Monday, August 31, 2015

Two Towhees

A power of watchful towhees at Swan Lake...
Towhees watching me curiously at nearby Swan Lake...
Towhees are a type of sparrow, much more colourful and full of personality than the ubiquitous standard grey-brown things often found at bird feeders.

This pair watched me with curiosity at nearby Swan Lake one morning.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Wild Thyme

Saturna Island's unique eatery...
Saturna Island's unique eatery...
Wild Thyme is the name of a unique coffee house located on Saturna, a stone's throw up the steep hill from the ferry terminal. It's an old English double decker bus converted by the shop's owner Aleah Johnson, recently featured on the cover of Beautiful BC magazine.

The 2nd deck eating area...
Meals are served on the second floor (deck)...
The second deck is a cozy restaurant. It probably enhances your enjoyment of the experience if you are a short person. At five-foot, seven-inches my head was bumping up against the ceiling.

The cramped gallery where the food is prepared...
The gallery...
not for the claustrophobic...
The galley -- tiny and crowded but functional -- is on the first floor. Unfortunately, I arrived too late to enjoy a meal, but I did enjoy the ambiance and a cup of joe.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

East Point

Saturna Island's slice of New England...
A slice of New England at the end of Saturna...

The de-commissioned Fog Alarm Building above sits at the far end of Saturna Island overlooking East Point.

Despite the fact that East Point is supposed to be one of the prime locations for sighting orcas in the Gulf Islands I have yet to seen them after three visits to the site.

However, I was lucky enough to see porpoises and some lounging sea lions (below)  -- probably the reason for frequent orca visits -- on a nearby rock.

Sea lions lolling on a rock off Saturna Island...
Sea lions (and one eagle) enjoying the salty breezes...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Active Active Pass

Mayne Island on the right, Galiano Island on the left...
Galiano on the left, Mayne on the right...
Possibly my favourite camp site on the southern Gulf Islands is on Mayne Island. I try to stay at the 'honeymoon' site that is on the periphery of the grounds overlooking Active Pass.

Active Pass separates Mayne Island from Galiano Island. Twice an hour, a BC ferry passes through as they travel between Vancouver Island and the mainland. Other traffic routinely includes smaller ferries traveling between the islands, floatplanes, pleasure craft and -- if you are lucky enough to see them -- the occasional pod of orcas.

Passing ferries in Active Pass...
Ferries passing in daytime Active Pass...

Monday, August 3, 2015

Gulf Island Getaway

The official flag of BC Ferries?
The official flag of BC Ferries...
Recently, I loaded up my scooter with several days worth of camping gear and headed over the Gulf Island of Mayne Island.

Although the high ferry fares between Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are a source of constant irritation to locals, it's hard to put a price on the spiritual value of watching some of the most beautiful coastal scenery on the planet pass by on a sunny summer day.

The couple below though seemed immune to the beauty surrounding them and content to simply catch some zzzz's at the stern of the ship.

Snoozin' at the stern...
Sun and slumber on a BC ferry...