By Roy L Hales
A thriving ecotourism sector has grown up in the twenty years since logging ruled over British Columbia’s economy. One of the foremost voices in the Discovery Island area is Mike Moore, whose sailboat the Misty Isles has been touring these waters since 1997. This is the first program taken from a long conversation about ecotourism and what the Misty Isles offers ecotourists.
What The Misty Isles Offer
“This is very special for people who are passionate about the environment, but live in the city. It is a dream for most people to know exactly where their food comes from and exactly what season you are in. In the fall we are out cutting next years firewood and putting the garden to bed. In the spring, everything is starting up,” says Mike Moore.
“We delve into the history, the natural history and the future of this area. We will talk about early pioneers and First Nations, but we will also talk about what we see on site in terms of forestry practises, fish farms and other things that effect the area.”
The narrative follows the growth of his vision from the his teenage years in Victoria to what he and his wife Samantha are presently experiencing in and around Cortes Island.
The Rich Ecological Diversity
He describes the rich ecological diversity of a region which hosts the warmest waters north of Mexico.
“When you dive into Pendrell Sound at the end of July, you enter water that is 26 C … One of the things that a lot of people remark on is there are no kelp beds. Whether there is not enough dissolved oxygen, or it is just too warm for kelp,” says Moore.
” … We are talking about Desolation Sound, but if you move just a few miles to the North, up into Bute Inlet, you don’t want to go swimming. The water for most of the summer is sort of a turquoise green with glacial melt. It is fresh water and it is cold.”
“And if you move just a few miles to the Northwest, into the Discovery Islands, and you’re in a tidal rapid area. The tidal waters get squeezed through these narrow channels formed by the islands and you can have tidal rapids that exceed 14 knots.”
The conversation ranged beyond present excursions to the potential development of a thriving new industry and its’ place within the larger economy of British Columbia.