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.
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.
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
Crofton from the water
Osborne Bay from the water
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 Ganges, Saltspring Island
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.
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.
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?
Mid-water between Saltspring and Vancouver Islands
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.
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.