Monday, August 11, 2008

Moving on at last

Friday 11th August 1827

[After many days at the Red River settlement David Douglas is ready to move on, heading north towards Hudson's Bay and his ship back to England.]

Lest the boats be delayed in transit by bad weather on the lake too long to meet the ship in Hudson’s Bay, I thought it prudent to make my stay no longer. To Mr D McKenzie (Governor of the Colony) I am greatly indebted for his polite attentions. After bidding him and the Bishop adieu, I left the establishment in company with Mr Hamlyn, the surgeon, for Hudson’s Bay

Had some cheeses presented me, which I could not well refuse. Camped a few miles below the rapid.

Saturday 11th

At five proceeded down the river with a light air of wind and entered the lake [Lake Winnipeg] at eight o’clock. Continued our voyage along the southwest side of the lake for 15 miles when we came to a small narrow sandy island and put ashore to boil the tea kettle [Douglas is notorious for his love of tea – “The Monarch of All Foods”].

Continued our route prosperously until three o’clock when the wind became contrary. It became suddenly boisterous and much hard labour before we got to shore. The oars were long and by the heavy swell it was nothing but plunging. Landed on a low thinly wooded island at half past five; our poor men exhausted and myself somewhat anxious. From the appearance of this and many others in this lake the water has risen to a considerable degree. Trees are buried to the depth of eight to ten feet and many places are seen with dead poplars standing erect that no doubt were woody islands.

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