Haida Gwaii

A highlight planned was to visit and learn about the First Nations people of this area. Haida Gwaii, where many have come from,  is a huge Island. Much bigger than Waiheke, we can either take an 8 hour ferry from Prince Rupert or fly. Having just come off the fifteen hour boat, we decide to fly in and ferry out. Ren kept it quiet at the time, but booked a six seater sea plane and when she told me she was all “oh Mum you’ve gotta learn to face your fears” as if I was sixteen, as all the blood drained from my face and my legs went limp. “I’ll be ok I said. I can do anything if I have to”, and tried not to think about it until we got there this morning. 

I wondered if six people could actually fit in when I first saw it. It looks like something the kids might make out of Lego? 

….and yes it was foggy and drizzly rain. I could hear them debating delaying departure, and wondered which one the pilot would be….as I sucked on another rescue remedy lozenge. I felt quite calm as I boarded the tiny plane and Ren and I were told to get into the back seat. Two men into the middle two seats,  and a third guy into the front seat by the pilot. “If you’re all good you can do your seat belts up”, the pilot said. Well I tried and tried but the belt wasn’t gunna get around me. Bloody hell all those flippin wines and desserts had gone straight to my belly. This is going to be embarrassing I thought as I’m sure to be the only fat one that can’t do it up as I pushed and pulled and tried and tried, but could barely get the two bits to meet, let alone ‘make it click’. “Ummmmm, I can’t make my seatbelt do up”, I said to the pilot as he was checking something else. “Neither can I”,  laughed Ren. “I-just-can’t- get them to -close whew,” came with an out pouring of air as we breathed again. “Oh, they should fit”, the pilot said, sounding confident. The guy in front of us sitting by Gilberrt looked back and laughed and said we might need an extension belt. 

“Jesus! I feel like we’re not that fat”,  Ren exclaims. I have to agree. “Here, let me help”, says the pilot as he leans in and says to Ren. Now push your back well against the seat back and open the buckle ready. I’m following the same instructions and only by really pressing back and holding my breath do I finally get it done. Funnily enough it’s not at all uncomfortable once done up and should really sit across your lap rather than across our bellies like we were trying. Haha!

He jumps into the pilots seat and starts it up and starts taxiing out on the water. It seemed a bit unreal but not scary. Nice and smooth, we lift off into the air. This is looking out my window down on the running board. 

Ren and I are giggling so hard and making jokes about the pilot calling back to base about the two chubbies in the back seat preventing taking off, making the tail end hang low, have to land earlier, going to be later than expected. When Ren sees the headphones in a bag, and the little monkey puts them on, and threatens to plug them in the wall socket. I shake my head but before I know it she has done it before I can stop her, and plugged it in so she can hear the pilot talking to the other guy in the front seat.

 The flight is 45 minutes and a soft landing. “I feel that was better than the big planes” I say to the other two and Ren agrees. We hire a car and take a look around Masset before heading to Skidegate, where we have a BnB booked. It’s lovely. A newish place right on the waterfront with huge windows and all to ourselves. We have wifi and disappear into our cloud worlds, checking emails and the like.  Gilbert nods off while Ren threatens to, and I try desperately hard to stay awake, with the sun streaming in and me in a comfortable chair.  

I am so ready for this…

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