Our Gwaii Haanas Adventure Begins – Canada Day 36

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Day 36 Gwaii Haanas Saturday 23rd May 2015

By Mel

And so begins our most looked-forward-to-adventure – Archipelago Adventures  A week on a “mothership” kayaking through the protected park Gwaii Haanas visiting ancient villages, seeing houses and poles as they slowly disintegrate and return to the earth.

Early morning call for us – up, packed, ready at 7am. Tick. Our skipper and guide for the week Ryan Masson arrived bright, cheery and immediately a hit with us.

Another couple to pick up on the way to the ferry and the final couple meeting us at the ferry. Me and him, Amanda and Eric, Rosie and James and of course Ryan. Our team for the week.

As we sat in line waiting to drive onto the ferry we were provided with a weeks supply of home-baked cakes and desserts and warm delicious Rhubarb and Ginger muffins “to go” Sheila “the hot muffin lady”

After the short ferry crossing on to Moresby Landing via logging roads which has now become our road catch-cry. Each vehicle has to announce what they are; road; and whether they are travelling in the direction of full or empty logging trucks:

“Passenger vehicle – 5 -(mile markers on roadside) – Moresby Main Road – Loaded.”

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Our first sighting of the boat was a little surprise – much smaller than I had imagined, very much like the fishing boats of childhood. Nearby was moored a cute sparkling renovated old boat – wish I wish!! Once onboard it was again a sinking thought – where will we all sleep. Don’t worry that did not last long – complete turnaround in a very short time.

Blog36 3 boat interiorLoaded, safety briefing, knot tying lesson (unsuccessful for me) and we were away. Ryan also suggested today would be a long day of motoring as he wanted to get to the southern most point before the weather broke.

Leaving I recalled a description of Emily Carr’s describing a “woolly mist” – perfect description of how it looks sitting over the deep green forest. The sea was smooth, the colour of polished slate and tiny sparkles across the top.

World quickly forgotten.

Ryan had told us today would be a long day motoring as he wanted to get to the southern most point before the weather broke.

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We did visit our first village – Skedans and our first meeting with the Watchmen – Shiloeh and Donna.

We started the tour at a long house where moss and ferns had grown over but the pit and some poles were visible. Standing at the end of the structure I had a sudden strange thing happen – it felt like something / someone thumped me on the sternum making me gasp. I said nothing feeling a bit silly and while nothing similar happened after this there was definitely a feeling in the villages.




Blog36 5b pole‘Island Bay’ log records “1830hrs anchored Beljay Bay”.

Ryan cooked up a delicious meal of fresh prawns.

Being light till well after 10pm meant we could have our first kayak after dinner. Ryan gave us our briefing about: Entering and exiting from the boat; Use of the radio; and provided a navigation map marked with our route.

Great feeling to be in the water and keeping up with the group. Cheeky seals forcompany popping up so close to the kayaks you could hear them breathing.

The concern about who sleeps where seemed easily sorted in our absence! Eric and Amanda on the dining room table, Rosie and James on the fold out seat and Chris and I in the bow bed. Ryan has the Captains tent up top.


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