In June 2016, we were privileged to participate in the annual special edition trip to Haida Gwaii that Maple Leaf Adventures offers with Canadian Geographic and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. The 2016 special resource person was Severn Cullis-Suzuki - marine ecologist, ethnobotanist, author and environmental activist.
After a day and a half on land touring natural and cultural sites around Masset on Graham Island, we boarded the Maple Leaf Adventures ship, MV Swell, for the next 7 nights. It is a lovingly restored tugboat, originally built in 1912. The Swell has six guest cabins (each with their own ensuite facilities) and offers all the comforts of home – a large indoor lounge/dining room with library, outdoor lounge, hot tub, zodiacs for daily shore visits, and optional kayaking and fishing.
Our crew (Captain Steve, Kevin, Maureen, Lila, and Severn) was a first class team, working together with constant cheerfulness and dedication to every detail. Their knowledge, respect and passion for the land and its people, and their commitment to sustainable practices, were infectious. Key highlights included visits to the remains of three former Haida villages with their ceremonial poles and longhouses, where we learned directly from their Haida Watchmen about each site’s history as well as the culture and history of the Haida. We also met carvers and parks experts, and learned about the abundant marine life of the intertidal zones, the rich and diverse red and yellow cedar and Sitka spruce rainforests, and how the Haida use both marine ecosystems and rainforests with respect.