Have baby, will travel: Part 2

After quite the journey, we finally arrived in Haida Gwaii to more blue skies and sunny weather. The heatwave continued well into our visit on the BC Coast – an area which normally sees a significant amount of rainfall. It was quite unusual to actually feel HOT on the island, not that we were really complaining ๐Ÿ™‚ In general, if you ever feel like life is going too fast or that things are changing around you too rapidly, I strongly encourage you to take a trip to Masset, BC, where, literally, NOTHING changes. Everything and everyone seemed EXACTLY as we had left them a year ago when we left the island. It was actually quite lovely!

At the cultural centre in Skidegateย 

Watching a performance from Maori people in Skidegate

At balance rock (don’t worry, Blake was holding onto him!)
Whew! It’s hard work being a baby!

At St. Mary’s Spring – the legend goes that if you drink the water from the spring, you’ll always return to Haida Gwaii

So we dunked Henry into it ๐Ÿ™‚

The Masset harbour

An early morning walk with the many, many eagles in Masset

The Masset library

A new mural in townย 
Visiting Sarah’s giftshop

Henry working the counter at Sarah’s

Dressed up in his new Haida hoodie

Going for a walk to Old Massett

Our plan for our time on the island was loosely planned in three ‘parts’. We had planned to camp for the first week, spend a week with our friends’ in Masset, then then last week we would go ‘glamping’ on North Beach where we had rented an off-the-grid cabin.

Up until this trip, we had yet to take Henry camping and I was curious about how it would pan out. I had heard horror stories from other moms who had attempted it but had had a terrible time as their little ones wouldn’t sleep in the tent. I was anxious to give it a go, however, as I felt that we had better start Henry early so that he would get used to joining our family on canoeing and camping trips!

Our first night of camping was in the most gorgeous hideaway (in my opinion) in Haida Gwaii – Bonanza Beach in Rennel Sound. We had been there previously to camp when my parents came to visit during my residency placement and we were excited to go back. The vistas did NOT dissapoint. I actually think it was more beautiful than I had remembered! Once we set up camp, and Henry was napping, Blake and I cooled off on our private, sandy beach where we swam and beach-combed for treasures. I couldn’t believe that it was hot enough to actually swim. I don’t think I even had worn shorts the last summer we spent in Haida Gwaii.

Our campsite

Henry enjoying the beach

Having a nap in his little tent

getting some R&R


Hiking along the beach

Hanging out by the fire w/ Dadย 

Camping with Henry turned out to be fairly easy. The only challenge for me was having enough fresh water, and HOT water to wash out his bottles. This was tricky as our water supply was limited. It was also a bit of a challenge to always be holding Henry or carrying him in the Ergo, as there weren’t too many places that I could safely put him down and allow him to crawl around. As for the sleeping, Henry put my anxieties at ease. We modified the bedtime routine slightly (no bath) but essentially, I would feed him, change him, sing his bedtime song, put him in his little tent, then quickly zip up the zippers before he could escape and then just left him to put himself to sleep. He did great and slept like a champ despite Ada knocking into his tent and having Blake and I coming in and out of the tent. It was a lot of fun having him with us and it definitely made me relieved to think that it IS still possible to get out and enjoy the outdoors with a baby in tow.

Playing in the tent

Henry napping in the tent while Ada stands guard

Blake and I playing cribbage while Henry sleeps
Early morning snuggles

Ada & Henry trying to wake up Blake

Having a break

Eating rocks

Loves his little tent

Our days camping were very relaxed. We didn’t have an agenda, only to move from one spot to the next. Blake and I enjoyed some down time in the evenings which were spent playing cribbage and sipping rum (Blake, not me).

Our second campsite was a ferry-ride away on Moresby Island. We drove along a very bumpy, windy logging road to get to a gorgeous sandy beach at Gray Bay. It was well worth the trek and we spent a lovely afternoon playing on the beach and exploring the tidal pools.

Playing on the beach

At our campsite

Ada always nearby while Henry sleeps

Blake and Ada enjoying the evening on the beach

So many barnacles!

Early morning smiles

Sunrise breakfast with an ocean view, just Henry and I!

Loving life!

Waiting for the ferry back to the main island

While camping, we met some really lovely people including a young couple with a two-year old baby (Meghan, Terry and Mallory). Our last few days of camping were spent at Agate Beach which is a gorgeous park near the north end of the island. Due to a very strong on-shore wind, despite the sun, all of our gear became damp and the evenings were pretty chilly. We decided to splurge on our last night and rent a longhouse at North Beach – a recent development initiated by the Haida Council. Our cedar-scented cabin was a perfect refuge from the cool wind. With wood-fire going, Meghan, Terry & Mallory came for an evening of yummy food and great conversation. It was a perfect way to end our camping days.

At our campsite at Agate Beach

Our little cedar longhouse at North Beach

Tow hill

Agate beach
Going for an evening stroll w/ Meghan, Terry & Mallory


Mallory & Meghan in their tree fort ๐Ÿ™‚

For the next few nights, we were happily reunited with good friends Scott & Joanne. We first met Scott and Joanne when we were living in Masset for residency. Generous to a fault, they went way out of their way to help us and to give us a true Haida Gwaii experience. We were so excited to visit them again, this time with Henry on my hip. Not only did they host us and help out with Henry, but Scott and Joanne also took all of us out salmon and halibut fishing on many occasions. This was definitely a highlight for Blake. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an exciting thing to pull in a sparkling, gorgeous salmon into the boat, but fishing is more Blake’s thing than mine. Thankfully, it was Henry’s thing too ๐Ÿ™‚ He just loved being on the boat and laughed out loud as the boat was tossed about in the big ocean waves (while I tried to keep from losing my breakfast). His other favourite part was helping Scott drive the boat which he loved.

Scott & Blake getting ready to go fishing
Scott teaching Henry all about Salmon fishing while he eats his huckleberries

Beating the (very unusual) Haida Gwaii heat! Also note, Henry, there is no diving into your pool! haha (check out the warning on the side of the pool!)

Loving the swings beside Scott & Joanne’s house

Relaxing and waiting for good fishing weather

Out on the boat – Scott & Blake land a huge lingcod while Henry naps on Blake’s back

Henry helping Scott drive the boat -his favourite!

Loves the bumpy waves!

Masset harbour

Coming in from an afternoon of fishing

So many boats out in the ocean

My first salmon of the year

Henry helping Joanne at the helm

Having a snack

Old Masset from the water

Reeling in a very fiesty salmon! Took me almost 10 minutes to get him into the boat. I was pooped!

Of course Blake had to then catch an even bigger fish right after me ๐Ÿ™‚

Henry taking in the action

Back at home, cleaning the catch of the day

So many yummy fish!

Blake’s massive salmon

Using Henry to compare size ๐Ÿ™‚

While Blake, Scott & Terry went fishing, I had a play date with Mallory and Meghan at their house

Up early to go crabbing on North Beach

Henry supervising the crabbing from the Chariot

Tow hill

Sizing the crabs up

Blake and his loot

Family photo

Blake tossing Henry around while we wait for the crabs to cook


So much crab meat! Pretty spoiled…

Our last week in Haida Gwaii was spent at North Beach in a tiny off-the-grid cabin with no electiricty, heat or hot water. It was basically a step up from camping but was a perfect stress-free way to ‘rough it’ a little bit but still have a place that Henry could crawl around in. Our week was spent visiting friends, crabbing on the beach just steps away from our cabin, taking leisurely strolls along the beach and in the stunning rainforest and generally having lots of down time sans internet, cell phones or electricity! We also re-connected with our friend Cooper, who took us clam digging and generously brought Blake out halibut fishing. At the end of our week, when we packed up the car, the back was FILLED with frozen salmon, halibut, live crabs and clams! We did pretty well!

In our off-the-grid cabin at North Beach

Crabbing just steps away from our cabin

Blake and Ada looking for crabs

An attempt at getting everyone in a photo together, including Ada!

Fishing for trout at the Hiellen River

Henry learning his tree species ๐Ÿ™‚

On a hike to the ‘blow hole’

Tidal pools

The blow hole! Ada was not a fan, since it made a very loud noise as the water was sent shooting through the hole in the rocks

At Tow Hill

Having lunch at the off-the-grid cafe

Ada waiting patiently for us at the door

Moon over Naikoon bakery

Going for a stroll in Naikoon park

My turn at crabbing

Got one!

Henry meeting our friend Cooper

Back at North Beach, trying our hand at clam digging

Blake and Cooper hard at work digging for clams

Look at the size of this one!!

Cooper showing us how it’s done

We were sad to leave the island but I know that this will not be our last visit to this magical place. There is just something that draws you back over and over to these amazing islands. Until next time Haida Gwaii!

Waking up happy in Winnipeg before our flight home to Sioux Lookout

Having breakfast at the hotel restaurant

Waking Henry up from a nap at the hotel to get our on last flight home!

At the Winnipeg airport

This face ๐Ÿ™‚

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