I know very little of the waters of Haida Gwaii. I do not known what the water temperature is, I do not know how the tide impacts the waterway (although I can guess) and I do not know how the wind interacts with the sea (but I can imagine). I know there are creatures in the water, but I do not know what ones. It was only recently that I learned of the presence of sharks in the Great Bear Rainforest in Heiltsuk Territory, where I swim each summer.
My swim this year is one of discovery; I hope to discover a world of possibilities.
As with all of my swims I reach out to the indigenous community to seek permission to swim in their local water, in this case the Haida Nation. This is act of respect as well as an opportunity to learn. I have been fortunate on many of my swims to have those who are familiar with the water provide me with valuable insights. Over the years, the Heiltsuk Nation has been invaluable in my swims in their territory.
At this time, I am considering three potential routes. These are options I have discussed with a few locals, however there is more investigation required.
The first route is from Jags where I will be staying, across the inlet to Sandspit. I will spend time observing the sea swells that move from Hacate Strait through the narrow passage between. This will help me decide if I want to attempt this route.
The second route is from Jags to Onward Point to the Water Dome and back to Jags again. This route would need to be very carefully timed as the tide moves up and down.
The third route would take me around a small island. I love shoreline swims as you often see interesting things however tides will impact this route as well.
Each of the swims above is approximately 10km. I am looking forward to watching the water and learning from locals as I make my final selection.