Esker, Entrance To Boyd Lake - Island In Boyd Lake
Distance 21km [382 km]
Portage 0 
Very Fast Water 1 
Rapids 1 
A day of ups- and-downs!
The major joy today is no bugs since we left camp this morning and for the first time in days it is not hot. These small things make for great enjoyment. We had a very ‘buggy’ start to the day and the irritable start made worse by me dropping the pot of red river cereal on the ground so that I had to start making breakfast over again. This not only meant climbing down to the beach for water but having to dig to the bottom of one of the food drums to get another lot of cereal. I am concerned that we are using our cereal too quickly and wasting it like this is a worry.
Once we were on the water we had a head wind which was great for keeping the bugs at bay. It was overcast for the first few hours keeping the temperature down. The only rapid we ran was a Class 1 at the entrance to Boyd Lake and we ran this comfortably RL, then RC as it fanned out.
Boyd Lake is a maze of islands with many blind bays and boulders everywhere. It’s a navigational nightmare and we got off course once. However, by 10am we had reached a beautiful esker with a myriad of great camp spots in the south east corner of the lake. We spent several hours exploring the esker and checking out a trapper’s cabin. Again, the cabin had not been used in years but had been well built so was still largely standing. It looked like the trapper had left intending to return but had never done so. There was a still an aluminium canoe in good condition, an old rifle, a washboard, a hockey stick, snow shoes and tools among the many artefacts which had been scattered by animals.
By the time we were back paddling the wind had picked up giving us a challenge. By 3pm we had done about 20 kilometres but it was becoming so difficult we paddled over to a tiny, flat, bouldery island to wait for the wind to die down.
After several hours we decided to cut our losses and headed back across the channel to an island that looked a possibility for an adequate camping place. Apart from the eskers there have been very few places suitable for camping. This island was difficult to land on as the shore was all sharp, jagged rocks followed by a steep climb but then we arrived at a lovely flat spot carpeted in caribou moss and blueberries with great views up and down the lake and it was worth it.
It was very windy, excellent for dissipating the bugs and giving our tent one of its first tests. We did not bring the food drums etc. up from the shore so made a meal of pilot biscuits before retiring to the tent early. The wind blew all night making it blissfully cool, great for sleeping.