff. Joey caught a couple of Black Bass and a few Small Mouth Bass. We lost a lure to a tree branch but it didn’t seem to matter which lure we used the fish were biting. We reentered our canoe and trolled awhile as well as we found another cliff to fish by. Joey indicated that his groin was getting soar and that he must of hurt himself when we were working on the canoe merit badge requirements hoping in and out of the canoe. We had enough fish for dinner so we headed back to camp.

By the time we got there Joey was in quite a bit of pain. He decided to lie down while I filleted the fish and prepared them for dinner. While I was cooking Joey V and Travis told of their adventures fishing. As it turned out they were sharing a rod and reel. Travis being the seasoned fisherman he was cast the line, rod, reel and all. Unfortunately they were in a deep section of the lake and could only watch it sink into the darkness for the first 50 feet or so. The lake was probably 150 to 200 feet deep. When I finished cooking the fish Joey got up and had a bite to eat. He then went and lie down again to nurse his pain. Latter that evening Maeve made the blueberry cobbler. Joey got up again and ate both his and mine.

Lisa also joined us and we talked for a couple hours about the canoe country, her previous travels, and this expedition and about her canoe. Steve took the canoe for a short cruise around the island and was quite impressed with its agility and ease to paddle. It was a 16.5’ We-no-nah Advantage made of Kevlar. Lisa indicated that if she were to purchase the canoe again she would move to the Voyager instead which is an additional foot longer than the Advantage. Apparently she found it difficult to track the shorter canoe on the choppy waters of the larger lakes. As the sky darkened with the starry sky the mosquitoes came out. It was time for bed. We extinguished the fire and called it a night.