View topic - The journal of Moffatt-party participant Ed Lanouette

It is currently July 19th, 2019, 1:15 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 333 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ... 23  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: December 26th, 2018, 4:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 788
.....


Last edited by david demello on April 7th, 2019, 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 26th, 2018, 9:30 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3449
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
I take it there is good current for most of the Marjorie to Aberdeen river section?

_________________
"What else could I do? I had no trade so I became a peddler" - Lazarus Greenberg 1915


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 27th, 2018, 9:47 am 
Offline

Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 788
.....


Last edited by david demello on April 7th, 2019, 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 29th, 2018, 6:41 am 
Offline

Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 788
.....


Last edited by david demello on April 7th, 2019, 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 29th, 2018, 9:38 am 
Offline

Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 12:16 pm
Posts: 4032
Location: Toronto
journalistic licence?

_________________

A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)



Last edited by Allan Jacobs on December 29th, 2018, 10:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 29th, 2018, 9:58 am 
Offline

Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 788
.....


Last edited by david demello on April 7th, 2019, 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 29th, 2018, 10:06 am 
Offline

Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 12:16 pm
Posts: 4032
Location: Toronto
Given his redaction of the passage This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids from Lanouette's journal for the day of Moffatt's death, I express here and elsewhere my conclusion that nothing written by Grinnell is to be believed. Please note the ellipsis at the top of p 202 of his book (1996 edition). Lanouette refers here to the first of the two rapids before Marjorie Lake; it was in these rapids that Moffatt died.

Lanouette's full journal for 14 September is provided in the following.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46738

_________________

A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 29th, 2018, 11:08 am 
Offline

Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 12:16 pm
Posts: 4032
Location: Toronto
I decided to post Lanouette's full journal (written in exceptionally difficult circumstances) for 14 September.

Today has been the most harrowing day of my life! Today, Arthur Roy Moffatt met an untimely end on the Dubawnt River near Lady Marjorie Lake.—Today I, too, came within a whisker of not writing this entry, or any others.
Today started like many others we have been having recently: Bleak and dismal when we got up at 7:30 for our breakfast of boiled prunes, oats, and tea. It was below freezing; the sand was crunchy and hard from layers of frost and ice. We broke camp soon after breakfast and portaged to the nearby bay to launch our canoes.
As we were leaving, I noticed 2 white wolves on a nearby ridge and remarked: “It’s a good thing the sun isn’t out, or Art would be scrambling all over the hills getting them to pose for him.”
After loading, we shoved out into the bay and had no trouble reaching the river (we thought the bay might be too shallow to navigate in a couple of spots).
Once on the river, the pleasant sandy esker country dropped rapidly behind and we were again on a river with poorly defined banks and an indolent drainage system. Here and there we passed low islands of gray rock—in some places the river was fairly swift, and its broad, gray surface was wrinkled with currents and cross-currents as it swerved and wallowed down toward Lady Marjorie Lake.
The wind had again shifted to the northwest and the low, gently rolling banks afforded us little leeward protection.
We paddled along, no one saying much of anything (we are not conversational giants once in the canoe)—finally, we washed around a bend in the river and pulled into a gravelly bay for lunch. George, Bruce and I scurried around looking for wood scraps, Art heated a kettle to make chicken-noodle soup, and Pete, fishing from shore, latched onto, a 17 ½ pound, lake trout (no roe). He wrestled with it for more than 20 minutes—Skip caught 2 smaller fish and put them into the warming water—we found no wood to speak of, and I wound up cleaning Pete’s big fish.
After a satisfying lunch, chowder and 3 ‘tacks apiece, we shoved off again around 2:30. The weather was still dismal, even though the wind had dropped almost completely. The river flowed on swiftly and within a few minutes we heard and saw another rapids on the horizon (Note: At this time, Art figured we had shot the last 2 rapids into Marjorie so this surprised us—actually, what we earlier thought were rapids were only riffles. What lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids). From the top, these rapids looked easy—a few small waves, rocks…nothing serious—we didn’t even haul over to look it over, as we usually did. The river was straight and we could see both the top and foot of the rapids quite clearly. What we didn’t realize, is that we couldn’t see the middle, even though we thought we could. We barreled happily along. We bounced over a couple of fair-sized waves and took in a couple of splashes but I didn’t mind, as I had made an apron of my poncho and remained dry enough. I was looking a few feet in front of the canoe for submerged rocks. Suddenly, Art shouted “Paddle”—I took up the beat, at the same time looking farther ahead to see what we were trying to avoid. To my surprise, what I saw was two parallel lines of white coming closer with every passing instant—I looked at them in helpless fascination. (Note: The white lines were the crests of two huge waves formed by the water as it rushed over two 3- or 4-foot ledges or falls). It was too late to pull for shore—all we could do was to pick what seemed to be the least turbulent spots and head for them. I swore at Art (mentally) for not looking over the rapids—I was not frightened, but had an empty, sinking “it’s-all-over-now” feeling. We went over the falls and plunged directly into the four-foot wave—the bow sliced in and a sheet of foaming green engulfed me—the canoe yawed, slowed. The current caught it again and plunged it toward the next falls a few hundred feet away—we were still afloat but had little control over the canoe. By some miracle, Art straightened the canoe out a little, but we were still slightly broadside to the second wave as we went over the second falls. This time the bow didn’t come up again—the quartering wave filled us to the brim, and I could feel the canoe begin to roll over under me. I swore and jumped overboard, keeping hold of the gunwale—then I spun around and the next few seconds became a vivid recollection of water all around me, foam and clutching currents pulling me along with the canoe which, by this time, had rolled bottom up—I remember clipping a sunken boulder with my leg. Then the foaming roar stopped, the current lessened. Art and I were clinging to the canoe—packs, boxes, paddles were all bobbing along with us. The seriousness of our position had not yet fully dawned on us, and I swore at Art for getting us soaked. At first the water didn’t feel too uncomfortable. My heavy parka was full of air in between its layers and I was quite buoyant—By now we had drifted several hundred yards downstream and were in a big eddy formed by several small islands—I tried to touch bottom, no luck—Art draped himself over the stern of the canoe and yelled to me to do the same at the bow—I did, but felt helpless just hanging on, so I began kicking toward the nearest shore. This did no good whatsoever.
Then I saw George and Pete, in the red canoe, paddling furiously by us for shore. I watched them leap out, dump their packs and head back toward us in their emptied canoe.
Then the current twisted our canoe around and I saw upstream that Bruce and Skip, too, had dumped. What a relief, Art and I weren’t the only dumpees.
Packs floating all around—I was surprised that they floated. Even Art’s 86-pound camera box was afloat. He was holding onto the canoe with one arm, and clutching my personal pack and the camera box with the other hand—I swam to our yellow food box floating nearby, got it, and brought it back. Then I saw Art’s personal pack floating off and swam a few yards after it, but by now my parka was soaked, so I came back to the canoe, (eventually we “caught up” with Art’s pack and I grabbed it). I told Art in a dry, disinterested voice that we had just pulled a damned-fool stunt and that this would likely be the end for us. He assured me through chattering teeth that this was not the case and that, although it would be hard, we would pull through in good shape—I didn’t believe him and insisted we were all washed up. We lapsed into silence and just hung on, waiting for George and Pete to pick us up.
(Note: Looking back, I am surprised that during this entire incident I was not even slightly afraid or panicky—I realized that all our clothes and sleeping bags were soaking—that the temperature was below freezing, and that even if we made shore, we might freeze, because George and Pete didn’t have enough clothes for four soaked people. I remember thinking that death by drowning or freezing was inevitable and yet managed to look upon it quite impersonally and calmly). I made a few attempts to shove the canoe ashore, but got nowhere, so I gave up. At one time I thought of swimming to shore alone, but by now my limbs were too numb to swim. At no time did I try to take off a stitch of clothing; I knew that, without every thread, our chances of survival, if we got ashore, would be nil.
George and Pete paddled up and asked if we could hold on—we both replied “yes,” and told them to get our personal packs aboard first (they had since drifted away). They left us to get the packs. Then, to our horror, as George struggled to haul my soaked pack into the canoe, he lost balance and toppled overboard—with a lunge, he tried to haul himself back aboard—I cheered him on—Pete half crouched, half standing almost overturned the canoe. Instead it took in a good amount of water. George made several attempts to haul himself out of the water, but each attempt was weaker than the last. Finally, Pete had to paddle to shore, dragging George—Once again they dumped out the water and came back. This time they managed to drag Bruce and Skip to a small rocky island and leave them there.
At one point, I thought that if we righted the canoe we could put some of our packs aboard to keep them from drifting all over the place. I told Art my plan and flipped the canoe. To my surprise, it kept right on rolling until once again it came to rest—bottom-side-up. I was about to try again, but Art told me that if I did so, he would lose his grip on the canoe and drown, so I just held onto the bow.
By now I was almost completely inactivated by the cold water—I wanted to quit fooling around and get to shore—but, I couldn’t swim, couldn’t move.
Bruce and Skip (on the island) began shouting “Hurry up.” Their voices sounded far off and faint—Art also took up the cry and so did I—now all four of us were chanting “hurry up.”
My mind became foggy—I remember Pete shouting to me to grab ahold of his canoe—this I did, so did Art. But I was holding both Art’s and my personal packs—and, unknown to me, my legs were entangled with the bowline from our canoe. George and Pete had to drag Art and me plus the packs and the gray canoe to shore—we seemed unable to move, although George and Pete were both paddling like fiends. Pete then yelled to me to let go of the canoe. I thought he meant his canoe, so I told him to go to hell.
Once, I lost my grip on Pete’s gunwale and shouted for him to come back—he stopped paddling—I grabbed onto the red canoe again. Now barely conscious, I remember my feet scraping over rocks near shore. I took one or two steps, using every single remaining ounce of strength I had, then collapsed unconscious on the rocks and moss ashore.
While lying semi-conscious on the ground I remember thinking that heaven was overwhelmingly green. (It later turned out I was lying face down on a patch of moss).
My next recollection, hazy as it is, is one of being in a sleeping bag, with George giving me a brisk rubdown—he kept asking, “how are you doing, Joe?”, and I kept telling him that I was doing fine and to quit pounding me—I remember that I felt warm and comfortable all over except for my feet, which seemed abnormally cold—I passed out again.
When I came around next, I was surprised to find that I was completely naked and in a tent—I couldn’t figure out why this should be. I sat bolt upright—it was dark out—someone thrust a large can under my nose and told me to take 5 swigs—I did. Then Skip came into the tent, undressed, and got into a sleeping bag—Bruce poked his head into the tent, handed Skip the can and said he and I were to take 7 handfuls—we did. I was really hungry and gobbled down my share—(beets mixed with chicken soup). The mixture tasted so good I was tempted to eat the whole works.
When I finally went out of the tent, the setting sun cast a bright red streak on the horizon. The rest of the sky was a mass of gray clouds. I came back inside, now fully aware of what had happened, and casually asked Skip where Art was—he replied that Art was outside. We lay in silence—finally I asked what would Art be doing outside. Skip replied, “You might as well know, Art is dead.”
I said, “Oh,” and lay back. Then it dawned on me that Skip was pulling my leg and I accused him of it—he assured me this was no joking matter and, with no great emotion, I fell asleep secure in the knowledge that I was still alive and kicking.
One by one the others crowded into the tent, until all 5 of us were crammed into Art’s and my tent (the other had been lost, along with the green canoe). Somehow we found room. George and I squeezed into his sleeping bag—Bruce was at the left of the tent in Skip’s—Skip and Pete, heads toward the door, jammed into Pete’s bag.
Before sacking out, Bruce brought in a cheese slab that I sliced 5 ways and passed around. The shock of Art’s death had not yet sunk in and we were in pretty good spirits once we were crammed into place and passed our share of cheese—my feet were still cold as ice cubes. Throughout the night, Bruce was wracked by such spasmodic chills that he woke us up by shivering violently and chattering—I slept reasonably soundly, although I got cramps from being in one position so long.

_________________

A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 29th, 2018, 1:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 788
.....


Last edited by david demello on April 7th, 2019, 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 29th, 2018, 2:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 788
....


Last edited by david demello on April 7th, 2019, 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 29th, 2018, 3:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 12:16 pm
Posts: 4032
Location: Toronto
Perhaps one should read the evidence, especially that of Lanouette, before making assertions of a dead man.

With respect to Moffatt's trust in the rapids advice provided by J B Tyrrell, I need repeat that the party had experienced but one swamp, not one pin and not one dump in the 11 weeks prior to the afternoon of 14 September.
A request of the readers of this Forum. In the same circumstances, who would have done differently?
With respect to DeMello's later Dubawnt trip, it bears mention that he knew those rapids to be dangerous only because Moffatt had died in them.

_________________

A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 29th, 2018, 8:33 pm 
Offline

Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 788
.....


Last edited by david demello on April 7th, 2019, 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 29th, 2018, 10:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 788
.....


Last edited by david demello on April 7th, 2019, 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 30th, 2018, 10:26 am 
Offline

Joined: September 19th, 2003, 8:46 am
Posts: 788
.....


Last edited by david demello on April 7th, 2019, 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: December 30th, 2018, 8:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 12:16 pm
Posts: 4032
Location: Toronto
My regrets!!

_________________

A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)



Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 333 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ... 23  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group