Day 12 (July 17)

A weather change – wind is blowing, gusty tail winds build from the south-west.

Fewer cliff faces today…more rounded hills, low grassed slopes and less forests. Rivers slows with fewer bends making more work to paddle. Search for another rumoured Inuit camp just upstream from Whaleman River but find nothing but more bleached bones and dry savannah like conditions. The river swings sharply southward at a hairpin bend – huge gravel pan on inside curve as topography flattens.

Flat sheets of bedrock rise without warning on the river bottom, slightly spooking me. Like submerged alligators or dead heads or dinosaurs, stained green with algae. At camp, I notice yellow Indian paint brush flowers for the first time. The wind swings suddenly from the north-west, cumulous clouds build towering. I don’t mind – clouds mean darkness for sleeping compared to the 24 hr sun which has pounded us for the last few days and nights.