Guide for hire

When I was living in Inuvik, I got a call from a German film crew that wanted to do one days filming in the Mackenzie Delta.  They were looking for footage of muskrats, ducks, and moose.  I told them no problem, I know that whole delta like the back of my hand.  If you look at a map of the delta, there are about ten thousand lakes, creeks, and rivers. 

Since I didn’t have my own boat, I borrowed a 32-foot scow with a 33-horse Evinrude kicker.  We were only going for afternoon so I only put ten bucks in the kicker tank.  The crew arrived at the river with all their camera equipment.  I packed my grub box with a two cans of klik, a tea pot, pilot biscuits, and dried apples.  The director showed me on the map where he wanted to go; a place with lots of big lakes where there might be moose.  I told him I don’t need map, map’s in my head.  I crumpled it up and threw it in the river.

Who ever owned that scow forgot to pound the nails back in last spring because I had about half a foot of water in the back by the time I finished my first cigarette.  I had to get them guys to take turns bailing with a lard pail.  I couldn’t understand them but I think they were arguing about who’s turn it was next.  I just kept my eye on where I was going.  I turned left a the first creek, then right, then left again, then left, then right, then I hit a sandbar in a big dry lake.  They must have moved that other creek cause that’s where I was going.  The director kept asking me to look at the map but me I don’t get lost in the delta.  I might get turned around but never lost. 

It was middle of June and I forgot one thing, Mosquito Dope.  It was hot enough to take your tee-shirt off and there was no wind.  As soon as we stopped, I could hear the buzzing.  Then they attacked.  But we had to get the hell out of there or we were literally going to be eaten alive. 

One thing about scows, the flat bottom sticks to mud, hard.  We hit the sandbar around one and it was three-thirty when we pulled it off the bottom.  By this time the director cold barely see cause his eyes were swollen from mosquito bites.  Anyway, he was yelling at me in English first then he started yelling at me in German.

We got out and he said, that’s it, take me back to town.  We ran out of gas around midnight.  The two other guys were holding him back from attacking me.  He was yelling in German but I couldn’t understand him.  But it’s not my fault I told them.  Global warming must have dried them creeks up cause I couldn’t find my way out.  I could hear town but couldn’t find the creek out.  So we started padding.  We ran out of grub next morning.  The sound of town was getting quieter and quieter.  I reassured them I knew we were close to town.  By eight that night, the director jumped out of the boat, jabbering to himself and German and swimming away from us.  I had to hit him over the head with a paddle to smarten him up.

We dragged him back in the scow and drifted till the next day.  I brought along a .303 and good thing cause I saw a squaw duck on the bank.  I aimed and hit him dead on.  All there was was  a puff of feathers and blood.  Even after about a minute, little bits of duck were still falling from the sky.  So much for duck soup.  We eventually got picked up at Shallow Bay.  I read in the news that the director was admitted to the nut house.  But not my fault, global warming is really buggering up our creeks.  Can’t even find my way anymore.




About inuvik61

Filmmaker, apprentice bluesman. columnist, father, husband, master, and champion to all those who missed their boats.
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