Posts Tagged With: Qualicum Beach

Low Tide: Mini Vacation Part Three

One of the things we really wanted to experience while at Qualicum Beach was low tide. John’s told me how interesting the sea shore can be at low tide and he was right.

Lowtide1

To give it some perspective, the concrete “wall” in the photo above is the same one in the picture below. You can just see it to the right of my wine glass.

good nightThat water is way out there! I was quite surprised. Even though I’ve lived in British Columbia for almost 50 years, I’ve never really experienced coastal tides. I had no idea the tide would go out that far.

Lowtide2

Looking back toward our motel (the yellow building) from the water line, it was interesting to see three distinct areas. There’s the sandy area at the front of the picture, pebbles in the center and larger stones towards the buildings.

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The views, as always, were amazing. The sky was so incredibly blue, with no clouds in sight. Looking in the opposite direction, towards Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast, we could see there was a forest fire burning but we didn’t experience any smokiness at all where we were. And, no, that’s not us in the picture. There were a lot of people walking along the beach. One gentleman even pointed me in the direction of some sand dollars, something I’d never seen “in the wild”.

sand dollar

After I found the three old sand dollars, I started examining the live ones. They’re amazing! Since then, I’ve learned that they’re a type of sea urchin and that they have an outer skin; they feel kind of strange, almost like velcro. I found a few that had been turned upside down; I turned them back right way up. I don’t know if it would kill them to be bottoms up but I didn’t want to unduly harm them.

QB3

These little crabs were everywhere! At first, I didn’t even see them but wondered why the sand looked like it was moving. When I looked closer, I realized there were thousands of these little crabs. As one couple passed me, he turned and said (in a Dutch accent), “Give them 10 years and they’ll be delicious!” I couldn’t agree more. I have to say, though, that once I saw them, I made every effort not to step on them. Incidentally, in the sand dollar photo, each of the dimples in the sand contains a little crab. I assumed they were trying to protect themselves from the blazing sun.

This next photo now graces my computer desktop. I love it!

QB2

Even though the weed was plastered to the wet sand and there was no movement at all, it shows the movement of the waves, the rippling of the weed as it would have done had it still been in the water. I just love it!

And for something fun, I will leave you with this video clip. All I’ll say about it is that, while I was walking, John noticed something happening behind me and stopped me. He told me to set the camera to video and to watch.

 

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Categories: Blogging, Vacation | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Mini Vacation: Part Two

For our first full day on Vancouver Island, we decided to drive across the island to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The drive was hot; British Columbia and, indeed, western Canada, has been experiencing a heat wave, with temperatures holding steady in the high 30’s and low 40’s C (high 90’s, low 100’s F) for a few weeks. Vancouver Island is extremely dry and fires are a definite threat; the Pacific coastal rain forest hasn’t had significant rain in weeks, if not months.

We encountered some construction along the route but we made good time, arriving in Ucluelet around lunch time. When you’re at that side of the island, you must, absolutely must, visit Long Beach. I love it there, and I know John does, too. The beautiful, sandy beach stretches for miles, as far as you can see.

From the parking lot, we followed this path

From the parking lot, we followed this path

The Pacific Ocean... our first glimpse!

The Pacific Ocean… our first glimpse!

The water was surprisingly warm and John took full advantage of it; he was the only person I saw who was swimming in the ocean, apart from the surfers who were suited up against the chill. I did go into the water but only about waist deep; honestly, I’m not much of a swimmer but I do enjoy being near the ocean.

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Kelp... amazing to see how long the

LB$

We wandered the beach for a while, just soaking it all in… until the sand fleas started biting. After that, we hotfooted it (literally! our feet were too sandy for our shoes so we walked barefoot; the sand was HOT!!) back to the car and continued our drive. On the way back to Qualicum Beach, we absolutely had to stop at the world famous Cathedral Grove. It isn’t as I remembered it.

The first time I was in Cathedral Grove, many, many years ago, it was a wild place; there were paths, certainly but no fences, no railings. Now, there are parking lots on both sides of the highway; groups of tourists in tour buses stop to wander through the fenced paths and the wooden viewing platforms to marvel at the huge Douglas Firs. We didn’t stay long, just long enough to walk the paths, take a few pictures,  have our pictures taken, and that’s about it. It does still inspire, though.

Cathedral Grove3

Cathedral Grove1

Look up, waaaaaaay up! The tallest tree in Cathedral Grove.

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Cathedral Grove4

Once we left Cathedral Grove, we drove straight back to our motel to experience low tide. That was fun; it’s for another post, though. This one has more than enough pictures for one day.

Categories: Blogging, Just stuff, No Knitting, The Weather, Vacation | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summertime, And The Living Is…

Busy, busy, busy. It’s already almost the middle of July. Time is absolutely flying by! So, where do I start?

At the beginning of this month (the July long weekend), the family next door (in the same building as we are) had a family reunion here at the yard so John and I chose to take a few days off for a mini vacation. We decided to head west to Vancouver Island.

Ready to hit the road at 6:00 a.m.

Ready to hit the road at 6:00 a.m.

On our way, we dropped Trinity and Ethan off at their grandfather’s house for a visit with them and their cousins. The drive out was fun; we stopped a few times, looking at the spectacular scenery, looking for waterfalls that were almost non-existent, and walking through the Othello Tunnels.

The Othello Tunnels are part of what used to be the Kettle Valley Railway. There are a number of tunnels, an engineering marvel, that wend their way through a series of rapids on the Coquihalla River. The tunnels have been restored, the old rail lines removed and the trail has now become part of the Trans Canada Trail. It was the only part of our trip in which we saw anything even closely resembling waterfalls.

Watching a fly fisherman in the river

Watching a fly fisherman in the river

Othello1

Othello3

After dropping off the kids, John and I continued on to the Duke Point Ferry Terminal, finally reaching our destination, Qualicum Beach, late Wednesday afternoon. The lovely little motel we stayed in is situated between the old highway and the water. When we arrived, the water was dead calm, barely a ripple on its surface.

The Captain's Inn, Qualicum Beach, B.C. We can highly recommend this motel. Clean rooms, friendly manager, right at the water's edge... what more could you ask for?

The Captain’s Inn, Qualicum Beach, B.C. We can highly recommend this motel. Clean rooms, friendly manager, right at the water’s edge… what more could you ask for?

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20150701_164024With restaurants within walking distance, John and I had a lovely dinner on a patio overlooking the water. The only downside is that it was very warm and the umbrellas did very little to offer shade from the setting sun. The food was good though. Over dinner, we made plans for the next day; we decided to drive further west, across Vancouver Island to world famous Long Beach, on the Pacific Ocean (the water you see in the above picture is Georgia Strait).

Sunset

good night

Sunset, a nightcap, and we were off to bed. It was a long, but wonderful day and, tomorrow? The ocean!

Categories: Blogging, Vacation | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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