Friday, May 20, 2016

"Calm waters all around"

Last Saturday, I joined a group on a day trip to Mitlenatch Island*, on the little schooner, Misty Isles, out of Cortes Island. The weather was perfect, the boat comfortable, the captain and crew friendly and knowledgeable; we hiked on the island, and circled it in a rubber dinghy. There were birds and plants, seals and sea lions; we toured the caretakers' cabin and made a side trip to look for Arctic terns.

I found a jumping spider. But no garter snakes eating sculpins. Sorry, Tim.

Misty Isles, anchored at Mitlenatch Island.

Mitlenatch Island, as we approached. It's a dry rock in the Vancouver Island rain shadow, sparsely covered with grasses and shrubs. Home to thousands of birds, hundreds of marine mammals.

Pigeon guillemot and water like shot silk.

The pigeon guillemots have red feet.

Approaching the island. There are two bays, but no docks. We anchored the boat and took the dinghy ashore. The white dots on the rocks are nesting gulls. The first eggs were due to be laid the next day.

The jumper. Not in the advertised critter list.

Tomorrow; background and monsters of the sea. (Update: forgot the monsters. I'll get to them, though.)

*Mitlenatch, in the Coast Salish language, means "calm waters all around".

(1st in a series of 9 Mitlenatch Island posts. #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8)


  1. No sculpin-hunting serpents this time? I guess that will remain a challenge that will beckon you to return.

    1. I'll definitely be going back!

  2. We saw the Misty Isles there one time when we stopped. If I recall right they had brought several kayaks out to the island. - Margy


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