August 22, 2011
Anchored in Skidegate Inlet, Haida Gwaii. - Headed for Gwaii Haanas National Park today.
A quick summary of the our last few days here in the vicinity of the Haida Heritage Center at KAAY LINAGAAY near Queen Charlotte City on Haida Gwaii (formerly know as Queen Charlotte Islands).
Met Norm and Lori whom run Chateau Norm, a guest house here on Haida Gwaii and who also own a sailing catamaran. Norm was nice enough to loan us a fish smoker so we processed some of our recent catch into tasty smoked salmon. Spent a lovely evening hanging out at Chateau Norm around a bonfire where Norm cooked up some tasty moose steaks while we watched Bald Eagles swoop and squak as they fought over freshly caught fish. Chateau Norm is located on Skidegate Inlet conveniently about half-way between the Queen Charlotte City and the Haida Heritage Center at KAAY LINAGAAY.
So the day we sailed into Skidegate inlet we saw Norm and Lori's catamaran 'Falcor' anchored in front of their beautiful waterfront home and B&B. Clearly a huge party was in progress and we should have stopped in to crash the wedding as Norm and Lori tied the knot on the front lawn. Anyway fun to meet these two and thanks to their generosity we borrowed bikes that greatly expanded our travels around the island. Thanks Norm and Lori for all the hospitality!
The weather has been good and bad here on Haida Gwaii. As of late it's been heavy heavy rain, we are talking a major opening and unrelenting of the skies. One such super rainy day was last Saturday which was the 3rd Anniversary of the opening of the Haida Heritage Center which included a clan parade (Eagles and Raven Clans paraded to the Heritage Center in full regalia). We made the 3 mile trek to the Haida Heritage Center on borrowed bikes in the pouring rain. The sort of rain that had us soaked to the bone in just minutes, but it was pretty warm i.e. mid-50's so it wasn't too bad and actually pretty fun. Once at the Heritage Center we enjoyed a full day of activities, performances and a tour of the museum all housed in the now three year old 30 million dollar facility. Kathy and I entered the Haida Amazing race comprised of several challenges spread out around the facility. We took top honors with the best elapsed time and won first prize consisting of several books on Haida Gwaii lots of tee shirts and even a yacht burgee!
We've been looking at the weather for over a week now and it's the same old story. Strong Southerly winds. It looks like we'll have a break in the weather on Wednesday or Thursday and finally get to see some Northerly component winds. We need Northerlies to make the run across Queen Charlotte Strait toward the North tip of Vancouver Island.
So today we picked up our Gwaii Haanas National Park Permit and will brave the weather pounding into the southerly wind and waves towards the park. Unfortunately our stay in Gwaii Haanas will be brief if we are to utilize the upcoming and infrequent weather window.