Paddling the Canoe-Two by Two!

 

Each year the Haida Heritage Centre staff organize and monitor the Canoe Races during the annual Skidegate Days celebrations. We supply waiver forms, PFD’s, paddles, and of course, the canoe!

Many local teams will sign up, but we always have visitors in town who are eager to give it a try and have some fun. In order for this event to smoothly and safely we will have a chase boat, the Coast Guard in the water to follow along with the canoe, and Personal Flotation Devices provided for all paddlers.

In more recent years we have been using the Loo Plex canoe, the fibreglass casting of the Loo Taas, carved by Bill Reid. The Loo Plex is 2500 lbs and requires a minimum of 12 people and one steersman in order to move effectively.

After 1 hour, 15 volunteers, and spontaneous steersman who showed up just in the knick of time, we were finally ready to leave the beachfront of Kay Llnagaay.

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Cultural Ambassador Gadgaas (Raven Ryland) bailing the canoe.

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Make sure you have a PFD!

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Clara Hughes came to help us move the canoe and take some photos!

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Organizing seats for the paddlers- weight distribution is key.

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Cultural Ambassador Guudaxuula (Ryan Barnes) with visitors.

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Steersman Colin Richardson telling everyone to “listen up!”

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Paddling towards First Beach, where the races will take place.

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Waiting for the teams to register.

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Gwaii Haanas staff  team with excellent rhythm!

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“Tour de France”-a visitor team ready to go!

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It’s a 2400 foot course, from one buoy, around another and back.

After a long day of excitement we paddled the canoe back home to the Gyaa K’id Naay (Carving House) at HHC. Congratulations to the winning team “The Cousins” !

Haaw’a to everyone who made this day go smoothly and safely!

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2 thoughts on “Paddling the Canoe-Two by Two!

  1. Great pics! I got to paddle in the original Loo Taas in 2010. An amazing experience I will never forget – amazing to be out on the water in such an incredible craft with visitors and staff. Is there any way for visitors to sign up for next year’s event in advance? Such fun! K

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    1. Hi Kelly, we’re so glad you had a great time on the canoe! The dates of the Skidegate Days events are decided by the Skidegate Band Council and their volunteer team, so we will know when the canoe races are closer to next summer (usually by the beginning of June), and we will advertise the canoe sign up at that time . The teams must be put together in advance, but the week before the event we usually have a pick-up team for individuals to join.

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