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Old 01-10-2018, 08:47 PM   #1
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Haida Gwaii Haanas

Hopefully, we'll get away for a new months this summer, and I would like to visit the National Park on Haida Gwaii. In looking at the Park information, they restrict the number of folks entering the park, but I am curious if anyone has experience with anchorages, both west coast and east coast. Any tips will be appreciated from those familiar with the area.

Much obliged!
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:52 PM   #2
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Yes. We were there this past summer.

Pamís blog...

https://phoenixhunter1985.blogspot.c...&by-date=false

Our Garmin Mapshare...

https://share.garmin.com/JamesCave

Gwaii Haanas trip planner...

http://www.gohaidagwaii.ca/images/up..._Eng_Email.pdf

Parks Canada...

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/gwa...t/reservations


Iíll pm you with my email,and phone contacts. I also have some PDFs of some material. NB, the Douglass book is very out of date.

Jim
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:13 PM   #3
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Yes. We were there this past summer.

Pamís blog...

https://phoenixhunter1985.blogspot.c...&by-date=false

Our Garmin Mapshare...

https://share.garmin.com/JamesCave

Gwaii Haanas trip planner...

http://www.gohaidagwaii.ca/images/up..._Eng_Email.pdf

Parks Canada...

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/gwa...t/reservations


Iíll pm you with my email,and phone contacts. I also have some PDFs of some material. NB, the Douglass book is very out of date.

Jim
Wonderful Jim, thank you.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:27 PM   #4
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Haida Gwaii, Gwaii Haanas

We were in the Park for a month in 2016. Getting the permit was not an issue and we requested a permit for 6 weeks, which was no problem (apply now!). Mostly we had anchorages to ourselves and sometimes not. Outside the Park there are anchorages about 2 hr apart on the west coast. But the east coast has none for a very long stretch (Skidegate to Masset).

There can be bottlenecks at the two water stations within the Park. And sometimes at the haida Watchman cabins; Tanu, Windy Bay and Skung Gwaii (Anthony Island) are the busiest but all worth the wait.

There is fuel in Queen Charlotte and in Sandspit but none to the south of Sandspit. We topped up in Sandspit and then had plenty, including for the run back from Rose Harbour to Bella Bella. There is road access to Moresby Camp (south of Sandspit) and if you have to pick up visitors this is the best spot; arrange for a taxi from Sandspit.

Rounding Cape St. James is sort of a "right of passage" as it is the location of the highest ever winds measured in Canada (and then the wind gauge blew away).

The CCG has VHF repeaters in the Park so complete CCG coverage (these also have the Weather Channel so you can pick up all the nearby buoy data). Weather predictions are in the "fair" category. there is no cell once you are south of Cumshewa island (S of Sandspit).
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:31 PM   #5
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We were in the Park for a month in 2016. Getting the permit was not an issue and we requested a permit for 6 weeks, which was no problem (apply now!). Mostly we had anchorages to ourselves and sometimes not. Outside the Park there are anchorages about 2 hr apart on the west coast. But the east coast has none for a very long stretch (Skidegate to Masset).

There can be bottlenecks at the two water stations within the Park. And sometimes at the haida Watchman cabins; Tanu, Windy Bay and Skung Gwaii (Anthony Island) are the busiest but all worth the wait.

There is fuel in Queen Charlotte and in Sandspit but none to the south of Sandspit. We topped up in Sandspit and then had plenty, including for the run back from Rose Harbour to Bella Bella. There is road access to Moresby Camp (south of Sandspit) and if you have to pick up visitors this is the best spot; arrange for a taxi from Sandspit.

Rounding Cape St. James is sort of a "right of passage" as it is the location of the highest ever winds measured in Canada (and then the wind gauge blew away).

The CCG has VHF repeaters in the Park so complete CCG coverage (these also have the Weather Channel so you can pick up all the nearby buoy data). Weather predictions are in the "fair" category. there is no cell once you are south of Cumshewa island (S of Sandspit).
Thanks John! We're pretty self-contained fuel and water wise, so we should be fine there. What month did you visit? JDCave was very kind in providing me with their logs and observations, so getting experienced advice is really appreciated.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:43 PM   #6
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We were there in July in 2016. My wife works as naturalist on both Maple Leaf schooner and tug Swell, so she knows the Park really well. She lived in Queen Charlotte for quite a long time (15 yr) so knows the islands. We spent a week in Charlotte before going down to the Park; the anchorage in front of town is very convenient.

Unforgettable trip.

Happy to share more background if you send me a PM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:28 PM   #7
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On the north east side there is a town, correct?
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:35 PM   #8
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Masset is on Dixon Entrance about midway between Rose Spit (NE corner) and Langara Is (NW corner). Rose Spit is long shoal that practically extends across Hecate Strait. and just to the south of Rose Spit is a huge shallow bank (Dogfish Bank) that extends substantially into Hecate Strait and is primo Dungess crab fishing area.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:46 PM   #9
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Masset is on Dixon Entrance about midway between Rose Spit (NE corner) and Langara Is (NW corner). Rose Spit is long shoal that practically extends across Hecate Strait. and just to the south of Rose Spit is a huge shallow bank (Dogfish Bank) that extends substantially into Hecate Strait and is primo Dungess crab fishing area.
Queen Charlotte looks like a nice town. I had thought the entire island was a part, but not true? Looks like Masset is a military base too. At least from Google Earth.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:59 PM   #10
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Masset and Queen Charlotte are both about the same size - just under 1,000. Both have associated Haida communities (Old Masset and Skidegate near Charlotte). There is a smaller village in the north central area - Port Clements at the south end of Masset Inlet. The main airport is at Sandspit, the NE corner of Graham Island. The military base in Masset is no longer active.

A fantastic place but a moderate challenge to get too. For us at 7 knots, it was a 10 hr crossing from the northern tip of Banks Island to Charlotte. It is hard not to have a beam sea. We did a night passage as it was glassy calm at 10pm when we left. The return trip we left from Rose Harbour on the southern tip and went straight across towards Bella Bella - about 13 hr as I recall. This was lumpier and we had the poles out but not too bad overall.

There is no place like it on the Inside Passage. And the visits to the Haida Watchman sites in the Park (Gwaii Haanas) are fantastic. There is very good museum in Skidegate.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:10 PM   #11
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Queen Charlotte looks like a nice town. I had thought the entire island was a part, but not true? Looks like Masset is a military base too. At least from Google Earth.
It was developed as a "Huff Duff" (HF/DF) station in the 1950's and was pretty much "stood down" in the late 1990's. Read all about it here

CFS Masset

Canadian Forces Station Masset

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Old 01-16-2018, 01:23 PM   #12
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Further to John's comments on crossing Hecate Strait. We had determined that Grifitth and Larsen harbours were not to our liking, so we decided to anchor in Spicer Island anchorage to await better weather. We left at 03:40 am and arrived in Skidegate at 13:45. Conditions for the crossing were very good: overcast but no fog, drizzle on arrival, light winds and seas <0.5m, NO CRAB POTS.

Going back the WXX was for winds light and seas less than 1m. About midway, the weather came up and we saw winds SSE 25 kts on the beam and seas 2.0 m. I contacted CG on 83A to inform them the WXX was erroneous, or as my father would say "MET boobed!" Crab pots EVERYWHERE. About midway across, you're only in about 60' of water.

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Old 01-16-2018, 01:49 PM   #13
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Hi All,

Is there a Canadian Customs agent or Port of Entry anywhere near Masset? In other words, is it possible to cross direct to Haida Gwaii from CONUS southbound from the south end of Prince of Wales Island, for instance? Note that I have no idea on the cellular coverage in that region in order to expedite entry into Canadian waters via telephone per the latest Canadian Customs directives.

And yup, I'll check with CBSA direct, although I've gotten some, ahem, "interesting" answers to similar questions in the past. Things like "You're where? Bedwell Harbor? Where's Bedwell?"

Regards,

Pete
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:53 PM   #14
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I filled in a teaching shop in Masset in 1972. Weíve been back once and was amazed as if weíd never seen it. Iím refering to The North Beach. Thereís no place like it. Drive east (rental car) from Masset to Tow Hill. Thatís the end of the road and Rose Spit extends far east of there. You canít frive the rental cars on the beach so doing so is a problem if you must. Dirt bike is best but who carries one around.

And donít even think of getting anywhere near Rose Spit in a boat. Just ENE of the spit thereís a 10í tidal overfall.

Every year there was a dune buggy race on the beach. Various classes. Some were close to normal cars and others looked more like dragsters. I have no idea if the race is still on.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:59 PM   #15
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Peter: I vaguely remember some dockside discussions last summer and I don't think you can enter Canada at Masset or Queen Charlotte. This link seems to support that.

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/do-rb/provinces/bc-eng.html

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Old 01-16-2018, 02:08 PM   #16
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It was developed as a "Huff Duff" (HF/DF) station in the 1950's and was pretty much "stood down" in the late 1990's. Read all about it here

CFS Masset

Canadian Forces Station Masset

Jim
Thank you. Very interesting. Crusty and I were looking at it on Goggle Earth. The airport had an F-18, H-60 helicopter and a C-130 cargo plane all whited out.

We both instantly recognized the Antenna array. In Alaska there is one on Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage. We would call it the "Elephant Cage." It was on aviation and NOAA charts, but Air Force officials deny its there.....
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:22 PM   #17
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Thank you. Very interesting. Crusty and I were looking at it on Goggle Earth. The airport had an F-18, H-60 helicopter and a C-130 cargo plane all whited out.

We both instantly recognized the Antenna array. In Alaska there is one on Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage. We would call it the "Elephant Cage." It was on aviation and NOAA charts, but Air Force officials deny its there.....
I second the comments on the North Beach.

East of Tow hill, there used to be cars getting stuck in the beach sand, and before any rescue could happen the tide would come in and the car would literally disappear into the sand. I heard those stories when I told my B&B hosts about driving my rental car on the sand (1996 that was still allowed) and they confessed to losing a jeep there a year before.

Even though not decommissioned, the military base there was pretty empty in Aug of 96.

They had a courthouse in Masset, hence my visit, but the Judge had to fly up with all of the other litigants from Vancouver.

The scenery there is fantastic, but it helps to go in mid August when the weather is great. I saw the biggest black bear imaginable crossing the road near Skidegate, a regular thing there.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:06 PM   #18
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Has anyone made the trip out to Haida Qwaii in an unstablized trawler? I would like to know if this open water crossing would be uncomfortable for us. We have a 47í Selene fitted with anti roll chocks.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:08 PM   #19
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Has anyone made the trip out to Haida Qwaii in an unstablized trawler? I would like to know if this open water crossing would be uncomfortable for us. We have a 47í Selene fitted with anti roll chocks.
No worse than crossing Cape Caution. Pick your weather...
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:23 PM   #20
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No worse than crossing Cape Caution. Pick your weather...


I followed all of the guidance for rounding Cape Caution-go on the flood, winds less than 15 kts, etc, and I was still very glad to have stabilizers. I found out later that the rough seas were the remnants of an earlier Pacific storm. For me anyway, I wouldnít venture into the Pacific without stabilizers.
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