During the oft-misguided progression from ancient to modern medicine, one of the treatments that stuck around for a long time was sending sick people to the seaside. Although I can’t say I had tuberculosis that needed curing, I was absolutely holding onto the stress of the past school year far too long into the summer months. It was with great delight that I left Regina in the early days of August to spend time with my family in the Kootenays and on the water.
My first stop was joining my parents in Nelson, BC, a gem of a town tucked along the Kootenay Lake. Lots of my family is from Nelson and I spent my childhood summers there. I haven’t been for nine years, so it was a long overdue trip! Grandpa H was celebrating his 75th birthday, a great excuse for a reunion. The first night I was in town Mom, Dad, and I had dinner with Grandma and Grandpa on a patio overlooking the lake. On Friday, after shopping along Baker Street, we met up with some family at Grandma and Grandpa’s beautiful condo and then went down to Randy and Kim’s for dinner. It’s so exciting to see what all my cousins are up to, since it’s been almost four years since we had a visit! The big event of the weekend was on Sunday at 12 mile where we had a party on the beach. The lake was even warm enough to dip into a couple times!
After a quick drive to Vancouver Island and stopover in Cumberland to feed the kitties, my parents and I set off for our ocean voyage. I’ve been out on the boat for the afternoon a couple times but never for a long trip – and man, what a perfect life! The first day took us across water like glass to Montague Harbour. We anchored and had dinner on the boat, then went to shore on the dinghy to explore a shell beach. The dogs are great boaters! In the morning dad made us camp coffee and we set off for Ganges, a busy harbour town on Saltspring Island. We sat on the front of the boat with the wind in our hair and dogs in our laps. That harbour is very high traffic, full of big boats and float planes. Daredevil Tango narrowly survived walking the plank. Darling, Grandpa, Brian, Stacey, Alli and her boyfriend Chris met us in Ganges for a wonderful dinner at the Oystercatcher and breakfast the next morning. Every meal was followed with blackberries… yum!
The last leg of our ocean adventure took us across choppy waves to Genoa Bay. Along the way we saw dolphins jumping in the wake behind our boat! We also put down a crab trap full of chicken drumsticks to pick up the next day. Genoa Bay was quiet and sleepy. As the afternoon went on, the fog crept in on little cat feet (as Sandburg would say). After a relaxed night I went to dump the last of my drink into the pitch black water and was astonished to see the ocean flare up neon green! The waters around our boat were full of phosphorescent somethings and the more water we sprinkled overboard the brighter it flashed. After a while we could see little fishes bumping up against the surface and flickering with phosphorescence as well. It felt like the scene with the whale in Life of Pi. The ocean is an amazing place!
The next morning we picked up our crab trap (four feisty crabs – all too small to keep), sailed through the Sansum narrows, through whirlpools and guided by curious seals, back to Ladysmith for the second family reunion of the trip. Trevor and Jordan joined us, as well as dozens of Darling and Grandpa’s relatives and close friends. They celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year! Saturday morning was a whirlwind of setting up tables and decorating the garden before the party got into full swing at 2. It was wonderful to connect with so many people I haven’t seen in years and to meet some new additions to our family. Entertainment included a harpist, Stacey’s photobooth, and Trevor and Darling singing. By the way, have you heard about my aunt Stacey? Her genius is to be credited for the beautiful photo to the left. The family visiting carried into Sunday, as did the beautiful sunshine. Jordan and Trevor left Sunday night, and I followed back to Regina the next morning.
Writing it all down makes the trip sound so busy and full, but it was the most refreshing, relaxing getaway I’ve had in ages. It was so nice to reconnect with so many people, and to soak in the seaside summer sun. The upcoming school year is shaping up to be the busiest yet, but I’m feeling anchored.