Gwaii Haanas: An Immersive Experience
By Anna Mairs
Bottom line: I ten out of ten recommend a trip with Moresby Explorers. The guides are fantastic, the sights are jaw dropping beautiful, and the experience is a wild ride! We saw a great sunrise on our way to the Moresby Explorers camp, surely a good sign for the two-day trip!
Once we got outfitted in some heavy-duty rain gear and gumboots, we headed off into the boats. The boat ride is beautiful, with islands and mountains all around. We saw eagles, whales, and sea lions.
My friends were most excited about the whales and shouted every time they saw one, but I was more excited by a rainbow I saw and so I shouted “rainbow!” Our guide stopped the boat because she thought I was calling out a whale sighting…turns out no one else was enthused by the rainbow because they happen so frequently here!
We slowed the boat at one point to look at some intertidal life as well! There were tons of sea stars, anemones, and urchins, all bright red and pink. We got to check out the ancient Haida village of Tanu, taking a walk around sites where houses and poles used to stand and sitting down for a picnic lunch. Next we went to Windy Bay before we headed to the Moresby Explorer’s float camp for the night. I love boat rides, and the wind and salt were super refreshing. Dinner and the night at the float camp were amazing, the place is totally charming!
The next day, we headed to East Limestone Island and the village of Skedans. There was a ton more wind this time we were on the water, and there was quite the swell from the waves. I was having a blast sitting up at the front of the boat, on the side instead of in a seat. I had a lot of my body weight outside the boat because it was fun to bounce when we hit any chop. I only had one hand holding on since I was putting my mitten back on the other one… see where this is going? I totally fell in the water as we rode over a particularly large wave, but luckily for me our guide immediately stopped the boat and my two friends grabbed my feet. I took a lot of water in to my rain suit, but was otherwise hauled back into the boat completely unharmed!
I changed out of my wet layers when we got to shore, and continue to enjoy the rest of my time exploring Gwaii Haanas. Friends of mine even voluntarily went swimming later that day! We truly immersed ourselves in the adventure!