2023 Princess Louisa Flotilla – Day 7 New Castle Island | NW Explorations
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2023 Princess Louisa Flotilla – Day 7 New Castle Island

We rounded the Gallows Point at the southernmost point of Protection Island after about a two-hour crossing in Georgia Strait. As the name implies, Protection Island and New Castle Island together provide a calm buffer between Nanaimo and Strait of Georgia, a natural point of departure or arrival for crossing the Strait. A tidy white home with a red roofs sits on the point like a light house welcoming you home.

 With a population of 90,000, Nanaimo is the second largest city on Vancouver Island after Victoria. It serves an important transportation hub with three ferry terminals.

Nanaimo harbor is a busy place with ferries, fishing boats tugs and barges pleasure craft, commercial ships, and seaplanes and even a small foot ferry to transport people to Newcastle Park.

The crew from Double O’ Seven were keen for a hike on Newcastle Island. On the way to the dock, a cormorant was drying its outstretched wings while balancing on a buoy. It appears a bit ridiculous, but it gets the job done and provides buoyancy once again.

In years past, Newcastle Island has been the site of a shipyard, mined for coal and quarried for sandstone used to construct the San Francisco Mint and giant cylinders used to grind wood into pulp for paper. As we hiked around the island we saw the remnants of its history hidden within a forest of cedars, Doug fir, oaks, maples and giant Madrona!

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