The Hecate Strait

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Kevin: [Right at the beginning,] we met up with a local from Haida Gwaii.

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As he stated to us, one of his given names was Captain. He noted that the wind was picking up as we left the inlet, and that's when the waves and the wind started.

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Captain, as I recall, was full of fascinating stories about wandering around with his friends as a teenager on Haida Gwaii, and getting into trouble, in places like caves and abandoned mines. The anecdote that stuck out in my mind was when he wandered into a cave submerged in water, and went in deep enough that the light from outside was cut off, and it became nearly pitch black. So he pulled out his cell phone, and began to use it as a light I'd wanted, badly, to interview him. Unfortunately, I did not take heed of his warnings about the stormy waters we were quickly approaching, and soon I was in no mood to interview anyone about anything.

New MPA in Hecate Strait will protect sensitive ecosystem | WWF-Canada

Oh yes. The whales. In my Inside Passage story , I'd promised you that the next chapter would include some decent photographs of whales. The great sighting we got was of several Humpback Whales, and this just in the first hour or two of the journey, before the waters got too rough: I had just stepped outside for a breath of fresh air, and noticed a group of fellow passengers pointing and shouting, and waving binoculars around.

Naturally, I'd already had the lens cap off of my camera by the time I reached the outer railings, and managed some pretty decent shots of those whales before I'd even properly seen them.


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It was good that I used it when I did, however, because soon I had little interest in taking photographs. We'd put all of our bags at the very front of the boat, right beside the so-called "Kid's Area". There was a television playing children's cartoons. At the beginning of the storm, there were several children and parents watching. As the waters got rockier, most of the rest of the audience disappeared. Justin: As we got onto the open waters, it really started roughening up.

Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs Marine Protected Area

The less sailed of us got a little bit, not seasick, but Me: I'd made the mistake of eating a sandwich, right before this really started, which resulted in an unpleasant storm experience. For the first hour or so, I had to keep my eyes closed, and imagine myself swimming, just to cut back on my feelings of seasickness. Kevin: Actually, to your point about visualization, to help with the queasiness from the massive amounts of undulation we were going through, my method was [that] I grabbed an old book I was reading.

Hecate Strait Dungeness Crab Fishing: Nor Star

When I opened old books as a kid, it was a safe spot for me. So just being able to smell the old book, and rekindle those memories of security, and of calm, was a great way of bringing my body into equillibrium with the sea. Justin: I [made] the same mistake as Johnny. I had a bit of a snack before, and, yeah I tended to cope, lying flat on my back method.

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Maybe it was a bit calmer on the bottom as opposed to being up on a chair. Also, watching the children's TV shows in the Kid Zone was reassuring, and took the mind off what was happening a little bit.

Me: People were also getting sick, around the boat. The deep strait is a site of salmon and halibut fishing grounds.

Hecate Strait - northern half

It was named after the Hecate , a ship used by the British captain George H. Richards in his survey —62 of the mainland coast. Hecate Strait. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback.

A third ingredient is a frightening thing called an overfall which occurs when wind and tide are moving rapidly in opposite directions. Overfalls are steep, closely packed, unpredictable waves capable — even a modest height of meters — of rolling a fishing boat an driving it into the sea bottom. They can show up anywhere but their effects are intensified by sandbars and shoals like the one that extends for 30 km off the end of Rose Spit between Masset and Prince Rupert.


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If one then factors in the prevailing deep-sea swell that in winter surges eastward through Dixon Entrance at heights of meters, and the fact that a large enough wave will expose the sea floor of Hecate Strait , the result is one of the most diabolically hostile environments that wind , sea, and land are capable of conjuring up. Could you comment a little more on the door skin choice?