1) sailing the summery coast off Gabriola Island: you can see Bowen Island (that low lying darker double bump in the background)
We flew across to Nanaimo on Friday to spend the weekend with Gracie, Margot, Barry and Roy at ‘the compound’ on Gabriola Island. Getting to Gab involves a flight or ferry to Nanaimo and then a second ferry across to Gabriola Island.
Margot and Barry have built (yes, built themselves by hand) a stunning retreat high atop the cliffs of Gabriola looking across the Strait of Gerogia to the Sunshine Coast. We have been blessed to visit the compound many times, and, as it was Gracie’s birthday – and she flew in from Toronto – we joined the family in celebrating. We lounged; we read (Eat, Pray, Love is my latest tome – so-so movie; a better book); we sailed; we hiked; we ate and drank; we spotted Canadian bald eagles and woodpeckers and harbour seals and stellar jays; we slept late; we picked our fruit from Margot`s wonderful garden; we chased chickens; we hung out with Patrick (the llama); we walked the dogs; and watched the Vuelta a Espana (Tour de Spain).
It was – as it blessedly always is – utterly wonderful and peaceful. Margot even put me onto the Zazen Lite mindfulness app for my iPhone.
2) the seaplanes at Vancouver harbour; 3) heading over to Nanaimo on Harbour Air
4) take off on the Fraser River by YVR
5) Namaimo; 6) folks line up for our ferry to Gabriola Island (the regular BC Ferries ferry did not run as a cement truck had fallen off the gangplank at the main terminal (go figure)
7) the dock at Gabriola; 8) the virew from the compound Friday night
9) I go up to piok bumbleberries; 10) G heads into the netting to pick blueberries
11) the side of the house; 12) Margot’s roses
13) G and Margot head down to the vegetable gardens to pick; 14) Margot planted grape vines which after 2 years threw up their first fruit
15) Patrick hangs out in the pasture; 16) someone was in the hen house
17) Patrick the llama; 18) I start preparing a spaghetti sauce
19) mapping our route out from Silva Bay to the Strait of Georgia; 20) Margot draws in the lines
21) captain Margot takes the helm; 22) heading out into the Strait
23) G rests on the bow; while Gracie sunbathes; 24) and I relax
25) if you look close you’ll see all the seals sunning themselves on the shore
26) a panoromic view out in the Strait
27) Margot prepares the lasagne; 28) our finished fruit crumble
29) a BC Ferry heads north; 30) G admires the view
31) a woodpecker does his thing; 32) a stellar jay eyes a birdhouse
33) Shilo; 34) Xena
35) dinner is served; 36) Margot arrives with Gracie’s birthday crumble
37 & 38) one, two, three … make a wish
39) sunset on Saturday night; 40) sunrise on Sunday morning
41) hiking the Elder Cedar reserve; 42) G heads out
43) G, Gracie and Margot wander the forest of ferns
44) for the dry season, everything is still so lush
45) eerie; 46) going deeper into the green
47) finally finding the Elder Cedar – a massive, ancient tree; 48) I pose with the great tree
49) a bald eagle taken with a combination of my snapy camera and a pair of binoculars (beleive it or not)
It`s such a bloody shame I must fly off to one of my least favourite spots on earth tomorrow – that horrible place full of fake plastic people called, Los Angeles. Grrrrr.