Monday, 2 July 2012

Haida Gwaii - My Home

By Dionne Baker

I’ve lived here for about 7 years. Being an “urban” Haida, some things were difficult for me to grasp. When I moved home I had the chance to get razor clams with a few friends.

Photo Credit: Sally Taylor
I could see my friend stomping down the beach - I asked him what he was doing and why he was doing that. He just laughed at me and said “that’s how you do it!” Yah right! - He told me to look down the beach at everyone else, and of course they were stomping too! He asked me if I wanted to try. I said  “there are no McDonalds under there!”

Photo Credit: Tourism BC
In the time I’ve been here, I've met a great man who knows a lot about the mighty outdoors and the sea - I’ve learned more and more and am still learning how to do things. Doug is an avid sea goer, and lucky me, I get to tag along most of the time. 

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 Now I have some experience on the ocean since I used to fish the Fraser River, but Haida Gwaii is totally different compared to what I was used to.

Photo Credit: Garrett Brown
Being out on the water with Doug, I’ve had the chance to gather a variety of different seafood.

Photo Credit: North Pacific Kelp
I have learned how to fish for halibut, sockeye, red snapper, herring, sea urchin, clams, crabs and prawns. If you ask him where he got it he would simply say “the sea or over there.”

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Photo Credit: Heron Wier

His hot spots are top secret and I’m sworn to secrecy about where we harvest our seafood. Sometimes it would be a couple of hours that we would stay out in the boat or even until the next day.

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Doug is also a very good photographer. There are some amazing sunsets, sunrises, and wild life that he has captured in the lens of his camera.

Photo Credit: Dionne Baker

We’ve gone cruising around looking for eagle feathers and come across just born baby deer, and some older fawns also.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

We have gone through then narrows and fished out the West Coast. There is a lot of wild life to be seen there.

Photo Credit: Mary Helmer
  Photo Credit: Stef Olcen

For example we were cruising by a rock island before heading through the narrows and heard the barking of sea lions. They all looked so stoic sitting there posing like they knew that we were taking pictures of them.

 Photo Credit: Anvil Cove Charters

Getting through the narrows is pretty tricky - signs have to be obeyed and waters have to be high. Then when you get past the signs you’re at the narrows and what a sight!

 Photo Credit: John Alexander

Doug shuts the engine off and we coast through just taking in the scenery and the quite stillness of Haida Gwaii. It’s so amazing when you can unplug the modern world and come back to basics.

  Photo Credit: Anvil Cove Charters

 Photo Credit: Anvil Cove Charters

There are certain times to get things, one of my favorite things to harvest is chanterelle mushrooms - again I’m sworn to secrecy about where our hot spots are, but I like to wander around in the bush all day.

Photo Credit: Haida Gwaii Culinary Coop
Sometimes I get turned around and have to yell for Doug to come and find me, it’s not hard to get turned around if you’re deep in the forest.

 Photo Credit: Ian Gould

This summer I’m going to try to keep up with everything, the berries and such. Maybe I’ll have good summer of harvesting!

Photo Credit: Jenn Dolen
 Photo Credit: Haida Gwaii Culinary Coop