On this day trip across the Inlet, we visit a small island with nesting common eiders and glaucous, herring, and Thayer’s gulls, watching for common and king eiders, long-tailed ducks, and jaegers on the sea. Spring cinquefoil carpets the crest of the island, giving it a crown of gold.
Later, prickly saxifrage reigns supreme, covering the slopes with a froth of white, and pink Pallas’ wallflower, brooklet saxifrage, and scurvy-grass huddle in the shelter of the outcrops. Keeping to the north side of the island so we do not discourage nesting, we’ll look for nesting eiders and gull nests couched in wreaths of cinquefoil, Draba glabella, and wallflower.
Then we cross Franklin’s canoe route to land on the eastern shore of the inlet at Tinney Cove, named by Franklin. Here some will hike to the great granite slopes of the Tinney Hills and golden eagle nesting cliffs; some can hunt for small natural inuksuit formed in sandstone, thrill to great shows of wildflowers, and seek out the incredibly ancient algal limestone stromatolite fossils. Caribou are frequently seen here, sometimes muskox, and we always keep an eye out for grizzly bears.