Saturna Island … one more year

Located about halfway between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Saturna Island is a small slice of paradise. Over half of Saturna Island is designated as park land – part of the Gulf Islands National Park.  Every June, I am lucky enough to spend a weekend there with some amazing women, exploring the beaches and watching the waves roll in …

One of my favourite places on Saturn is East Point, which is considered one of the best places on the British Columbia coastline for onshore whale watching. It is also the site where Moby Doll, the first orca ever live-captured for aquarium display, was harpooned in 1964. A sad story but the knowledge gained from the Vancouver Aquarium’s experience with Moby Doll was a turning point in our understanding of these beautiful creatures, about which little was known and whom people feared and considered a nuisance.

The white building you see in the photo is a small museum run by the Saturna Island Heritage Committee in the former fog alarm building at East Point where visitors can learn about Moby Doll, and the history of Saturna Island.

There is something very special about the Gulf Islands.  It’s a long slow ferry ride to Saturna, and as you slip away from the dock you seem to slip away from the world and exist in that perfect space between ocean, sky, trees and rocks.  This year, in order to squeeze as much time as I could away from the city, I took the ferry over and then hopped on a sea plane for the very fast 15-minute flight back to the mainland and back to the every day.

Until next year …


Island Life

I love June. Long days and light-til-late evenings, morning sunshine and the promise of summer vacation ahead.

One of my favourite June activities is my annual Fabulous Women weekend on Saturna Island.  Amazing women, long walks on the beach, good food, juicy conversation, plenty of love and hugs and support and sleep and lots of laughter.

The ferry ride is three hours long with two stops along with way. It’s a great way to unwind. But since I couldn’t leave town early with the rest of the gang, I flew over on a small float plane early the next morning. It took 15 minutes!

One of the best things about Saturna Island are the beaches. They are replete with rocks, driftwood, tidal pools and all kinds of marine wildlife and birds. You can explore to your heart’s content, or just sit and watch the waves roll in.

It’s hard to get good pictures of marine wildlife. We saw lots of seals and so I have several dozen pictures of a patch of ocean where a seal was JUST before I took the shot.  I did manage to get a few, though.

Lots of other wildlife to see, as well. You have to drive slowly on the island. There are a lot of deer (no predators for them) which can jump out of the bushes at any moment. This trip, a bald eagle landed on the road in front of us!

For me, a great thing about having all afternoon to explore is that I can play with my camera. Lots of times when I’m travelling, it’s hard to stop and spend time taking photos. You hold the group up or miss your bus, plane, ride, restaurant reservation, etc… I love having time to play …

And then, of course, there was time to relax – to sit in the hammock and read, to look for shapes in the clouds, to hang with amazing women and to watch the sunset.

I came home relaxed, more myself, aware of the importance of making time for aimless creativity and, as always, made wiser and kinder by my woman tribe.