Ross Island Lay Day
Don/Nice and sunny
08/10/2011, Ross Island, Gwaii Haanis
This was a scheduled Lay Day and Dave and I were going to take full advantage of it to do some fishing over towards Skaang Gwaii. We were a bit concerned about the fuel supply for Rubber Ducky. We were down to just under a full tank, after emptying our spare gas container into the dinghy. As a result, we cruised to the fishing grounds at only about 6 mph to save gas. It worked. We returned, after a day of fishing with ¾ of a tank of fuel left. Unfortunately, though, we did not nail any salmon. We did catch a nice ling cod, though. We also saw Mr. Humpback who was fishing in the same area for herring. We grilled the cod for dinner and it was delicious. That night, we tightened down the boat for the crossing, back to the mainland of BC, of Hecate Strait. It could be rough tomorrow.
One of our photographers at work
Another Bear Mother totem on a mortuary pole
Bear Mother Totem
Corner pole, village long house
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.