2. Gwaii Haanas Northern Explorer (25.206)

Location: Haida Gwaii
Price: $2895.00
Duration: 8 days/7 nights

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Departs from/arrives at: Sandspit
Accomodations: Camping
Tour Type: Leisure Tour
Activity Level: Intermediate
Nearest Town/Village: Sandspit
Inclusions:
  • Kayaks double or single
  • Professional Guides
  • Kayak instruction
  • Safety equipment
  • Camping equipment and tents
  • Cooking equipment
  • Meals as stated on itinerary
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sheets
  • Thermarest
  • Paddling Jacket
  • Dry bags
  • Parking
  • Park User Fee
Exclusions:
Guest Parking: Yes Details:
First Nations: Visit Haida Heritage Sites
Additional Information:
The Northern Gwaii Haanas Explorer tours travel between Tanu Island and Burnaby Island in the northern half of Gwaii Haanas. This section of Gwaii Haanas provides numerous kayaking routes to choose between, and we may paddle sheltered channels, secluded bays, and exposed coastline.

Highlights of this tour often include visiting the Haida cultural sites of T’aanuu Llnagaay (Tanu) and Hlk’yah GaawGa (Windy Bay), soaking in the natural pools at Gandll K’in Gwaayaay (Hot Spring Island), and kayaking the wildlife rich waters of Juan Perez Sound and Burnaby (Dolomite) Narrows.

T’aanuu Llnagaay (Tanu) is an ancient village site that used to have more than 25 big houses. None of the big houses stand today but as we walk through the moss covered forest the rectangular house pits and the posts and beams are still visible.

As we kayak south we plan to visit Hlk’yah GaawGa (Windy Bay) and the big house style cabin named “Looking Around and Blinking House.” The cabin honours the Haida’s 1985 blockade of logging roads in the struggle to put an end to logging on Lyell Island and to protect the area that is now Gwaii Haanas. In 2013 the “Legacy Pole” was raised in Windy Bay — the first monumental pole raised in Gwaii Haanas in 130 years. The pole’s “Land, Sea, People” theme is inspired by the connections between the Haida Nation and all those who take care of Gwaii Haanas from mountain-top to seafloor.

Gandll K’in Gwaayaay (Hot Spring Island) has traditionally provided food in abundance and waters that would comfort, heal and nourish body and soul. The hot spring water stopped flowing after a major earthquake struck off the west coast of Haida Gwaii in 2012. A year later, the Gwaii Haanas staff noticed some springs were beginning to flow again, and in the years since, several new ones have emerged at lower elevations, closer to the shore. In 2017, three new pools were built and the hot springs can once again be enjoyed by all visitors.

Wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant throughout Gwaii Haanas. Kayaking quietly along the shore we may come across deer, black bears, and pine martens. Humpback whales may be seen throughout Gwaii Haanas and are often seen feeding in Juan Perez Sound. With 750,000 nesting seabirds and more bald eagle nests per kilometre of shoreline than anywhere else in Canada, Gwaii Haanas is a birder’s dream.

Near the end of our journey, we kayak the waters surrounding Burnaby Island which are extremely rich in colourful intertidal life. Burnaby Narrows has some of the highest levels of living material of any intertidal zone in the world. Floating through the narrows in our kayaks at low tide is a remarkable experience.

On the water we use stable single and double fibreglass kayaks and lightweight carbon/vinyl paddles. Waterproof kayaking jackets and neoprene kayaking mitts are provided to keep you warm and dry while kayaking.

Itinerary

  • Day
    1

    You are picked up at your accommodation at approximately 7:30 AM by van. We travel over logging roads for about one hour to Moresby Camp where we then board an open zodiac (rigid hull inflatable boat) for an approximately two hour exhilarating ride into Gwaii Haanas.

    Upon arrival at our first remote campsite, we set up camp and have a kayak and safety orientation. After lunch we try out the kayaks for the first time, exploring the waters surrounding camp.

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    2

    The tour starts at the northern end of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site and travels south. Early in the trip we visit the Haida cultural site of T’aanuu Llnagaay (Tanu). If weather condition allow we travel along the eastern shore of Lyell Island to Hlk’yah GaawGa (Windy Bay). The northern half of Gwaii Haanas provides numerous kayaking routes for us to choose, from the open water of Hecate Strait to more sheltered inner waters.

    Mid-way through the trip we cross Juan Perez Sound. The sound and the surrounding bays and inlets provide plenty of great wildlife viewing opportunities and great beaches for camping. Continuing south, we aim for Burnaby Island, with a possible visit to Burnaby Narrows, known for its rich concentration of intertidal life.

    The actual kayaking route depends on the weather, sea conditions, and abilities of the group, but while each kayak tour is unique, we believe all are spectacular.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    3

    Exploring...

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    4

    Exploring...

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    5

    Exploring...

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    6

    Exploring...

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    7

    Exploring...

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    8

    On the last day of the kayak tour, you have time to reminisce about the previous days over a leisurely breakfast. The zodiac generally arrives about midday for the journey back to Sandspit where you have the opportunity to get together with the rest of your group for a farewell dinner.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accomodation: Accommodation by Customer

North America: 1.800.255.5057 - UK: 0.800.051.6364 - Australia: 1.800.143.454

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From Our Blog

2020

Monday, September 23 2019

It's late September already and, boy, did the summer go by quickly! I am currently loading our 2020 dates for our Vancouver Island trips, so please stay tuned. I'm already working on several custom tours, so please feel free to shoot me an email at info@vancouverislandkayak.com. If it's a scheduled tour you're interested in, please check our search engine in a few days.

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