Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Day on the Island

Beautiful BC flag

Saltspring Island, that is. My daughter and son-in-law, with my granddog Becky, came over to see my new home on Vancouver Island, and we decided to take a daytrip to Saltspring Island, just a twenty minute ferry ride away from Crofton (my home) to Vesuvius Bay. Even though my home is only a block or two away from the dock, we still ended up in the ferry lineup for a one-sailing wait.

Waiting in line

But even that was a blessing, for I got to stand on the ferry dock and watch the jellyfish swim and manoeuver using their long parachute-like tentacles. What is a flat red disc on the beach, becomes a two or three foot long red and white amazing sea creature, almost octopus like, in the depths of the salty water. I tried unsuccessfully to capture it with my camera, but to no avail.

Jellyfish in water

And I liked looking at the old wooden guides that draw the boat to the pier - colourful wood made more colourful by purple starfish clinging to its sides.

Old wood and starfish

We had all been to Saltspring in the past, but only from the Vancouver side to Fulford Harbour, so viewing Crofton from the water was a new experience for me. Here's the views from Crofton ferry dock as we pull away from Osborne Bay:

Leaving Crofton harbour

Heading out

Crofton from the water

Osborne Bay from the water

Making tracks

We joined the throngs at the Saturday Market. Saltspring Island is, as my daughter put it, "a hippy community" - a combination of "artsy" and "green". We bought fresh organic produce from the market and ooh'd and aah'd over the homemade goodies - from sweet treats to soft woolen hats - for sale at the many stalls. I could have spent thousands just on beautiful watercolor originals or soft green and blue glazed pottery.

Dogs aren't permitted in the actual market area, so son-in-law walked the periphery with Becky, as daughter and I walked the inner core. We'd meet at the corners, where Becky would be waiting patiently with her papa.

Happy, happy Becky

The bay at Saltspring was much busier than our sleepy little Osborne Bay - sailboats everywhere, tourists trying their hand at kayaking, locals out for a day on the water.

The bay at Ganges, Saltspring Island

We found a place for lunch where there was an outdoor patio table conveniently located beside a post and low brick wall where Becky was welcome to rest.

Table for four, please. Three humans and one canine.

The restaurant staff at Bouzouki's were fabulous and so was the meal. As the staff took our wine order, they spontaneously asked if Becky would like some water, which they served directly to her with all the aplomb that they served the humans. When our food order was taken, they asked if Becky would be permitted a few tidbits of meat from the kitchen - again the staff took it out to her personally and handfed it to her bit by bit. I think Becky has decided eating out is pretty special!

What's for dessert?

We humans were also superbly looked after. My daughter and I had tender tasty seafood crepes with a light creamy sauce that didn't drown the seafood or mask its wonderful flavour. It was accompanied by a delicious salad of local greens, fresh young cucumber, and sun-warmed succulent Black Russian tomatoes which had been grown by our server (who I think was co-owner, though I'm not positive). My son-in-law chose the lamb burger, made from locally raised lamb, served openfaced on a tasty panini-style bun, accompanied again with fresh greens and tomato. A delicious coffee to finish, and we were set for more exploring and the homeward journey.

Mid-water between Saltspring and Vancouver Islands

Home to a tasty dinner of fresh sockeye salmon bought from the wharf at Saltspring, and fresh dug nugget potatoes, tender young beet tops and tasty beets from the market, all cooked to perfection by my daughter and son-in-law. A stroll with the dogs, a glass of crisp wine, a cosy mother-daughter chat. A roughly perfect day.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely post and pictures Jean about an obviously lovely day. I lived on Saltspring for a few years and it is a wonderful place, beautifully scenic, laid back lifestyle and full of delight. It sounds as though Becky enjoyed her excursion as well. Makes ME want to go back for a visit. We are still looking forward to your visit one day. xo Katherine and Possum

Black Jack's Carol said...

What a lovely, tranquil post, Jean. And, what a happy day you, your daughter, son-in-law and Becky had. Very interesting to see a different perspective on Crofton, and also to see some of Saltspring Island's treasures. Restaurant people who take care of their canine clients rate very high in my book, and nice to see that the humans ate well too. I have noticed that no two sunsets are alike. I always enjoy seeing the special ones that bring your days to perfect conclusions.