Poe-tay-toe, Poe-tah-toe

There’s some disagreement about the pronunciation of Matia Island’s name. Most say Mah-TEE-ah but there are diehards who insist on MAY-sha. Then again, there are multiple pronunciations for a lot of things around here.

Matia is very difficult to visit, particularly during the crowded high season. The coastline is rocky and the water is shallow. Even if you could land, half the Island is a bird sanctuary that is forbidden to visitors. That leaves the small dock and two buoys in Rolfe Cove. Except that both buoys were missing when we arrived.

This happens. Sometimes buoys are taken away for renovation (the chains and seabed anchors eventually rust away), sometimes they just wander off on their own if renovation doesn’t come soon enough.

One thing about Matia, don’t even think about anchoring. The current can run through Rolfe Cove at a fierce rate and the rocky bottom does not provide good anchorage.

That left the dock. There was one Impromptu-sized spot left and we headed for it. Well, we headed for it until the current (remember it?) caught the stern and spun us around. Modifying our plan of attack on the second pass got us close enough to the dock for a friendly boater to grab our line.

Here’s Impromptu safely tied to the dock. Note the utter lack of buoys where there should be two.

The trouble with docking on these small Islands is raccoons. Impromptu may look like a boat to you, but to a raccoon she’s a food truck. Button up tight before bedtime or chaos may ensue.

Having scored a place on the dock, we might have stayed a couple of days to enjoy the quiet isolation of this uninhabited spot. But with only a few sunny days in the forecast, we decided to move on the next day. We set out immediately to walk the 2.6 miles of trails and revisit favorite spots.

Faithful readers may remember seeing Matia before. I posted more extensive photos of the Island during our first visit last year.

This is an outhouse – a relatively new design. I love them. Why? Because they are absolutely odorless and breakdown our, er, “contributions” into compost.

The walk begins at the public campground (no pets allowed in order to protect the birds), then passes through a forested area. These green-tinged rocks caught my eye.

The eastern end of the Island is rocks and scrub. A very nice place to watch passing boats and lie in the sun.

We were treated to a fine sunset behind Sucia Island, where we will head in the morning.

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