Thursday, August 23, 2012

Arriving in Merasheen

The Sunday breadcrumbs

Sunday we left our day one campsite at Rosiru, stopped for a break in Hogan Cove, lunched in Dirty Rock Cove and made our way into the abandoned community of Merasheen.

Target in sight

An hour after leaving Dirty Rock Cove, where we lunched, we saw our destination for the day low on the horizon.  It would be difficult to imagine a more perfect day to be out here to do this paddle.


Dean and I were the first to arrive at Merasheen.  I have no idea what Merasheen means or where the name came from but I find it such a mystical sounding place.  Mystical or not, it sits in a low bowl at the end of Merasheen Island and paddling into it, seemingly at the end of the Earth.  Reference to the breadcrumbs above shows what I mean.


In 1921, 380 souls in 69 families called this place home.  In 1966 they were relocated to larger communities on the mainland where modern services could be provided.  Nevertheless, during the summer some of the fishermen return, some with their families, to prosecute the ages old fishery.

Little Merasheen

After doing a sweep through Merasheen Dean and I paddled around and into Little Merasheen.  The wind was forecast to blow the next day making it easier to get out of than the main community just over the hill in the background.

The first order of business after landing and after paddling 32 kms in hot sunny conditions was a dip in the harbour waters.  The water felt warm to the touch but was cool to get into.  We all had a glorious swim about and felt refreshed afterwards.


The shores of abandoned houses lay scattered about near the site where we pitched our tents.  There were extensive concrete works scattered around.  It all had to be mixed by hand but in those days no one had to work alone.  Back then if anyone had a big job to do everyone in the community pitched in.

His majesty

I think we may have pitched our tents on a caribou track.  This guy I believe thought so too.  He appeared on the hilltop and pranced about as if perturbed.

We saw lots of signs of caribou on the island, mainly droppings so it was only a matter of time before we saw the animals themselves.  This one was majestic silhouetted against the sky with his fine rack of antlers.

We had the usual fire on the beach after eating supper.  The soft glow of the fire, a few sociable drinks and light-hearted joking was a perfect ending to day two of our trip around Merasheen.

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