Reflecting on 2021Winter is the time of year when we reflect on the past before looking ahead. At Farewell Harbour Lodge, 2021 was a year that kept us on our toes as we navigated the changes and challenges presented by Covid and travel restrictions. Yet, we were able to operate for our entire season with happy guests and unforgettable experiences, in large part, thanks to the resilience of our incredible staff. So, we thought it would be nice to share some of our season highlights from 2021 with you.
Breaking all 5pm swim club records
One of last season’s most significant accomplishments was breaking two big records for our daily 5 pm Swim Club! In late July, we had a whopping 27 brave souls volunteer themselves (or be volun-told) for the club, blowing previous records out of the water. (Thanks in large part to the extended Kofoed clan who visited us from the Okanagan!) We also broke the record for the latest swim of the season on October 8th, which was our very last night of the season. Our lodge operations assistant Sebastien led the way in 2021, creating our elite Triangle Swim Club for especially hardy souls and swimming out to the big rock on the point on our last swim.
Midnight float to watch the meteor shower
We had an extraordinary experience during the Perseid meteor showers in August. At midnight during the height of the meteor showers, we turned off all the lights and took guests out into the middle of Farewell Harbour in our big, open herring punt. It was the most magical and awe-inspiring experience to be floating in the Harbour under the vast night sky as we watched meteors big and small streak by above us. There were many gasps, much laughter and times of quiet stillness as we experienced this profound connection to the larger universe together. This was an evening that we will remember for a very long time.
Wildlife encounters in our backyard
Being located in the Great Bear Rainforest, this one could be a repeat highlight, but there are always some particularly outstanding moments each season. We witnessed a pod of Biggs Orcas hunting and attacking a Dall’s porpoise, we saw spectacular Humpback breaches by kayak, we were visited by our Berry Island resident Black bear named Sampson, we witnessed Grizzly bears mating, we had both Orcas and Humpbacks travel right into Farewell Harbour where we watched them from the deck, and we saw more sea otters than ever before in the Broughton Archipelago. On the smaller end of things, we discovered some incredible marine creatures, from intricate nudibranch species to beautiful, lush anemones right from the comfort of our dock.
Chef Dylan’s amazing meals
This season we were so lucky to have Dylan as our head chef, and as we heard from so many of our guests, his delicious food deserves to be on the highlight reel. Everything from seared tuna steaks to caramelized onion tartlets, from beef tenderloin to a different homemade soup and salad each night. Thank you, Dylan, for working your magic in the kitchen and keeping us all so well fed this past season.
Visits by the Mamalilikulla Guardians - Jake, Krystal, Chip and Wamish
Farewell Harbour Lodge resides in the territory of the Mamalilikulla First Nation, which runs a Guardian program headed by Hereditary Chief Jake Smith. The 2021 team consisted of Jake plus three Guardians, Chip, Krystal and Wamish. They often stopped by the lodge to visit, and on some special occasions, we were lucky enough to get to hear their youngest team member, Wamish, play his drum and sing us some songs. These evenings were treasured by both our guests and staff. Thank you to the Guardians for their friendship and valuable work in the territory.
Our new deck!
One of our most significant lodge updates of 2021 was replacing our front deck and ramp before the start of our season! Thanks to the hard work of AJ, James, Tim, Ryne, Bec, Sebastien and Joe McAlister from Tuff Marine, our much larger, beautiful new cedar deck allows for more comfortable outdoor seating and dining to enjoy our spectacular views and sunsets. We also rebuilt our walkway to the cabin with new cedar ramps, boardwalks and a beautiful, winding salt & pepper gravel path.
One of our new evening activities was Quiz night led by Marc. He accumulated questions of all sorts, and teams of guests would write down their answers to be marked by another team. It was a guest and staff favourite with some good-natured rivalries between teams and much laughter! This was Marc’s first season at Farewell Harbour Lodge, and as our first full-time, year-round staff member, he is a valuable (and fun) addition to our team. Thank you, Marc, for all your hard work and creative problem solving this year.
Visit with Ryne and Rebecca
When the US-Canadian border travel restrictions finally eased at the end of the summer, we were able to have a long-awaited visit with lodge co-owners Ryne and Rebecca Brockway who visited us from their home in Spokane, Washington. It was great to see them after such a long time and have our whole team all together again for a few days at the end of the season.
One of the most wonderful parts of last season was being able to share our beautiful area with Canadian guests from near and far, many of whom had never been to the Broughton Archipelago or Great Bear Rainforest before.
Of course, these highlights were possible only due to the participation of all our amazing guests. So we want to sincerely thank everyone who made a trip to Farewell Harbour Lodge in 2021. We hope the connections you experienced to nature, to other guests and staff, and to yourself and your loved ones are both meaningful and lasting.
-- Sylvie Stewart Grantham
Photo credits: Andrew Jennings, Sylvie Stewart Grantham, Zhi Yong Zhang
Past Blog Posts
Jan 14, 2022
Rainforest EcologyJoin us on an imaginary journey into the Great Bear Rainforest, and maybe along the way you'll learn some ecology!
Jan 3, 2022
Reflecting on 2021Winter is the time of year when we reflect on the past before looking ahead.
Dec 13, 2021
Winter at Farewell Harbour LodgeMeet Cecil and Marisa, our winter caretakers, and get a glimpse into their winter life at Farewell Harbour Lodge.
May 1, 2021
Wildlife Guide - BearsWe put together a quick, easy guide to help you better understand what to expect when you go bear viewing with Farewell Harbour Lodge!
Apr 24, 2021
Farewell Kitchen - Paul's CioppinoWe uncovered a recipe from the past and had to share it with you! Enjoy with a crisp white wine in the sunshine!
Apr 19, 2021
Top Tips for Photography at Farewell HarbourWe are lucky to have some very talented friends, who also happen to be professional photographers! We asked them for some of their top tips!
Apr 10, 2021
Wildlife Guide - WhalesFind out more about whale watching in the Broughton Archipelago, from what you should bring with you to the best time of year to visit!
Mar 24, 2021
The Rest of the StoryThere are many stories that came together for Farewell Harbour Lodge to be where it is now. Ryne Brockway, co-owner and friend, tells us his.
Mar 11, 2021
Sweet Potato CookiesChef Robyn's easy and delicious sweet potato cookie recipe! Perfect for a boost of energy when out on the trails or just need a little pick me up.
Mar 2, 2021
Staying Jung on Berry IslandHave you ever taken a personality test? We talk about how MBTI is used to create better working relationships and strong connections.
Feb 25, 2021
Engage all your sensesThere are many ways in which we find escape. We look at how engaging all of your senses can help to switch off the outside pressures in a more mindful way.
Feb 11, 2021
A Love StoryTim tells us a Valentines Day story of how he and Kelli met and fell in love on this wild west coast.
Feb 2, 2021
The Forest Floor with MarlieOur rainforests are home to so much life! One of our guides, Marlie, helps us to notice the smaller things that are vital to its survival.
Jan 27, 2021
Going, going, SCONE!One of our guests' all time favourites! We get asked for this recipe more than any other, so here it is to enjoy from home.
Jan 17, 2021
A different perspectiveA wonderful way to see more of the vast landscape is by air! Read about one morning we took to the skies and experienced everything from mountain tops to sandy beaches.
Dec 21, 2020
Sea Kayaking with BeccaOne of our kayak guides, Becca, tells us why this is her favourite way to get even closer to nature and experience the Broughton Archipelago at its best.
Dec 18, 2020
Sointula - Place of Harmony on Malcolm IslandThings to do in Sointula! Full day excursions to Sointula and Malcolm Island. Pioneer history, whale rubbing beaches, historic lighthouse and more!
Nov 1, 2020
Differences between black bears and grizzliesA few things to look out for when bear viewing with our guides at Farewell Harbour. We look at some of the main differences between black bears and grizzlies.