Photojournalism Near & Far

On Canada’s Rugged Coast

Despite living in Seattle for nearly three years, I only made it north of the Canadian border once. I had the fortunate opportunity of joining a handful of people at a family cottage for a weekend on Gambier Island. Tucked away from the main ocean straight leading to Vancouver, Gambier Island is a rugged landmass only accessible by boat. The island was experiencing unseasonably warm weather that May, which made for a temperate and scenic getaway.

Our journey began at West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay for a semi-private charter to one of Gambier’s southeastern arms. The Captain was a thick-accented Canadian with years behind the stern and just as many stories to match.

The interior of the vessel was simple with room for 15 or so. Night was falling fast, so there was no time to waste on our departure. We shoved off, and chugged northwest towards the island.

Wind-swept trees and low-lying shrubs decorate the rocky facade of Gambier Island. The peninsula in the foreground made for some fantastic cliff jumping. A light wind that day accentuates the battered-nature of this island’s flora.

Most of these folks I was meeting for the first time, which truly I don’t mind. In fact, sometimes I really enjoy meeting a whole bunch of people for the first time, having no reservations or knowledge of anyone. Keeping an open mind, I’m destined to learn quite a bit about a variety of foreign subjects and ideas.

Our days consisted of low-key hiking around the island, cliff jumping, and a few beers for all our hard work. There were plenty of remarkable tree species there with iridescent-looking bark, or lack thereof. It was more like a skin really.

I can often stare at maps for hours, lost among lines, symbols, and words I’ve never seen before.

The old cottage had a collection of maps and simple decorations. Glancing at the interior, it looked like something straight out of a structural design text book. There was plenty of exposed wood and basic beams and trusses. It looks like a house that your grandfather built over a couple months.

Low tides revealed sharp barnacles and tidal pools teeming with sea critters. I even found a starfish corpse which appeared to go sunbathing a bit too long. I enjoyed this long weekend in Canada and hope to return at some point. Some places on my list include: Vancouver proper and Banff National Park.

One of my favorites scenes from the weekend, just a man against the sea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *