Island in Boyd Lake - Dubawnt River North of Boyd Lake
Distance 33km [415 km]
Portage 0 
Very Fast Water 3 
Rapids 0 
Mixed-bag of a day.
John woke up with what looks like an allergic reaction, he has nasty, itchy, large red welts on his legs, trunk and bum. We got away early into a head wind which persisted all day and was strong at times. Boyd Lake is already a navigational challenge and the headwind made it impossible to stop paddling in order to take a compass bearing or GPS reading. It is a shallow lake with a confusing number of small islands and you are never sure if what appears to be an opening on the map is really there. We successfully ran several sets of fast water but then struck the worst debris rapid ever. It was long and shallow with no depth of water for the canoe. Poor Big Red left red paint on many a boulder and we were constantly in and out of the canoe lining around rocks, John was up to his waist at times.
The day also had many magic moments like watching a small flock of seven white trumpeter swans fly overhead or observing the ducks, the males black with orange bills, the females brown with black caps, swimming near us in a group and making a whistling sound. Though we have often seen Canada Geese on all our past trips, a first for us today was watching them dive and remain submerged for a very long time, similar to Loon behaviour.
It was interesting to see the dramatic change in the countryside. It has now gone from small areas of open tundra to this being the norm. This has been particularly noticeable over the past 10 or so kilometres. Hopefully the open country will mean far more possibilities for camping. Unfortunately we could not find the cairn that reportedly stands at the northern outlet of Boyd Lake and we are now camped high on a point that looks both north and south over the Dubawnt River, very spectacular.