Safe Harbour

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…)

IMG_20170731_203441We’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:

Image 3
Calm waters
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.

Yeah, we’re barking
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…)

Did you say coffee?
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!

Safe harbour
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

11 thoughts on “Safe Harbour”

    1. Thanks, Lynn! We are enjoying our time on the west coast – I think you’d like it out here (still hoping to see a wolf, and you’d love that!)
      I hope your week is going well so far!


  1. Ucluelet, or Safe Harbor, looks like a sweet place to be anchored in a storm or on vacation, despite the urban/ rural dolts to be found in almost any location short of paradise. The sea lions can’t be comfortable but maybe they can laugh at those who can’t find the room to live with them. Anyway, thanks for sharing some of that wonderful harbor of humanity and nature with us.


    1. Thanks, Walt! Always happy to share, and very happy to report that the sea lions are more comfortable on that platform now, as the spikes have been removed. Holding on to the good news stories…
      Enjoy your week!


    1. Thanks, Lori! Yup, the sea lions are happier now, the spikes have been removed, and Wayne, and good folks like him, have made that bit of positive difference. All the small acts add up (and they’re not small!)
      I hope your week is going well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wonderful to hear that the spikes have been removed, and the sea lions have a safe place to bask now thanks to Wayne and others whose concern towards wildlife has brought about an altruistic resolution. Thank you for being a part in the sea lions resolution, Adam! We’re here to assist the wildlife as we live in a symbiotic relationship with our entire environment.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the last photo of the Safe Harbour and it is a shame that people miss out on the special nature and charm of these places because of big city habits. While I love my Starbucks, I always enjoy visiting the local coffee shops and stores when traveling. It looks like the adorable West Coast sea lions are resilient, but I certainly hope they soon find a safe place in the harbour. Thanks for sharing this wonderful spot and let me know when you sign up for a twitter account!


    1. Thank you! Hmm, Twitter…probably not this week, or any week, but I think you knew that…
      I have to be fair, Starbucks, for a large corporation, does have many more progressive policies related to employee rights than other large outfits, and their dark roast coffees are good (that French roast!)
      The sea lions are safer and more comfortable now because the spikes have been removed – a proper safe harbour!
      I hope your week is off to a great start!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely part of the world and nice to hear those sea lions are more comfortable now. As for Starbucks, whatever happened to supporting local. That’s half the joy of these smaller places. Enjoy your weekend PC. 🙂


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