Windy Bays and Rainy Days


Saturday, August 9, 2014
It is about twenty minutes to noon on Day 6 of our
Outer Shores Expeditions’ Passing Cloud voyage through Haida Gwaii’s Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Siteas I write this. My iPhone tells me that today is Saturday, August 9, 2014, but it could be 1714 here for all I know: that’s how untouched most of Gwaii Haanas is.

Sailing north aboard Passing Cloud through Gwaii Haanas after a stunning morning. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Sailing north aboard Passing Cloud through Gwaii Haanas after a stunning morning. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Picture this, if you will: I am sitting outside on the fantail of Passing Cloud as we make our way across Juan Perez Strait. It’s a name that would sound at home in Mexico’s Sea of Cortes, but the weather outside is decidedly un-tropical. We’re rolling gently from port to starboard, and it is raining sideways.
So why am I on deck instead of soaking in the warmth of Passing Cloud’s Sweatlodge, as the Main Lounge has been affectionately dubbed? The answer is simple: despite the fact that I am cold and the odd blast of spray cannot be good for my iPhone, I just can’t take my eyes off Haida Gwaii as the islands around me slip slowly and silently into the fog.

Passing Cloud's inviting Main Lounge this evening, during a rare moment when no one is around. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Passing Cloud’s inviting Main Lounge this evening, during a rare moment when no one is around. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

11:51am – ten minutes later: I have retreated to the warmth of the Passing Cloud’s Main Lounge. I am typing out this morning’s adventures, while the rest of my fellow guests are immersed in their books. Some are reading about the history of the Haida, while another guest gets huge brownie points from me for reading one of Phillip Kerr’s fabulous mystery novels with everyone’s favorite sarcastic Berlin detective, Bernie Gunther.
Just because we’re relaxing now, though, doesn’t mean we haven’t had an active morning. Far from it.

Disembarking Passing Cloud first thing this morning for an amazing - if wet - journey through Burnaby Narrows. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Disembarking Passing Cloud first thing this morning for an amazing – if wet – journey through Burnaby Narrows. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

We all awoke between 06:00 and 06:30, had a light breakfast and slammed back a quick cup of coffee before donning our rain jackets, rain pants, and rubber boots for a morning of exploration along the northern end of Burnaby Narrows.
The reason for our early wake-up call: Burnaby Narrows is teeming with marine life underneath its crystal-clear waters, and low tide was scheduled this morning for 0730.
Disembarking the ship just before seven in the morning, guests had two choices: they could motor along the Narrows in Passing Cloud’s zodiac raft, or they could chose the “do-it-yourself” method of exploration by taking one of the ships Kayaks for a spin. When there were no other takers for the latter, I jumped at the chance. After all, how many opportunities do you get to explore Burnaby Narrows by kayak first thing on a Saturday morning?

Kayaking around Burnaby Narrows also gave me a unique perspective on my fellow guests as they floated past. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

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The post Outer Shores Live Voyage Report – Day 6 appeared first on From The Deck Chair.

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