Discovery Islands - Maurelle Island
Map: Maurelle Island
A mere 15 square kilometres in size, Maurelle Island is divided from Read Island Maurelle Island in relationship to Campbell River on Vancouver Island by a constricted body of water, called Hoskyn Channel. The channel contracts at one point to a shallow, rock-choked passage marked at just a little over one meter minimum in depth on hydro-graphical charts but which becomes almost dry at low water. With very little arable land Maurelle is seen to be mostly rocky. Tom Bell of the HMCS Quadra wrote in 1895 that bears were reported on Maurelle (then known as middle Valdes Island), “sometimes crossing to Read Island at Hoskyn’s Channel“a strip that dries at low water,” at that time there was no sign of Kayaking Hoskyns Channel, near Campbell River in habitants on either island.
A great Kayak Spot:
A note here is that this channel makes a very interesting kayak route, just be careful you time the tides right to avoid ending up high and dry as when the tide is at the its lowest point the sea bottom is very muddy and difficult to navigate.
Watch out for the Big Cats:
Cougars were and continue to be numerous on Maurelle, it was known to the few settlers that have lived on the island, that it was wise to bring small animals indoors before dark; as cougars have been known to creep up and snatch dogs or cats right from their doorstep. One evening Mrs. Armstrong looked out her window to see a cougar sitting on a stump just a few feet away, while a neighbour, hearing snarls and squeals in the night opened his door to find a big cat about to pounce on his dog. He shot the cat, but unfortunately he was too late to save his dog. With the large numbers of predators about, traditionally there have been few deer on the island, and although cats have been known to island hop, they are not as adept in the water as deer, wolves or bears, so there presence has continued to plague island residence for many years.Areal view of Maurelle Island of the eastern shores of Campbell River
Due to the Rocky geographical nature of Maurelle Island, it is not aptly suitable for farming, so logging and fishing have been the main industries during, and up to the 1930’s. Six mining claims were filed on the island in 1920 but none proved productive.
Just north of Antonio Point on the southern tip of Maurelle there is a Provincial Recreational Reserve. Here there are two small anchorages where boats can wait for a favourable tide before entering the confines of Surge Narrows.