We were very fortunate to get the call from our friends Scott Jensen and Courtney Lipson to travel with them on the 68 foot ketch Island Odyssey to explore the wild southern islands of Haida Gwaii off of the British Columbia coast and near the Alaska border. The attraction is a remote set of unspoiled wilderness made up of the finest temperate rainforest anywhere on planet earth. In addition this is the ancestral homeland to the Haida Nation who have lived there for more than 8000 years and whose people are regarded as the most prolific artists of the indigenous North American cultures that lived here before European contact. In recent years there long traditions of carving poles to tell stories and to commemorate events has undergone a resurgence and many new pieces are appearing all over the islands and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest. An additional reason for exploring this coast was to visit the ancient and now quiet ancestral villages that flourished in the mid 19th century but are now uninhabited except my "watchmen" who have Haida heritage and live on site in small cabins during the summer season to allow visitors like us to come ashore and appreciate the beautiful, fragile and valuable ruins. This is a pristine park which is now protected for all time.
The temperatures were cold and the weather was a challenge as a couple of storms passed through during our visit. As you can see however, when the sun came out is was truly beautiful.