Tag results for: Gwaii Haanas

One of our best experiences this year was on the OceanLight II in the remote Gwaii Haanas (the southern part of what used to be called the Queen Charlotte Islands).

Onboard was a crew of three: Captain Tom; first mate Jennifer; and cook Luise.

And four jubilado couples: Stewart, the eldest, and Denise; George (a storyteller with a killer sense of humour) and Veda with her broken left arm; Jean-Paul (a Frenchman whose first question every morning was “When is fishing?”and Judy (Jean-Paul’s translator and George’s cousin); and the two of us.

“I’ve found Jean-Paul’s diary,” announced George one night when nightfall curtained the July sky.

Gather round the galley and listen to George read the “fake” diary we’re calling Fish Tales.

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“I’m Mary,” she said, hesitating, a wry look on her face, like she wanted to say “Mary, Mary, quite contrary.”

“And I’m Tyler Crosby. Nephew of Sid Crosby. (Pause.) You know, Sid Crosby, (Pause) the Skidegate Chief of Chiefs.”

I knew immediately why Captain Tom had worked so hard at the wheel fighting waves and wind to ensure the Oceanlight II could cruise into Hlk’yah GawG(Windy Bay) on Lyell Island. So we could meet Mary, a feisty Haida grandmother, and her sidekick, twenty-five-year-old Tyler, the pair who gave us the best watchmen’s tour we had on Gwaii Haanas.

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In the early 1970s Magellan and I bought a print of Emily Carr’s “Haida Totems.” Its presence followed us through a succession of homes, creating an immanent longing to visit what was then called the Queen Charlotte Islands, now known as Haida Gwaii. Or Islands Emerging From (Supernatural) Concealment or The Islands on the Boundary between Worlds as the first inhabitants called it, where we spent twenty days this summer searching for the mystical spirit of place that Emily Carr captured. You know the feeling—a sense of wonder and gratitude so intense it lights an eternal touchstone onto your very soul?

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In the Haida language, Gwaii (they prefer Gwaay) means islandsHaanas means beautiful and K’yang.ga is the word for a jellyfish with tentacles.

Gwaii Haanas is the short version for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve covering the islands and waters and Haida villages in the southern area of Haida Gwaii, which was formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. From a kayak using his GoPro, Magellan photographed the Lion’s Mane jellyfish in Anna Inlet, the Moon jellies in Island Bay.

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