Don’t we all need a safe harbour? It’s ok, nothing ranty after my recent incoherence last week (still, I felt better after, and it was preferable to signing up for a twitter account – just imagine…)
We’ve been spending a few days in Ucluelet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Entire mornings seem to drift by as we sit or wander around the harbour. It’s an easy habit to fall into, and the warm and sunny weather is an encouragement to sit just that little longer. So we did. A belted kingfisher has been zooming back and forth, busy as ever. We’ve seen fewer bald eagles around the harbour. They’ve headed north to feed on the salmon. I hope they get a good meal.
Loosely translated from a local First Nations word, Ucluelet means “safe harbour” – a sheltered place for canoes and fishing boats. For paddling, we tend to avoid the wilder Pacific side, opting for the safer and calmer waters on the harbour side. We’re not the only ones this time of year:
We could hear the barking and traced the source round to the Ucluelet boat and kayak launch. What a splendid sight! The barking is loud and pretty constant, and perhaps an explanation for the empty campsites nearby?!
Sadly, this float has been spiked in an attempt to keep the sea lions from basking. Cruel, and it isn’t working. You can read more about this particular situation at the following link (our buddy Wayne, a photographer, took sharper pictures and spotted the problem: Welcome to Tofino Photography – Sea Lions Being Injured). Fingers crossed for a solution, and then the sea lions will be able to enjoy their safe harbour.
Back in August, I was sitting on a bench (that’s a shocker) overlooking the harbour when a gleaming black SUV stopped behind me. The driver rolled down his window and called out to an older gentleman crossing the road, where would he find the Starbucks or Tim Horton’s? The guy in the road, dressed like he was heading out fishing, stopped, a look of disbelief on his face. “Huh? You want a Starbucks? Where d’you think you are? You won’t get that here! You want that, you need the big city. This ain’t the city!” He shook his head and finished shuffling across the road. (The SUV was stopped right in front of a fishing gear store that also happens to make a very good – according to Mrs. PC – cappuccino. There is even a large sign, Cap’n Hook, Cappuccino and Fishing Gear. It ain’t Starbucks…)
Blue skies, green trees, shining water, sea lions, birds and fish. Oh, and decent coffee. Some of the sights and sounds of a busy working harbour on the west coast, and a welcome change of pace. Spending time in quieter places – it ain’t the big city!
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!