Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Harwood Island

Last week you read about the Strait of Georgia. It is an integral part of our life in Powell River and creates the spectacular view from my condo window. In the strait you find many islands. Probably the most famous are the Gulf Islands near the tip of Vancouver Island, but directly in front of Powell River is Harwood Island.

Like many other locations in the Strait of Georgia, Harwood Island was named by George Vancouver during his exploration of the Puget Sound and Coastal BC in 1792. In this case, Harwood Island was named for Dr. Edward Harwood, a scholar and naval surgeon. Geologically, Harwood is pretty distinct. It's flat top is the result of glacial action in the region over 10,000 years ago. This is the same action that gouged out Powell Lake and the many inlets along the coast.

At the turn of the 20th Century, it was logged. The second growth trees have grown to substantial size, but you can still find evidence of the past. This old winch on the shore of the sandy spit pays tribute to the island's history. Today, it is uninhabited and is a traditional and sacred place for the Sliammon First Nation.

Harwood Island is a popular destination for sea kayakers. Leaving from Powell River or nearby Gibsons Beach, you can reach Harwood fairly easily on a calm day. For those with more skill and energy, you can circumnavigate the island and view the sea lion rookeries on the back side. It is also prime salmon fishing territory. For more information about sea kayaking, I recommend Powell River Sea Kayak, Alpha Adventures and Alpha Dive Services. To learn more about kayaking in our area, I recommend reading Sea Kayak Desolation Sound and the Sunshine Coast by Heather Harbord. And of course, there's Wayne's Up the Strait available online at

Come visit Powell River. You will find outdoor sports and activities all year long. -- Margy


  1. Wonderful! Sorry I am a little late, been busy week!
    Thanks so much for contributing!


  2. I love that first picture,but then I love all your pictures.

  3. Your first pic is especially magical! A beautiful sky for a backdrop! And enjoyed reading your explanation!