As you leave Johnstone Strait, the first town you come to is Alert Bay. Located on Cormorant Island in traditional Kwakwaka’wakw territory, Alert Bay was the social hub of the Central Coast during the height of the West Coast fishery. It is now a much smaller village, with about 1200 full time residents. We stopped in to Alert Bay for several days – to provision, to pick up some mail, and to experience this historic town for ourselves.
On Saturday night, we decided to stop in at the Orca Inn, a local pub that was offering live music from 8pm onwards. We enjoyed fresh halibut and crab tacos for dinner, while listening to Jamie Taylor, a long time resident of Alert Bay, singing his songs telling stories of life on the coast. When Jamie was finished, several other local performers took turns on stage, and Jamie came over to our table to meet us, sat down, and chatted for a while. The place was clearly very popular, and we felt very welcome!