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 Justine's Journal

CackleTV Productions


Puffin Cove
Monday, July 30, 2007

Justine called yesterday from Puffin Cove after an exhausting 13 nm paddle. The seas were again very confused and they again had a light headwind and no swell to help. Today they are going to take an off-day as they have had only one entire day off since the journey began and they need time to rest up after 3 very tiring days paddling. They are staying in a log cabin built by a California couple named Carey, who lived off the land and donated the cabin to the Gwaii Haanas park when it came into being. It is a very unique anchorage and the Carey's wrote a book about it titled "Puffin Cove". I've included a photo of Shawna on the west coast of Graham earlier in the trip and Rowland's photo of Woodruff Bay where they were camped a few days ago.

Anvil Bay / Wells Cove
Sunday, July 29, 2007

Shawna called this afternoon from Wells Cove. Yesterday they visited the Haida site at Nintstints on Anthony island and then spent the day in fog and big seas paddling about 12 nm to Anvil Bay in Flamingo Inlet. When I asked if big seas was 3 meter seas? Shawna asked the others how big and Leon responded big as a house. I'm not sure if he's talking about their old 12 x 12 cabin or their new barn? But Shawna said it was exciting which gives me an idea how big it was. Today they paddled about 15 nm to Wells Cove. They were paddling with the flood and the wind for a time but then the winds turned westerly. Shawna says the seas were very confused with lots of rebounding waves. At the end of the paddle, they got hit by a squall. Both Shawna and Leon sounded tired and glad to be in camp. Courtesy of Rowland Woolven, I've included photos taken during his trip to Haida Gwaii of the totem poles at Ninstints and a shot taken from camp on Anvil island.

Gordon Islands
Friday, July 27, 2007

Justine called last night from the Gordon Islands. They have rounded Cape St. James and are heading up the west coast! The conditions were accommodating with a 1-2 foot swell, winds not too strong and about 1 1/2 kt. of current. But even though the weather was good, Justine said they could still feel the power of the place as the paddled around the cape. A sea lion colony was there and they saw many puffins. They also saw another humpback whale. Ironically the wind blew from the north for awhile so they had a headwind for a short time. In camp, they had the last of Leon's scotch. They are enjoying their pace of around 10-15 nm, which is allowing them time to enjoy the land as well as the sea. Tomorrow the plan is to visit the Haida Watchman at Ninstints on Anthony island due west of the Gordon islands. I've included a photo of the Sgang Gwaay pole they will find there and a photo of Leon and a totem pole from earlier in their journey.

Woodruff Bay
Thursday, July 26, 2007

Leon called. They had a nice send-off from Rose Harbour with fresh muffins and then had to battle big headwinds for 15-20 nm to a camp on Woodruff Bay looking at Cape St. James. They are all well but looking forward to rounding the cape and getting the wind at their backs. I could hear the wind on the satellite phone for the first time. They were enjoying their 4th fire (not sure why they are counting). Leon said they can easily view the evidence of why this area is known for it's high winds since they are seeing thousands trees blown down by the winds. No shortage of firewood. Leon said he was looking at eagle tracks in the sand as he was talking to me. The satellite photos shows Woodruff Bay and Cape St. James. I've included a photo of Justine washing her drysuit.

Rose Harbour
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Justine called last night from Rose Harbour. They had enjoyed an amazing dinner that evening and met many wonderful folks including a musician they got on well with. They paddled about 10 nm to get there on a calm and sunny day which she described appreciatively as gorgeous. Before dinner they had the luxury of a hot shower in an ingenious wood burning device that Justine sounded quite taken with. Jon Walpole has been watching and interpreting (guessing?) the long term weather (not on radios) for the expedition and I've been relaying it to them. It sounds like the calm and sunny days may disappear until next week. I've included a couple of photos of the trio taken in Skedans by some kayakers they met there.

Iron Point
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Leon called this evening and said they had just completed their most beautiful day of paddling so far. They started out through the Dolomite Narrows at low tide (but not as low as they wished) and saw lots of sea life including crabs, anemones, and many different types of starfish. Later Leon said a humpback surfaced right next to his boat and scared the hell out of him (but I'm sure he wouldn't trade the experience). They paddled about 15 nm and are camping on Iron Point. They are planning to head for Rose Harbor (shown on the satellite photo) because they've heard they serve an excellent meal there. I've included a picture of Leon paddling earlier in the trip and a humpback whale breaching from Google Earth/Panoramio taken by Helloclint.

Kat Island
Monday, July 23, 2007

Leon called last night. They paddled about 11 nm and are camped on Kat Island on the West side of Burnaby Island. The forecast yesterday was Gale warnings and they ran into strong headwinds. So they decided to position themselves at Kat Island and paddle through the Dolomite Narrows when the winds and tides are favorable. They have heard it has beautiful scenery on both sides as you pass through. I've included a close up satellite photo of the narrows. They took the time sometime Saturday or Sunday to go back to Hotsprings Island and soak. Leon said it was fantastic. I look forward to seeing photos. They met some well supplied kayakers along the way and obtained some wine and beer to add to Leon's scotch. So they had their 3rd fire and 2nd scotch night. Leon "almost" sounded a bit quilty they weren't suffering more. I've included a photo of Justine and Leon from their 1st scotch night.

Ramsay Island
Sunday, July 22, 2007

Shawna called and today they departed Windy Bay and found it was a windy day. Included here is a photo of Shawna working on her diary. Due to the wind they only paddled about 9 nm to Ramsay Island stopping on the way to visit Hotsprings Island. Another bear seen today and this one was a big one. Shawna said they were enjoying a camp fire and when I asked if it was a "white man's fire" as Leon described in This Is The Sea, she pointedly said NO this is a "white woman's fire". Sounds to me like the women may be rebelling against Leon's iron fisted rule? U Go Girl


Windy Bay
Saturday, July 21, 2007

Justine called and everyone is well. On Friday they paddled about 13 nm to a campsite on Windy Bay. They spent much of the day exploring the Haida village of Tanu and learning about the culture. One of the things they learned is about an organization of young Haida called the Haida Gwaii Watchmen who are concerned with protecting their heritage and lands. Shawna, Leon & Justine also visited a longhouse used during the negotiations between environmentalists and loggers regarding the fate of what became Gwaii Haanas National Park. Justine said they all were amazed at the massive spruce trees over 1000 years old. I've included a map of Haida Gwaii showing the Haida villages including Skedans and Tanu which they have just visited.

Porter Head
Friday, July 20, 2007

Leon called this evening. They are camped at Porter Head which is just before they cross the boundary of and enter Gwaii Haanas National Park. Leon said that as they approach the park the mountains seem to be much larger. On the way they stopped and visited Skedans which is a Haida village. A website with information about the Haida is:
They all enjoyed another good day of weather with just a bit of a head wind. They had just enjoyed a delicous dinner of corned beef, mashed potatoes and vegetables when Leon called. Speaking of eating, apparently Leon requires that Justine and Shawna entertain him if they want dinner. Included is a photo of Justine and Shawna playing drums for their dinner and a photo of Justine accepting her prize from Leon.

Cumshewa Head / Gwaii Haanas National Park
Thursday, July 19, 2007

Justine called tonight and all is well. The circumnavigation of Moresby is underway and the weather and winds continue to be favorable. Yesterday they got a late start and paddled only a short distance of about 4 nm. Today they paddled 24 nm to a camp on Cumshewa Head. The day started out misty and foggy but later brightened. Along the way, they stopped at Sandspit which is known as the gateway to the Gwaii Haanas National Park and the only settlement on Moresby island. They are already beyond the point where the 30 km of roads on the island reach. Today they saw their first bear and gave it a wide berth. There are mostly/only black bears on Moresby but they are generally big. Justine didn't think this one was that big but then again they weren't all that close either. Included is a couple of photos taken at the Haida heritage center where they were introduced to the park and its rules. Also courtesty of John Gamba, here is a link to a Haida language website which even has MP3 sound files of the correct pronunciations:

Ready for the off
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's nearly 3pm and we're still here in Queen Charlotte City. You wouldn't believe how difficult it is proving to get my small waterproof camera system which I mount on my kayak delivered to me here. It was meant to be here at the start of the trip 13 days ago now and it's still not here. Apparently it's finally on the island in Masset, about an hours drive from here, but geting our hands on it is proving difficult. As Shawna says in her positive way, adventres aren't always in our kayaks! I'm hoping to be able to be reunited with it soon so we can get underway, or arrange to have it delivered to us tomorrow and we'll still be by a road for part of the day ( if we don't paddle too far!). I have been filming with a handheld camera on the water and have got some lovely wildlife and scenery shots but I look forward to ( hopefully ) having the exciting action shots to go with it as we go around Moresby island.

It's been fun in Queen Charlotte City ( which is really more like Queen Charlotte village). We've stayed at the Premiere Lodge where we've been looked after well and allowed to spread out all our kayaking stuff all over the lawn! Amazingly I met a guy, Alwyn who lives 2 miles away from me in Wales, and we've chatted to lots of great local people. Yesterday I hitched a ride to Skidegate where my camera was meant to have been delivered. Doug picked me up, a guy who has lived here since 1968. I told him we hadn't caught any fresh fish because we decided $110 was too expensive to buy a fishing license, but we hoped to be able to buy some from local fishermen. Next thing I know, he's taking me to his workshop where he had just cut up 6 huge salmon that he'd caught that morning. He opened the chest freezer and the entire bottom was covered in huge chunks of pink fish. He handed me one of the biggest pieces, which was enough to feed a small army, and wouldn't accept any money for it ( or give me a smaller chunk). So we cooked it on the BBQ at Premiere lodge with some baked sweet potatoes and salad and it filled the stomachs of 6 of us. Thank you very much Doug if anyone happens to tell you about this blog!!

Eating has been high on our agenda for the last few days - actually on the whole trip, but back in town we're eating 2 big meals a day and lots of snacks. We've just returned from a huge plate of food at the Sea Raven restaurant. There are also loads of fantastic shops here packed with interesting Haida artwork and books. In Skidegate there is a new herritage centre where they are building 4 replica Haida canoes at the moment. We saw the men at work this morning and it looks amazing - they were just getting the basic outline on these huge cedar logs by chipping away with an axe. When we get back we'll have a proper look around all the shops and the museum. I probably won't post again today - unless we end up staying here, or I end up hitching to Masset and back to get my camera... I'll post again once we're in a new location!

5PM UPDATE - I got my camera!! Thank you so much to John Gamba, Philip Mutton, Mike DuPas and Mook at the Heritage Centre for all their help with that. We're just about ready to go now and will be on the water by 6 or 7pm. We're just going to paddle about 4 or 5 miles East to Torrens Island where we're told there's a tombolo we can camp on! The forecast for the next few days is good so we'll head on down the East coast of Moresby! Bring it on!!!

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