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Haida Gwaii We Didn't Go

September 18, 2017

 


We had a hard decision to make a couple days ago. We decided to start heading back down the west side of Vancouver Island, meaning we weren't going to make it to Haida Gwaii. When taking the weather forecasted, our schedule, the miles we still had to travel and the shots we still needed to get, it was clear that traveling up the mainland, crossing Hecate Strait and making landfall somewhere on the south east side of the Queen Charlotte Islands, was not in the best interest for the film. For days we kept going back and forth, with everyone onboard knowing this was the chance to get there and see an amazing place we've been talking about for months. There was something mysterious and romantic about bringing Orion and the crew to Haida Gwaii. But when looking at the time of year and storm season just around the corner, we started looking at our routes for rounding the top of Vancouver Island. Our last four days have been far more protected than our crossing of Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Strait would have been, but even with that, it's been quite uncomfortable. Swells, rain, fog and sea sickness have allowed us a glimpse into what our next week would have been like; long days, sailing into the night, and longing for land. On our new route we can take time heading down the west side of Vancouver Island to spend hours and days searching for whales, listening to the hydrophone and working to get the right shot. The shoreline is beautiful, the anchorage spots are to die for and the wildlife is incredible. Our plan for the next week is to go off shore to different canyons and the shelf edge, places we've been told are good spots to find whales. We are excited for the weeks ahead of us and everyone on board is looking forward to seeing what the west coast has to offer. We said farewell to our north compass bearing, heading south for the first time in 23 days. We've reached our three week mark and are thrilled to be in a spot where at anytime we could see a North Pacific right whale. We've all had dreams about what that moment will look like, whether it's calm and collected, unstoppable tears or running back and forth on deck, it would be one for the books. The crew onboard had their hearts set on Haida Gwaii, but in the meantime we'll be out there looking for that heart shaped blow.  

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