I decided to do an impromptu overnight trip to Alert Bay – a last hurrah before hernia surgery later in the week (which unfortunately has been delayed).
I headed out early in the morning to arrive in Telegraph Cove in time for lunch (a very good Halibut Burger and salad at the Killer Whale Cafe).
There wasn’t a lot of activity in the marina – just a group of grade 11 students from George P. Vanier Secondary school in Courtenay doing a 4 day kayaking trip in the Broughton Archipelago. Students from that school get to enrol in an explore program where they do 3 trips as part of their grade 11 school year.
After lunch I headed over to Port McNeil. Rather than take the car over to Alert Bay, it’s $5/day to leave in the parking lot and walk on the Ferry. Alert Bay is on Cormorant Island which is small enough to walk around in an afternoon so no particular advantage to having a car. Restaurants in Alert Bay like “Pass’n Thyme” are closed Mondays so I brought along my own food for supper and breakfast. I stayed at the Seine Boat Inn which sits over stilts on the Bay.
In it’s hey day Alert Bay was a very busy fishing village with a processing plant and a Net Loft (for drying the fisherman’s nets) – now falling into disrepair at the edge of the Bay.
Cormorant Island has two small reservations on it and the majority of the residents of Alert Bay are aboriginal. It’s one of the quietest and friendliest villages I’ve ever been to – with everyone saying hello with a smile and drivers waving at you as they pass you by. A boardwalk stretches from one end of the Bay to the other – a great place to walk in the evening. Along the boardwalk, there are little indented meeting areas with benches to sit down and relax. At one end of the boardwalk is the U’mista Cultural Centre and at the other end, the Original ‘Namgis Burial ground with the new and remnants of ancient totem poles.
Here’s a link to the video: ALERT BAY.