June 26, 2006
Morale was pretty low this morning. The fact that we only had one canoe for a few days caused a separation in the group, and even though we were united physically yesterday, we still weren't acting as one big group. Several people were ready to call it quits and head off the river as soon as possible. However, we all agreed that from now on, we'd do things like cooking and eating as a group and try and have more fun. After meeting with everyone, it looks like that trip will become fun for everyone.
The pace was slowed dramatically today. Instead of trying to get as far as possible on the river, we decided to paddle for 7-10 days for only around seven hours per day so we'd have time to relax at the campsite each day. Partway through the day, we stopped paddling and took turns swimming with the large group of pink and gray river dolphins that began following us. We also stopped for a long lunch and basically did a half day.
Right after we found a great beach campsite, it looked like a storm was about to hit, so everyone hurried to get their tents set up. It became very windy, and as Patricia and I were setting up our tent (which Louise was kind enough to lend us), one of the poles broke. We tried to tape it, but it quickly broke again under the pressure of the strong wind. Then the other pole broke, and it became apparent that the tent wouldn't be usable in its current condition. We gathered some sticks from the nearby forest and constructed a tepee using a canoe paddle for internal support. It was just a temporary solution, though, so tomorrow we'll experiment with using a mosquito net instead.
The storm somehow cleared up before it hit us, so we were lucky to have a nice, sunny afternoon. I broke out the frisbee and threw around with several expedition members for awhile, and everyone else read and fished. The first two days were characterized by lots of paddling, just like we did for the entire last canoe trip. However, from here on out, I think it will be much more laid-back, which seems to be what the group wants.