John Harvey Photo

Hot Spring Island

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Burnaby Narrows

Burnaby Narrows is a small channel between Burnaby Island Moresby Island.  While it is technically navigable, the channel is shallow, full of rocks and full of life.  The tour operators won't go through it because of the risk, but some boats do at high tide.  In August 2000, the fishing vessel Texada grounded in this narrows and spilled oil into the environment so I wasn't sure what to expect when we went through.


Bald Eagle In Dead Spruce Tree
We spent the night in Bag Harbour, just south of Burnaby Narrows and we left early in the morning to make the best of the tide.  I was in a Kayak which works well for using my waterproof camera, but the people in the Zodiak have the advantage of many eyes and a more straight down view into the water.

Dwarfed By Trees


Claira With Moon SnailZodiac Into Burnaby Narrows

I was impressed with the wildlife in the channel.  The bottom varied between rock covered in wildlife like Anemones and loose gravel with shell fish. 

Golden Bat StarEgg Yolk JellyfishGiant Plumose Anemone
 
Mixed Kelps At SurfacePlumose Anemone On Bottom

 
While there is kelp growing on the rocks, when you look under water you will find a lot less kelp.  The Sea Urchins have exploded here and they are voracious consumers of kelp without any significant predator themselves. 
 
Red Sea Urchine Eating KelpSea Urchin BarronCalifornia Sea Cucumber
 
Small Plumos AnemoneTwo Red Turban SnailsBat Star Just Under Surface

 
On the ride out, we stopped to see a Risso's dolphin we noticed had washed up.  This animal was definitely dead and had been dead for a while but it wasn't clear why. 

Dead Rissos DolphinBrave Photographers
 
 
 
Dead Rissos Dolphin Cracked Skin

Shore Walk:

Before we left the Burnaby Narrows area, we got into the Zodiak to take a run to a Culturally modified tree.  Trees and forests are really hard to photograph.  Rarely can you get a perspective that shows the true scale of a tree or the make up a forest.  Trying to show a size of a single tree in a forest is similarly difficult because a large tree looks just like a small tree when you are closer to it.

Haida Gwaii is somewhat famous for it's moss.  There are a few endemic mosses in Haida Gwaii (found nowhere else) but they aren't anywhere near here.  Taking good photos of moss generally requires a good tripod and a lot of patience, but I made due.

Long Branching MossThinner Hanging MossMixed Mossed On Branch
 
Pendulous Wing-MossRed Branching Moss

We did find the culturally modified tree (you can see the burn marks where they tested the heart wood) and got time to appreciate the size of these old giants.  When these forests are clear cut, all of the cultural reminders that may be over a hundred years old are removed.

Nara With Old Growth CedarCulturally Modifed Cedar

Hot Spring Island:

Painted Driftwood SignFishing Float As Disco Ball
As far as I know, Hot Spring Island is the only hot springs in Haida Gwaii.  In October 2012 there was an earthquake and the hot water stopped flowing.  Over the following months some of the springs came back, some new springs formed.  Haida oral history says this has happened before after previous earthquakes.  The Haida are kind to share these hot springs with visitors.  The beach in front of the hot springs are quite exposed so we took the zodiak into a near by beach and walked in via the boardwalk.



Beach Side Changeroom
This spring is quite civilized - there is an outdoor change area with spots to store your stuff.  There is a shower building with hot water.  If you are on a kayaking trip around Haida Gwaii, this would be an amazing stop.


Soaking In Lower Pool
The springs are quite different temperatures so our group of 10 guests spread out between a few pools. 

Family In Hot SpringClaira And Helen With Low Cloud
 

  Family In Lower Pool

 
After a good soak, I took a walk to see the other pools.  There are at least 6 pools here - three near the changing shelter, on higher above the beach and two more after a brief walk to the next beach over.  The watchmen will periodically drain and clean pools and I think they try to rotate guests through different pools.

Trail To Other Hot SpringsSign For Hot Spring Pool
 

Beach Front Hotspring
The weather got nicer over our stay so seeing the hot springs on a sunny day.

Upper Pool In SunlightPool Slowly Filling
 

 
Claira With Species List
We got back on the boat and moved off to a small bay next to Murchison Island.  We reviewed our species list and felt impressed with the giant lists we had collected.

Sunset Light

Next:  Tanu


Plumose Anemone On Bottom
Egg Yolk Jellyfish
Species: Phacellophora camtschatica (Egg-yolk Jelly)
Tags: jellyfish
Golden Bat Star
Species: Asterina miniata (Bat Star)
Tags: sea star
Dead Rissos Dolphin
Sea Urchin Barron
Species: Strongylocentrotus franciscanus (Red Sea Urchin), Metridium farcimen (Giant Plumose Anemones)
Soaking In Lower Pool
Location: Go To...
Painted Driftwood Sign
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: sign
Bald Eagle In Dead Spruce Tree
Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Bald Eagle)
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Pendulous Wing-Moss
Species: Antitrichia curtipendula (Pendulous Wing-Moss)
Altitude: 17m (55 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: moss
Red Sea Urchine Eating Kelp
Species: Strongylocentrotus franciscanus (Red Sea Urchin)
Mixed Mossed On Branch
Altitude: 17m (55 feet)
Location: Go To...
Beach Front Hotspring
Altitude: 14m (45 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, hot spring, pool
Two Red Turban Snails
Mixed Kelps At Surface
Dwarfed By Trees
Red Branching Moss
Species: Hylocomium splendens (Stairstep Moss)
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: moss
Small Plumos Anemone
Species: Metridium senile (Plumose Anemone)
Giant Plumose Anemone
Species: Metridium farcimen (Giant Plumose Anemones)
Fishing Float As Disco Ball
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Sign For Hot Spring Pool
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: sea urchin test, sign
Trail To Other Hot Springs
Tags: trail
Brave Photographers
Family In Lower Pool
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: hot spring
Claira And Helen With Low Cloud
Person: Claira, Helen
Location: Go To...
Tags: hot spring
Nara With Old Growth Cedar
Person: Nara
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Culturally Modifed Cedar
Altitude: 17m (55 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: culturally modified tree
Claira With Moon Snail
Species: Neverita lewisii (Lewis's Moon Snail)
Tags: snail
California Sea Cucumber
Species: Parastichopus californicus ()
Sunset Light
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: sunset
Beach Side Changeroom
Location: Go To...
Claira With Species List
Person: Claira
Altitude: 21m (68 feet)
Location: Go To...
Family In Hot Spring
Location: Go To...
Pool Slowly Filling
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: coast, hot spring, pool
Zodiac Into Burnaby Narrows
Thinner Hanging Moss
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: moss
Bat Star Just Under Surface
Species: Asterina miniata (Bat Star)
Long Branching Moss
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: moss
Upper Pool In Sunlight
Altitude: 7m (22 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: coast, hot spring, pool
Dead Rissos Dolphin Cracked Skin
Tags: hot spring(5), moss(4), pool(3), coast(2), sign(2), snail(1)
People: Claira(2), Helen(1), Nara(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Haida Gwaii > Hot Spring Island

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Last Modified Saturday, September 9th, 2023 at 15:48:07 Edit
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