New Year’s Day at Minette Bay

Photos from the annual local photographers’ walk around Minette Bay. The deepest cold passed, leaving ice everywhere. There was a heavy overcast and occasional fog.

A female bufflehead duck in the tidal flats of Minette Bay. (Robin Rowland)

Previous New Year’s walks

January 1, 2017
January 1, 2016

A New Year’s photography party on the mudflats of Minette Bay, Kitimat


As the tide goes out, the ice  covering a briny tidal creek collapses, leaving  patterned cracks. Minette Bay, Kitimat January 1. 2016. (Robin Rowland)

I spent New Year’s Day on the mudflats of Minette Bay, near Kitimat, with other local photographers.   At low tide,  of course.   Ruth and Howard Mills who run the luxury B&B the Minette Bay Lodge invited us for the photo walk on the ice and mud followed by  hot soup and great New Year’s snacks.

Most of my images look best in black and white.  There are few in colour at the end of the blog.


Looking across Minette Bay with Kitimat’s iconic Mt. Elizabeth in the background.  Just after noon the water was just a couple  of centimetres deep, covered in thin layers of ice.  The cold made the mud solid enough so that it wouldn’t be boot grabbing ooze you experience in the summer. January 1, 2016 (Robin Rowland)

minettebeach_1bwThe beach, covered in seaweed, snow and old logs looking west from the trail,  January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)


Looking west toward Douglas Channel, and the Rio Tinto aluminum plant with the winter sun low over the hills to the south. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)

The twisted roots of a dead tree lying on the beach in some ways reminded me of the Iron Throne. Game of Stumps, anyone? (Robin Rowland)

Walking back to the lodge along the creek trail. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)

Another angle on the creek from a bridge a little further along the trail. (Robin Rowland)


Ice on a chunk of rotten log on the mudflats. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)


An ice crystal floats on the thin layer of water on top of the frozen mud. (Robin Rowland)


The winter sun shines through the rain forest. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)


Happy New Year! Kitimat’s photographers celebrate in the middle of a day on the ice. (Robin Rowland)

Great Blue Heron at Minette Bay, Kitimat

Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron flies over Minette Bay, Kitimat, on the morning of June 5, 2014. (Robin Rowland)

I was assigned by CBC News to shoot stock images of Kitimat in anticipation of the federal government approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline and terminal project later this month.

So as well as my video camera, I took along my DSLR. I shot video of the Great Blue Heron as it waded along the shore for a few minutes. Then as I switched to the DSLR, it took flight.


Minette Bay

Wide shot of Minette Bay, looking toward the Silja Festival aka The Delta Spirit Lodge and the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter.

Minette Bay

Minette Bay from the same spot, the old dock, looking toward the log sort and the Minette Bay marina.


Great Blue Heron wades in Minette Bay


Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron wades in Minette Bay casting a glance at the cruise ship.


Great Blue heron flies over Minette Bay.

It takes flight.

Great Blue Heron flies

It flies past the old dock toward the logs.

Kitimat Dragon Boat Races, July 2, 2011

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The annual Kitimat Dragon Boat races were held at Minette Bay on July 2, 2011. The day began in pouring rain and gradually began to clear in the afternoon and by the finals in the afternoon, it was sunny and warm.
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Putting on the PFD as the crews prepare for the first race.

451-Rowland_Kitimat Dragon Boat Race web 03a.jpgRacing onto the dock for the first race.
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Heading out beyond the logs to the race course.
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At the starting line at the other side of Minette Bay.
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Changing crews after a race.
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The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary-Pacific Unit 63 Snowflake Responder keeps an eye on the races.
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452-Rowland_Kitimat Dragon Boat Race 20.jpg The crews take a break.

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The final race to the finish line.
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After the formal final, the finalists competed a second time in the “Guts and Glory” Race.
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Heading home after the Guts and Glory race.