the Gulf Islands

Sidney Spit Marine Park

Sunday, October 17, 2010S.V. CAMBRIA

Sidney Spit looking back towards the island.

We left Tod Inlet yesterday afternoon for Sidney Spit, one of the coast's most popular marine parks a few miles outside the city of the same name.  Along the way, David was able to harness the heat from the engine and run it through the system warming the boat up to 65ºF – a very welcomed change from the morning low of 48ºF.  We arrived a couple of hours later and had our pick of one of the many mooring buoys littering the area.   In the summer months, that wouldn't be possible.  The anchorage is rumoured to be unpleasantly noisy and full of boats but, this time of year, it's much quieter and there are only a few of us here.

It's as different as you can get from other anchorages we've visited in British Columbia.  Unlike most of the Gulf Islands which are formed from hard rock outcropping, Sidney Island is made of glacial till, or sediment, and shaped like a south seas atoll.   There's a trail that winds around the island through a forest to a campsite located on the shore of a lagoon – the former home of Sidney Island Brick and Tile Company where thousands of red bricks continue to lie abandoned on the beach.  The brickyard was short-lived and floundered in less than seven years but not before supplying the bricks for the world-famous Empress Hotel in Victoria.

Bu twhat makes this place so popular is Sidney Spit, formed from fine sand, which extends nearly a mile from the north end of Sidney Island.  For two days, we had the run of the place and spent hours walking along the beach and around the trails watching our fourteen year-old dog play like a puppy.  I managed to lose Sally three times in the process but, it's an island, and we always found our way back to each other.

Tomorrow we'll go over to the Port of Sidney Marina for the night where Lance will change out the compressor head and give the heater its yearly service.  We've been looking forward to this day for nearly a week, but it's so nice here that I almost hate to leave . . . almost.

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