Hail Brave Hearts
The great wild is calling, An adventures awaits. Dutifully we don our apparel for yet another great holiday in Canada. It’s summertime, and the sun shines gloriously on long days of warmth and outdoor activity. Canoes and kayaks entice us into the waters of lakes and rivers. The iconic Canadian transportation system, lures us into the paths of our history. Build your canoes, build your kayaks, follow in the steps of legendary people who navigated the waters this way.
The great wild calls us to develop the skills of history makers who charted the seas, mapped the coastlines and stamped the approval of the ownership of this land. This is ours.
The great lands of the Haida, tucked away in the northern islands, north of Vancouver Island. Isolated and rare, a gem of discovery. This land is our land, protected by a great nation of peoples, the Haida people of Haida Gwaii and the Gwaii Haanas National Park. It belongs to them and their stories fill the islands.
We arrive by plane, for the trip of a lifetime, into the land of the Haidas. Remote and alive, the area fills with eagles. The ocean is calm and the days are warm. We’ve packed for a week long kayak adventure into Gwaii Haanas. This area is a paradise of wilderness ocean adventure.
Seagulls meet us, reminding us that God is here. In the call of the birds, we clearly hear Gods name. Seals bask on the rocks and a river otter swims past. An Oyster Catcher stops us. His antics catch our attention as he jumps around on the rock in a aa unusual dance. His five chicks huddle close together in the nest and his mate slumber close by. He is a father and proudly shows off the nest. A thirteen year old bird, whose making a noise that sounds like Barack. We name him Barack then, pleased that he’s shown us his fine family
Our luck with the weather holds for this trip. There are seven of us on this July excursion, with a guided kayaking and camping company. The Pacific is mainly calm and peaceful towards us as humpback whales surface and feed in our sights. One comes close to us. It’s a pleasure. The wildlife sightings are superb, with black bear, dolphins, orcas and sea lion to add to our list. The bird life is unusual to us as well. Ancient Murrelet, seagulls, falcons, puffins, rhinoceros beaked birds and red footed pigeon guillemot to add to our list. It’s a list of some rare bird and animals in an area filled with ocean life.
Then, there’s, the people. We visit the Haida of the ancient totem poles. to see for ourselves the carvings of great masters and to hear their stories. A far flung people, out in islands in a remote Pacific location. An area of impressive beauty molding a nation of seafaring people, who live from the sea. The builders of ocean going canoes paddling the great seas. A people of unique culture, surviving in an area of wildlife wealth. The ocean provides.
This was a dream holiday in our great land. So much to be proud of, so much to enjoy. The land and the people, the ocean and the wildlife. A place of unusual prosperity.
The sun shines brightly on Haida Gwaii and the warm summer breeze encourages outdoor adventure. This was a wonderful, unique holiday in Canada’s superb wilderness backyard. We congratulate ourselves for this choice of adventure. We’ll be back
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
August 27, 2023