Would You Rather: Windbound or Upstream?

Debate constantly rages in our boat. Here is a recent example of one stemming from our experiences on Lake Winnipeg and the Winnipeg River.

Would you rather be windbound for an uncertain amount of time OR be paddling upstream against a current that holds you to 2-3km/hr (see July 4th inReach tracking for stats on this frustration).

Being windbound means the lake is so windy that it is unsafe to paddle. On Lake Winnipeg, a notoriously breezy and shallow lake, wind and wave can gather strength very quickly and without warning. The water can be dangerous for a couple hours to a couple weeks.

Being windbound is a game of  patience. You have to be very quick to recognise changing force of the waves,  and find suitable shelter before the swells are too big. Then you wait. We were lucky in that only twice has the wind been so bad that it required us to scrap the whole day. Otherwise it became pretty routine to start later or pull over in afternoon, and be on constant watch of the weather. Books and guitar are the simple pleasures to get you through, until the call is made and you must paddle your heart out to put some distance between windstorms.

Paddling upstream, is a game of strength. When the force of the river is acting against you, there is no stopping. Full strength paddling to make it past the slightest rise in elevation and swift water is draining. Being stuck on a river treadmill is great for endurance training, but poor for covering distance in a reasonable amount of time. You do move forward though. There is no waiting game, as the river does not stop its flow during the evenings. You can paddle and make ground, but you have to be happy with the ground you cover.

Windbound or Upstream? Which pace slowing-environmental obstacle would you prefer? Are you a patient person, able to wait for just the right conditions? Or do you prefer the grind, moving forward but fighting for every inch of river?

Weigh in on our debate! Tell us about your best or worst experiences being windbound or paddling upstream.