**Our Gulf Islands Trip: Day 3 – June 9, 2008

Trip route for day 3

Our trip route for Day 3

(click for larger image)
Image courtesty of
KayakSuccor (aka R. Darling)


This morning I stirred awake to the sound of rain gently pattering on the deck above me.  The boat had been still most of the night and was rocking just the slightest bit when I first came to.  Having had a terrible night’s sleep, I rolled over and closed my eyes for another hour hoping to nod off again or at least postpone the cold and damp I knew awaited me when I crawled out of my cozy sleeping bag.  I could never hack it as a true sailor, or even a pirate queen, kickass though the outfits might be.  I hate being damp and cold, and I get seasick (though I was mercifully spared this time).  Plus, I’ve noticed, when you get insomnia on a boat with other people, there’s not much you can do about it except count to 1000 over and over in your head until you either fall asleep or go crazy and jump off the back deck.  Luckily I eventually fell asleep.  It would have been a long damn swim to shore otherwise.

After some coffee and chitchat, we untied ourselves from the mooring buoy and headed off into a cold grey morning, rain gently but steadily dimpling the water.  Today was the first day that I decided it was just too cold to ride on the flybridge with the boys so I stayed in the heated cabin and knitted blissfully.  This was my first day of real knitting and, though I hated to miss out on the scenery I knew was probably terribly enchanting, it was lovely to spend a little time alone with my fiber and get reacquainted.  Foolish me, I’d brought enough yarn to start and finish 28thirty, yarn for a complete Fake Isle hat for myself, and enough yarn to make 6 pairs of Warm Woolies socks give or take.  I laugh now to think I thought I’d have enough time to knit all those things, but I guess I was feeling optimistic.  Or maybe just hopeful.


28thirty in progress

28thirty in progress (knit from stash…..boo-ya!)


After about 2 hours of travel we arrived at our first destination for the day:  Degnan Bay on Gabriola Island.  We unloaded the dinghy from the boat and quietly motored our way into the harbor, heavily anticipating one of the major highlights of our trip.  It was eerily silent, with little signs of activity, and I almost felt as if I should whisper.  As if speaking aloud might awaken some sleeping creature that wouldn’t be too happy to find interlopers in their harbor. 


Degnan Bay - Gabriola Island

Inside Degnan Bay
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Small island outside Degnan Bay

A small wooded island outside Degnan Bay
(click for larger image)


I was particularly excited to be going ashore as we had been promised that Gabriola was the site of some amazing ancient stone carvings.  As to how to find them, well that part was rather vague.  Walk to the main road, turn left, walk to the church, then take the path behind it to a large field.  Nothing was clearly marked at all, but after a mile or so we found the church and made our way into the clearing behind it.


The field behind the church

 The field behind the church
(click for larger image)


 I can’t begin to describe the feeling that engulfs you when you find yourself in the presence of carvings made some 5000 years ago.  Carvings so ancient that they pre-date the Native People indigenous to the area itself.  What struck me most was how different they were from most Northwest Coastal Native art.  Alien, in fact.  Who were these stone carvers?  What did these images mean to them?  Sadly, the site is quite evidently eroding from exposure to the elements as well as exposure to unappreciative humans who seem to feel compelled to walk over, and desecrate the images with their own brand of graffiti.  It’s sad that a wonder such as this isn’t better protected.  I feel extremely grateful that I got to see it before it becomes just a footnote somewhere in a long-forgotten book.  Here’s a few of the better images that we were able to see (click on them for a larger view):


A bird perhaps?

Another bird?

A funny faced petroglyph

Interesting creature

A long-nosed creature

This one looks like an alien!


Contemplating what we’d just seen, we walked ourselves back to the dinghy and took a quick look inside the bay itself before heading back to the boat.  We had hoped to catch a glimpse of the killer whale image that is supposed to be visible on one of the rock faces at low tide.  It’s the best known of the Gabriola petroglyphs, but we didn’t appear to have arrived at the right time to see it.  Instead, we were rewarded with this little guy eating some shellfish on the rocks.


Rocky Raccoon


In a steadily falling rain, we weighed anchor and headed for Telegraph Harbor on Thetis Island.  If I thought Gabriola seemed eery, then I wasn’t prepared for the creepy that was Telegraph Harbor.  Imagine boats in varying degrees of disrepair, rocking gently in the water, hidden eyes watching closely as the newcomers arrive, unsuspecting, in their midst.  The perfect setting for a horror film.  We even had the pounding rain and ominous mist necessary to set the stage.  But rest easy dear readers, we were safe.  The afternoon was spent knitting, napping and watching movies.  And later, I was rewarded with the most blissful 5 minute shower (in 2.5 minute increments) imaginable.  Never mind that it cost me 1 loonie ($1 Canadian coin) per 2.5 minutes, never mind that a good 2 minutes of each increment was either lava hot or glacier freezing.  For the first time in way too long, I was clean!  Whoever invented hot water and indoor plumbing, you are a true genius and I salute you. 

That night we fell asleep to the sound of pounding rain and the feeling of clean limbs.  Lovely.


Next stop: Salt Spring Island!