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From Sandspit airport or your place of accommodation should you have opted to arrive the night before, you will be transported by land shuttle to Skidegate (near Queen Charlotte City) for a visit to the exceptional Haida Heritage Centre at ‘Kay Llnagaay’, its exhibits focus on the rich history, culture and art of the Haida, a great introduction to their rich heritage prior to visiting their ancestral homeland in ‘Gwaii Haanas’. We conclude this day with a traditional Haida seafood dinner at Keenawii’s: Roberta Olson waterfront home. You will spend this first night in a local Bed & Breakfast or Motel whichever is available at the time of your booking. We will advise you once we have confirmed your booking.
From Queen Charlotte City shortly after breakfast, you will be transported by the same shuttle service and transported first via the local small ferry service followed by a one hour road journey to Moresby Camp at the edge of Gwaii Haanas Park Reserve. You will board the s.v. Duen mid day. We take our first glimpse at a lush temperate rainforest through Carmichael Passage as we glide through Louise Narrows. Rounding Tlunkwa Island we make our first Haida Village visit at Tanu: T’aanuu; a spiritual longhouse village site silenced by a luxuriant cover of mosses. T’annuu was also homeland of the late world-renowned artist Bill Reid, where a small gravestone marks his final resting place.
We sail scenic Darwin Sound towards De La Beche Inlet and Sac Bay. Here we will hike in the alpine landscape of the San Cristobal Mountains and enjoy a spectacular view of Juan de Perez Sound and our next destination at Hot Spring Island: Gandll K’iin for a visit to the former hot springs which for millennium flowed unrestricted into large beachside pools.
A recent (2012) earthquake closed off their vents and left the main pools dry. A new hot water source was discovered at the waterline where a small pool allows for a brief soak between tide cycles. Haida legend has it the quake was the work of a supernatural being – Sacred One Standing and Moving- who is believed to hold up the Haida Gwaii and is responsible for the tremors that strike the islands. Hot Spring Island: Gandll K’iin is a place of great cultural importance to the Haida Nation and a spectacular vantage point overlooking Darwin Sound and the San Cristoval mountains.
Onward through Burnaby Strait, Dolomite Narrows reveals one of the richest intertidal and diverse collections of sea life in the world. We closely observe colourful sea creatures like the giant sun star, purple sea urchins, Dungeness crab, or sea cucumber. At the South side of Dolomite Narrows we will experience a magnificent temperate rainforest in Bag Harbour and marvel at lush mosses clinging to giant spruce, and laden branches spreading beneath the dense forest canopy.
Along the waterway of Houston Stewart Channel we will visit an old whaling station at Rose Harbour. We then travel west of Kunghit Island for a glimpse at the colourful tufted puffins, or a pod of resident Orcas or Humpback whales that may transit the area.
We set anchor at Anthony Island for a most spiritual journey through Unesco’s World Heritage Site of SGaang Gwaii (Ninstints). Here we view an ancient burial cave, and the greatest display of Haida poles guarding the spirits of its magical surroundings.
Weather permitting we may round Cape St-James for a visit to one of the largest sea lion colonies found along the Pacific Northwest coast.
Northbound, we travel to the Copper Island group for an opportunity for a zodiac or kayak drift in a small sea cave. Weather permitting, we will journey east of Lyell Island for a visit to a traditional Haida longhouse at Windy Bay: Hlk’aah ‘ Llnagaay along the newly raised ‘Gwaii Haanas Legacy pole’ the first pole raised in over 130 years. It features the interconnections between the land, sea and people and was inspired by all of those who take care of Gwaii Haanas. Along with Raven, Eagle, Sculpin, Grizzly Bear and more. Included is Sacred-One-Standing-and-Moving, the supernatural being responsible for earthquakes. Here we will also take a walk through the peaceful forest giants, another beautiful example of a temperate rainforest.
Continuing northbound we set compass for Reef Island and a visit to the small gathering of sea lions often found basking on the rocks, and nearby cormorants nesting by the cliff-side.
We will sail for Limestone Islands on our way to Skedans: K`uuna, here we view a spectacular site with the remains of the Haida`s original poles.
We conclude our journey in Cumshewa: HLKiinul - a silent and spiritual site found on the outskirts of the park. Here we will have the opportunity to view a magnificent bald eagle`s nest found on the adjacent Haida burial island. This last day we transit back to Moresby Camp and board the return land shuttle service to meet the afternoon return flight to Vancouver.
Dates & Rates
Rates are in Canadian Dollars
- Park User fee.
- Day 1 shore expedition
- Land transport from airport to Queen Charlotte City and Museum/Heritage centre visit.
- Traditional Haida seafood dinner and accomodation first night in local Bed and Breakfast or Motel.
- Land transport day 2 and day 9 from/to sailing vessel Duen's Location.
- Meals as described
- Crew,/instructor/guide services.
- 5% Govenment Sales Tax (GST).
- Transport to and from trip destination.