Thursday 27 September 2018

BCO Coastal Gems: Malcolm Island (Sointula)

Malcolm Island sits just off the north-east corner of Vancouver Island, in the Queen Charlotte Strait, on the edge of the renowned Broughton Archipelago. The island is known these days for its rubbing beaches - stretches of round stone beaches where orca whales come and rub their bodies under the water.

Whales at the Bere Pt rubbing beach

Malcolm Island is a sprawling island 24km in length. A wide logging ride runs down the spine, from the small residential area of Mitchell Bay to the lighthouse (still manned) at Pulteney Point.
Pulteney Point lighthouse

The village of Sointula is on the eastern side of the island, facing Port McNeill and Vancouver Island. Sointula was established in the early 1900s by Finnish settlers hoping to create a perfect utopia. Although the group disbanded, the village remained as did its Finnish influence. It adapted to become a resource hub for the area in fishing and logging, as well as a place for artists and summer visitors. The village is home to the province's oldest co-op store, and offers amenities (fuel, food, lodging, medical services and even a library). 
the side of the Sointula Co-op

Access is by BC Ferries from Port McNeill (a 25 minute ride), or by personal boat. 
looking back at Sointula from the ferry

There is much to see and do on the island, from visiting the Sointula Museum to hiking the Beautiful Bay Trail to eating at the local cafe/bakery. 
Old building across from the Museum

Like all the islands off the coast of Vancouver Island, Malcolm Island has its own character and vibe. Welcoming (be prepared for every driver to wave at you as you pass), slightly off beat, and full of history, Malcolm Island is a place to visit and explore and perhaps even stay.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

No comments:

Post a Comment