|2004-09-30 - Sighting of a Siberian wolf
30th of September, time is 22;45, 47 km:s paddled, we´ve pitched our cot at N 64°54´29.4 and E 152°14´49.4 and the temperature is -3°C, it´s been snowing most of the this gray day and we´ve had a constant freezing cold headwind from the northwest.
The whining sound of bats flying around the cot and the gruffing voice of a rutting moose in the distance, is the final of an exiting finish of an otherwise freezing cold day. We´re approximately 110 km:s from Zyryanka and if the cold or the wind doesn´t escalate and our strength doesn´t vanish completely, I think we have everything under control.
That said, yesterday we got stuck in the cot, due to strong winds up to 12 m/s, since that made paddling impossible. The positive aspect with this though, was that I managed to shot another hare for dinner.
Just before 6 p.m today, an hour before it starts getting darker, we heard a howling just to the left of us. 50 meters away we saw a magnificent sight. A grayish brown wolf, who slightly amazed starred at us, before he hesitantly trotted off into the dense bush behind him. We paddled as fast as we could up to where we saw him and investigated his movements. We noticed he had been lying down, when he probably had scented us, but not being sure where we were or who we were, he stood up and started to howl to mark territory. When we showed up silently in a canoe, he got silent, he didn´t seem worried one bit, it took almost a minute before he hesitantly turned around and disappeared. The size of his tracks weren´t too big and the rest of his behavior makes us believe it was a young male.
Another experience which shows that Kolyma is a true wilderness!
We´re knackered again. We´re slowly adapting to the cold, the raw wetness and it took us over an hour to get the fire going in the stove.
Good firewood was scarce. Still, it could be worse. Wee got a hare going on the stove and we hope to hear the howling of the wolf again. We´ve also got two hares hung up in a tree just outside the cot and fish for drying in the cot, maybe we will have a howling visitor?