When we woke this morning, we were greeted by another glorious day, but this one was different. Today was going to be extra exciting! We were going up the Coppermine River, past the village of Kugluktuk, and hopefully all the way to Bloody Falls. The falls are a historical site, where there was a massacre in 1771 during Samuel Hearne’s expedition. The river was also used by several explorers as they plied the Canadian Arctic in search of the Northwest Passage.

This stop was recommended by the Mayor of Cambridge Bay several days earlier. He is from Kugluktuk and told us about the beauty of the river. He put us in contact with a local guide to escort us and help navigate the ever-changing sandbars along the way.

It took a short while to secure our guides, but eventually the entire ship loaded into Zodiacs and off we went in one giant flotilla. The river was shallow this year, and the shifting sands made navigation tricky, but we were not to be stopped. Single file, we forged our way up the river while spotting many birds and several ground squirrels along the riverbanks. We finally found a set of rapids that we could not forge, so we stopped for a quick stretch before heading back down. The sun was shining, there was little wind, and the scenery was stunning. It was a wonderful day to be exploring!

After a late lunch, the afternoon was spent basking in the warm sun while watching for birds and whales as we made our way towards Ulukhaktok.