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Old 02-27-2011
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Mitlenatch Island - A wildlife paradise

This is Mitlenatch Island, Located in the middle of the Salish sea on the inside of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Many unusual qualities make Mitlenatch Island what it is and there are no other islands anything like it in the Strait of Georgia.

Mitlenatch Island...very near the 50th parallel is where the currents around Vancouver Island meet. South of this island, it floods from the south and north of here, it floods from the north. On a big southeaster and a large flood looking north you will see very large confused seas caused by the seas piling out of discovery pass and looking south it will look quite manageable. Sometimes it can be quite dramatic.



Mitlenatch is a wind swept island in a rainshadow with very little percipitation during the year which gives it quite a different ecosystem than most others.



The best anchoring (I definately don't recomend overnight) is off the beach on the north side which seems to be pretty good. I usually anchor on the east side and in the small bay but I don't recomend it unless you are very comfortable with a couple of feet under your keel and a very short rode.



Here is the video I put together and I know it's long and drawn out but if you get about halfway through it you will see a gull that is pretty beaten up but should be OK. This is the result of fighting with eagles which during nesting season is quite common as the eagles will regularly attack the nests with some success. The gulls in turn seem to gang up on the eagles and chase them away. I drifted a little too close to the sealions in some of the footage which is obviously an annoyance to them and is a real no no which I'm fully aware of, but I figured I wouldn't waste the footage so I included some of it.



Sometimes loosely described as "The Galapagos of the Georgia Strait" many of the locals just call it "Bird Island". In any event, Mitlenatch is like no other island in the strait. Mitlenatch is an uninhabited seabird sanctuary with the largest seabird colony in the Strait of Georgia. It's a rocky island of mostly small shrubs, many different species of flowers, cactus, snakes and much more.







This is the bird blind located up one of the trails. Inside this blind you will see some bird identifying posters which are very handy.



The next two photos show the north side anchorage area that I would recommend particularly during a light to moderate Southeasterly but anything more, it's time to get out of there.







This island is spectacular at any time of the year and always chock-a-block full of wildlife but nesting season is the best.

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