Dodd Narrows, Mudge Island

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Dodd Narrows, Mudge Island

by | Mar 15, 2020

Dodd Narrows is at the northwest end of Mudge Island, separating Mudge Island from Vancouver Island, about 33 miles (53 km) southwest of Vancouver and 6 miles (9.7 km) southeast of Nanaimo, British Columbia. The Narrows are named after Charles Dodd, a ship captain and fur trader with a distinguished career in British Columbia and Alaska. Dodd Passage and Dodd Rock, near Port Simpson, B.C., are also named in his honor.

Mudge Island is one of the Southern Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia. It lies between Gabriola Island and Vancouver Island, and is considered part of the De Courcy island group. It is about 0.50 miles (0.8 km) wide and 2.5 miles (4 km) long. The island is named for William Fitzwilliam Mudge, an officer on HMS Plumper under Captain George Henry Richards. Richards surveyed and named many of the islands and other features in the area in 1859.

The timber industry in Nanaimo requires a constant supply of logs that are transported as timber rafts. Timber rafts are used in Southeast Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to cheaply transport whole logs by water. Timber rafts can be of enormous proportions, sometimes up to 2000 feet (600 m) long, 165 feet (50 m) wide, and stacked 6.5 feet (2 m) high. Such rafts contain thousands of logs and tugboats are used to pull and maintain control. The timber rafts arrive from many locations in British Columbia, some are occasionally transported through Dodd Narrows, and then temporarily tied up along the shoreline of Gabriola Island before the logs are processed at a mill. Read more here and here. See a short video of a log raft being pulled by a small tugboat here. Explore more of Dodd Narrows here:

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