Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Sea Sights

 


British naval officer Captain George Vancouver spent three summers (1791-1795) mapping the jagged coastline of what is now the province of British Columbia, and the states of Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. He is famous for naming one section Desolation Sound, because of the unending forests and seemingly uninhabitable land.

When the expedition first entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca, "very thick rainy weather" met the crew and dampened their spirits. However, the very next day, Thomas Manby, master's mate on the ship Discovery, wrote "It had more the aspect of enchantment than reality, with silent admiration each discerned the beauties of nature, and nought was heard on board but expressions of delight murmured from every tongue. Imperceptibly our Bark skimmed over the glassy surface of thedeep, about three miles an hour, a gentle breeze swelled the lofty canvass whilst all was calm below." 


When we travel the same waters of the Salish Sea, I often think of those European explorers. What would they think of the enormous bulk carriers such as the ones above? When we pass by them on our little boat, I am staggered by their size. I looked up the size of one when we arrived home - 229 metres long and 32 metres wide. A soccer field (football pitch) is 90-120 metres by 64-75 metres. 

These ships are bound for the port facility near Vancouver, on the mainland. Because rail transport has been disturbed due to the wildfire that destroyed the town of Lytton and the railway bridge near it, ships cannot dock and unload in a timely manner. Everything is backed up. I counted 8 of these bulk carriers at anchor during our 4 hour trip to Ladysmith. 


We usually drop anchor in a quiet bay, but for this trip we were meeting up with a group of friends who have the same kind of boat. We pulled up to the dock at Ladysmith and enjoyed visiting and seeing the sights on shore. There is a float house beside the marina and the owner has colourful pots of flowers decorating the outside of his/her home. 


In the evening light, tall masts look even taller when reflected in the smooth as silk water. 


Queen Anne's Lace is in bloom, dancing along the edges of roads, rail lines, and shorelines. 


I'm sure Captain Vancouver and his crew would be astounded by the current population of this island that bears his name. They spent the summers here, but returned to Hawaii to pass the winter (the first snowbirds?). All kinds of houses dot the coastline, ranging from ramshackle dwellings to magnificent mansions. I like the cottage above, tucked away into the woods with a small protected harbour for the boat essential for access to the home. This house seems to fit the landscape well. 


Near home again and majestic Mount Baker floats on the clouds while sailboats tack back and forth, taking advantage of the wind. In spite of the terrible wildfires not very far away, our skies continue to remain clear. Currently the smoke is drifting east across the Rocky Mountains into Alberta and creating dreadful air quality. 

Dry conditions prevail and we have not had any rain for over a month. Our lawn is dry and crispy and fire danger is extreme. We are all being very careful. The garden is surviving with regular watering and I've been harvesting a few more vegetables. Lots of zucchini! 



21 comments:

  1. What a wonderful post. Can you imagine how hard it was to record/document the coastline with the limited resources they had back then? Amazing and what tenacious people they were. Love that the captain went to Hawaii for the winter. A smart, smart man!

    I miss our boat. We sold it many years ago but John would not be able to enjoy it at this point in life. As for me, I could live aboard one in the summer.

    Have a wonderful rest of the week. Going to put the Scruffy to bed here and go watch some mindless TV. xo Diana

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  2. What beautiful pictures! I would love to visit your place. It must be so nice to sail, but I would be afraid of such big boats!

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  3. How beautiful it is there! I hope you get rain soon.

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  4. Near my home is the port of Milford Haven - the second deepest natural harbour in the world , or so they say! We get huge tankers sitting offshore - I rather like them and count them every day. There were four this morning. As a child I lived near Swann Hunters shipyard where they once built the world's biggest ship the SS Northumbria. I remember it's launch as huge event - it has been broken up now, much like the yards which built it.

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  5. Lorrie, this post is beautiful. In my humble opinion, your last photo should be framed. What a beauty it would be. I enjoyed hearing about Captain Vancouver, so interesting. The wildfires are terribly freighting, I pray you and yours will stay safe. On the news last evening, they said the skies in N.Y. were red from the fires. Hopefully, you will receive rain soon.
    Again, a beautiful post.

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  6. Lost my comment.... While composing it... Oh dear, I hope your comment section has not been 'attacked' by this happening. I have seen it happen before...

    🍑🍊🍑

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  7. Vancouver Island is one of my favourite places on Earth, and I can't wait to get back there. COVID has prevented us from doing much of anything for the past year and a half.

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  8. Lovely sights to see! Wished I can send some of our rain your way.

    Wonder if the ship backups are contributing to the supply shortages or delays...

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  9. Beautiful photographs you share with us! Our lawns are like crisps too!

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  10. I don't think I've ever heard a gardener say..."We didn't grow enough zucchini". Those fires are sad and having the railway system affected is hard. We are all praying for rain and some relief.

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  11. Such beautiful pic's again! I think we are all waiting and praying for rain. I have never spent so much time watering before. Enjoy your zucchini!

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  12. We sailed part of the Salish Sea in the past on tours. It is very beautiful!
    Our air quality has not been good lately due to wildfire smoke and I'm happy that we purchased a Hepa filter air purifier for our home. It has really helped. I hope the West gets the rain it needs to end fires and fire dangers. It seems summer's have been stressful the past few years weather wise.

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  13. Oh such beauty! I love the water scenes and the flowers, but the best one for me today has to be the picture of Mount Baker. Such a majestic sight!

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  14. I think of all your lovely pictures my favourite would be the one with the sailboats reflected in the still water.

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  15. Your serene, cool, beautiful blue images make one feel that all is well in the world.
    We too need rain - currently our corner of the world is sitting under an amber health weather warning as it is so hot.

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  16. What a stunningly beautiful area you live in Lorrie. The last photo of Mt Barker is just fabulous. Despite going through Vancouver many times, I have never been to Vancouver Island - if we ever get to travel again, we really must make a point of visiting.

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  17. Your seascapes are incredibly BEAUTIFUL! And so are the other images!

    Happy Thursday, Lorrie!

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  18. Thinking of you with all your wildfires and poor air quality. Hope things improve for you soon. Fascinating to read your post and discover about those early pioneers. Such a beautiful landscape. I’m off to pick some of my zucchini. Lots here too. B x

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  19. Those wildfires sure cause a chain reaction of repercussions! Hoping for rain and no wind or lighting.
    Beautiful thoughts and sights from the coastline.

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  20. I love seeing your adventures on the water. When we visit my sister-in-law we can see those bulk carriers from her home, as she looks out on similar water. I love the queen anne's lace and always want to pick them, but they are more beautiful just to leave in nature. What lovely homes by the water with the one with many flowers and the other tucked in the trees. Happy sailing!

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  21. Beautiful seascapes.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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