Hot Spring Island
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Hot Spring Island:
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.
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
The springs are quite different
temperatures so our group of 10 guests spread out between a few
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.
The weather got nicer over our stay
so seeing the hot springs on a sunny day.
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
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
Last Modified Saturday, September 9th, 2023 at 15:48:07 Edit
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