The best part about summer on the coast of British Columbia is being out on the water on those warm, calm days. My little power boat, “Snoopy”, takes me to all sorts of out of the way places where I can explore the bays, coves, and watch the wildlife.
Between Vancouver Island and the mainland, there are hundreds of little islands to explore. Only some of them have public docks, so when I find one that does, I like to stop and explore on land too.
In my most recent adventure, I did a boat trip all the way around Salt Spring Island and decided to stop at Wallace Island Marine Park for some land exploration in the afternoon.
That’s Snoopy tied up at the front.
The 72 hectare island has numerous bays, including a couple that make excellent anchorages, and a series of well maintained hiking trails.
At one time, the island was privately owned and had a vacation resort with a few cabins and out-buildings. A few of them are still standing. I think this one is a picnic shelter or perhaps a place to keep the firewood dry.
But there is one particular building that is so fascinating it is hard to pull yourself away. I believe it’s the old store and over the past couple of decades hundreds of boaters enjoying a relaxing time on the island have carved driftwood signs with the names of their boats. Some of them are very creative!
Don’t you just love those vacations when you have enough time to relax and start whittling away on a piece of driftwood and make something like a clock with no hands or the shape of a boat with your name on it.
The island is so pristine, you would never guess it has had so many visitors over the years.
While enjoying the shrine to boaters, reading all the signs, and making photos, I made one really special discovery: a sign that said “Taa Daa”. It’s a sailboat belonging to my friend Janice. Three years ago, the death of her husband and my friend, Ron, was one of the things that made me decide to change my life when I had a sudden realization that I wasn’t living the life I wanted.
Even though I’ve been pursuing this new life for three years now, I sometimes fall back into my old habits and forget what is truly important. I spend too much time on the computer and not enough time in nature. Seeing this sign was like a reminder to me. The sign was “a sign” that I need to be doing more of what I was doing that day: simply exploring and enjoying.
There were a few other great finds on the island too including a rusty old truck, a rope swing, the dinghy dock, and of course, lots of scenes of boats anchored in bays.
I wasn’t staying overnight, so I didn’t get a sunset shot, but I did stop Snoopy a couple of times on the way home to share with you the local wildlife, and just how beautiful it is boating in the Gulf Islands on a warm, calm day.
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Wow, I miss it there! I lived in Campbell River for a time…must make time to get back there. I also just realized I NEED a “Snoopy”!
Love the pictures.
Wonderful photos of a special place. We’ve been cruising through and in the Gulf Islands for the past 40 years and Wallace Island is one of the gems. I have several photos from our visits in the past, and haven’t looked at them for a while. Loved the memories I’m reliving today from looking at your photos. Love your photography!
Devlin Madden-Perdue says
Fantastic shots as always Anne. I love the boat sign shrine. When you mentioned how you can get stuck back in your old ways, that struck a cord with me. I made a big life change over a year ago. While things are great, I too can get stuck in those old habits of being on the computer and not getting out there and enjoying life. Anyway, thanks for the reminder, to get off my ass! 🙂
Wonderfully fun Anne. No sooner did I mention how anxious I was to see some “Snoopy” shots … and very next post. Thanks!!
Dennis Krajaefski says
Thanks for the great pictures Anne. I have been to Salt Spring.Very peaceful. Thank you for reminding me what is important in life.
Toad Hollow Photography says
What a GREAT post, Anne! I didn’t know about this place, and I now hope to visit it personally one day! Great set of photographs, my friend, I really enjoyed the entire bunch, especially the old rusty truck!
Wow, fantastic to see the photos,. Thanks for sharing. I read the book Once Upon an Island, by David Conover years ago. It is about their adventure on the island. Highly recommend it.
Jon Pritchard says
Great article. Fantastic to see one of my own signs in the pictures (yacht Carole Anne, a shark shaped piece of wood with shells etc that my daughters created a few years ago)! I’m probably going to go back there in December if we get a warm enough time! Wallace is like a family thing for me, and my Christmas visitors this year (father & step-mother) just about make up the full set!
Anne McKinnell says
Hi Jon, oh that’s so cool that one of your signs is in the photo! It’s such an interesting spot with so much beauty all around. The boating in that area is fantastic. You might have it all to yourself at Christmas time, not many boaters out then I bet. Thanks for taking the time to comment.