Sailing 'round Lasqueti Island and Back
This weekend we took off from Shelter Point and headed for Lasqueti island, another island I have literally stared at for years and never stepped foot on. It was to be our very first overnight adventure with the kids and we were packed to the rigging with food, drinks, blankets, pillows, bug spray, sunscreen, snacks, books, and more snacks. The weather report called for sun, sun, sun and more sun and it was about darn time!!

We were departing at dinner time so I crafted up some Basa (slightly wrong that while sailing on the west coast we were about to feast on farm fished catfish from China but c'est la vie), with roasted mushrooms and red pepper in tinfoil.  Tinfoil rules - it is an essential kitchen tool for west coast living. The trip already felt magical. On the way across Bubs (aka Kowalski) and I played a few games of "Deep Dive" with his Shark Cards (these are a super cool find I brought back from a trip to Maui..check out the site and to find them!) He pretty much kicked my butt every time.

We anchored in False Bay amid a few other boats that were tied up to private tie ups. Unfortunately everybody was suffering from a summer cold so after watching a cruise ship silently pass by like a traveling light show, it was quick to bed as soon as the anchor was dropped (and yes I let it down gently this time!).

In the morning we tied up to the little dock where the water taxi comes in from French Creek on Vancouver Island and where float planes unload. We walked up the road a bit, past the Lasqueti Hotel, and one of my favourite sights ever! Right next to the hotel was a large cabinet stocked with containers, clearly labeled, with various types of cookies, all for sale on an honour system!! You know you've hit a small, west coast island, when a cabinet full of cookies is not raided or destroyed; so cool.   Just up the road from the  "cookie honour system" was the Saturday farmers' market. We were early but nobody seemed to mind (which is not always the case; some farmers' market wardens will debone you if you arrive 5 minutes early - be warned). Lasqueti however, is pretty laid back.  There were amazing woodworks, produce and baked goods; I was salivating instantly. We purchased some beets and some tomatoes that were almost too pretty to eat before getting back on the boat for day #2 of sailing - destination Jedidiah Island.

We had intended to anchor off of Jedidiah and row ashore to investiate the park, but after going round the entire island and looking at the various options we talked ourselves out of it and opted instead to head for Cooks Bay on Texada - a bay full of private summer cabins for some rather elite/successful North American sometimes residents.  Cooks Bay however is still rather exposed to the weather and the waves caused by passing cruise ships and large commercial traffic. The next bay north felt no safer so it was back across to Lasqueti for the night - a wise choice. Anchoring again we feasted (everything seems to taste better on the boat) and then rowed ashore to the beach of a little private island that I need to learn the name of.  The sunset was incredible and as the kids hunted for beach treasures and threw rocks in the ocean we once again felt like we were part of something rare and wonderful and precious. We wait so long for the long, grey, cold, depressing winter to end and then all of a sudden the sun comes out, the water warms up and we find ourselves asking the question "why would we ever want to be anywhere else?"

In the morning we sailed back over to Texada, to Shingle Beach, where the hugely popular Diversity Festival (now in its 10th year was beginning to wind down for the weekend. We rowed ashore to go say hi to a few friends and I was blown away by how much the Festival had developed since I had been to it six years earlier. The food and clothing and art vendors were incredible. I was mad at myself for not having brought my wallet but that was probably a good thing as I could have spent a small fortune on summer dresses, sweaters for the kids, leather bags etc. etc. sigh.  There was a large cardboard castle set up by a group of puppeteers that amazingly got the kids involved in building a large dragon and then encouraged them to join, excuse me lead, the parade around the site - it was magical and the kids couldn't believe they were on Texada (what is this wonderful place they asked? Home, this wonderful place is actually our home) It made me think that here we were, at home, a place we often curse for its remoteness and lack of things to do..however it's amazing how your perception of something can change if you approach it from a different angle.

We sailed back (although we did do a lot of motoring we were able to sail for a good a portion of the trip) to Shelter Point and anchored the boat and swam/splashed about in the water before coming home for a delicious meal made from our Lasqueti spoils.  It was another amazingly beautiful, west coast weekend, and reminded us of why we live where we live. 

Things that sunk in on this trip:
  • Change your perspective and the world you see everyday will change
  • The adventure that you crave so badly is often a lot closer to home than you think
  • I use the words AMAZING, WONDERFUL, MAGICAL, BEAUTIFUL and HOME, a lot...just sayin'
  • Take advantage of the sun while it shines for the dark and cold will come back, that is the great cycle of life, so (this will sound cheesy) seize the daylight and the love and the life and the light while you can
  • Tinfoil rules, just about everything can be cooked in tinfoil
  • Mosquitoes do not rule - my kids look like they have the chicken pox right now
  • And lastly, living on the west coast you are in the midst of such incredibly diversity. In one weekend we say multiple islands, met and saw such a wide range of people, enjoyed the infinity of what the world has created down to the individual shells on the beach to the wise cracks our little people came up with. The world is an amazing, amazing place...come live on a west coast island and you will be right in the middle of a whole array of amazingness.


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