the wandering chick
and the Sidney Spit

Okay, here's the deal: I've been on Vancouver Island all of two and a half days. And already I'm thinking if this is what is in store for me as I spend this month on Vancouver Island, I will surely have thought I've died and gone to Heaven.

Yesterday was spent getting here and roaming around, becoming familiar with my surroundings. Today, my travel partner and I took our first excursion - to the harbor town of Sidney and out to the Sidney Spit. The Spit is an island, accessible only by boat, a 25-minute or so ride across Bazan Bay to the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. The island has some 17 miles of shoreline, including the narrow passage, "the spit," northward to the very end of the island. The spit is filled with crushed shell and huge pieces of driftwood. The other end, the south end of the island, is forest, with easy trails wandering through old-growth trees, madrones and peaks of the sandy beach below.

. I've seen so much beauty in all of British Columbia as I've traveled it this summer, but it just seems to keep getting better each area I visit.

The town of Sidney itself...perfect. Good size, nice restaurants, a beautiful harbor and boardwalk. For anyone who loves being by the water, well...perfect is the word.

Enjoy my journey through these pictures, but visit for yourself if you ever get the chance.

the spit
huge piece of driftwood
I never got the exact distance out to the end of the spit from the harbor, but it was at least a mile and probably even two. It took a couple of hours to get out there and back, but that was a slow walk with lots of stops for picture-taking and just, you know, things you do on a great, great beach.
the spit
the beacon at end of spit
The red and white beacon at the very tip of the spit's north end was our destination...a great spot to watch the boats pass.
driftwood construct
beacon and driftwood
purple clam shells
the narrow spit
the beacon
Here's a view of the spit taken when we first started out on it. Way off in the distance in the left portion of the photo and in front of the dark forest, the beacon can barely be seen.
Any clouds we had on this perfectly warm day were just enough to make for a beautifully dramatic sky over the San Juan Islands to the east. They did, however, manage to hide Mt. Baker which we kept hoping to get a glimpse of. Never did.
the shoreline and waves
sky with clouds
heron on sandbar in ocean
fishing pier
woman at fence
The Sidney Spit is long and narrow. In the middle section and towards the south end, the terrain is forested with thick and old trees, many madronas, and overlooking a sandy beach on one side and a lagoon and meadow on the other. The meadow is set up for tent camping.
yellow meadow
sandy beach
madrona branch peeling
the lagoon
the lagoon
The peeling bark of a madrone tree
The lagoon -- and more gentle -- side of the island
girl in silhouette on pier
the forest
This part of the island, on the lagoon side, is used for tent camping.
the spit
the forest
A nice, gentle stroll can be had through the forest of cedar, pine and madrone trees.
the forest
the dock
the dock and island
the breakwater
Saying good-bye to the Sidney Spit. The private boat company that transports passengers will soon be saying good-bye for the season.
The breakwater at Sidney harbor
The Sidney harbor
Sidney harbor
Leaving the spit was hard, but coming back to a place like Sidney made it a whole lot easier. Here, Sidney's harbor is warmed by the rays of the late afternoon sun.
Sidney harbor at the end of Beacon Street
The Sidney harbor
The Sidney harbor
rescue diver memorial
the town fishing pier
On Sidney's wharf near the town fishing pier is this beautifully constructed tribute to rescue divers.
The Sidney harbor
statue of fisherman
The Sidney harbor
Various bronze statues can be found in the downtown section of Sidney. They're all sitting on benches and are life size.
To see more of my Vancouver Island trip and/or all of Canada, please return to the Canada home page.

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