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Saved by the Lund
Harold B., Whitby, ON
“More years ago than I care to remember I took my dad on what he described as “his once in a lifetime” fishing trip to Great Bear Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
After getting settled in at the main lodge we flew over to the lodges outpost camp on the north shore of the lake and then made the thirty-mile trip across the arm to fish a large bay on the south shore. We were using a new boat that had been designed and built at the lodge, and to make a long story short; when the wind picked up we had to ditch what we began referring to as the “silver submarine” because we were taking on water faster than we could drain it out.
Much to our surprise we found an old aquamarine colored Lund pulled up on shore, and although somewhat beat up, it appeared to be seaworthy. We transferred our motor and gear over to the old Lund and although the wind was now really howling, we managed to get some fishing in. To this day I have no idea how that boat came to be in such a desolate, isolated place, but it literally turned out to be a lifesaver.
Early that evening we thought it had calmed down enough to make a run for camp, but what we didn’t realize was that the large island that runs across the mouth of the bay had been acting as a windbreak.
The first mile past the island was manageable, but when the wind, which had been howling down the entire fifty-mile length of the arm for most of the day, hit us full on, we knew we were in trouble. Turning back was impossible, as we would have been swamped while trying to make the turn, in what were now six to eight foot waves. Our guide pulled off nothing short of a miracle in keeping us from going under, but there was nothing he could do to stop the pounding that our old boat and the three of us were taking.
Our motor really strained to climb those mountains of water and, as we hurled down the other side, we landed with a bone jarring bang. Each time we hit the bottom of one of those deep troughs, it was like being hit in the ribs with a sledgehammer.
After more than three hours of constant pounding, we finally made it back to the outpost camp.
The next morning I went down to the dock to see if that old Lund was still in one piece or, if after tying up, all the rivets had fallen out. It didn’t look any worse for wear despite the severe pounding it took, and from that day forward the only boat I have ever owned is a Lund."