Friday, June 29, 2007

Gwaii Haanas

For the past week we have been in Gwaii Haanas, the National Park and Haida Cultural Preserve that encompasses the southern end of the Queen Charlotte Islands. The people who live here call it "The edge of the world", and it is a wild place - we have seen only a couple of of boats, and only one night out of seven have we shared an anchorage. We've encountered many more animals than people - wolves, bears, deer, seals, porpoises, whales, and birds both exotic and common, from black oystercatchers
to sandhill cranes. We made a stop at Hot Springs Island, one of seven places where there are Haida watchmen to greet visitors and protect the ecological and historical elements of the sites. The Hot Springs is understandably popular, and we had a very long soak, with pools all to ourselves. The weather has been largely gray and rainy, with winds from the south, so our southward progress has been halting, and interrupted by a couple of two day stays in anchorages to wait for the winds to drop below
gale force. In the meantime, we grab any break to kayak, and this saves us from claustrophobia and melancholy. We've learned that it doesn't much matter if it is raining; once you are in the kayak and paddling, you can stay quite warm and comfortable. Somehow, when down at the waterline, the scale of man (or woman) to sea and wilderness is reconciled.


Blogger Kate said...

Sam and I have been following your position reports and trying to remember the names of all the harbors and straights from three years ago.. such beautiful places.

We're just having a sun break here after a week of rainy weather, so I'll will some of these rays up to you!!

June 30, 2007 11:05 AM  

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