We had wandered up to the local to wine and dine. Ren & I shared Parmesan crusted halibut and a large salad. I was keen to see what halibut was like. A white fish, not unlike snapper and delicious, though I have say I would order Salmon next time as I love it so much.
The bald eagles are huge and everywhere. About the size of a three year old and they swoop and drift around with their amazing wing span. Walking home we saw perhaps a dozen, and one dipped into the water and pulled out something orange that Ren said was a fish. We watched as they tried to take it off the catcher in mid air, and finally it was dropped into some bush road side and they sat in the tree branches seeming to grizzle about it to each other as we walked past. The Ravens are also huge and there are heaps of them too. Large and black they sound like they are talking to each other.
This is our bedroom, the view to the water, and yes it’s 10.45pm. Hard to believe and we wondered last night if we would be able to sleep as theres no curtains anywhere, and you may notice our ceiling is glass in our bedroom! Gilbert offered me his eye cover, but I thought I’d be ok given I was absolutely smashed. I could hardly stay awake and went to bed at 8.30pm. Last thing I remember is thinking about reading, but never actually picked up my book. I woke at 10.30am. Obviously have no problem sleeping in daylight!
We had heard lots about the Heritage Centre including their amazing lunches so headed there just after our late breakfast and ended up staying there till they closed at 6pm. We were told on arrival there would be no weaving tour as advertised, so decided to have a quick walk around before having some lunch, then a girl told us the weaving tour was back on, so went to that which mean’t we had to dash to make the 3pm close at the cafe, but when we arrived were told the kitchen had closed. We were pretty gutted about that, as by now were starving. We chose from the cabinet and Ren was cross. So cross she muttered unrepeatable words under her breath and gave the guys dagger looks, while she waited for her salmon berry muffin and coffee.
Now her ‘angry looks’ rival her ‘happy looks’ for intensity, and I think those guys felt it burning through the wall, cause as we sat eating our snack, one of them came out with a tray of flat bread piled high and covered in delicious savoury toppings. “On the house, he said as he put down the tray, I’m sorry you missed out on the lunch menu and it’s not much but hope you enjoy”. Ren was so stunned, she was speechless and I quickly thanked him as he left us. We looked at each other in amazement. A young couple sat behind us so Lauren offered them a couple of pieces which they accepted happily. “Wow, that was pretty nice and I feel stink now” Ren said as we left.
The museum part was really interesting and an insight into Haida culture. A similar story to many of the cultures around the world where they were hit with white mans sickness that all but decimated them, were colonised, missionaries preaching the good word, their language and cultural practices banned and children taken off them for their own good. It hard to believe but much of that is more recent than you would like to believe, and only in recent years have they made in roads to revitalise their language and traditions. We left there quite sad.
Ren had heard of a family dance in the main square open to all, so headed there to see what was happening. A live band was up on stage in the village square and a few up dancing, but it had started to rain. We were debating what to do when a lady told us to head to ‘Queen B’s’for an art exhibition. Free wine and food. Well…it’d be rude not to. A glass of red and salmon and cheese on crackers was yummmmm. I meet Bonnie, whose boxes of treasure and driftwood creations are pretty cool. She is exhibiting along with Cathy, who has thing about Ravens at the moment. She has researched them and has noted on a map all the mythological stories from all over the world. She tells me some people think they are pests, but she has watched them and believes they are supremely clever. She’s watched from her top story where there is a large pipe coming down from the top story and they sit on the pipe and slide down, for fun! She said they have been seen using tools. I think she means a stick to bash something, as opposed to hammers and nails and she loves them. I tell her about oxalis and how it’s a dammed pest at home, but here treasured as something special so it’s a judgement really isn’t it. Depending on how it affects your life.
Everyone asks where we are from, and everyone wants to come to NZ, but the rain has stopped and enough wine and talk. We decide to head back to the dance which was fun. It’s always hard to tell, but it seemed there weren’t many Haida people there. Lots coming and going, dancing and hanging out. We spoke to a lady who told us she visited Haida Gwaii twenty years ago and never left. That seemed to be a similar story from most. She said it was a lovely community but they had their challenges like all communities. We decided to get something from the food van and as I paid the chef turned around and said “I’m sorry about missing out on ordering today. We didn’t have much left by the time you got there”. It was the same guy that came served us the freebies today. We thanked him again. Gee small community aye!
We danced to the live band as the sun set behind the hills and everyone having fun with lots of music from the seventies, children ran around playing tag and the teenagers sat together. It really was like a scene from a movie maybe. One guy wore welding gloves and made like he was the drummer beating on a tambourine on his knee. One lady dancing like she was in an aerobics class and everyone just having a good time.