Tuesday, June 28, 2016


One of the highlights we wanted to share with Emma from last year's trip around Vancouver Island was our stop at Mamalillaculla on Village Island, an old First Nations village that was inhabited up until the sixties and then abandoned. I can't really put the feeling of the village into words....it is quiet and heavy. It feels like a place you need to enter with respect and careful tiptoeing is required on this land where so many souls dwelled for many thousands of years. In M. Blanchett's Curve of Time she devotes a chapter to the spirits she encountered during a stay there in the 1920's.

We anchored just out from the old dock and paddled in beneath the eerie skeletal remains of the deteriorating dock. Our kayak scraped onto shore next to a pile of rib bones, setting a somber mood. We walked up the trail to the collapsing old tuberculosis hospital/school, which is always creepy. The next section of trail was even more overgrown than last year and as we pushed our way through the heavy bramble of blackberry bushes the branches grabbed at our rain gear and the sound of buzzing bumblebees filled the air. We made our way past a few overgrown houses in shambles and past a gigantic log arch which may have been the gateway to a long house. After peeking into an old house from its rickety front porch, we made our way down to the beach. Traditionally the beach served as village garbage dump which, given that their garbage was traditionally shells, was not a problem and now, as a result, BC is rich with beautiful white shell beaches. The tradition continued for as long as this village was inhabited so there are many treasures to be found here, beach glass, engine parts, bottles, pottery fragments, shoe soles. It's a treasure hunters paradise.

Our next stop was remote Booker Lagoon. The entrance is super narrow and has to be done at slack tide because current runs through quickly. We anchored in Cullen Harbor just outside of Booker to wait for slack tide. An hour later I drug the anchor up and we made it through the pass into a ginormous lagoon. Unfortunately the lagoon was logged in recent years so we chose the most picturesque of the five fingers of the lagoon where the logging scars were least evident.

The following morning we awoke to the lonely calls of a loon paddling around in the peaceful lagoon. Emma and I did yoga on the foredeck before we headed back out to Cullen Harbor. There we dropped the kayaks and spent the afternoon paddling around and exploring the multiple islets that dot the harbor. In the evening we were treated to a lovely sunset over the islets that separated us from Queen Charlotte Strait.

Click here for photos.

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