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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Winter 2016/17 > Haida Gwaii Scavengers & the Neoprene Handshake

Haida Gwaii Scavengers & the Neoprene Handshake

This secret surf haven has hobbit homes instead of palm trees. And that’s how these cottagers like it
Richard used slabs of concrete from a nearby abandoned tennis court to make steps and terraced platforms for the cabin

One sunny afternoon

in January 2006, Pete, Richard, and the Mapper were bobbing in the break at the mouth of B.C.’s Sangan River. It was just the three of them. Waves, spun off by ocean storms 5,000 km away in Kamchatka, Russia, marched in orderly lines through Dixon Entrance. As the northwest swell hit the river outflow, it divided neatly into lefts and rights. A light southeaster was propping them up nicely. “Shoulder-high and glassy. A perfect longboard day,” recalls the Mapper now, more than a decade later, perhaps through the rose-tinted glasses of recollection.

The land on the beachfront behind them had come up for sale, and Richard was thinking of selling his inland cabin and moving to the beach. Pete and the Mapper had already been asking Richard if he wanted to sell his backlot property to them. “On a scale of one to 10, how interested are you guys?” Richard asked. “Quite interested,” said the Mapper. “Ten,” said Pete.

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Get outside! 50+ ways to embrace the magic of winter. Snowmobile buyer's guide. Wolves in crisis. The coolest hot tubs. 25 cottage gifts. Best cottage photos of 2016.