the Gulf Islands

Red Sky Dawning, Sailors Take Warning

Sunday, October 18, 2009S.V. CAMBRIA

We spent a week in Silva Bay waiting for several weather systems to pass through before moving on. It rained quite a bit and was cold, but we were comfortable inside Cambria with the heater going as we passed the time making plans for the upcoming winter and doing small jobs around the boat.

There’s not much happening in Silva Bay this time of year. During the summer months, it looks like an interesting place to explore by kayak and dingy but it’s not practical when the weather isn’t settled, so all of our exploration had to be done by foot.

Gabriola Island is known for its petroglyphs which date back 2000 years, so we took a walk to Degnen Bay one afternoon when it wasn’t raining to see them. According to the guide books, there are more than 50 examples sitting on the land behind a local church, but we were only able to find three or four that clearly stood out in the well-worn bedrock bringing into question the merit of the five-mile walk, especially for David who’s been struggling with a niggling back. A couple of days later, Sally and I walked to Drumgen Provincial Park to see the unique sandstone formations along the beach. It wasn’t as far, and there were plenty of well-worn trails for us to investigate – some of which afforded incredible views across the Strait of Georgia to the mainland and Coastal Mountains.

As an added surprise, the yacht Yonder, which we met the last time we were in Princess Louisa Inlet, arrived Friday night, so we stopped by to say hello. It was lovely to see Ian and Jo again and, of course, their Kiwi guests, Tui and Mark. They were kind enough to invite us aboard for a beer which we gladly accepted and had a good time chatting about where we’d all been over the past few weeks.

After one more day of pouring rain, we were finally able to up-anchor late this morning and make our way through Gabriola Passage, leaving the Strait of Georgia behind us until next year and entering the protected waters of the Gulf Islands where we hope to spend the next month or so exploring the beautiful bays and towns – weather permitting, of course.

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