Early departure from Beaver Cove to get into Rivers Inlet for a visit with the Wuikinuxv Nation. We radioed in and were picked up at the public wharf by, Peter, the Lands Manager who took us into town to the Administration office where they were kind enough to lend me a desk and a phone for a few hours to do a call and catch up on some work. Wuikinuxv Nation are busy with land and marine planning, mapping all of their traditional use areas, monitoring their territory, collecting data on fish and bears, managing referrals from the government and relationships with forest companies – it’s a very busy place. We very much enjoyed meeting everyone and the big smiles and confident introductions we were greeted with. There are only 70 people that live in Rivers Inlet, so it’s pretty apparent when someone is a visitor – especially when they announce their arrival on Channel 06 on the radio! Who needs cell service when you have VHF.
We had a tour of the big house the community built – deep smells of cedar and soil and a calm and cool respite from the heat and wind outside. The Wuikinuxv community live harmoniously with bears in the village. Bear trails litter the fireweed that grows around the houses and along the river – it’s hard to tell them apart from the human trails. My friend Jennifer tells us how she shares her berry patch with a few bears – alternating crops and always leaving some for the other. We were so disappointed when we had to cut our visit short because the wind came up and Nordri looked more like a bucking bronco than a boat tied up next to the fishboat on the public wharf. We pushed off thinking we’d wait out the wind and waves and come back to join friends for a fire and picnic at Oweekeno Lake and an open invitation on the radio for everyone to come to the big house for dancing and drumming, but even by 8 pm things hadn’t calmed. So we reluctantly said good-bye and made our way up into the lee of a tiny cove in Killbella Bay. There were leads there for a stern and bow tie which was a relief not to have drop our anchor into the log filled bottom.