August 4 & 5, 2023 | Leg 5, Day 22 & 23

August 4 & 5, 2023 | Leg 5, Days 22 & 23.
Campbell River to Bowen Island to Vancouver.

The last 2 days of Leg 5 were a major transition. On Day 22, we waved goodbye to the dynamic, cold currents of Northern Vancouver Island at Campbell River, and set south into the wide open, warm waters of the Salish Sea and Strait of Georgia. Up until this point, communities on this leg were spread far apart, each with no more than a few thousand people. Moving south, industry and logging became more and more visible, and towns on the shores swelled. As we made our 110 nautical mile run south, a glaciated Mount Baker, like an island, rose slowly from the horizon in the heat. One by one, skyscrapers grew. We crept into Bowen Island’s Snug Cove for the evening to clean up and make ready for arrival in Vancouver the following day.

Though we hadn’t announced an arrival on Bowen Island, it was clear (and heartwarming) that people here had been following our journey online. On the morning of Day 23, as we were leaving for Vancouver, people came to see Hōkūle’a bright and early. Legendary Haida artist and chief, Jim Hart, and his family came aboard to talk story. We have been very blessed to meet so many incredible and influential artists on this leg.

Later in the day we pulled into the Vancouver Maritime Museum docks and were welcomed to Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh), Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. Master canoe carver Mike Billy Sr. told us about the great legacy of canoe building and racing that he and his people are carrying forward in these waters.

After weeks of navigating BC’s vast coastline between small, remote communities, culture shock firmly set in at our wrap-up dinner along one of Vancouver’s busiest streets. Even though Vancouver is my home city, it was admittedly an abrupt transition that gave each of us pause and reflection on the time we shared together along this magical coastline. – Jordan Manley