Log #61f The Haida Heritage Centre

August 13, 2016 in Logs by Series, Series 61, The Logs

Log #61f The Haida Heritage Centre

False Creek,Vancouver, B.C.

Aug. 13, 2016


Hi Folks,


At last I am getting off this problem plagued log. I say problem plagued as two major computer issues delayed its production and caused me great frustration. The first was the digital pictures I downloaded from my camera to the laptop. After I deleted them from the camera, I tried to open the file on my laptop only to find the pictures did not get transferred. I just lost 150 pictures I took over a two week period on Haida Gwaii! Aaaarrgghh!

However a few days later when we were in Campbell River I checked with a computer repair shop technician who said he might be able to recover them from the SD card if I had not taken any pictures since. OK, I took the chip in and he was successful in the recovery. So all the pictures in this log and the next would have been lost without the recovery program. Thank you Campbell River computer repair!

Incidentally on a more positive note; while we were in Campbell River we met up with Russ and Lynne from Blue Highway, who coincidental were up this area visiting other sailing friends on Quadra Island. We first met them in 1999 in Bermuda as we were crossing the Atlantic Ocean, then again in Stornaway, Scotland, Barcelona, Spain, and have visited with them a couple of times in their home area of Naples, Florida. It was a good get together.

The next problem was after I completed the log with the pictures inserted. It was saved in a file on my laptop. When I closed down the computer, it did a series of updates even though I was not on line. OK, no problem, it has done this before. Next day, when I was getting ready to send out the log, it had degraded to a solid blue screen, with text in a vertical column of single letters on the left side to cover 59 pages. Aaarrgghhh!!

I tried several ways to change back, with no success. Yesterday I took it to a Best Buy Geek Squad, as we have an extended warranty for a year on it.

The technician tried a couple of other programs to retrieve the original document, with no success. He said it was a compatibility problem with my freeware Open Office, and that I would have to buy Microsoft Windows Office to recover it! No thanks! I think Microsoft is forcing people into Windows 10 and buying only Microsoft products. Open Office has worked well, so I will try other options such as E-mailing it to myself to see if that straightens out the problem.


I also tried saving it in different formats. The default format is an odt designation, which I switch to a doc format as many people had problems downloading the default one. However I left it as a odt format, but noticed a few more menu options above. I played around and found one menu which allowed me to change colours of the text and the background. Another was Format, and it had as an option Default Format. When I clicked on that, my original formatting appeared minus the pictures. OK, I can live with that, and then proceeded to re-insert the pictures and saved it again in doc format. I have since opened it several times to ensure the screw-up did not happen again. So now you have, I hope, the full Log #61f The Haida Heritage Centre with pictures. I was not impressed with the Best Buy technician for not exploring the formatting options.


This log has many pictures of totem poles in the Haida Heritage Centre, all relatively new, but my next log will get us down into Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve to see the archaeological remains of the abandoned village longhouses and memorial poles150 years and older.

I hope to get this off tonight. Damn Windows 10!!

All the best,


PS – Even this was a problem as I cannot access my Windows Live Mail and have wasted four hours in the past two days trying to send this out. I hope you get it. I will try to insert some pictures into this covering letter. I hope they come through. Aaarrrggghhh!


Log #61f The Haida Heritage  Centre
False Creek, Vancouver, B.C.
Aug. 10, 2016

From our anchorage off Queen Charlotte City, we dinghied the five miles up to the ferry landing at Skidigate, and walked the mile or so along the highway to the Haida Heritage Centre for our orientation course. It was an hour long presentation of the safety aspects of exploring Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. All entrants have to take the course whether like us they are on their own boat, or kayakers, or on a tour/adventure charter vessel. (There are no roads in this lower archipelago of Moresby Island.)

The Gwaii Haanas crest below is of the sea otter (casually floating on its back as it frequently can be seen) and the sea urchin. The link between these two is that the sea otter, valuable for its fur, kept the sea urchin in check; the urchins feed heavily on kelp which when not overgrazed provides a productive habitat for many species including sea stars, marine worms, fish and marine mammals.


After the course we got our permit for visiting the area. We were fortunate to go immediately, as we had not made any reservation for such, and only a limited number of visitors are permitted into the area at one time. If that number has been reached, people without reservations may have to wait several days or more to be allowed entry. We had a similar situation last year when we went to Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, and had to wait three days before being allowed only a few days entry into the bay. Anyone planning on going during the summer months would be well advised to make reservations for the anticipated time by calling Gwaii Haanas, toll free at 1-877-559-8818, or at 250-559-8366. The daily fee is $19.60 per person, and a season’s pass is $117.70. No fees are charged from Oct. 1 to April 30. We took two season’s passes as we wanted to visit most of the sites in the archipelago, as a few day passes would not give us sufficient time. For other communications they can be contacted at gwaii.haanas@pc.gc.ca, on the web at www.pc.gc.ca/gwaiihaanas, or on facebook at www.facebook.com/gwaiihaanas.

After we finished the orientation course and got our permits, we spent several hours in the Heritage Centre. It is an excellent museum with artifacts and histories of the Haida on Haida Gwaii. The various bays are constructed like Haida longhouses with a memorial pole in front of each. A knowledgeable guide toured us around each pole giving its history and symbolism, including a recently completed pole to be erected at Skidigate in late July (it hopefully has been erected by now). The pictures below show the pole still in the carvers’ workshop, and the top and base structures. Poles are up to 35 feet in height and are sunk eight to twelve feet in the earth.

(The distortion in the pole is caused by the 360 degree scan of the camera)
     Watchmen on top                                                                                                Eight foot base

Several poles have the three watchmen on top keeping a lookout to protect the village. The base is set into the ground, and is not carved with any symbols. This was made from one solid cedar tree. Most are solid trees, but some are hollowed out in the back to make them lighter and easier to erect. There is a memorial pole outside of each of the longhouse replicas of the Heritage Centre, carved by different workers, and commemorating abandoned villages and respecting ancestors.
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The painting on the poles will not be repaired, as they will just be left as erected about 25 years ago to decay into the ground over the next 50 to 100 years.
There was a humorous competition between the two carvers of these poles for the highest one.  The first pole above had a symbol of the missing third watchman for its highest elevation. The second one above carved later just put a narrow pole atop its watchman’s hat to claim the highest pole.

The Heritage Centre is located at KAY LLNAGAAY on the site of an abandoned village a couple of miles from the present day Skidigate, overlooking Skidigate Inlet.


No pictures were allowed inside the display area, but there were some interesting poles in the lobby, one new symbolic one and the protected remains of an original pole from an abandoned village pasted below. The museum is well organized with artifacts, and explanations of the Haida culture past and present. They talk about the changes since the arrival of the Europeans, the unfortunate problems with the residential schools, and the ongoing treaty problems on their unceded lands.

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The Heritage Centre is well worth a good half day’s or longer visit. There are picnic tables  inside and outside overlooking Skidigate Inlet for those with a picnic lunch, or the cafeteria has a good selection of cold and hot foods, although the wait for the freshly prepared hot food was a half hour long. The gift shop has some beautiful first nations clothing, a wide selection of books and art work, as well as a traditional souvenirs such as T-shirts, knickknacks, and post cards.

In mid afternoon we walked back to the ferry dock and dinghied the five miles back to Veleda at anchor off Queen Charlotte City. It is good to have a reliable 15 hp outboard and dinghy, one where we do not have to pump up the tubes or bail out water from various ongoing leaks. The outboard motor even likes Judy as she can start it herself. Happiness is a reliable dinghy and outboard motor.

My next log will get us into the archaeological remains and the beautiful scenery of Gwaii Haanas.