Minstrel Island, British Columbia

After our first plane was towed into the hangar for repairs and the second plane was gassed up, we boarded our plane in Campbell River, BC.

We flew about 45 minutes northwest over the archipelago of small islands that mark the ends of the fjords along Canada’s wild west coast.  I thought we were headed out to a remote wilderness lodge. It’s all relative, I suppose.  All of the lands that we flew over had evidence of logging.  Every isolated island.

There is regular boat traffic through the strait and the many channels that hold the islands– we even flew over a huge cruise ship and this successful whale watching tour.

Vancouver Island (824 of 1018)
All of those breaks in the water around this boat are dolphins!

We flew over our destination on Minstrel Island as we corkscrewed down from our cruising altitude of 4500 feet to prepare to land on the water.  I thought we were coming in hot as we hit the water headed right for the lodge.  Once the floats hit the water we slowed,  and as they sank into the water a little bit we abruptly came to a crawl.  The water really stops the momentum in a hurry!  We pulled up to the dock and were greeted by the staff of the lodge.

Vancouver Island (160 of 1018)
Looking west toward Johnstone Strait, the dock in the very lower right-hand corner is our destination.

We spent three nights here, each day a different adventure.  We were lucky to stay in a one room cabin hanging on the edge of the island looking across the channel to the fjord.

Our cabin on the right, the lodge on the left, and the owners house in the middle.


Panoramic view off the deck of the lodge.

Standing at the cabin door the windows only reveal water and mountains; the land tucked underneath is hidden from view.

Exploring the tide pools outside our cabin window.

I took this sunrise picture from bed one morning.  That’s my kind of dawn photography!Vancouver Island (175 of 1018)


We shared our time at the lodge with two couples from Brussels, a family of five from the UK, and a pine marten who lives next to/under our cabin.  At the family style dinners, all gathered around a large table we shared our different experiences, customs, perspectives, and lifestyles.  The Brits and Belgians were particularly amused by the phrase, “Pardon my reach” and used it with a giggle as often as possible.  I expanded my culinary horizons and tried marmite spread, the British version of vegemite (although they don’t appreciate the comparison).  It’s difficult to describe.  You’ll have to try it yourself!

The now dilapidated property next door to the lodge was once a bustling hotel in the heydays of logging and salmon-canning. IMG_6436.JPGIt also housed a bar and a brothel that attracted men from miles around. As the canning factories closed, so did the compound here.  Now it is government owned and provides a rare opportunity for free mooring as long as you don’t require any services such as fuel or power.  We took a walk through the mossy cedar forest over to the docks to explore one evening.

This was a great home base for our adventures in and around Knight Inlet.

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