Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat
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The small-cruise-ship experience in Canada’s Haida Gwaii

Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

Haida Gwaii, an archipelago formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, lies on the north coast of British Columbia. Here, the MV Swell has dropped anchor near the archipelago’s Hotspring Island.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Mossy trail across Sgang Gwaay or Anthony Island.

The islands known as Haida Gwaii, accessible by small-ship cruises, include many rustic paths through striking landscapes. Here, a mossy trail crosses Sgang Gwaay, a.k.a. Anthony Island.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Totem pole being carved in Old Masset by master carver and town mayor, Jim Hart.
Some of the world’s most admired totem poles come from western Canada -- more specifically the Tlingit and Haida tribes. This pole in progress is being carved by Jim Hart, a Haida master carver and mayor of the town of Old Massett, in B.C.'s Haida Gwaii archipelago.  (Margo Pfeiff)
Haida Cultural Centre, Skidegate.

Totem poles might be the most potent emblem of British Columbia. One likely place to look for contemporary totems is the Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay, Skidegate, on Graham Island, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

 (Margo Pfeiff)
The MV Swell at anchor in prime kayak paddling waters.
The MV Swell at anchor in prime kayak paddling waters. (Margo Pfeiff)
Jane and her 15-pound Ling Cod.

Anglers in the Haida Gwaii (a.k.a. the Queen Charlotte Islands) often bring up Ling Cod. This one weighed in at 15 pounds.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

Fresh spot prawns for dinner.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

Whale watching from the Swell’s top deck.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

One option for exploring Haida Gwaii — also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands — is by kayak. Another is by refitted tugboat, like the MV Swell, shown in the background.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

The British Columbia archipelago of Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) includes a national park: Gwaii Haanas. Its turf includes Winby Bay on Lyell Island, where these crabs were crawling.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

The longhouse-like Sarah’s Haida Arts & Jewelry in Old Massett shows locals’ work.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

Waterfront buildings and poles at Windy Bay on Lyell Island, which was the base for protests against logging in the 1980s.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

Halibut are a popular catch for anglers in the Haida Gwaii archipelago of British Columbia. This catch weighed in at about 60 pounds.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

Looking Around and Blinking House, built at Windy Bay in 1985 to house people during the logging blockade.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

Some of the last remaining standing totem and mortuary poles, on SGang Gwaay or Anthony Island.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
Exploring Haida Gwaii on a refitted tugboat

Rusty remains of an abandoned whaling station at Rose Harbor on Kunghit Island.

 (Margo Pfeiff)
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