An Early Father’s Day Present – by Mike Manson

This past weekend we booked ourselves onto a wonderful overnight trip aboard the Misty Isles, a locally owned boat that offers charters and excursions. The first day we headed to Mitlenatch Island, an 88 Acre rocky island that my grandparents homesteaded on in 1898. Today the island is owned by BC Parks and is a mecca for nesting birds, sea-lions and wildflowers. Our timing was perfect as we saw all.

Mittlenatch Island

These are a pack of young male Steller sea-lions. We estimated their numbers at over 100. They are gathered here as they have been excluded from breeding and from their midst a Beach Master or dominant male will be selected, who will go on to have his own harem. It was clear to us why they are called sea-lions as we listened to their roaring and growling like lions. At maturity the males can reach over 2000 lbs.

Steller sea-lions

The cormorants are nesting on cliff faces where they build a nest from seaweed and sticks and presumably their droppings (guano) to hold it all together and cement it to the rock.


Some of the cormorants have beautiful iridescent colours of greeny-purple.


Mitlenatch is the northernmost place where Prickly Pear Cactus is found and we caught it as it is beginning to flower.

Prickly Pear Cactus

The second leg of our journey was to the Twin Islands, a mysterious place, privately owned, that has always been off-limits to the public until a recent change of ownership. Queen Elizabeth stayed here in the lodge on two occasions, in 1967 and in 1994. We overnighted in the lodge and what a treat it was!

Twin Islands Lodge
Twin Islands Lodge – Dining area

We were fed very well and enjoyed many great stories. And I had a few stories of my own including the murder mystery from 1915 (posted a few years ago on blog in

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