We woke early with sunshine streaming into our windows. We sat outside sipping coffee and watching the beautiful morning unfold around us. The water was so calm that the hills and clouds were mirrored perfectly on the surface. The low tide revealed an array of kelp along the shoreline in many shades of green.
We cruised across Cordova Bay today on calm seas. Along the way we saw more Sea otters and Dall’s porpoise and even a few humpback spouts. We watched as small rainsqualls blew over changing the look of the land and water around us. As we were making our turn into Hydaburg Harbor, a small group of three transient killer whales swam right passed us! What a beautiful sight! We were close enough to see the kelp trailing off of the large male’s dorsal fin.
We docked in Hydaburg at the nice new facility that has been built there. Hydaburg is a native Haida village of about 400 people. Our Haida guide, Hogu, met us on the docks and welcomed us to his home. He took us on a tour of the totem park in town as well as the carving shed where we were able to see carvers working on cedar house posts for the new longhouse being built in town. Hogu was a wonderful guide and a great ambassador for the Haida nation and his community. We learned a lot from him and greatly enjoyed his company.
From him, we learned how the community is working to reclaim its culture and heritage. When he was a young boy growing up in Hydaburg, the language wasn’t spoken and traditional cultural practices were forbidden. Today there is a resurgence of the language and culture in the younger generation. The totem park was full of totems that had been carved in the last 20 years by members of the community. The longhouse being built will give the community a place to gather, celebrate, mourn and potlatch together.
This evening we hosted the Bonum Vitae crew aboard Deception for dinner. Frank is a pilot from the UK and Petra is from Germany. They currently live in Bavaria and this is their first time visiting Alaska. They are lovely people with many fascinating stories and a wonderful, positive outlook on life. The Deception crew greatly enjoyed their company.