2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 7, Day 5 Queen Charlotte City Lay Day | NW Explorations
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2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 7, Day 5 Queen Charlotte City Lay Day

Queen Charlotte City is tidy, quaint, and full of birds. The Gwaii Haanas Heritage Center is located a few miles outside of town and, due to a music festival in a nearby town, transportation to the Center was unavailable. The crew on Sea Stock had reserved a car for their adventures today and they were so kind to transfer us all to the Center for our 10:00 orientation.

We cruised past this spectacular Center yesterday on our way into the harbor and the inside was equally as impressive with a raven carved in obsidian, and wooden totems both inside and outside the buildings. The wall facing the water was glass from floor to ceiling looking out onto the beach with standing totem poles outside along the shores of Bearskin Bay that we had passed through yesterday.

The orientation was very informative and afterwards we had a short while to enjoy the Heritage Center before our transportation van arrived. The rest of the day was spent provisioning, exploring, refueling and taking on water in preparation for our journey south into Gwaii Haanas tomorrow after which time, there would be only wilderness for the next week.

Given the extra time, Jane went exploring with her camera and took photos of the area and especially the birds. A group of small black turnstones were gathered on the breakwater, ravens were all over town busy with their antics, two perched in nearby trees were fluffing up their neck feathers and curving their necks to make a strange gurgling and choaking sounds, eagles chose the highest mast in the harbor for their lookout, barn swallows gracefully dipped and swayed as they flew together and huge numbers of crows relocated to a nearby island as evening fell to roost all together and discuss the day’s events.

Sea Stock’s crew spent the day driving around the northern section of the island and when they returned, they shared their collection of pebbles they had picked up along a beach. The breakwater “dock” where the flotilla boats were moored was a collection of 4 or 5 long, wide and sturdy concrete docks but the passage between them was simply a wooden plank. Moving to and from some boats required the option of good balance to, “walk the plank” or use of the dinghies to get around.

Tomorrow we will travel to Skedans and go ashore for our first visit with the “watchmen” who will guide us through their historic village and explain the connection of the Haida to their land. After the visit we will travel to Rockfish Harbor to anchor out for the evening.

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