Sea Kayak Haida Gwaii - Butterfly Tours Sea Kayak Haida Gwaii - Butterfly Tours
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Comments from our Guests

Gord,
I truly felt honoured by being on Haida Gwaii, an island reserved for calm and quiet although the weather conditions were extreme at times.  We need nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we, although you were pretty superb at reading her.  My favourite day was on SGang Gwaay, a place for calm where thoughts were free to contemplate the surrounding beauty and its history.  My favourite happening was making music with Zach, what a beautiful individual he is.  My favourite meal was orange pancakes, so delicious.  I LOVED each day and celebrate having the opportunity to visit one of Canada's gems.
Thank you Gord for your care and attention, it is so important to know that one is safe "out there."  Know that you were truly appreciated.
Enjoy each day and hopefully we will meet again.
In appreciation,
 ~ Margot Wood from Quadra Island, BC
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 12 to 19, 2017

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Sue Tilley, Sarah Robertson & Heather Graham
Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 12 to 19, 2017
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Ruediger Moehle & Gisela Draak from Oldenburg, Germany
Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 11 to 18, 2015
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Barb McMillan from Alcove, Quebec
Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 12 to 19, 2014
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Heather Webster from Morgan, Vermont
Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 12 to 19, 2014

Gord,
As long as I can get in and out of a kayak, Haida Gwaii always will be on my summer schedule.  Like you said last summer, "it's all one trip" and there's no water that I'd rather paddle than the water there.  I don't think I've ever been "called" to a place like I have been to this one, and I always will be profoundly grateful to you for opening it up to me.
 ~ Michael Livingston from Salem, Oregon

• Outer Coast Expedition - August 16 to August 27, 2016

• Cape Freeman Expeditions - July 25 to August 8, 2015

• Outer Coast Expedition - August 5 to 26, 2014

• Cape Freeman Expedition - July 27 to August 3, 2013

• Cape Freeman Expedition - July 14 to 21, 2012

• Evolution Expedition - July 1 to 9, 2011

• Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 14 to 21, 2010

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Jim & Cheryl Peacock from Calgary, Alberta
Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 13 to 20, 2013
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Jon Marks from Whistler, BC
Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 3 to 10, 2013
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Turid & Ralph Nelson from Calgary, Alberta
Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 3 to 10, 2013

Dear Gord,
As I watch the first signs of spring, my mind is taken back to that memorable trip last summer in Haida Gwaii.  For years I've had a dream to have a paddling experience in this area of unique beauty and solitude - and you made this possible.  I truly appreciate the guidance I received as I learned to become a better paddler.  You and Jamie have a particularly gentle manner of guiding and inspiring confidence.
The small group, the wilderness camping, your considerate and calm manner, all enhance the outstanding quality of this adventure.  I feel privileged to have had this incredible experience in one of Canada's truly special places, under the guidance of such a capable paddler, and obviously a person who loves and has become an integral part of these exceptional islands.
 ~ Nory Esteban from Invermere, BC
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 21 to 28, 2012


I have to express our extreme gratitude for the wonderful adventure and your's and Jamie's warm companionship during our kayak tour of Gwaii Haanas last July.  It was a blast!
 ~ Dr. Robert Bonnell from St. Donat, Quebec
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 21 to 28, 2012


Gord,
I wanted to write to thank you for an outstanding trip that has left me with a ream of wonderful memories and a few extra muscles.  Now, I look at the Gatineau River in the morning and ask myself if I will go paddling.  And I answer, "It depends..."
All the best 'til paddling season comes again.
 ~ Barbara Martin from Chelsea, Quebec
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 6 to 13, 2011

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Cape Freeman Expedition - August 7 to 14, 2010

Dear Gord,
It's been wonderful and an honour (and a helluva lot of fun) to paddle with you and get to know you.  Thank you for all you do and all you are.  Hope our wakes cross again before too long.  You're an inspiration.
With love,
 ~ Sue Berlin from Seattle, Washington
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 25 to August 1, 2009

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Waters of SGang Gwaay - 2007 & 2003
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Kristina Peterson & Jeff Blair from Seattle, Washington
Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 12 to 19, 2006

First and foremost, my eight days in your company and under your guidance were without doubt among the most exhilarating, original and authentic experiences I have ever had.  Your patience, confidence, and respect of us, of the land you so clearly love and the wonderful thing you do every summer, made each moment significant for me, and I am certain I am not alone in that reaction.
I was unsure of myself and my choice of "adventure" when I arrived at Sandspit, more so as we debarked at Rose Harbour.  But the warmth of your smile and security of your handshake as I climbed up the rocks that afternoon, instilled what became a growing assurance that I had made the exact, right decision.  Thank you for your trust.
Since returning to the noise, insensitivity and general angst of modern western civilization, I have had a lot of time to reflect on what we did in Haida Gwaii.  For me, the highlights were coming in contact with that magnificent bear on Ross Island and, later, having my own, private intercourse with the Haida monuments at Ninstints.  I could have traveled there by other, more convenient and detached modes, but I would never have tasted the salt spray of our approach and felt the warmth of that sacred environment's embrace the way I did under your reverent watch.
Thank you for allowing me to experience the Butterfly view of the Waters of SGang Gwaay.
 ~ Colby Chester from Seattle, Washington
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 16 to 23, 2005

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Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 23 to 30, 2005

I didn't want to delay in letting you know that we both agreed that our week in the Charlottes was, and will always remain, a real treasure.  I find myself reluctant to go back to "daily life" too quickly.  I hope we'll cross paths again; thanks for the pleasure of a simple week.
Best wishes for the rest of the Charlottes season,
 ~ Graham Kerslick from Ithaca, New York
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 3 to 10, 2004


The kayak trip was just the best experience for me.  I wouldn't have imagined how often those memories still dwell in my mind.  From discovering the pleasures of paddling a single kayak and spying on the scads of sea life through their watery world, to all the gifts of knowledge and experiences in those few days of isolation, beauty and companionship in Haida Gwaii.  I would love to return one day.  Thanks again.
My warmest regards,
 ~ Cindy McGuiness from Mount Vernon, Washington
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 12 to 19, 2003


We wanted to write to thank you, both for the concept and the way you carried out the week.  For us it was multi-dimensional and full of learning and interest on all sorts of levels; the Haida past and present, the wildlife, the details of kayaking, the discipline both at sea and on the land, the social side with the other guests...
It was an unbelievable holiday; to hold something just for a moment that we doubted existed anywhere and to be able to travel through it in such a light and respectful way was a real privilege.
Thanks so much Gord for conceiving and working out in so much detail these trips and the enormous effort you and Suzane put in to keeping us safe, comfortable and well fed.
 ~ Phill Giles and Helen Adshead from Bristol, England
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 5 to 12, 2003


Thank you very much for the wonderful week.  It was everything we had hoped it would be.  We appreciated your professionalism, leadership and the time you took to help us understand and participate in the entire experience - from correct paddling technique to a deeper appreciation of Haida culture.
Our very best wishes to you for many more seasons of safe, enjoyable and successful kayaking.
 ~ Elaine and John Butcher from Ottawa, Ontario
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 24 to 31, 2002


Thank you for a most enjoyable 8-day trip.  The small group size, excellent instruction and great food, combined with the incredible scenery, made for a phenomenal trip.
Stay well,
 ~ Chuck Landrey from Old Saybrook, Connecticut
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 24 to 31, 2002


I just wanted to write to say how much I loved the trip, and especially, how much I learned from you - both about kayak technique and about just letting things happen.  It's rare these days that we allow ourselves the space to be truly flexible and responsive to circumstances around us.  But we can't change the weather, and we can't change the tides or the currents.  It was wonderful to spend a few days allowing decisions to be guided by these factors over which we can have no control.  Once that realization sinks in, it is a truly liberating feeling, isn't it?  At the same time, you control the factors you can control - having enough food, sealing your hatches, not tripping over rocks - and then you don't have to worry about them either!  Valuable and rewarding lessons indeed.  And the lessons about kayak technique were valuable too.  Once I got the hang of it, it became easy and pleasurable.  I'll never forget the mystical magic of the crossing by Adams Rocks through the mist and the big gray swells.
Thanks again.  I am saving my pennies for another trip next year...
 ~ Gail Steckley from Ottawa, Ontario
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 3 to 10, 2002

Group photo
Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 6 to 13, 2002

We've made our eastward train ride back to Jasper BC; tomorrow will be our 10-hour drive back home.  Our experiences with you in Gwaii Haanas loom large and important in our lives and we savor the memories!
Thank you again for being the people that you are - patient teachers, superb outdoorsmen / women, gourmet cooks, ready with a laugh and lovers of nature.  It was an extreme pleasure to have shared this corner of our lives together and I sincerely hope our paths may cross again.
Warmly,
 ~ Katy & Terry Meyers from Somers, Montana
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 7 to 14, 2001


Thank you for the light hand and sure foot with which you guide.  I have been privileged to know some true artists and you are artists of this place and this work.  We appreciate your skill, judgment, patience and good humour - not to mention superb cooking and liberal use of garlic!  This is an extraordinary corner of the world; a privilege to occupy even for a week.
Thank you for making that possible, you do it with grace.
 ~ 'Asta Bowen from Somers, Montana
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 7 to 14, 2001


Once again, thank you for leading such a fabulous trip.  What an incredible place I got to spend a little time in.  You'll be hearing from me again...  It was too beautiful there to have only one chance to view it.  I want to visit again!
 ~ Dani Walthall from Redway, California
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - July 29 to August 5, 2000


Boy would I rather be back in the islands!
I have sitting on my desk a picture taken about the 8th day out; quiet, relaxed, contemplative, glass full as well as the belly - almost perfect!  It was the best trip Liz and I have ever been on.  Any day kayaking is better than a day at work!
 ~ Ken Bell from Cambridge, Ontario
    Cape Freeman Expedition - July 15 to 26, 2000


I thoroughly enjoyed our trip.  You made us feel very comfortable (even in the drizzle) and we learned a great deal.  It was a great experience for Jay and I to share.
 ~ Martin Salinsky from Portland, Oregon
    Waters of SGang Gwaay - August 19 to 26, 2000


Thank you for a wonderful trip, we'll never forget it.  Your deliberate and economical use of energy, people and resources was an inspiration to me.  Although this is a location that carries some risk, your leadership made all of us feel supremely confident.  The scenery and remote location was absolutely spectacular.
I'll never forget the day; we got up at about five to catch the tide and paddled in the ghostly fog up to Ninstints.  We were never very sure of where we were (although I'm sure you were) until it seemed we had traveled back in time as well.  Great trip!
 ~ Rich and Louise Russek from Cambridge, Ontario
    Cape Freeman Expedition - July 15 to 26, 2000

© Butterfly Tours ~ Sea Kayak Haida Gwaii
Updated by Gord on October 2, 2017
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