Rock Art with Judith Williams

Rock Art with Judith Williams 
by Michael Stewart, 15
 September 2016.

Mike, skipper of Misty Isles, his wife Samantha, guest historian Judith Williams, and six naturalists departed Lund Harbour, thrilled to hear that there were  Humpbacks just outside the harbour.  We were able to watch the 2 humpbacks  and have  this extra  unplanned “event”  for the beginning of our 2 day voyage.  The weather was perfect and  the scenery is so amazing.  We  motored up Thulin Pass to see  the first pictograph of our trip.  It was very interesting to see what animal was in the pictograph!

We continued past Sarah Point and into Desolation Sound while hearing many tales from both Judith and Mike.   The seas were calm  and visibility was perfect so we enjoyed the   wonderful scenery; then we went north into Waddington Channel where Mike found the location of the next pictograph near  Durham Point on East Redonda Island. We continued up Waddington Channel to Walsh cove on West Redonda Island where  Misty Isles  anchored.  From the zodiac, Judith pointed out and explained the pictographs and was delighted to point out the magical dancing reflections on the same rock faces.

Sarah presented us with a  tasty home-cooked lunch on board and then Judith  demonstrated rock art by mixing us red paint with a base of pulverized salmon eggs.  Each person   painted an example of their own rock art.

We continued west through Pryce channel where we saw some seabirds, a Dall’s porpoise,  another  pictograph and more wonderful scenery.  At the end of the afternoon, we landed in Evans Bay on Read Island to stay at Coast Mountain Lodge overnight.  We  were presented with an amazing home  cooked(Samantha) gourmet dinner and enjoyed the company of the owners, Ralph and Lannie, and their son and staff.  Many more stories were enjoyed.

After breakfast in the lodge, we set out towards Quadra Island.  We anchored and all went ashore in the  Zodiac to see a petrogylph that Judith had not yet seen.  It is in a beautiful setting just north of Rebecca Spit Marine Park.  The rock formations were amazing let alone the petroglyph.

Back on Misty Isles, we  continued through Uganda Pass and  the entrance to Gorge Harbour on Cortes island to see more  pictographs.  We  were entertained with more tales of early settlers and First Nations culture from our skipper and  Judith and then another wonderful  lunch  prepared by Samantha.  We  had  a sunny, calm trip all the way  back to Lund.


East Thurlow Island

East Thurlow Island 
by Caroline Brown, 29
 Aug 2016.

Pictographs, a “brand new” petroglyph, exotic geology, whales, dolphins, stories of gin and tonic sailors, mistresses, tall and not-so-tall tales were some of the highlights for twelve of the Malaspina Naturalists as we headed to East Thurlow Island aboard the Misty Isles – for three whole days!

For most of us, this was a new area to be explored and although the weather was not totally cooperative, it was a great three days and two nights (Aug 27-29). Mike Moore and his crew, Jonah Weyler, welcomed us in Lund and we set sail – well, not actually.  Although Misty is a gaff rigged schooner, Mike used its “functional seaworthiness of a west coast troller” for this trip.

Our first sighting was toward Little Mitlenatch Island, or as Mike calls it, an orca snack bar and also a hangout for glaucous-winged gulls and cormorants. As we passed through the waters of gorgeous Desolation Sound, known to have as many as 300 boats in Prideaux Haven, Mike reminded us of Captain Vancouver’s 1792 journal notes describing this area as “gloomy and dismal….dreary rocks.” Perhaps, but certainly not for us!

After travelling through the Gillard Pass and around the northern side of East Thurlow Island, our first night was on West Thurlow Island at Blind Channel Resort, originally the site of a thriving cannery.  A delicious salmon dinner completed Day 1.  Our accommodation was luxurious in the two, new, two-bedroom cabins, although one of our group opted to sleep on MI.

Before breakfast Sunday, several of the group explored the well-maintained trails behind the resort.  Soon after cast-off, Mike scooted to Mayne Passage, finding us 002 Pod – four orcas, including Tumbo, a large male with a bend in his fin. And later in the day, in Nodales Channel, we were entertained by a school/pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins.  The day had been chilly and wet and we all appreciated the warmth of the fireplace at Discovery Islands Lodge.  Our third meal of the day (all meals were provided by Mike and Jonah, with thanks to the pre-preparation of Mike’s wife, Samantha) was equally enjoyable.  The spacious, welcoming “great room” of the lodge allowed for good conversation.

Following a yummy breakfast prepared by our lodge hosts, we began our homeward journey.  Only the wished-for humpbacks were missing.  BUT the next day, our two Victoria participants saw a pair from the ferry.

Thanks to all our eclectic, delightful and well informed travelling companions for a memorable trip!