We left our anchorage at Rebecca Spit around noon and headed for Melanie Cove in Prideaux Haven (Desolation Sound). It’s a little out of our way (and NORTH!) but hard to pass by when the weather is this great.
A little bit into our cruise, we opted to make a detour and stop at Mitlenatch Island. Mitlenatch Island Nature Provincial Park is home to the largest seabird colony in the Strait of Georgia. The island is a nature reserve and an important nesting colony for Glaucous-winged Gulls, Pelagic Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots, Black Oystercatchers and many other species of birds. Marine life around the island includes river otters and harbour seals throughout the year, and Steller’s and California sea lions from late fall through to summer. [source]
Mitlenatch is here, in the middle of the map image (the small green island). Campbell River on Vancouver Island is over on the left side. Here’s a link to the actual Google map, if you want to zoom and stuff.
Steller sea lions, harbour seals, and a cormorant on our way into the cove:
The conditions were calm so we easily snuck in and anchored in the shallow cove (in about 15 feet) and then went ashore to explore.
The “Volunteer’s Cabin” (there was no one there right now, but I believe there’s someone here most of the summer):
There are all sorts of little collections of shells and bones around the cabin, as well as a little stack of pamphlets about the BC parks and wildlife. We looked around and then headed down the trail.
On the other side of the island there was a group of harbour seals hanging out in the sun at the water’s edge. We were pretty far away (and really quiet) but I think they still figured out we were there and after a couple minutes, some of them decided to get in the water.
On our way back across we went to check out the Gull Blind:
All we saw was one lone gull and a couple cormorants, but I’m guessing during the spring and early summer there are a lot of cool nesting gulls and baby birds to watch.
We did manage to spot and snap a photo of a neat Black Oystercatcher though:
After hiking all of the trails (except the one that went to the outhouse) we headed back to Airship.
The water here is so clear!
We had some lunch and then continued on toward Melanie Cove. This was a great stop, and highly recommended on a calm day.