Thursday, July 06, 2006

Close to home

Take a look at the photos posted for our paddles from Oak Bay -- we launch at Willows Beach and go around Mary Tod Island which is about a hundred yards offshore, then off among the rocks that are a few hundred yards farther away. Then if you can get to the Victoria Times-Colonist, look for the photo of Mary Tod Island burning on the night of July 1st.
Y'see, the municipality set up its fireworks on Mary Tod Island, and lit up the bay pretty fine with 'em.
It also torched the island, setting at least three fires which had to be put out.
The crew that set up the fireworks was well aware this might happen. That's why they chose that location, which they use every few years. It avoids property damage. The little island is basically a rock with a few scrubby bushes above the high tide line, used for picnics and so on by recreational boaters like me and my friends. It's always fun to paddle past and see if there's a boat on the far side, or someone sitting lotus near the highest point and chanting Om.
Avoiding property damage? Well, sure, nobody's personal space got burned, just some broom and scrub and maybe some oystercatcher nests and the otters had to find somewhere else to play... no human's property got damaged, anyway.
It's frustrating to see that a celebrational event can end up not only spreading fireworks over that little island park, but setting a fire -- and not for the first time, according to the municipal worker quoted in the Times-Colonist.
Next time we paddle Oak Bay, carefully trying to see the basking seals without chasing them off their rocks, we'll get a photo of the charred Mary Tod Island and post it here. Play safe, people. That means that not only do you come back ashore alive, but you don't leave a mess behind like the Canada Day fireworks did.

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