Natural Aspects of Western Cortes – Thursday, July 4, 2024

Natural Aspects of Western Cortes

  • Thursday, July 4, 2024
  • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., departing from the Gorge Harbour dock
  • $225
  • Guided by George Sirk


Join us for this rich, varied, and rare view of Cortes Island!

George Sirk will guide your natural history experience through the legendary Gorge Harbour – an unusual island sea whose entrance, “THE GORGE,” pumps in and out millions of gallons of fresh tidal seawater daily. Journey past shellfish farms, the mouth of the Anvil Lake Creek, round Ring and Tan Islands, to the 300-foot sheer cliffs that plunge a further 60 feet into the water. Timed with “slack water,” this is your chance to drift slowly past rock walls encrusted with anemones, gumboot chitons, crabs, coral, and the rare giant barnacle! The harbour, narrows, and cliffs have been home to the First Nations peoples for millennia, and pictographs can still be seen to this day painted in ochre.

Beyond the Gorge, we will skirt the Heather Islets, making landfall (by Zodiac) on sandy Shark Spit, Marina Island. Bring out your picnic lunch, stretch your legs, beach comb, and enjoy this wild expanse. The adventure continues after lunch into Carrington Bay for a stop at the “reversing rapids” with an overview of the cultural history of the float house community of the 70s & 80s.

The journey back includes tiny Centre Islet – a rich seabird colony of pigeon guillemots, glaucous-winged gulls, and black oystercatchers. With luck, we will see the glorious and raucous Caspian terns who have recently colonized the Salish Sea. Be on the lookout for humpback whales, sea lions, dolphins, and maybe an orca or two!

This trip is your chance to experience the diversity of marine and animal life of Western Cortes up close and personal – and have some plain old fun!

To register, click Misty Isles Adventures or call 250-935-6756

Misty Isles Page