Reflecting on 2021

 Winter 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. 

Working on the new deck   Sea Otter!   Fungo crew   Farewell swim club record!

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.

Dylan's magic   2021 crew   Perseid meteor shower   Nudibranch viewing from the dock

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 - thanks to James, Connor & Sebastien for that.

Quiz night!
 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.

Canadian visitors
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

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