The view west from the homestead

The view west from the homestead

Sweet Chance

Sweet Chance

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Saturna Island-October 3, 2007

October 3, 2007

It’s early morning…. five to nine, and once again, I am sneaking some peace before the others wake up. Mostly I am sneaking the computer before Cassidy and Teslin come in and want to watch the special features on the Harry Potter movie we rented last night (yes…you can watch movies on a lap top…it might be the opposite of the movie theater experience, but suits us fine!).

We have now been in the islands off of Vancouver, B.C. for 2 weeks. The first night down here we met my folks, (AKA Grandma and Grandpa, Gramps, Grams, and Mary and Paul Bosley). We had a great reunion in the hotel’s eatery in the morning and despite everyone’s exhaustion from the previous days follies, we went off to the Vancouver Aquarium for the afternoon and then caught a ferry to Saturna Island in the evening. Some dear folks, Nell and Owen Dykstra have a cabin there and said we could pop-up for free as long as we like. Since there is no camping permitted on Saturna this is a great thing (it’s fine to camp on your own property—many folks do). Grandma and Grandpa stayed in the cabin and we snored away in the comfort of our Big Poppi. Cassidy and Teslin took turns sleeping in the cabin…. big stuff.

We spent 4 days wandering around. The sun blessed us with unbelievable weather, and we went to East Point (Cassidy called the little islet offshore Life Bird Island). Black Oystercatchers, Surfbirds, Heermann’s gulls, Brant’s cormorants, Harlequin Ducks, Black Turnstones, Common Loons, to name a few! It was also tide pool heaven and naptime for many seals. No orcas yet…except for the distant fins we saw on the glacier tour in Seward.

We also took a trip to the highest point in Saturna (which is actually the highest peak in all the gulf islands) to Warburton Pike. Amazing views from there. It is a very steep slope down to the water, so it allows for great views of the water, inlets, boat activity and birds. The best part were the ravens that were playing on the thermals. Incredible, really! One would land in a pine tree and get a cone and then take off high. Another would follow and once they were high above, the first would drop the cone by swinging it’s feet up in front of it’s head and launching the cone into the air. The second would catch it, complete with dives and flips and incredible maneuvering. The pair would do this until they were almost back down to the ground and then it would all start over. It looked like a courtship dance…. but in September? We think they were just playing, since many of them seemed to be doing it. We watched them for a couple hours. Wow!

From Warburton Pike Chris, Grandma, Teslin and I walked down towards the winery on the coast. Well…we followed a very old road through the woods that we thought was a trail. Judging by the amount of trees we had to skirt, we might have missed it! We eventually met up with Gramps and Cassidy and settled down to some wine tasting. That was fun, a bit hurried, but fun. (A great Pinot Gris).

After a few days in Saturna we headed over to Vancouver Island. It is such fun to go places by ferry. The lifestyle out here seems much more peaceful, especially on Saturna. Vancouver Island is quite built up and touristy where we went. Beautiful, but well trodden upon. We spent a night in Nanaimo en route to Tofino which is on the West coast of Vancouver Island. We rented a spectacular place for 3 nights, the Tofino Chalet. It is a very modern, glass-rich place perfectly placed in some ancient red cedars on a bay with mountains with the Tofino harbor way out in the distance. Huge tides, so that at low tide, there was a giant mud flat with some saltwater creeks running through it. Great birding. Cassidy and Teslin put on their knee high boots and tried to explore the mud flat, but it was a miracle they got back out. It was boot sucking, children eating mud. They looked like creatures from the deep when they got back and smelled like it too. Grandma hosed them off and they seemed to loose their appetite for further mud flat exploration. It was such a gorgeous spot…. I could feel myself get softer with each night.

On their last day, Grampa, Cassidy, and Chris went out fishing for 5 hours and caught nearly half the sea. I’ll have to let one of them explain since I was busy having a girl’s day out. THAT was great…3 generations of women. We dawdled, and drank tea, and had an Empress moment on the huge cedar stump facing the water. An empress moment is a tea ceremony involving a very special tea bag donated by Jane Klimshuck which was “given to them” when they went to the Empress house for high tea in Vancouver Island—the high tea cost them over $200 and they each received a parting gift of a tea bag when they left! It also involves nose rubbing, kissing, and putting foreheads together for a group breath. Delightful, needless to say. We also made it down to the beach where only 2 generations went flying naked into the waves. (The middle generation is a sissy when it comes to cold water). Ahh the Pacific. I have to say, it was NOT balmy weather! I was very impressed with their grit. I even donated one of my layers for them to dry off on. Grandma and Teslin were both giddy with delight and we had a great time on the trail to and from the sea through old growth rain forest.

We had a teary goodbye the next morning. It was very special to visit and reminds us how many dear connections we have left in the East. It also reminds us how much we want others to come play! We spent one additional night at the Chalet before returning to Saturna. The weather closed in with our return, and has been cool and drippy since. On the ferry back (we took the long one and arrived at 11:30pm) we listened to Harry Potter book #1 again…it opened up the cauldron of Hogwarts---unstoppable--and we rented the first 3 movies, one a day since our return. We make popcorn, have spritzers and beer, and all squish on a couch and peer into the laptop. Life was never so good.

Today we leave Saturna for the southlands. We are going to descend on Diane and Ray and Sarah Hazen near Tacoma and have more family and fun. We also hope to go to the Olympic Peninsula for more rainforest (and hot springs) if we can dry off the mold that is growing so far. We are also aware that the Red Sox made the play offs and hope to actually see a game some day before the season is over. Ta Ta for now! Anny

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