Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 23/July 23 – Goose Island to Waglisla, Bella Bella and Shearwater

Woke up to the sound of our neighbours early departure. Scott was up getting coffee when he said with half excitement and half disbelief, “wolves on the beach”.  We watched as 6 or 7 wolves made their way across the sand from one island to the other! Just amazing. It looked as if this was their daily routine. They looked content and healthy with a slight bounce in their step - but not like a dog bounce, a stealthy slow suspended bounce with heads and tails low. I’ve heard that not many people have seen these special coastal wolves, so this was quite a gift. 
Pulled anchor and headed out of Goose Island paradise. We could see fog banks rolling in around the island as we headed for the interior just in time. A nice steady cruise into Waglisla, or Bella Bella where things were getting a little busier with traffic increasing as we got closer. As we pulled up to the government wharf, we could see and smell the fire site. If you hadn’t heard there had been a fire here a week before which left the community without their grocery store, library, café and crafts store. It also left one of Tides Canada’s Top 10 organizations, Qqs Projects Society without a home (if you’re into helping out with the rebuild, you can make a donation here!). The fire broke at 4 am and didn’t leave much behind. The community rallied, made sure those who needed food had it, expedited food shipments and established a temporary store in a nearby church. 

It was heartbreaking to see the pile of books that were salvaged from the library. I had been here just weeks before, enjoyed a coffee from the Koeye Café and pondered the collection – this was not your typical community library but a library the community, led by Jess Housty, has been building for years. It was a thoughtful collection ranging from classic literary fiction to photography books, plant and animal field guides to contemporary non-fiction and graphic novels. A number of books had been sent by authors who had visited the area. The books were avidly read by community members and the every once in a while a cruiser would pick up a book and mail it back after they’d finished with it. During a visit with Jess in the temporary open air offices of Qqs we were joined by Nancy Turner who I’d never met, but had several of her plant identification books on board. 

We left the government wharf and headed over to Shearwater. Shearwater is essentially a fishing resort – lots of big, splashy yachts. Not the type of place we gravitate to – but it was great to take advantage of showers, laundry and to get rid of the stinky tagged fish head we’d been traipsing around the last few days. The friendly Wharf Master asked if we were with Pacific Wild - and then invited us to participate in their weekly regatta at 7:30pm. We might have if we weren’t completely exhausted. It was great to see his enthusiasm for sailing and a little sad to watch his boat going round the marks without any competition.

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