My experience to Haida Gwaii and your guides exceeded my expectations. Jane and Bev were calm, competent, fun, and their knowledge of the culture, birds, plants, weather, history and culture, was awe inspiring. I definitely want to return to Haida Gwaii again.Paul Miller
Guaranteed to showcase the history and legacy that Gwaii Haanas has created since 1993. The tour will traverse the northern waters of Gwaii Haanas and visit the Haida Village of Tanu, resting place of Haida Artist – Bill Reid.
Stopping at Windy Bay allows you to visit the area that bared witness to the Haida and global protestors which voiced the initial call out for the conservation movement that created Gwaii Haanas. In 2013, to celebrate Gwaii Haanas 20th anniversary, the first Haida totem pole in 130 years was raised at Windy Bay. A walk up the water shed here provides you the opportunity to view massive old growth like no other!
A short video by Parks Canada allows you to view the raising of the Legacy Pole.
Corresponding this tour with the low tides offers you the opportunity to view either Burnaby Narrows or Murchison Narrows; both protected marine conservation areas within Gwaii Haanas. These areas have some of the most aquatic biomass on our BC coast!
The abundant islands on this traverse are home to many sea bird colonies including a subspecies of the Blue Heron (a species at RISK), the Queen Charlotte Goshawk, and the rare Peale’s peregrine falcons (which make up 25% of the bird’s British Columbia population).
A soak in the natural thermals at Hot Springs Islands may also be a highlight to this tour.
Below is a general overview of the area, while the exact tour itinerary will be set by the guests overall interests, tides, and weather.
Reviewing the Tour Map allows guests the opportunity to get familiar with the highlights, wildlife, and geographical locations of the tour.
Your tour starts with my friends from Moresby Explorers picking you up at your accommodations in Sandspit, the location of the islands’ main airport. They will entertain you with stories and show you coastal attractions while transporting you by zodiac to a remote location in Gwaii Haanas.
We establish camp on Kunga Island which is in close proximity to the village of Tanu. Once a flourishing village it is now the resting place of Haida Artist, Bill Reid. Many years ago I had the opportunity to guide a small crew of Global Geologists to Kunga Island that identified unique geological formations such as ancient lava tubes and even pointed out a faint line that represented the Triassic- Jurassic time lines!
Day 2 – 9 Paddling thru the Tar and Agglomerate islands found on the eastern shoreline of Lyell Island brings us to Windy Bay. In 2013, to celebrate Gwaii Haanas 20th anniversary, the first Haida totem pole in 130 years was raised at this location. Wind Bay provides opportunities to explore the old growth forests that Gwaii Haanas is known for. Walking through these towering forests kayakers can see the Western Red Cedar tree (Thuja plicata) which is the provincial tree of British Columbia, and also known to coastal natives as the “TREE OF LIFE”. Woven into the Haida Culture guests can reflect with these massive giants and how over a century ago these Haida had stripped bark and fell trees for cedar ornaments, clothing, houses, and canoes.
The next day we will enjoy exploring the many islands and islets surrounding our camp seeing old home stead’s, seal hall outs, blue heron colonies, and superb inter tidal. In the fall of 2012, an earthquake affected the natural thermals at Hot Springs Island, resulting in them loosing there source. Parks Canada has been monitoring the site closely and has found that the water levels are slowly returning. With fingers crossed and with some patience, this again will be a highlight to our Haida Gwaii sea kayak tours.
Breaking camp will allow guests to travel through the Bishops Islands, while crossing Juan Perez Sound, (named after the Spanish explorer’s voyage of 1774 on the Santiago). Here our new camp will be back dropped by the San Christoval Mountains. A hike to an alpine lake, or discovering one of the many waterfalls in the area, is also an option for a day’s outing. This area is rich in Haida Myths and past communities to explore as well!
Corresponding this tour with the low tides offers the opportunity to view either Burnaby Narrows or Murchison Narrows, both protected marine conservation areas, and there abundant of sea life. Studies conducted by Parks Canada in Burnaby Narrows, has determined this area contains more than 290 aquatic species, and revealed that bat stars were counted at a density of 74 per square meter, (in contrast to a survey done on Vancouver Island that found just seven per square meter), making this some of the highest levels of living material (called Biomass) of any inter tidal zone in the world!
Day 10 The final day will be spent visiting Skedans Village on the northeast corner of Louise Island. In the 1900’s Skedans was home to over 50 pieces of monumental art, today guests can view the many mortuary and memorial poles that still remain standing from this time. The stop at Skedans will be offered to guests on their zodiac transport back to Moresby Camp.
Below is an outline boundary of the waters that kayakers could travel.
Please click on “view larger map” in the top right corner for details on the map below.
Below are the specific charts associated to this tour. Guests are not required to bring their own charts; as your guides will be referring to theirs with the daily objectives while on the trip. Guests can purchase charts from Map Town or from the CHS (Canadian Hydrographic Service)
|Chart # 3853||Cape St James/Cumshewa/Tasu Sound||1:150,000|
|This large scale chart covers the entire waters of Gwaii Haanas|
|Chart # 3808||Juan Perez Sound||1:37,500|
|Chart # 3894||Selwyn Inlet – Lawn Point||1:73,026|
|Chart # 3807||Atli Inlet – Selwyn Inlet||1:37,500|
Review all dates and Haida Gwaii Kayak Trips