A tanker sits at anchor in front of Gabriola Island on a March morning. Some don’t appreciate them here, sometimes there have been several waiting here to get into Vancouver. I don’t mind them. It adds some interest to the sea scape. We can hear and even feel them drop their anchors in the channel. There will be this deep rumbling / scrapping sound and sometimes a little boom when it hits the sea bed.
Bob though is a bit sensitive to the sound of their generators running, a low hum, especially at night.
Unfortunately I don’t hear it – or it doesn’t disturb me enough.
“Can’t you hear that? What you mean you can’t hear that? !”
I craved some sun so I went to town. My island neighborhood is so heavily treed that much of the road is shady this time of year. There are spots to sit in the sun but not so much for a long walk in the sun. For that I needed to go across the water to town where the entire waterfront bathes in light. And fortunately there is a splendid walkway that hugs the shoreline for about 2 miles. All totaled I clocked my 10,000 steps easily, and a sufficient dose of good ultra violet therapy. Skin damage be damned.
When I look at this view of my little island and Newcastle Park from town I know I must live in one of the best little corners of Canada by far.
In truth it has taken me some time to have real affection for my town even though I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else in my 59 years; went to college here, had my daughter here, met and married my husband here, built a home.
But there is nothing not to love about Nanaimo, although it took years of desperate struggle, it has blossomed over the years and it’s harbor front is its winning card hands down. It’s a bit urban, some quaintness, great concerts, and celebrations, and what city can boast an 800 acre island park right in its harbor accessible only by boat?
Oh, a note about the Photo of the pirate at the top. That is our late, great (hmmm.) pirate Mayor Frank Ney. Black Frank, immortalized in bronze. He held the office of Mayor for 21 years and was also a developer. He was the guy to subdivide my little island, shown behind him, and responsible, among other very important things, of naming many of the city’s streets; Dingle Bingle hill, Twiggly-wiggly Road, Buttertubs, and Berger-Op-Zoom. My island didn’t escape unique naming, we received his Piratey legacy with Captain Kids Terrace, Pirates Lane, Treasure Trail, Captain Morgans. It’s said he’d delegate the business of street naming to his young children. He had eleven, so.
Snow Boots. Now I know it doesn’t look like a lot of snow here but believe me, we had snow ! It was well over one foot, two feet in some areas. Don’t laugh, that is impressive here in our non mountainous areas, it was beautiful. I can’t understand why I didn’t take any photos of it as it was blanketing my wee island, but I got a few before the final thaw.
Vancouver on the other hand was suffocating in it. Vehicle travel was pure and utter debilitating chaos. We just are not accustom to this degree of white rain.
One of our chickens. Okay it’s a quail, scavenging some fallen bird seed from the feeder.
Clearing the dock to our boat was a good work out…for Bob. Twice. We dock at the very end, and with the repetitive freezing rain, partial thawing, then more snow proved walking to the boat was a tad treacherous during those weeks.
Today all is green again. I worked out in the yard the entire day yesterday and it felt so good sensing spring feels oh so near ~
There is only a narrow watery gap that flows between my island home and an 800 acre island Provincial Park which come autumn is virtually uninhabited. The campers have all gone, the boaters have secured their vessels in the marinas for another year. The only access is by water and although our little ferry will bring you from town to the Park for a fee, few people take the time. It amazes me that few people even know about it, local residents of Vancouver Island included.
So this time of year, it’s all mine to wander.
This park is rich in history with the Coast Salish or Snuneymuxw First Nation, being a place where they came to mend the heart when in mourning, collect medicinal herbs and fish herring.
A good life, before us. Before it was ripped apart for coal and stone, and before CPR ships brought floods of elites to dance in the pavilion.
The park has, since a few years ago, been returned to the First Nation, under their rightful stewardship.
Thought I’d take this opportunity to share a little more on my recent excursion to Kimberley, B.C. – My daughter, along with her partner Don, were super hosts and kept me happily active with hikes, paddles, bike rides, swimming and great eats! Since I had accompanied Bob out to Kimberley because he was working a shut down at the mill in Skookumchuck for ten days (outside of Kimberley) he didn’t get as much visit and play time as I got.
Nearly as soon as we arrived my daughter and Don loaded us up to drive 40 minutes out of Kimberley to climb the Fairmont Hoodoos in the Columbia Valley. The rest of the time was just my daughter and me. We took a 17 Km bike ride on the North Star Rail to Trail. Where once were railroad tracks they have been taken out and paved. You can cycle to cranbrook 30 K away.
It was good to get away, I was certainly restored, and I can understand why my daughter who even though was born on Vancouver Island near the ocean fell in love with the Kootenays. With big fresh water lakes, meadows, foothills, rivers, and of course mountains, I didn’t miss the ocean either. Not to mention great snowy winters and hot summers. Kind of a full package. And only a days drive away- ok a long (long) days drive, but I consider it in my backyard. Lucky me.
Found this memorial bench while in Ucluelet on the West coast of Vancouver Island and had to admire its directness. Left me wondering if this was an opinion he held of himself, or is this the exasperated true confession of a spouse. Honouring the fact that he was a good man yes, but to also let it be known to everyone who maybe didn’t know that “He irritated the hell out of me!”
This is rather a rare occurrence for us west coasters to have our bay iced over for nearly 3 days, but there have been tales told that in the far past people have ice skated out to this little island.
The above photo is the third day as it’s finally breaking up. Bob and I have a welded aluminum boat which means it can take pushing through the ice, and we did. (This also scraps clean the bottom of our boat brilliantly too.) We went out to where our sailboat is moored and did a few circles around her to free her up and then we went all around the rest of the bay to break ice for those that are living aboard their boats and would have difficulty getting to shore with their row boats.
Off to a good start since this happened on January 1st making it our first good deed for 2016!
This is a photograph I took last February so although it isn’t recent I felt it was one I wanted to share for this topic as not only is it rather minimalist in composition, it seems to me to pack a message, analogy or metaphor if you will.
The message being “Between a rock and a hard place“, or my favorite because of its positive connotations “Bloom where you are planted.“
Exquisite solitude of a foggy beach front. Alone in these moments where the plunge into deep self reflection comes easily. Insights are teased out of the congestion of a run ragged life. These moments when we meet ourselves again and remember who we are, and the dreams we once dreamed.
And then there is the solitude from the perspective of a seagull while digesting a large starfish. Very lonely time for him. Cant fly, paddle in the water, nor interact with his cohorts. Must sit alone. Digesting.
I’m sure we all would love to have a rainbow sprouting from ones home. It seems I do. Bragging aside, I think I do live purrty dern close to what could be divined as paradise. (Funny I meant to type described but due to a Freudian finger slip typed Divined.) I think I’ll leave it.
I love this hallowed, hollow corridor that leads from my docks to the road home. Especially in the fall. City crowds trail off far behind in the bay and tensions release when my feet have carried me up the steep hill to here.
Unless I’m carrying 4 bags of groceries, then I’m sweating and breathing hard and a muffled curse could be murmured followed by something like must be nice to drive right up to your door.
That would be my boat waaay out on the end of the dock on the right.
When I’ve gathered myself and regathered my grocery bags (and after the blood has returned to my fingers) I am at once removed from the masses behind me and am embraced by this little divine paradise of a community I’ve called home for 24 years.
Better late than never, having missed the first couple of days of Blog U Photography 101- Just me bringing up the rear. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to post regarding this particular theme about Water. It has quite frankly been my life in every way.
Born in Southern California I not only spent most of my free childhood time at Huntington Beach, we also had a pool in our backyard where at 5 years old I first became a fish. Never swimming on top of the water- always under.
When I was 14 my family moved to British Columbia, our first house was a modest home right on the waterfront. My aunt gave me a row boat to use in the bay and I did any chance I could. I would row out as far as I could and sit and think.
Today I’m living on a small island surrounded by water, married to a man who’s passion is sailing (and being a Cancer makes him a “water sign”)- we bought a 30 foot sailboat a year after we married and have her still – and each other- 24 years later.
And each day when I go and return from work I take my boat 1.5 km across the water, winter and summer, storm, fog or clear and calm.
Of course one more thing – I live on the Vancouver Island coast. It rains a lot!
My mom, sister and her husband and I were staying in Lethbridge for a week the summer of 2012- my mom was having a reunion with friends from her youth that still lived in the Cardston area-and my daughter, living in Calgary, drove down and joined us.
Later in the afternoon my girl had taken a short drive out into the nearby fields with her Chihuahua Dexter to let him exercise and she thought she’d take few a photos. Meanwhile back at the ‘ranch’ the rest of us watched this amazing ominous cloud creep in and saw the tall poplar trees that lined the street nearly bend in half from the sudden gusts of wind. Then the lightening flashes, then driving hail.
I’m standing on the doorway panicking “Where is she?!” I’m waiting to see her car come up the road for what seemed too long, then finally she comes and we rush into the condo.
She was exhilarated even as I fretted over questions of What were you doing? Didn’t you see what was coming? She said she ‘hadto stay get these photos – it was so incredible’, then she showed us the images she captured on her digital-
and well yes, I then completely understood and was proud of her ferocity and daring. Atta girl.