Sunday, March 30, 2008

Looking around ... from the shelter of Coal Island

"No current," said Richard, reading the tide tables. We in turn told him about the other times we went out and around the Sidney Islands. But we kept peering around those little islands looking for the ribbon of choppy water that signifies interesting times ahead, and being disappointed. The weather, however, was capricious, with shifting winds up to 15 km forecast, and off and on rain, so although we'd started out with the notion of circumnavigating Coal Island, and had made it all the way out to visit the Northern Sphinx, we took the better part of valour and stayed on the near side of Coal. While the gang (Paula, John, Richard, and Louise) discussed their favourite Optimum bar, I bobbed gently in the non-current and panned as far as I could twist. Double Take, it seems, has a limit: it positively refused to add the last two images. The tip of Coal Island is on the left, the mainland on the right. 

1 comment:

  1. Great panorama, Alison!
    I got out my books and charts and figured out what these islands all are.
    As Alison says, the bump on the left is the tip of Coal Island. The closest of the next islands on the right are Reay Island, and Greig Island, both part of the Gulf Islands National Park Preserve. They're the ones that we called "The Floating Islands" because today a mirage made them look like they were floating above the horizon.
    Behind them are Brethour Island and Domville Island, and behind them Gooch. Dimly guessed-at behind them is Stuart Island in USA waters.
    After the panorama shows a little open water, there's another clump. The low island on the left is Dock Island, where we went for the first time today. The low rock on the right is really the pair with the Sidney Sphinx, part of the Little Group. Behind & between them is Forrest Island, not Mandarte as I was calling it today... sorry.
    There's another span of open water, and then Mandarte Island, low in the distance beside Sidney Island.
    The closer island is the biggest of the Little Group. It appears to be part of an Indian Reserve, as does the next island to the right. That's the one we call Three Trees, as it has two tall trees, and a lower round-top tree (from our launch point at Robert Bay in Sidney, the lower tree is between the two taller), where we saw a green kayak on shore today.
    Behind Three Trees is James Island, but it's hard to tell from the Cordova Bay shoreline of Saanich Peninsula behind James. Panning right you see the bump of Mount Douglas, and another for Bear Hill. Then the low spit of Cordova Point (its whirlpool is invisible from this angle, of course) and Bazan Bay.
    You can see the buildings of Sidney, and behind them Lhwelnau (Big Saanich Mountain). There's a tree-dotted peninsula with Mount Newton behind it and Roberts Bay, our launch point. The ridge of the Malahat is dusted with snow, behind another tree-dotted peninsula sheltering Tsecum Harbour.
    A great panorama!