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nomad adventures "bike, paddle and adventure - that´s what life is all about!" emma & scott

Back in the saddle!

CANADA | Sunday, 12 August 2007 | Views [817] | Comments [5]

Hey folks!

We are back again after another amazing adventure! Our kayaking expedition in the Queen Charlottes has been just mindblowing. We have seen...Humpback Whales, Orcas Whales, Pacific Whitesided Dolphin, Bald Eagles, Otters, Seals, Sea lions, Puffins, Bears, Totem poles... you name it! We have paddled 230 km, fished Halibut and eaten the most delicious all organic dinner and breakfast!

Here come some bits and pieces, trying to give you a good picture of what we have been doing.

# So on the 1st of August we took the 7 hour ferry from Prince Rupert to the Queen Charlottes, also called Haida Gwaii in native tongue. On the ferry we spread out all our gear, including food for 12 days, on the deck, sorting it all out and packing it in ziploc bags. Got some funny looks, but many people came up to us asking about our trip, helping us with tips and info and so on. Very cool!

Then we had to bike 11 km in the dark (11pm) to Moresby Explorers, from whom we rented the kayak. During those 11 km, the B.O.B. (our trailer) broke down at least five times! So it took a while. And we saw one real bear crossing the road in front of us, and after that Emma saw quite a few more "imaginary" bears! Every other bush looked like a bear in the dark. Scott got a cramp in his hand from blowing our (bear warning) horn so many times! :-) But we made it and the next morning we started kayaking.

# For those who don't know them, the Queen Charlotte Islands consist of two big and tons of smaller islands. The southern 1/3 is a national park, Gwaii Haanas. It is total wilderness, with 2 inhabitants at Rose Harbour in the very south. The number of people in the park is very restricted, so you don't meet many others. Queen Charlottes is the home of the Haida people, a native indian tribe that lived off fishing and were great mariners and warriors. Once a very flourishing, rich and powerful society, but when the Europeans came in the late 1800's they brought smallpox (a disease). In just a few years 80% of the population had died. They were totally wiped out. Nowadays there are a few hundred, trying to rebuild the Haida nation. Left in the park are remains from their old villages, with totem poles and some house remains (it is the only place left in Canada where original poles are still standing). At these sites (total of 4) there are "watchmen", that welcome the visitors and watch out for the place (so idiots don't take home souvenirs). Camping is not allowed at these places.

# So during our 9 days of paddling the sun shined on us every day! Normally it just rains here, but the day we started the sun came out for the first time this summer, and it stayed until the day we left. Then it started raining again. Aren't we lucky!?! Still haven't had to bike/hike/kayak in the rain one single day suring six weeks! Had some windy days kayaking, but both head and tail wind, so it evened out. We had a tandem kayak, so when we had a tail wind (and favorable current) we were doing 10 km/h, fully loaded!

# We have been lucky enough to see some amazing wildlife! Saw Humpback Whales from a distance several times, but on our last day kayaking we were just 100 meters from a pod (group) of Humpbacks, putting on a big show! They were jumping, blowing, splashing, and we were just sitting there in the water with them, absorbing everyting with big eyes! The day after we got picked up by the kayak rental company in Rose Harbour (southern part of the islands), in their Zodiac boat. And on the way back to civilization a big pod of dolphins came chasing us! They played in the swells from the boat, did bow-riding (swimming right under the front of the boat) and jumped up splashing at us as we were leaning over the boat trying to touch them. They were so close! We were doing 25-30 km/h and that was nothing for them! So awesome!

Bald eagles were as common a sight as seagulls in most other places. They would sit in the big trees just above and look down on us. Also say a bear strolling on the beach in the distance. And seals, sealions and a river otter!

# One of the old villages of the Haida people was on Hotspring Island. Hot water poured out of the ground from secret underground springs. They had built three pools to collect the water, and visitors could come there to soak. We had the whole place to ourselves (usually this is the most crowded place with 10+ people), and we took a long relaxing stop there. Soaking in the hot water and absorbing the warm sun that was shining on us. Beautiful day!

# The watchmen at the old villages sites were all really nice and welcoming. At one of the places, Windy Bay, they invited us and another couple that came there at the same time, to stay in their house and sleep in their extra bed. Very comfy! And the next morning they treated us to homebaked toast with butter and jelly - so good and what a difference to our daily oatmeal and powdered milk! :-)

# The last night we camped at Rose Harbour. It is an old whaling station, that is now a guest house/organic restaurant run by Susan and Gutz (german). Susan cooks all the meals, all organic from her own garden and from what she catches in the sea. We camped in their yard and ate dinner and breakfast. What a treat and great way to celebrate an awesome trip! The food was really yummy plentiful, so fresh! For breakfast we had crepes filled with rasberrys and homemade custard! While waiting for the Zodiac to come and pick us up, we went out with Susan to go fishing. Got some crabs in the cages she had put out the day before, and also caught a big Halibut! It was really fun! Too bad we couldn't eat what we had helped catching though, since we were going back that night. Definitely a place to come back to! Susan and Gutz have lived in this wilderness for 25 years, all by themselves, running the guest house in the summers. They were really great and unique people.

# Since we had heard about how the weather can be in the Queen Charlottes, and that we could easily have been blown in for five days at any point, we had loaded up with a small library. Three books each. But we hardly had any time for reading, cause of the beautiful weather. But we are not complaining! :-)

So yesterday we took the Inside Passage 15 hour ferry ride from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. Four days of biking awaits us, and then we will hike the West Coast Trail for a week. Then our adventure is coming to an end.... :-( back in Seattle around the 26th of August. So that will be the next time you hear from us. Until then...

Don't do anything we wouldn't have done! ;-)

Cheeers!

Emma and Scott

PS. Check the "kayaking bc" photogallery for pictures

Tags: Adventures

 

Comments

1

Awesome!!!! You guys are unbelievable in your adventures, it is great to take part sitting in the easy chair and enjoying your travels and pictures. What you have spotted on your kayaking is amazing to me. I LOVE these updates, you are both so good at keeping the rest of us informed, thanks! The kindness of strangers is touching, you 2 meet people everywhere you travel.

"dont do anything you guys wouldnt do" heck I wouldnt do anything you guys DO! But wish I was brave enough to do it all. Cant wait to see you both, love me

  acole Aug 13, 2007 10:02 AM

2

Fantastic adventures!!! Wow, you have been extremely lucky with the weather. I hope it stays good for you on the last saga of the journey. I do know of a couple others who have managed a rain free "Wet-coast" Trail, so it's possible : )

Your pix are inspiring. I have to get out into my province and explore things properly as you have done. Can't wait til the next update!

  Jill Aug 14, 2007 2:46 AM

3

Amazing trip! My body starts to twitch when I read your post and check out the pics...all I want to do is go to Canada and adventure now!

  shibby Aug 15, 2007 4:44 PM

4

Hej på er!
Det ser verkligen fantastiskt ut med sol, djur och enorma träd. Det är nästan så man blir lite sugen själv :) men bara nästan. Hoppas ni har en bra avslutning på resan så ses vi Umeå!

Kramar från Jenny, Parne och Rasse

  Jenny G Aug 16, 2007 6:29 AM

5

hej!
vilka fantastiska bilder! ha det så bra de sista veckorna, ska bli kul att höra er berätta när ni kommer hem!
kramar från susanna

  susanna Aug 17, 2007 6:33 PM

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