Headed out to the old village site of Skedans on Louise Island – on the west side facing Hecate Straight. After a lovely dawn 90minute drive down from Masset to Charlotte, 30 min ferry ride to the south island, 40 minutes jolting drive on a rough logging road, in a packed van with 10 others, and then a covered boat trip of another 45 minutes over some heavy swells. You have to be committed (and I don’t mean crazy) to travel out to these remote locations. But that is what makes the visitors to Haida Gwaii a bit special. Unless you’ve got money. then you hop in a float plane or helicoptor for a $2000 day. We had a great day with Queen Charlotte Adventures – Glen & Lexie were our guides.
Arrived in Moresby Camp with clouds hanging up on the peaks, and a glimpse of blue sky. At the head of Cumshewa inlet (about 25 km inland – cutting almost half was across the island) this is the grand central station of wilderness tours, paddlers, sail, boat and fishing charters, and travellers. The sun broke through and yes – again there were rainbows ! in the bow spray from our sturdy aluminum hull. As you can see from the pics, we ended up with a fabulous sunny, sea sparkling day. It is so great to see things from the water.
Heading out to the east side of Louise Island Lexie pointed out several old logging and cannery sites. Cumshewa and Slewyn inlets had been a major industrial zone for the area, large camp “town” sites complete with a school and pub. Unfortunately it shows in the scarred and scattered regrowth after heavy logging on every island and hillside. Today all the machinery from such practice is removed throughout Gwaii Haanas, and the encroaching forest moves in to take back with seedlings, moss and decay.
We passed through/over many kelp beds, and the small bay at Skedans was full of waving ribbons of underwater fronds. We trundled into the small boat to go ashore, and the Watchmen were waiting for us on the beach. There was the largest burl log ashore that I have ever seen, the bark, splits and swirls of grain quite unique. The coastal views and headlands would have been spectacular – even without a pole. Backed by tall basalt bluffs and deep forest, with a small stream at hand, this would have been an ideal village site. Our young Watchmen interpreters provided information books and a “comfort” break, and a couple of deer browsed around the cabin.
out the inlet from Moresby Camp
arrival at Skedans
log burl and driftwood
Not native – but resident deer.