2022 Princess Louisa Flotilla – Day 7 Madeira to New Castle Island | NW Explorations


2022 Princess Louisa Flotilla – Day 7 Madeira to New Castle Island

It has begun to truly feel like summer here on the sunshine coast! There was not a cloud in the sky when we woke up and with a little bit of a later start, we got to enjoy a calm morning before casting lines and heading back to the Gulf Islands.

As we got further into the Strait of Georgia, we could see mountains all around us. The Coast Mountains rose up from our stern. This is where we had come from, and we could recognize peaks that we had been at the base of only a day before. To the west the Vancouver Island Ranges came to view and we could just make out Comax Glacier on Mt Washington. At a bearing of 115 degrees beautiful Mt Baker appeared over the horizon. In the end, Mt Baker will guide us home to Bellingham. And in front of us was our next destination: New Castle Island.

Saysutshun is the First Nations name for the island, and it was an important location for the people. Saysutshun translates to “training for running” and it was where runners, canoes, and warriors would bath to get ready for races or battles. They would also go to the island to yu’thuy’thut, or to heal their heart mind and body. This practice feels like a much needed space to create in a community. When we were in Princess Louisa, we did not have any service. Being disconnected from constant media is a blessing these days, but as we have been returning to service there has been a lot of news that hurts the heart, mind, and body of many people. Stepping onto Saysutshun felt like a space to process some of the recent events that have been happening in the country and a reminder that every human has a place in this world to be themselves.

The hikers of our crew went to shore and found the magic. Huge Madrone or Arbutus trees, Gary Oaks, and Cedar lined the shoreline and trail. We saw a group of raccoons scavenging the beach for salty snacks and several Great Blue herons fishing in the intertidal zone. We made a big loop around the island which led us back to the dinghy dock. At the dock there are nesting boxes that have been put up for the Purple Martins. These birds are the biggest species of swallow and migrate here in the summer. They were fun to watch the sun catch their iridescent feathers.

P.S. Missed this year’s Princess Louisa Flotilla? Not to worry, there’s always next year! Send us an email to reserve your spot on our 2023 Princess Louisa Flotilla. 

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