Labrador Canoeists Soggy but Successful

After a 35-day journey into the Labrador wild, Dave Greene and his team safely paddled into their end point of Nain, the northernmost town on the coast. 

The journey was not easy. After hopping off Canada’s last great wilderness train at Menihek Station — a mere whistle-stop amid the black spruce and tamarack forest of the Labrador plateau — Greene and his team started positively with a 54km day into the De Pas River. Then what later began as a day of rain turned into a 28-day deluge. They were consistently drenched, there was no sunshine to dry clothes or gear, and temperatures dropped at night to 4ºC. Still, they had no difficulty paddling the high-water rivers. 

Home sweet tent. Photo: Dave Greene

Half-way into their journey, one canoeist fell ill from dehydration and stomach problems; another sprained an ankle. The others managed to pick up the slack. Ultimately, thanks to patience and teamwork, all four were able to continue. 

Breaking camp in Labrador. Photo: Dave Greene

After reaching the ocean, their tribulations did not end. The Labrador coast has experienced a rough and windy summer, and they had to stop often during their last 60km to wait for the wind to die down. In the end, they made it into the little town of Nain.

Greene will return to Labrador next summer to tackle the flashing whitewater streams of the Mealy Mountains.