Today is 6/28, and we have service for the first time in several days. We are in Moutcha Bay, having explored the Tlupana Inlet. Heading to Tahsis on Sunday to meet our boat mates, who stayed in a quiet cove off Bligh Island while we explored. I’m going to catch up on a few highlights now, and talk about today later when we have service in Tahsis.
Our routine is pretty simple and delightful. The sun begins to rise at 4am, and we usually get up about 7:30 to have coffee on the deck. Depending on our activities of the day, usually by 7:30pm we are pooped, so we read, rest, play cards, or even just go to bed. It’s a little disorienting when i wake up at 9 or 10 and I can’t decide if it’s the next morning or if my clock stopped. It doesn’t get “black” dark until 11pm. The sun was still coming through our windows at 8pm last night, and these pictures were taken at 9pm (Sailors midnight):
We have thoroughly enjoyed Friendly Cove, in Nootka Sound. We visited last year, but didn’t go ashore.
There is evidence that proves Nootkan people had continuously inhabited the site for the last 4,300 years! History names Maquinna as the Nootkan Chief who met James Cook. There is a nominal fee to visit the island, which supports the village. We radioed ahead to ask permission to come ashore and were greeted warmly by Darrell. His family has lived here since the early 1960s. He told us about the many things to see on the island, and the opportunity to visit Master Carver Sanford Williams in his beach-side studio. Sanford’s work is very well known around BC, and we have seen it everywhere. What fortunate timing to meet him personally while he worked!
Sanford was very gracious, welcoming, and friendly. He was working on several projects, including a totem pole that he said would take him (only) about a month! He also made his own carving tools, and they were beautiful too. I would have liked to have taken more pictures, but I felt a bit intrusive.
One thing I noticed about Sanford was that he did not talk about his carvings all over the country, including the ones in Friendly Cove (all the totems that I will show you today, are his). He simply answered our questions about what was in front of him. He didn’t have much inventory, and obviously sells everything he makes. You would never know he was as well known as he is.
We all commented about how absolutely perfect the beach studio was. Wood shavings on the floor of a little shack with lots of windows and natural light, built right on the beach. In this quiet, idyllic cove, he did what he loved.
A short ways down a trail from the studio is a stunning totem pole that fell in 1919. It was beautiful with its age, ferns and plants growing out of it, and the carvings were still so intricate & interesting. Notice that even the color is still evident.
Over a small ridge from the beach is the “meadow” where summer gatherings and celebrations are held. And looking out to the open ocean, is a greeting totem. There were offerings on each hand.
There are pictures in the church of a young Sanford Williams & his parents on the day this totem was dedicated. Notice he is still wearing the necklace in both pictures. Doesn’t he look a lot like his proud Dad? 🙂
The totem looks out over a beautiful pebbly beach. We found out later that this is a whale rubbing beach, and they come right up on shore to scratch. The lighthouse keeper said a mama & baby were within 10 feet of her the other day while she watched. Unlike many hard-sand & rocky beaches, this one is very soft, and your feet sink several inches into the polished pebbles. You have probably seen the bathmats made of these stones. They’re beautiful and feel nice on your feet, but walking along an entire beach gives your legs and feet quite a workout.
Many look as polished as in a store.
Shells, abalone, urchin, see stars, oysters, mussels, and other treasures covered the beach! I could have stayed there all day.
At the end of the beach, we returned following the trail in the woods. There are five or six cabins that can be rented along the way, that are basic, clean & nice, with amazing views of the ocean and a lake on the other side.
And the entire island is sooo quiet, and along the path we found the old cemetery. I loved this old singer sewing machine as a headstone
As you enter, the big totem is for a very young girl. A picture of her pretty, smiling face was on the front.
The trail opened up again into the meadow, and on the other side we visited the church.
Inside there were extraordinary totems, I had never seen anything like this in any church.
Finally, we hiked up to the lighthouse, which provides a vital source of information for Mariners and islanders throughout the region.
To get there was quite a hike!
It seemed like they had their own tide pool. Gorgeous!
They had the best barbecue site I’ve ever seen!
Donna was a little doll, and showed us all around. She & Doug report their observations every three hours, dawn to dusk (as I mentioned, this time of the year, that’s 4am to 11pm!). She showed me her handwritten entries into her logbook. And the lightbulb they use for the lighthouse – The light reaches 18 miles! Can you believe it?!?
I think it would be fun to experience that lifestyle for a season. The winter storms are just amazing, and you can see how beautiful it is on sunny days. They are in need of temporary caretakers (2-3 weeks), so I’ll be looking into adding that experience to our future itinerary….
We finished this near-perfect day with a huge slab of cod and fresh veggies on the bbq. what a pleasant visit we’ve had.
It seems like everything is GIANT up here. I’d say life is pretty good too…..
Fortuna Favet Fortibus!