Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve
Skungwaii - Red Cod Island
southern isles of the Queen Charlottes abound in colourful marine and bird
life, and are endowed with ancient forests and a rich Haida cultural legacy.
long days of sunlight induce great plankton blooms, a reaction triggers down
the food chain, leading to a feeding frenzy which begins with huge schools
of herring and other fish that gather to feast on the plankton. This, in
turn, attracts migrating and resident whales and a high concentration of
bald eagles. Bears forage along the shoreline.
itinerary listed below is subject to change due to weather and tide conditions,
and the specific interests of you and your shipmates.
8 days: C $2895 or US $2495
Day 1: Arrive Sandspit on afternoon flight, transfer to Copper Sky at Queen Charlotte City
Day 2 - 7 cruise Gwaii Haanas wilderness
Day 7, we arrive at our last anchorage in the early evening.
Day 8: disembark after breakfast for transfer to Sandspit airport.
9 days: $2895 for cruise.
Optional unguided extra day costs about C $160 - $200 per person.
Day 1: Arrive Sandspit on afternoon flight, transfer to B & B;
visit Haida Museum in Skidegate; Haida dinner at Roberta Olson's.
Day 2 - Transfer to Copper Sky, begin cruise of Gwaii Haanas, Day 7
arrive at our last anchorage in the early evening.
Day 8, disembark for
transfer to airport.
A typical itinerary will take us to the 'can't miss' places such as the principal
villages, and Burnaby Narrows. But our voyages are also explorations of this
vast area, and we always look for, and often find on each trip, at least
one or another remarkable new place of wonder, where humans may not have
tread for over a hundred years.
cast off early for Skedans, a long abandoned village highlighted by colourful
wildflowers, with deer browsing in knee deep grasses, and lush mosses slowly
engulfing the remaining totems. In the herring-rich waters beyond Skedans
we go to view and photograph a sea lion haul-out before anchoring for the
evening in a peaceful cove.
morning, we keep a lookout for swift peregrine falcons nesting on the sea
cliffs in this area, before reaching our next destination, the Haida village
Tanu (or "Seagrass Town"), a favourite of renowned Canadian artist Emily
Carr. It features low, lush mosses engulfing the remains of a silent, deserted
village, and a small graveyard, where artist Bill Reid was laid to rest.
sprinkling of islands with seal rookeries known as the Tar Islets dot the
way from Windy Bay into the biologically rich Juan Perez Sound, which incorporates
a dozen scenic inlets and islets. We anchor off one called Hot Springs Island,
for a wonderful soak in the steaming natural waters. Our exploration of the
Sound can occupy several days of our itinerary, with plenty of time alloted
to viewing and photographing the large resident eagle population, playful
escorts of porpoises, and the stunning scenery. The area also offers us excellent
fishing, swimming, and snorkelling.
evening's unique anchorage will take us closer to Burnaby Narrows which features
an incredibly rich display of intertidal life. During low tides, we go into
the Narrows and examine the myriad of diversity found at our feet with the
help of glass viewing buckets. Nearby Island Bay, another fine anchorage,
is where we often disembark again and hike to lush alpine meadows and Bonsai
Houston-Stewart Channel, we leave the east coast of the Islands, passing
the old whaling station site at Rose Harbor. Our next stop is Skungwaii.
Formerly known as Anthony Island, it has been designated as a U.N. Heritage
Site for its outstanding array of Haida totems at the long abandoned village
of Ninstints. On one of our trips to Ninstints, the diminutive deer of these
islands grazed in our midst, adding to the special aura of spiritual ambience
of this peaceful site. Like many of our previous guests, you will likely
leave Ninstints feeling humbled by its powerful past.
return voyage takes the inside passage into beautiful Darwin Sound, with
its steep-sided mountains and scenic anchorages. Named in honor of Charles
Darwin, this area has some of the highest concentrations of bald eagles in
islands truly are a place of wonder, and for those fortunate
enough to see it for themselves, an unforgettable experience.
usually travel about 4 hours each day, broken up by shore excursions
with our inflatable zodiac boats two or three times a day. This
wilderness area provides us with many options for safe and scenic
anchorages that we rarely have to share with other vessels.