Exploring the Nuchatlitz Islands-text

Ocean Rocks

We start out in open water, paddling east from Island 44.


Island 37

We beach to explore Island 37. In the background are the mountains of Nuchatlitz Island. Nuchatlitz looks like the mainland of Vancouver Island, but it is a huge island separated by two fjords.


A seamount with a cave.

A protruding seamount with a large sea cave.


Belmont Pt.

Belmont Point is an expansive beach, reasonably protected by a peninsula.


A log on Belmont Pt.

Driftwood on Belmont Point.




Meadow on Belmont Point.

A wild meadow on Belmont Point.



We often saw bald eagles on isolated rocks. It provides a protected place to raise young and a good lookout for vulnerable sea life.


Sea surge on some rocks.

The Pacific swell would surge into channels in the rock, and then wash back out with plenty of foam and noise.



Giant Brown Kelp (Elsena Arborea) was prolific among rocks that were subject to the Pacific swell.


Back at Island 44.

In the afternoon we explored some wooded fjords on western Nuchatlitz Island. There were oyster farms in these quiet waters and a few nice homes. My Canadian friends, Tom and Jennifer, had rented the guest cabin of one of these homes and spent several days kayaking.


Black bear.

On a grassy beach, a large black bear snarled and defecated in front of us. This was the second bear we saw in two days. Two days later we would see a third black bear on a distant beach.


Another house

Another house built near the oyster farm.


Salt lake

We exited the fjords by a quiet, protected bay.



There were many sea otters among the islands, with two that fished all day in from of our campsite. Each evening, as the sun went down, the otters would swim rapidly on their back to a given bed of kelp. There, 40 or more would gather for the night, with a good deal of jabbering and playfulness. Above, Bob, Marianne and George watch this gathering.


Sunset on the rocks.

As the sun goes down, we get to see the mountains with their subtle shading.