Blogs from Discovery Islands, British Columbia, Canada, North America


Today we visited Quadra Island in the Discovery Island group of about a dozen between Campbell River on Vancouver Island and mainland BC. If the line-up of vehicles on both sides of the ferry route were any indication, then life on Quadra seems to be quite vibrant. After speaking with a few locals at the Heriot Bay Inn Pub we found that the locals are involved in fishing, shellfish aquaculture, forestry, art, writing, building and a wide range of professional services. A large number of active, community minded retirees live on the island too. We landed at Quathiaski Cove by ferry and made our way to Heriot Bay. Returning along West Road we called in to visit Richard Christie who had been my exchange teaching partner in ’86. He lives in a sensational home overlooking magnificent ... read more

I have been kicking my legs vigorously and pushing myself up on my arms but all I seem to be doing is moving backwards! Occasionally, I sit on my haunches, but that is boring so I spring forward onto my face. It's so frustrating! I'm grabbing lots of stuff now though so I can put it in my mouth and taste it :) I can even shake my shaker now! I also love putting my hand up and grabbing mummy's mouth or hair when I'm feeding. Another game I like playing is reaching down and grabbing my feet. I only just discovered them! I just remembered that I am also sitting up at the table so that I can grab things before they get to daddy's mouth. Sometimes spilling the plate is fun also. Uncle Romke ... read more
More goats on the roof!
Mummy's seen the blueberry pie...
That's a big slice of blueberry pie Mummy!

Generally, wildlife is prolific and doing rather well on Cortes Island, but when it comes to deer...... they’re a lot more relaxed and doing a lot better than us mere Sapiens: When you wake-up and stroll onto your cabin deck, there’s a doe stretching the compound fence to munch on flower buds of the hydrangea and hostes plantsOn the way to work watch out; one bambi just stood spread legged transfixed in front of the CRV before Mum doe finally called her awayArrive at work and a mini-herd is rai... read more
2- am clean-up
3- apples are my favourite
4- hate garden fences

I’m here for a couple of month’s so here’s a bit about the place before I get to people and creatures: A short story about Cortes: Mapped by Spanish Capt. Quadra in the late 1700’s, he named Cortes after the infamous conquistador of Mexico. In the 1800’s it became a whaling and fishing centre (hence Whaletown). First half of the 1900’s, there was some residential farming and logging. By the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Cortes had become a sparsely populated hippie community. Dave Barrett’s NDP gov’t. forced the ‘Hippies’ to come an agreement on development, specifically a “Settlement Plan” which specified a minimum lot size of 10 acres (x- grandfathering and Crown Lands); this 10 acre minimum lot size, together with lots of town... read more

Toronto to Vancouver, Monday am May 2 through Thursday afternoon May 5th, 4 days, 4280Km, 48.5 driving hours, out-of- pockets of $780 including gas, accommodation, food and a lube job. Thankfully, the little Red Beast performed impeccably. Monday through Ontario to Sault Saint Marie, into Minnesota and overnight at Marquette on Lake Superior. Tuesday was the marathon day; top of Michigan, then through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and to overnight in Estevan, Saskatchewan. The latter part of Tuesday saw lots of strong prairie headwinds that frequently tried to rip the kayak off the roof; endless oil trains as far as the eyes could see with nodding donkey-pumping stations everywhere throughout the Bakken fields of North Dakota and Saskatchewan. Wednesday am was a pit-stop break, as the l... read more

August 8, 2013 Five years ago I celebrated my 40th birthday on Salt Spring Island, BC and now here I am celebrating my 45th on Quadra. We save the highest mountain for my birthday, partly because hiking up a mountain seems like a good way to celebrate a birthday and partly because it’s – as far as the boys are concerned – yet another mountain - but because it’s my birthday they know better than to complain about it. So, after Chocolate Brownie cake (made by the boys) and lots of lovely little presents (jewelry really is a girl’s best friend as it takes up so little room in ones suitcase don’t you agree?) we head to Mount Seymour in the north of the island. At 620 meters it’s not massive but considering this is a ... read more
King of the beach!
Mt Seymour
Mt Seymour

August 5/6/7, 2013 Each day we wake to glorious weather and each day we’re beginning to take it for granted - which is not a good thing to do in British Columbia. But we reassure ourselves that we are making excellent use of the weather. We are (apart from a few hours in the morning spent either working or school work) on holiday and so we get out and about and enjoy the sun. We find more beautiful spots on Quadra (it would be hard not to) and, with the help of the local Quadra Island Hiking Trails map (sold for $2 in order to help with the upkeep of trails etc), we find a few hikes. One (Haskin Farm Trail) is just a 1.5 km trail that leads through beautiful forest before descending steeply to ... read more
Kayaking in Gowlland Harbour
Hiking up Beech's Mtn
The summit of Beech's Mtn.

August 4, 2013 We wake to another beautiful day in British Columbia on the lovely island of Quadra. The view from the deck is outstanding and as we sit and eat breakfast we can hear the hoarse, cawing cry of the crows chattering to each other. It’s difficult to drag ourselves away from the view as the morning sun gently warms us so we stay a while longer. After a busy week in downtown Vancouver it seems right to slow things down a bit on Quadra. It’s Sunday; we’ve got our books, the boys are happy with their iPads and as a result it’s gone midday by the time we finally set out to explore further afield. Our first stop is the Tru-Value supermarket in Heriot Bay. It’s not Safeway but it’ll do nicely for the ... read more
The Spit

August 3, 2013 A shame to leave our wonderful condo in False Creek but it’s a rather nice feeling to know we’re a long way off going home. Today we head over to Vancouver Island and from there to Quadra Island. It’s usually ok not to book BC Ferries from the mainland to Vancouver Island but this is the August long weekend in Canada and as such it is probably worth booking. Unfortunately we didn’t - until a few days ago that is - and as a result have no choice but to journey down south to Tsawwassen for our ferry across to Nanaimo instead of going north from Horseshoe Bay. After our initial panic on discovering this it turns out there isn’t any difference in the cost and not much in the journey time either ... read more
Sunset from Lazy Sunset!
Evening view from Lazy Sunset
Morning View

Days at sea are always fun and relaxing. We had plenty of time today to explore the ship and get our bearings. Deb signed up for "boot camp" in the fitness center - the first day was today and the 2nd will be at our next sea day later in the week. We had massages scheduled, so enjoyed being pampered and getting all of the "travel tension" worked out so we could relax and enjoy the rest of the trip. We discovered that they serve "high tea" each day from 3-4pm, so took advantage of that. It was Cecil's first time at tea, and he really enjoyed the fresh, warm scones and clotted cream. I hope nobody was counting! :)... read more

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