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, that sometimes could be heard to say to friends and family when adding a bit of humorous self-deprecation when testing their patience, or was he irritatingly loving?
Or is this the exasperated true confession of a spouse, to honor 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!”