Gulf Islands

Visit to Victoria, Saltspring Island, Pender and Gabriola Island. Lots of ferries!

On our first ferry, to Victoria, we saw a sailboat that had floundered on a reef, being salvaged by a crane.This group from Houston was going to bike around Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. They all had amazing little packable bikes, both tandems and triples.

The Beacon Hill Bed and Breakfast is where we stayed in Victoria. Friendly owner, lots of antiques.

The Empress Hotel, a landmark in towntown Victoria.The inner harbor, looking over to the parliment.

The breakfast room at the bed and breakfast. This is how I imagine people lived in Victorian times, in houses packed with delicate knick-knacks.The bed and breakfast was full of antiques. This chair would be a good one to reproduce in miniature.

Leaves of the Garry Oak tree, native to the area. The leaves seemed less chewed up by insects on the Gulf Islands.Jumping rope with a strand of bull kelp.

There was supposed to be a geocache here. We had no luck in finding it, though.Seals at the Oak Harbor marina. They were very interested when I pretended to have some fish in my hand for them.

A cloud that looks like it has a rainbow painted across it.A sidewalk artist drawing his subject. They seemed pretty reasonable - $20 CDN for a decent looking portrait.

This portrait reminded me of my friend VictoriaWhat a waste of time and energy. This woman had just finished sorting out a bag of garbage at a craft festival, fishing out the plastic bottles from the rest of the trash. I imagine the bottles were probably worth about a tenth of a penny.

We walked around the harbor looking at some of the very impressive boats docked there.This one had it's own helicopter.

More street life

This guy did an act that combined skateboarding, and balancing with juggling torches. Unfortunately the torches had gone out before he got a chance to juggle them.An art deco era house.

Eric was very interested in the royal geneology charts at the museumFound this worm-eaten log on a beach on the way to Port Renfrew.

...also this stone mosaic must have been made that same morning.and this cute little lady too!

Root of a fallen tree.Along the beach.

Back at the bed and breakfast - the gardener Bob had planted some very unique ferns there.

On Saltspring Island, looking into an old farmhouse at Ruckle Provincial Park.Sheep gave us a wide berth on the trail around Ruckle Park.

On our way back to the car, we had a cookie from an unattended farm booth.The next morning dawned bright and beautiful at the Beddis House bed and breakfast. A very nice place, and very well run. Also, right on the sea.

The shore right in front of the house.

These starfish are very common on the coast here.We went back to Ruckle park to do a geocache there - the only one on the Gulf islands. We were the first to find it, too.

A petroglyph at Drummond beach park.There's a studio tour on the island, where you can stop in at various artists at work. We stopped in at one woodworking studio. The most interesting thing there was a little building made of old bottles stuck together with cement.

He also grew and sold trees.The view from the top of Mt. Maxwell.

At one of the studios in the main town of Ganges, they had taken old childrens jeans, stiffened them somehow, and made them into planters.Our room at the bed and breakfast.

Looking out to the ocean from the lawn. Great location!In the afternoon, home baked treats were served.

Down the road was an well maintained estate owned by an eccentric woman who was the heiress to a pharmaceutical fortune. Apparently Saltspring island (which is fairly isolated) wasn't isolated enough for her, so her main residence is at a very isolated island off the west coast of Vancouver island. When she visits this place, she sleeps in a tent.She owned an orchard and wellhouse across the street from the bed and breakfast, and let the public accss it. This is me in the wellhouse.

A sign posted in Ganges.An arts and crafts store in Ganges. There were lots of studios in town.

The Salt Spring Island Dollar. They have their own currency there. Apparently accepted in some stores.This card is similar to the cards my friend Judy makes, but doesn't have the squares cut out of it.

Biking the northen part of Saltspring island. Honestly, it's not a great cycling area. Very hilly, and very little view from the roads.Vesuvious bay.

Hippies in the park at Ganges.This fruit was in the supermarket at Ganges. It was labelled a Dragonfruit. I've only seen it once before, at a market in Laos.

The harbor in Ganges.For dinner we ate at the treehouse cafe. They had open mike night.

The woman in green sang just before we left. She looked as though she's had a hard life.Sitting out on the chairs in the backyard, watching the boat traffic, was very relaxing.

The bed and breakfast was done up country style, with some antiques, thus the clawfoot tub. I can see why that went out of style - getting in and out is kind of uncomfortable.Kayaking with Lauren and Coleen, who were also staying at the b & b.

Our guide Matt with a starfish, missing one leg.

Matt also found a sea star (?)for us. Very slimey.Lauren and Coleen. It was their first time in a kayak, and they did great.

The mud flats that we launched had the most sand dollars that I've ever seen in my life.On Pender Island.

The view from Oak Bluff on Pender Island. This was the nicest place on the island that we saw. Otherwise there weren't many parks or public areas at all.The canal between north and south Pender.

Chemianus, town of many murals.On our way to Nanaimo, we stopped at a bungy jumping place. We spent about 45 minutes watching one woman trying to get up the nerve to jump. She never did.

On Gabriola Island, millstones for crushing wood for paper had been made out of the local stone. We stopped at one of the sites where this was done. It's a strange looking place. Wonder what we would have guessed it was for, if we didn't know about the millstones.

The Malaspina galleries on Gabriola are sandstone rock formations, that look somewhat like waves in the rock.People had carved their names in the sandstone. After it eroded, it looked as though their names had been carved in relief. I assume that carving the names had compressed the stone right underneath it, and caused it to better withstand erosion.

It's almost scary to stand underneath it - that's a lot of fragile looking rock above you.This cannonball shaped rock protruding from the sandstone reminded us of the Moeraki Boulders in New Zealand.

More millstones, close to our bed and breakfast. These were the discarded ones.

The view from the backyard of our bed and breakfast.

We had a nice view from our room as well.The next day we went back to Malaspina Galleries to take pictures in a different light.

Beaches on the north end of Gabriola Island.Barnacles formed just along the edges of where the stones lifted out from the sand.

Eric looking for crabs at Drumberg beach.There's a petroglyph site at Gabriola Island. There's supposed to be dozens, and we explored a bit, but never saw anything except what was on the beaten track. Guess we didn't look hard enough.

Some parasitic plants in the woods.

A huge raft of logs being barged off to Nanaimo.The roads on Gabriola were nice and level, mostly. Like little green tunnels.