Page 27

by Christine Fordham A rare, calm sea at Fanny Cove offers the chance to cross to SGang Gwaay (Anthony Island). Inset, top left: Paddling northward in formation to round Benjamin Point. Bottom left: a look at the thick and magical rainforest of Gwaii Haanas. Left background: Paddling into Skincuttle Inlet. Below: a fawn awaits mom’s return.

provided luxurious tent spots. Curious black bears occasionally checked out our camp, and chance encounters with killer whales, sea lions and numerous seabird added a delight to our days. Isolated pocket beaches, unusual rock formations and driftwood provided a beachcomber’s dream. Kelp forests, abalone shells and a cornucopia of sea life scattered the tide lines. One of our group, Albert, scored the most coveted treasure of all, a Japanese glass fishing float. Upon hearing a blow, Mike called out, “Let’s paddle that way,” and we headed seaward. A pod of risso’s dolphins treated us to a show of porpoising and breaching. Risso’s are large dolphins, with melon-shaped heads and scarred bodies. Traditionally they are a rare occurrence in these islands, but have been spotted in Bag Harbour over the last few years. The evening sunset glowed, but the weather changed rapidly and we awoke to grey skies and large swells, making launching our laden kayaks a bit tricky. Small craft warnings, fog and rain sum up the typical weather, hence the nickname the ‘Misty Isles.’ One morning, after a drastic downpour, Catrin awoke to find her sleeping pad partially afloat on the floor of her tent. No journey to Gwaii Haanas is complete without a full-on sou’easter, and the sideways rain and 40knot winds came full force. Fortunately our pickup was due to arrive. The radio crackled to life, “Party of four, above Burnaby Narrows, are you ready for pickup?” All too quickly this wild and wonderful wilderness adventure

started to slip into our “excellent adventures” memory banks.

n Christine Fordham is a business consultant from Black Creek BC. Her weekend passions are climbing mountains, backcountry skiing and mountain biking.

Plan your trip: Haida Gwaii Prince Rupert Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site

parkscanada.gc.ca

Réserve de parc national, réserve d’aire marine nationale de conservation, et site du patrimoine haïda Gwaii Haanas

parcscanada.gc.ca

HAIDA GWAII

We all have skyscrapers.

Sandspit Moresby Camp Bag Harbour Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve SGang Gwaay

Come see ours. À chacun ses gratte-ciel.

Venez voir les nôtres.

Collison Bay Benjamin Pt. Fanny Cove

“Local outfitter providing guided multi-day kayak adventures in Gwaii Haanas since 2000. Leaders in inclusionary and educational kayak tours. Eight-day trips from CDN $1,655

gckayaking.com

1-877-559-8818

Real. Inspiring. Unique. Vraiment.

paddle@gckayaking.com phone: 250-557-4562

WINTER 2012

HAIDA NATION

COAST&KAYAK Magazine

27

Winter 2012 Coast&Kayak Magazine  

Explore Princess Louisa Inlet, frolic with cougars on D'Arcy Island, paddle the coast of Gwaii Haanas and try Greenland paddles in this issu...

Advertisement