Square Notch Bay is set in a sheltered bay on the north shore of Hanson Island providing ideal access to Weynton Passage and Blackfish Sound along with the Humpback Whales, Orcas and sea lions that inhabit it. It fills a gap in our camp locations by providing a place of refuge away from the tidal currents of Weynton and Blackney Passage while being close enough to explore these wildlife rich areas.
The body of water over which our Square-Notch Bay camp looks is called Blackfish Sound; conincidently the Orcas are knows as the Blackfish (you must of heard of the film by the same name?). Not only is Blackfish Sound in the middle of the Northern Resident Orcas summer range but it is slap bang in the middle of the Humpback Whale preferred feeding teritory. We have chosen this site to be centrally placed to enable easy access, whatever the weather, to these choice feeding areas.
The camp is located on a small but pretty beach which provides not only tide pools but the forest behind to explore. You will be able to see the evidence of the ancient coastal First Nations by observing some of the trees they have 'modified'. These Culturally Modified Trees (CMT's) have had areas of bark harvested in a manner that provides people the raw materials they need without killing or substancially hariming, the living tree. Talk about sustainable!
This spot is perfect as a staing camp into the depths of the Broughton Archipelago as it already has us through the areas of high tidal currents. We will frequently use it on the first or last night of our longer expedition tours.
It is right in the heart of the Northern Resident Killer Whale summer range. This area is protected by the Federal Government of Canada under the Species At Risk Act (SARA) as ‘critical habitat’ for these spectacular animals.
Eagles abound, soaring above and over the water; super intelligent Ravens search the shoreline; Mink slink the waters edge searching for crabs and other shellfish while squirrels chatter from the trees above
Sit on the beach and watch the distant fog banks roll in from the north and slowly hide the snowy mountains of mainland BC over 120km away. Blckfish Sound is part of the famed ‘inside passage’ and is traveled by the Alaska cruise ships. Laze in a hammock and watch them go by.
Our camp is located on land we lease from the Yukusam Heritage Society which is jointly controlled by the Mamalilikulla Qwe Qwa Sot Em, ‘Namgis and Tlowitsis First Nations nations, whose ancestors have lived in this area for countless thousands of years. Our agreement with them includes that should we leave tomorrow, the forest could reclaim our site as if we had never been there. This does not mean that we cannot provide great facilities, just that we need to be very aware of our impact. You will find,
- Spacious tents you can stand up in, already pitched on locally milled red cedar tent platforms.
- Large covered area used for dining and lounging.
- Established camp kitchen with stove, BBQ & picnic table.
- Hammocks strung at the edge of the beach – Ideal for just hanging.
- Beach fire pit for evening campfires.
- Composting toilet.
- Driftwood benches to sit and relax.
- A library containing books on local plants, animals, insects and local history.
This is a new camp we are opening for summer 2015 so there are not too many photos of it yet! Stay tuned for updates.