Port Hardy, Cormorant Island, Victoria, BC, Canada 8/7/2013

 

AUGUST 7, 2013 (Wednesday)

 

Both Michael and I slept really well in the very comfortable bed at the Orca House B&B. We woke up and went into the dining room. Hans had the table loaded with cereal choices, orange juice, milk, coffee, tea, breads, muffins, yogurt, and fresh fruit. If that wasn’t enough, he then brought out a plate full of wonderful quiche and toast. The presentation was lovely. We ate while talking with Hans and how he happened to be living in Port Hardy. What a nice man.

Han's breakfast spread.

Han’s breakfast spread.

So good, so much.

So good, so much.

All that is left of a delicious quiche made with filo dough and served with toast.

All that is left of a delicious quiche made with filo dough and served with toast.

Cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea...

Cereals, milk, juice, coffee, tea…

When we told Hans that we had not seen one eagle, bear, deer, etc., he told us of his recent sightings. He said yesterday (right about the time we had checked in), at least 45 eagles flew right by the B&B. We were probably in our room at the time. He also said he was down at the dock picking up his son, who was fishing, and he observed an eagle swoop down and get a fish out of the water. How awesome is that!

After we left the B&B, we went down to the water and saw an eagle just chilling. We then went into the visitor center.

Near the visitors center in Port Hardy.

Near the visitors center in Port Hardy.

Port Hardy in early morning fog.  Locals call August, Fogust.

Port Hardy in early morning fog. Locals call August, Fogust.

After that we got gas (over $40.00, yuck), and headed south.  While gassing up we noticed a grocery store across the way:

We giggled as we pronounced the name of this food store out loud.

We giggled as we pronounced the name of this food store out loud.

We stopped at a viewpoint just a few miles south and so glad we did. The fog, the water, the mountains – absolutely breathtaking. Loving the natural beauty so much more than anything man can make.

Great welcome sign.

Great welcome sign.

Rugged beauty.

Rugged beauty.

Water above and below.

Water above and below.

We kept driving down to Port McNeill. We wanted to check to see about a ferry to one of the islands – either Sointula or Alert Bay (Cormorant Island).  As we drove to the ferry terminal, a ferry was leaving for Sointula. I thought it wasn’t meant to be but we checked and a ferry to Alert Bay was leaving in less than an hour. The round trip cost was just $11.10 per person (good deal). We didn’t know it was per round trip and were expecting to pay for the return trip. We asked the lady when we bought tickets if the island was walkable and how long it would take to see the major sights. She was sure we would be able to do it by the time the next ferry left the island.

Ferry to Alert Bay.

Ferry to Alert Bay.

We arrived at Alert Bay and turned to the left to walk on the newly built boardwalk walkway towards the U’Mista Museum. It was about a fifteen minute easy walk along the bayshore. Every 100 yards or so there is a covered deck that juts out over the water and they all have great native carvings hanging in the covered portion just under the roof line. When we got to the museum, a local was outside carving a lovely new sculpture. He was very informative and told us stories and a short history of himself. He also told us about a fire the museum had about two weeks earlier. Person, or persons unknown, set a flare off and stuffed it into the foundation of the building, catching the wooden structure on fire. Because of where the fire was started, it set off an alarm that brought a response and they were able to quickly put the fire out. The museum was open but smelled of smoke. They were not charging an entrance fee at this time due to the condition of the items. The museum (other than the smoke smell) was wonderful. A part of it was closed off, but there were many wonderful articles and things to see and read. What a great museum. Glad we stopped. We were busy taking photos until we noticed the no camera sign.

Wood sidewalks along waterfront.

Wood sidewalks along waterfront.

Hand carved boat.

Hand carved boat.

Colorful totem hung from roof truss.

Colorful totem hung from roof truss.

Totems

Totems

totem

Totem

Totem

Totem

 

Totem

Totem

 

Outside the museum.

Outside the museum.

 

U'mista Cultural Center.

U’mista Cultural Center.

 

Panels from a world exposition.

Panels from a world exposition.

 

Inside the Culture Center.

Inside the Culture Center.

 

Masks for sale, prices ranged from $800. to $4,900.

Masks for sale, prices ranged from $800. to $4,900.

 

Cultural Center display.

Cultural Center display.

 

Everyday art in the lives of the Native People.

Everyday art in the lives of the Native People.

Having fun taking pictures until we saw the no camera allowed signs.  After that we confined our photos to the gift shop.

Having fun taking pictures until we saw the no camera allowed signs. After that we confined our photos to the gift shop.

Our apologies, we did not write his name down, a really nice and informative guy.

Our apologies, we did not write his name down.  A really nice and informative guy.

After the museum we headed up the hill to the world’s largest totem pole. It is large but can’t really tell what the top half of the totem pole is. We went down the hill and headed towards the other end of the island. We stopped in the drug store and across the street at the grocery/deli store. While walking we had several Eagle sightings. Then on we went to the other totem poles on the burial grounds. They ask you to only view the totems from the road, which is a great vantage point. There were many very old, and some not so old, totem poles. Great variety of styles and conditions.

World's tallest totem.  I take them at their word.

World’s tallest totem. I take them at their word.

 

The Big House, available to locals for naming ceremonies, weddings, funerals, big personal events.

The Big House, available to locals for naming ceremonies, weddings, funerals, big personal events.

Eagle!

Eagle!

This is a sign on the side of a large waterfront factory that reminded me of Cannery Row.  I loved the art of a giant squid fighting with a killer whale, in native motif.

This is a sign on the side of a large waterfront factory that reminded me of Cannery Row. I loved the art of a giant squid fighting with a killer whale, in native motif.

Grumpy old man at the waterfront.

Grumpy old man at the waterfront.

Imported from London, a long long way from home.

Imported from London, a long long way from home.

Mike's penchant.

Mike’s penchant.

Children's rubber rain boots in the local store.

Rubber rain boots in the local store.

Pretty woman on the boardwalk.

Pretty woman on the boardwalk.

Edie's penchant

Edie’s penchant

 

Totem Park

Totem Park

 

Totem Park.

Totem Park.

 

The water is clean, free litter, nice to see and smell.

The water is clean, free of litter, nice to see and smell.

 

Two island visitors off eating lunch.  Left their kayaks on the beach.

Two island visitors off eating lunch. Left their kayaks on the beach.

Michael and I were tired by the time the ferry came, but so glad we had seen this wonderful island. What is so great about it (in my opinion) is that it is so unspoiled. Very natural and nice. Loved it.

When we got to our car (around 4 PM), we got on the highway and almost immediately saw two baby deer. They seemed to be waiting on their mother. We couldn’t wait to see if she showed up but I hope she did as they were too young to be on their own. Sure were cute though.

Fawns with their spots.

Fawns with their spots.

Lovely ride down. We were wanting to eat dinner at the Crow & Gate in Ladysmith/Nanaimo area (2312 Yellow Point Road, Nanaimo). We plugged in the address but our GPS took us the longest way around possible. Was fun, seeing downtown areas we would never see otherwise. We finally got there about 8:30 PM. There was a very lively and fun hostess/waitress at the cash register. What a hoot she was. The place was way out in the wilderness, or at least seemed like it. Lovely flowers and grounds. Food was pretty inexpensive and lots of it. The bonus was it was very good. You could tell it was a favorite as it was very busy even at around 9 PM at night. Glad we went.

Mike's penchant.

Mike’s penchant.

Crow and Gate lamp.

Crow and Gate lamp.

Beef Dip, look out gout!

Beef Dip, look out gout!

Edie had the steak and mushroom pie.

Edie had the steak and mushroom pie.

We finally got home around 11 PM. Good to be in our little cave. We’re tired and are gonna sleep in, tomorrow we laze and graze.

 

Hope your day was good!

 

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3 comments on “Port Hardy, Cormorant Island, Victoria, BC, Canada 8/7/2013
  1. Thorne says:

    Hi Mike and Edie, so glad you were able to make it over to Cormorant Island to see Alert Bay. I didn’t see the old residential school in any of your photos. They may have torn it down. Some wanted it to remain as a reminder of the past injustices to the First Nations people while others didn’t want any painful reminders. It would have been an old grey building to your left as you first arrive in the harbour. Interesting place. Sointula on Malcolm Island would have been interesting as well.

    Great photos!

  2. Tami sirmon says:

    Wow loved reading that. those are amazing pictures! Some parts remind me of Stehekin at Lake Chelan.

  3. mkeller7281 says:

    Glad you liked it beloved niece.