Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mary Tod Island Inferno Aftermath

Mary Tod Island went up in smoke after some errant fireworks from a display on July 2 to mark Oak Bay's 100th Anniversary landed on it.
Louise wanted to check it out as she lives nearby and had watched the fireworks show, and the resulting scrub fire on the island. So this was our goal: an investigation of the Great Mary Tod Island Fire!
Turns out that there wasn't much to it. Mary Tod Island is a small island only a couple of hundred meters off of Willows Beach (on the left in the picture above). We circled the island, and there really wasn't much to see. From the water, all we could really see were a couple of singed logs. You couldn't see any other damage. Mind you, we did not land and explore the island, so it might have been worse on shore.

We continued with the paddle. It started calm, but the wind came up and it got bumpy. Nothing too rough, though, and we were able to paddle about quite easily.

Self-portrait! (Bet you weren't expecting that!)

We saw this catamaran in the marina and thought it was worth checking out.

This was a pretty cool looking boat. I especially liked the lawn chair cushion lying in the netting. That's the way to travel!

However, this boat wasn't doing as well.

Not only was it almost under water, but it was on the rocks. The waves and current weren't moving it an inch.
A Bad Day on the Water

Around the back side of Mary Tod Island, we found a heron. This guy was quite intent on eating, so he paid no attention as I drifted closer.

He didn't pay any attention to the seagull, either.
A Heron. Plus, as an added bonus, a Seagull. Now How Much Would You Pay?

We moved off and drifted towards some seals.
This guy looks like he's in the water -- he's not. He's sitting on some rocks that are just below the surface of the water.

Then it was onto Goose Island! Or Goose Rock! Or Goose Lump of Rock That Sometimes Rises Out of the Water at Low Tide!

Hey! Is that our old friend the heron in the background?

And home we go!

My pictures are here.


  1. See, this is why you live near the water--so you can paddle at a moment's notice! Like last summer when I was on the water twenty times in thirty days.
    And that sailboat that foundered, that was there the day Alison, Paula and I paddled Willows. We didn't get that close though.... Wonder if we should try and salvage it?

  2. I dunno... what are the rules about such things?

  3. If John and I lived together in a place near the water we'd be on the water a lot more too!!

    I don't know if we can salvage that boat. Laws of the sea and all....

  4. Ooh! I talked with a yachter about that boat. He's seen it too. It's tied to an anchor line and in storms it drags its anchor across Oak Bay, and in the next storm it drags its anchor back. It's been half-sunk for about a year and a half, he says.
    But we shouldn't salvage it yet. He says that a boat that's moored (tied to a dock or an anchor) is to be left alone. But a boat that's not tied up can be salvaged.
    He figures the boat may be owned by someone who's become ill or passed away, and that person's friends don't know to go get the boat. It's pretty much a navigation hazard now, riding so low in the water.
    But it apparently has to be left alone because it's still tied to an anchor. Maybe the harbourmaster will eventually be able to retrieve it or something.
    Good reason to tell your boat buddies where your boats are, eh?