Thursday 2 May 2013

Coastal Hidden Gems: Sointula and Malcolm Island

Sointula is a small community on Malcolm Island, off the north-east coast of Vancouver Island. It is reached by ferry from Port MacNeill. The town is vibrant with colourful buildings, murals and shops. The people are friendly, and it is easy to walk around.
The village was originally founded by Scandinavian settlers looking for a secure place to create a Utopian society. After world wars and personal disagreements, the settlement dispersed. 

By then fishermen and other resource workers had joined the town, and so the history is varied and rich.
The lighthouse is just a short drive to the north tip of the island. As soon as you are away from the town all the roads on the island are gravel, but they are in fairly good shape. The lighthouse offers a great vantage point to look at northern Vancouver Island as well as the narrow waterways to the north.

Malcolm Island's beaches are wonderful for walking, and show the exposure of the coast to the winter storms. Views from the east side of the island look out over the BC mainland and the Broughton Archipelago, where one can watch the marine traffic go by.

Of course, one of the main reasons people come to the area now is to see whales. There are lots of opportunities to go on whale watching boats, but often the whales can be seen from the shore. There are certain areas on the north-east side which are commonly frequented by the whales at different times of the year, including some beaches where the whales are known to gather and rub along the cobble stones (as in the picture above).

Sunsets and moonrises are spectacular, allowing for lots of dramatic photograph opportunities.
A gem of a place, and one that adds some magic into the lives of all who visit.
(All photos taken by Kate Morgan.)
It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!

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