Remains of a village long house.
Village Beach at Skaang Gaii
I can just imagine the canoes pulled up here. It was an awesome beach. Very protected.
Trail into Skaang Gaii
It was a nice hike in.
Humpback whale on the way to Skaang Gwaii
He was feeding on herring.
Debbie Saves the Day!
Don/Nice and sunny
08/09/2011, Skaang Gwaii
We departed Marshall Inlet at 6:30 am. As we were pulling anchor, we noticed that Alaskan Dream got its anchor line caught in the line of the mysterious crab pot with the floating log marker. They nearly got the line wrapped in their props which would have required someone to dive into 55 degree water, a very cold start to the day.
The early departure was because we decided to head all the way down to Skaang Gwaii today. It was an easy trip. We arrived there about 1 pm and rafted up because there was limited anchor room. We went ashore, found the trail and hiked through a cathedral like forest to the watchkeeper's residence. James greeted us and we waited briefly for a previous group to complete their tour of Skaang Gwaii, the International Heritage Site. Skaang Gwaii is the best preserved village of the coastal indigenous people. It was abandoned in the late 1800's as small pox ravaged all of the villages. The survivors moved to where missionaries had medical supplies, in the Queen Charlottes, this was at Queen Charlotte City. James was an incredible watchkeeper and guide. His tour of the village site was one of the real highlights of this trip. We learned about mortuary poles, the construction of long houses, totem symbols, and so much more. We were sad for the tour to end. We walked back via a path that took us by the route that my dad, brother Dwight, and I took when we visited the site in the mid 1980's. After getting back aboard Change of Latitude, Brian asked us to go over to Rose Harbour to scout out an anchorage.
Rose Harbour was a tight fit and while checking things out I failed to keep full situational awareness when we entered shallow water. Fortunately, Debbie noticed our depth indicator and called out that we were in 5 feet of water. Since this depth indicator measured from the waterline and since we had 4.2 feet down to our keel, we nearly were aground. I threw us into reverse, spun us around and we exited Rose Harbour. Thank goodness for Debbie's alertness! She saved the day!
We went over to Ross Island and found much better anchorage, protected from 15-20 knot winds. There was room for everyone there so Mystic Eagle, who had joined us in the search, reported back to Brian and the others that we had found a good spot for the night. We anchored and in a bit the wind died and we settled in for the night after another Jiffy Pop snack, just before bedtime. Tomorrow is a lay day, a day to rest up and not travel. Dave and I hope to do a bit of fishing.
They met a group canoeing in Gwaii Haanis.
Hike in the woods
08/08/2011, Hotsprings Island
Debbie and Barb hiked through the woods to a beach on the far side of the island.
Don - Cloudy and Cool
08/08/2011, 52 34.42'N:131 26.60'W
In the morning, Dave and I got up early, with tremendous expectations, to pull the shrimp pot. The puller worked perfectly but, alas, the shrimpers did not. Zilch!! I look forward to the next round with Mr. Shrimp. He has secrets I have yet to discover. We pulled the crab pots and they, too, were empty. So much for manly men knowing what they were doing in the wilderness!!
We lifted the dingy aboard and tied everything down and then departed at 8 for Hotsprings Island and a soak in the best natural hot springs on the west coast. It was a short cruise and we radioed the watchman when we were anchored. He asked that we come ashore in two separate groups of 12, one group at a time. We went with the first group that included us and our new friends aboard Mystic Eagle. Jordan took us ashore in Deception's dinghy and we were greeted by James, one of the watchmen on the island. He was exceptionally welcoming and took us on the trail to the changing building and showers. A long the way, he showed us the three pools. It was a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears - one was hottest, one was cooler and one was just right. The pools were incredibly nice with gravel on the bottom and even a floating board to set your water bottles. Debbie and Barb chose to go with XXXXXX, the other watchkeeper for a hike to the beach on the far side of the island. There, they met a group canoeing Gwaii Hanis who had come ashore on the beach. The trail through the forest was like a cathedral - so quiet and peaceful.
Dave and I soaked in the just right pool, while the others went to the coolest. Out pool was about 110-120. It was warm enough that you really needed to get out after about 15 minutes. I got light headed from the soak. Dave then went down to the cooler pool for a second soak. After we were done, James took us back to the beach, we said our thanks and good byes and headed back to the boats.
One we got back, we peeled off and headed out to Check out anchoring possibilities in Marshall Inlet with Mystic Eagle. We entered, being careful of the rock on the left of the channel and we both found a nice place to anchor. It was windy but the wind settled down in the evening. We set out the crab pots and fixed a nice steak dinner with a few margaritas beforehand and a wonderful wine with the steaks. That evening, Dave took Debbie and Barb out to explore the river mouth in Rubber Ducky. They found several floating logs that were being used as crab pot floats. I wonder if someone was crabbing in the cove and not wanting it known.
Eggdrop Jelly Fish
Debbie and Barb are our official photographers on this trip. They took this image of one type of jellyfish common in Northwest waters.
Rubber Ducky's bilge pump is now fixed.
Those manly men can do it all! ;-)