Sunday, July 20, 2014

Louise Narrows, Tanu Village and Windy Bay - Haida Gwaii

On July 13th, we motored to the south end of Louise Narrows and dropped the hook in a small cove at the south end. Louise Narrows is a slim opening between Louise Island and Moresby Island, made passable by dredging a very tight channel. There are sections where two boats could not pass each other. We explored by dinghy in solitude. Earlier in the day, we'd seen a couple local small boats headed this way, but that was it. 52 56.6430 N 131 53.9909 W
Dana Passage


The next morning, July 14th, we motored south through scenic Dana Pass to Tanu Village where we were welcomed by watchmen Walter and Mary and their little granddaughter Raven. As we dinghied to shore, a family of orcas passed between us and Jarana at anchor! They were so close, it was really exciting. We were to see a lot more of those whales when we left.
52 45.7670 N 131 36.6970 W



Walter gave us a great tour of the many remaining fallen longhouses and a great explanation of village life and the mortuary poles. I wish I'd take photos of Mary and Walter, they were terrific.

From Tanu we motored to Stalkungi Bay at the west end of Tanu Island. It was another snug spot, so snug we were concerned about swinging room. As we were searching for the perfect spot to lower the anchor, Bill noticed lots of steam in the exhaust (overheating) and shut down the engine. We had to put down the anchor where we lie. He quickly readied the dinghy to use as a tug if needed. After a half hour, of pushing and prodding with a piece of stiff twisted wire (roto-rootering) past a couple bends and connections, he managed to clear some pretty resistant chunk of matter from the engine intake hose and seacock. Whew! 52 45.9800 N 131 44.9000 W

Anyway, concerned about swing room, we dug out the stern tie line and Bill dinghied towards shore trailing it from the boat. It doesn't quite reach, so I back a bit. Hmmm... Bill couldn't get close enough to tie to anything. I guess we were farther than it looked. So he went to the side of the bay and discovered it too, was much farther than appeared. So we concluded no need to tie.
July 15th we motored out to Windy Bay in glassy calm. Windy Bay is a tiny rock strewn cove and river mouth. Fortunately there is a good mooring to use, so we didn't have to solve the anchor-swingroom-depth problem. Carla, her son Anthony and toddler daughter Shyla welcomed us and gave us a tour.

Windy Bay village is located on Lyell Island near the site where the Haida protesters took a stand in 1985 to stop logging on the island and ultimately led to the formation of the Haida Gwaii National Park and Reserve. A new longhouse was built there around that time. In August 2013, visitors, volunteers, Haida and Parks Canada staff raise the Legacy pole there. It was the first monumental pole raised in Gwaii Haanas in 130 years and commemorates the 20th anniversary of cooperative management between the government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation. It's an idyllic spot. Carla and Anthony led us on a circuit through the forest and pointed out the many plant species, and trees where planks and cedar fibers has been taken long ago for use by the inhabitants. 52 41.4100 N 131 27.3000 W

Later in the afternoon, we motored west from Windy Bay to Sac Bay in De La Beche inlet. 52 32.0063 N 131 40.5520 W

Most of the charting is pretty good, although often depths are understated, ie real depths are greater than we expect and sometimes not practical for us. Most anchorages have had nice sticky mud bottoms that the anchor digs right into. But sometimes, when backing down to set the anchor we just bumpily drag it across a rocky bottom.
 
July 15th we motored out to Windy Bay in glassy calm. Windy Bay is a tiny rock strewn cove and river mouth. Fortunately there is a good mooring to use, so we didn't have to solve the anchor-swingroom-depth problem. Carla, her son Anthony and toddler daughter Shyla welcomed us and gave us a tour.

Windy Bay village is located on Lyell Island near the site where the Haida protesters took a stand in 1985 to stop logging on the island and ultimately led to the formation of the Haida Gwaii National Park and Reserve. A new longhouse was built there around that time. In August 2013, visitors, volunteers, Haida and Parks Canada staff raise the Legacy pole there. It was the first monumental pole raised in Gwaii Haanas in 130 years and commemorates the 20th anniversary of cooperative management between the government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation. It's an idyllic spot. Carla and Anthony led us on a circuit through the forest and pointed out the many plant species, and trees where planks and cedar fibers has been taken long ago for use by the inhabitants. 52 41.4100 N 131 27.3000 W

Later in the afternoon, we motored west from Windy Bay to Sac Bay in De La Beche inlet. 52 32.0063 N 131 40.5520 W
 Find an online map of Haida Gwaii to see the location of the villages. If you don't see the anchorages on the map, try searching for the lat/longs given in Google Earth or Open CPN.

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