Haida Gwaii Canoe


2015-OlyMJUii-013 (24)

This roll of film for my 44th offering has a real mix of places and things on it and so it was hard to find a theme in the photos. It was in the camera in Victoria and when I took a trip to Nanaimo, as well as when I went to Haida Gwaii on my last trip. I settled on the theme “images from the road” which is mostly on Haida Gwaii back in the Juskatla Narrows area where I went to look at a brace of Haida dugout canoes that were left unfinished in the forest probably in the last half of the 1800s. In the photo above, in the foreground moss if you look carefully you can see rectangles which are slabs of cedar removed from the canoe log during manufacture, and in the back ground the cut end of the rest of the tree.

If you are interested in other photos of Haida canoes, including another unfinished on in the forest, they can be found here.

This roll was lost to me. I took it in for processing and scanning, one of three rolls. When I got the film home, one roll was not mine. But, I pulled one roll for processing off a shelf in the kitchen, and it could have been an old one of my son’s, or one that my wife found lying on the street. Even so, I called the lab and reported the unrecognised film and more than a week later I got a call – someone else had the wrong roll of film, and we were eventually reunited with our films.

The rest of this roll is from Victoria area and can be found in the post Victoria Waterfront published at the same time as this post – there is some fabulous light in those photos so you won’t be sorry if you go have a look.

 2015-OlyMJUii-013 (23)


In the photo below can be seen the stump from where the canoe log was fallen. An interesting thing about it is the notch that can be seen – this looks like a spring-board notch as used by commercial loggers and implies that the tree felling technology was a hybrid of Haida and settler methods. We saw other hybrid examples -for instance one where a saw was used in making a canoe.

2015-OlyMJUii-013 (26)

2015-OlyMJUii-013 (27)

Checking a bear den

2015-OlyMJUii-013 (18)

Juskatla – where telephone poles are manufactured

2015-OlyMJUii-013 (2)

In a car park in Nanaimo – I only took one picture on this visit, but I am quite pleased with the outcome.

2015-OlyMJUii-013 (15)

In a mall, somewhere that I can’t recall, but maybe not on the road.


Roll 44: Olympus mjuii (Stylus Epic), Fuji Superia XTRA 400, expired, commercially developed and scanned.





3 thoughts on “Haida Gwaii Canoe

  1. This is truly truly truly an epic post, my friend. Those canoes will follow me to my end, haunting my mind’s eye and leaving me yearning to see them in person. Your shots are simply exquisite and they really capture the essence of both the region and the history that one can find there if you open your eyes and your mind. Absolutely incredible.


    • Hi Toad! Thanks so much for your enthusiasm. This particular spot is hard to get to, involving locked forestry gates and walking a few clicks, or a boat ride with slog through a cut block. But worth it for sure. I am totally thrilled every time I see a partially formed canoe in the forest (I have seen maybe 20 or 30 over the years). But these two rank up there with the very best in terms on being nearly done, and their elegant lines clearly visible in the absence of understory. Very cool experience to see them.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s