It’s all about the View 2.0

In April of 2020, I paddled out and camped on Penn Islands Southwest – It’s all about the view. Like last time, I launched out of Coulter Bay on Cortes Island but I hoped to camp somewhere different, this time on Penn Islands North.

Due to ferry scheduling, I left at a low tide which is not ideal at Coulter Bay. It’s a great place to launch and land at a mid or high tide but lower tides require long and mucky carries. Regardless, the 8km crossing over to the Penn Islands was ideal to say the least, barely any wind and nice blue skies.

As I suspected it might be, the campsite at Penn Islands North was full with a commercial group. I grew curious about the potential of a little islet just south of it. By no means was the landing ideal but the location in my opinion was just as good, if not better and I had the entire islet to myself. Based on my experience, this location is definitely in my top 5-7 campsites ever. It required a little bit of effort, but it was worth it.

On my first night, in the stillness of the darkness, up to 3 different Humpbacks encircled my islet. One came up 50M or less from the bluff that I was camped on. It was a surreal experience which included 8 total encounters in the 3 days that I was out in the Penn’s. I even observed bubble net feeding when Raza (BCXuk2018#5) surfaced not 10M from where I was watching her on the cliff. Thank you to my friend Nick Templeman from Campbell River Whale & Bear Excursions for helping me to quickly identify Raza.

You can see the terrible scarring Raza sustained just above her dorsal fin as the result of a propeller strike in 2018. A reminder to everyone, that if you SEE A BLOW, GO SLOW. For more information, and to find out how you can support Humpback Whales, please visit Marine Education & Research Society on Facebook and on their website here:

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