Home Is Where You Ferry Your Gear
A tale from the Great Bear Explore SUP Expedition with Norm Hann
It was late afternoon when we hopped on a Gitga'at First Nations fishing boat to travel from Hartley Bay, British Columbia to Cornwall Inlet about 45 minutes away. Clement Rapid sits where the fresh water inlet meets the salt water of Whale Channel. As the tide changes so does the direction of the rapid. Timing is everything as you wait for your opportunity to pass through the gateway leading you back to the land, back to simplicity, back to beauty. It was a moody boat ride in through Cornwall Inlet with mist and fog layers painting the mountains as the daylight dwindled. We were tired from travel and wet from the rain and couldn’t begin to imagine what the week ahead would have in store for us. As the dark took over and we neared the end of the inlet a headlight was cast upon the water and ripples of light reflected upon the shoreline cascading and trickling down like a waterfall, illuminating a cedar backdrop – the Gitga’at Raven Longhouse. With inflatable paddleboards in tow off of the back of our shuttle boat we dropped down onto our Boardworks SHUBUs resting on the darkness of the water below. Moon jellyfish welcomed us as we ferried our gear in and landed upon the shore where we would rest our head for the next two nights. As sleeping bags were spread around the dropped firepit of the longhouse and eyes began to close the deep silence of this wild space and the spirits still dancing inside from sacred ceremonies past held us tightly. We were home.