Sear Island - Serenity Now
Ron Kirstein finds out where Sear Island, BC is, then he puts it on the map! Join Ron for another travel adventure to one of Canada's smallest islands.
Sear Island-Serenity Now! By Ron Kirstein
An invitation to Sear Island is like getting invited to Bodo, Alberta! Who's ever heard of the place? I find out I've been within 5 minutes of Sear Island and didn't even realize it. Turns out it's just a stone's throw from Gabriola Island, BC.
We drive from Victoria to Nanaimo, hop a ferry to Gabriola, then high-tail it to beautiful Silva Bay. We park by the Silva Bay Marina dock and pile our bags on the wharf at the bottom of the gang-plank.
Mike Harris, caretaker of Sear Island, arrives in a small Boston Whaler. He loads the luggage and takes me over first. In minutes, he drops me off with our stuff and goes back for back for the other three in our group. By the time I take the bags to the top of the ramp, they arrive.
I greet them in a very bad accent with: "Welcome to Fantasy Island!" Mike loads our bags into a tractor bucket and shows us our means of transportation, a golf cart. I'm the designated driver.
"Keep the pedal to the metal," on the way over, Mike tells me. With all the hills and twists and turns, it's like a Disneyland ride. Soon we break out of the forest to our beautiful home for the next two days. Walking in the main door, we're overwhelmed by the incredible panorama that unfolds through a glass wall of windows. Two small islands bracket a spectacular view of Mount Baker on the US mainland. Looking across Georgia Strait, we can see North Vancouver in the distance and the snow-capped Coastal Mountains. To the North, boat traffic from Nanaimo is passing by. The scenery just doesn't quit.
Over the course of the day, we watch the tides drop to seasonally low levels, exposing a large portion of shoreline and a host of marine life - hundreds of purple starfish, anemones, mussels, clams, oysters and a whole lot more. Otters feed nearby, sharing the waters with merganser ducks. A few gulls make their homes on the rocks in front of the house. Eagles soar overhead. We count four nesting pairs. Because I speak 'sea lion', I enjoy a great conversation with a few sea lions on the rocks. There are few places where you can see so much in such a short time frame! We feel very lucky indeed. In the morning, it's a bit overcast, so we walk the trail to check out the A-Frame cabin and then explore the shoreline just as the tide ebbs. The ever- changing shoreline is incredibly interesting.
In the evening, we eat the great meal that we brought along. The well-equipped kitchen makes it easy to prepare our meals. The dishwasher and brand new gas barbeque are a nice surprise. Tables are available both inside and out. The large outdoor table is sheltered from the sea breezes by a glass partition, a nice touch.
I lounge on the sundeck the next morning with my eyes closed, listening to a symphony conductor orchestrate beautiful music with surround sound - the many species of birds make such beautiful music, occasionally disrupted by the comedic chatter of crows.
When the time comes for Mike to take us back to Silva Bay, we don't want to leave. Our weekend is such a special experience, I want to share it with as many people as I can. I encourage readers to take a week out of their lives and visit Sear Island. This is a place of tranquility and unbelievable beauty. The scenery is second to none. Indulge yourself!
For the full Sear Island article, visit: http://tourismmall.victoria.bc.ca/travelmagazine/2006may.htm
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ron Kirstein is owner of a travel & tourism website, http://tourismmall.victoria.bc.ca, a tourism directory for Vancouver Island. Ron has built the site and has gathered information, being a tourist on Vancouver Island for the last 30 years. Enjoy the benefits of Ron's research for your holiday on Vancouver Island. Ron is an educator, communications specialist and web designer.