Spectacular Sonora Boat Tour

There is so much to see and do in our wonderful area, but one thing you thing don’t want to miss out on, is an opportunity to get out and explore the magical Discovery Islands this summer.

Passengers Barry Malpass, Mike Moody and Sally Moody

This past Saturday, we took a boat cruise to the Sonora Island area, put on by the Museum at Campbell River and Discovery Marine Safaris, and had a magnificent day!

I went along as historic interpreter on behalf of the Museum at Campbell River, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Our group consisted of five plus the skipper – a couple from Georgetown, Texas  –  Mike and Sally Moody, Barry Malpass of Campbell River, my husband Terry Robinson and myself.

Skipper Joel

Our skipper Joel was the greatest – he worked with me to plan the best route – but I left the piloting in his capable hands!

We had lovely warm weather, and although it was a little windy as we started up Johnstone Strait, we felt secure in Discovery Marine Safaris’ heavy aluminum boat, that handled the waves extremely well.  We discussed some of the history of Campbell River and Vancouver Island’s east coast as we headed north, and I pointed out some spots of interest on the Quadra Island side as well.

We went up to Chatham Point, well indicated by its lightstation, and turned east into Nodales Channel.  We had Sonora Island on the right, and East Thurlow Island on the left.  Joel took us into Thurston Bay, that once had a significant settlement and operated as a BC Forestry Service station.  Today it is a protected marine park.  Further into the bay is Cameleon Harbour, where evidence has been found of the First Nations groups who initially inhabited Sonora.

We went back out into Nodales Channel, pointing out Hemming Bay on East Thurlow Island, where there had once been a large logging operation.  When we reached Cordero Channel, Joel headed south and east, and we went to over to the mainland side where ancient petroglyphs are painted into the rock, still visible after all these years!  Further along, we stopped to take pictures of the tug boaters stop, with signs tacked up on the trees, displaying names of all the tugboats that went through the area.

Next stop was Dent Island Lodge.  What a gorgeous place!  The Lodge is lovely wooden building that blends in with the woodland scenery surrounding it.  Pathways with colourful gardens wind among the trees, taking you to their accommodations. 

The views from the Lodge are fantastic, especially from the outside patio where we had an excellent lunch that included freshly caught sockeye salmon and local halibut.

On our way back, we cruised through Maurelle and Read Islands and down the east coast of Quadra Island.  The grand finale for our trip was the opportunity to watch transient Killer Whales in action off the south coast of Quadra, where they splashed and put on a show for their audience in the surrounding boats.  A huge thank-you to Skipper Joel for a fantastic trip!!

Be sure to check the Museum’s website for details on the 2015 trips and guides! http://www.crmuseum.ca/historic-boat-tours

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