...and sometimes other things

Sointula and Alert Bay

”Do you have a dumpster where I can throw this?”, I said to the lady in the marina office while holding up a small cardboard box.

With a look of concern, she asked, “What’s in it?”

After inspecting the contents of my box, a French press coffeemaker with a broken carafe, she offered to drop it off at the Island recycling center on her way home in the hope that the metal bits could be either recycled or reused by someone.

And that, in a nutshell, is the charming village of Sointula on Malcolm Island. The name means “Place of Harmony” in the language of the Finnish people who founded the settlement as a utopian cooperative early in the 20th century.

There’s an excellent co-op featuring groceries, clothing, small appliances, and probably other things I missed. It’s just up the road from the bakery, hardware store, and a tiny-but-tasty cafe. It’s not hard to engage someone in conversation, just smile.

I wish I had more photos to show you, but I was laid low for several days and it was all I could do to drag myself from place to place. Mary Anne took a five mile hike with our boating friends Peter and Ann while I spent the time napping.

Judge my health by the volume of my photos. By the time we reached our next small village, I was feeling quite a bit better.

This is Alert Bay on tiny Cormorant Island. So far as I know, the majority of the Island, maybe all of it, belongs to the local First Nations people.

The village is about a kilometer in that direction.
This is/was the community net shed. Fishermen need large, tall spaces to hang their nets to dry and for repair.
There are five of these structures along the waterfront, each with a different mystical figure. The figures are powerful beings associated with the creation stories of different tribal clans.

Both Malcolm and Cormorant Islands are easily reached by ferry from Port McNeill on Vancouver Island.

Psssst… In my next post, I’ll show you the reason everyone comes to Alert Bay.

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