A pocket of beautiful sunlight shone on the totem poles of the Haida Heritage Center as we made our way past the town of Skidegate and into port in the community of Daajing Giids this morning. After breakfast, groups got on buses and headed to the trailhead of Spirit Lake. Our Haida cultural interpreter, Elsie, welcomed us to the trail and told us the story of Wasco, a supernatural being, part wolf and part orca, that makes its home in this area. Our hikes took different groups to different locations, and a beautiful time was had by all as we walked in a lush forest surrounded by so many shades of green. After lunch back on the ship, we took to the buses again for the Haida Heritage Center. Guided tours of both the inside and outside grounds of the center helped orient and inform us of the incredible history of the Haida people, who have lived on these islands for over 14,000 years. As we set sail during evening recap, a double rainbow appeared in the western sky – an incredible way to end this special first day in Haida Gwaii.
National Geographic Sea Bird
After a comfortable evening sail through Johnstone Strait, we arrived in Tenedos Bay within the Desolation Sound Marine Park just prior to sunrise. The morning views were spectacular with wispy bands of mist on the tree-covered mountains, clear skies, and a hint of orange in the sky reflecting off the glassy waters as the sun rose. Many guests enjoyed the early morning views from all decks as oystercatchers and belted kingfishers sounded off with the rising sun. Conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for kayaking and standup paddleboarding in the morning. The calm waters made for a beautifully peaceful yet aerobic paddle as we explored around a small island within Tenedos Bay. Amongst the red cedars and the Douglas firs, the sunlight highlighted the red bark of the Pacific madrones, locally known here as arbutus trees. These trees are becoming much more prevalent as we journey southward on this, “Remarkable Journey: Alaska, British Columbia, and Haida Gwaii. Prior to lunch, the fun continued for both participants and spectators alike during our Polar Plunge! The plunge wear was varied and included a pink Power Ranger suit and a Gumby suit worn by Second Mate Jenna. It was so much fun with laughter and smiles all around, and it made for some fun lunchtime conversations. For the afternoon, we opted to remain anchored at this beautiful place and took scenic Zodiac cruises to explore the area more. Harbor seals, kingfishers, and many oysters were among the nature we spotted. Today was a fantastic final full day on board National Geographic Sea Bird . Experiences and memories that will last have been made during our voyage. Tomorrow morning, we disembark in Vancouver.