Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Jack Point

Greetings loyal followers!

Today, as a nice change of pace, we decided to wake up to a bright sunny day.  I think this was an exceptionally good idea, and we should probably do it more often.  Look at that sky!

We went out for some breakfast, and then proceeded to Jack Point, which is a small point of land opposite Nanaimo with some nice walking trails.  By the time we made the short drive to Jack Point, the sky had completely clouded over.

I'm beginning to think that clouds are actually formed as a side-effect of my attempts at tourism in this region.  Still, we weren't getting rained on, so we marched along the trail.  The first part of the path is lined with blackberry bushes... no, not the kind that grow mobile phones, the ones that make these:

Of course, given the presence of ripe berries on the vine I wouldn't DREAM of picking and eating any.

I really shouldn't have done that, it's not like there were meters upon meters of berry-bearing vines:

Once I'd sampled of the local flora we continued along the path out towards the rocky point at the end of the peninsula.  It really is a lovely walk along the coast and through the forest.

One of the highlights of Jack Point for me as a kid was the tide pools, and little has changed in the years since.  The end of Jack Point is a long stretch of rocky shore, and as the tide goes out it leaves little pockets of sea life trapped in isolated pools.

In the past I've seen starfish here, but was not so lucky on this outing.  Still, it's interesting to see all the anemones and barnacles on the rocks.

Unfortunately you don't get a great look at the anemones here since the curl up when the water recedes.  In places the rocks were absolutely covered in barnacles, which apparently don't mind the fact that this stretch of the sea bottom is only temporarily aquatic.

As we were out on the point we got to see several ferries passing by.  One of these was actually the big ferry that goes between Vancouver and the new dock they've put up just to the South of Jack Point.  It's pretty impressive to see something that big rolling in to port.

Once we got back from the walk around Jack Point, sensing that I was no longer sight-seeing, the weather cleared back up.  It did make for a nice, sunny afternoon at the driving range with my Grandpa though.  It's been forever since I held a golf club, and the effects of that long inactivity showed themselves pretty quickly.  Still, I was surprised to find that a bit of practice and a few expert tips from Grandpa rapidly improved my shot.  By the end of my practice session I'd almost think that you could take me out on a golf course without me being a danger to myself and everyone around me.

On our way back from the driving range we stopped in at the local tanning salon.  Apparently Grandpa has been doing regular sessions to build up a bit of base-tan before their trip to Maui in January.  I'd never been in one of these Human Blast Furnaces before, so I decided to give it a go.  They have a high-powered standing oven tanning bed that only takes 5 minutes, so I hopped in there.  I'm not sure that one 5-minute session is going to leave me bronzed, but it was still interesting.  The girl at the counter said that she gets lots of people in who have been told by their doctor to get a tanning treatment to boost their Vitamin D levels and stave off seasonal depression in the winter.  Not sure if it was the golf, the tanning, or my naturally cheerful disposition, but I felt pretty good when I got home.

After dinner we went for a walk around the neighbourhood.  Just off the balcony here we could get a clear view all the way to Mt. Baker in Washington State, which was pretty impressive.  It's a bit faded in this picture, but you should be able to see its snow-covered peak slightly to the right of centre:

Something that is a common sight on Vancouver Island, but I hadn't yet photographed is the mighty Banana Slug.  We saw an excellent specimen on the road today, so I finally stopped and got my camera out.  Lovely plumage:

For a sense of scale on these, the most majestic of nature's creations, observe below:

No, I'm not actually touching the slug, but it really does look like it in this photo.  My hand is just slightly off the ground.

At any rate, it's about time for me to be calling it a night.  Tomorrow it looks like we may be taking a ferry over to one of the nearby islands for a hike.  It's also, if all goes according to plan, going to be my last day in the Saltair region, as Thursday we're intending to head down to Victoria so that I can spend a couple of days checking out the sights around there.

Until tomorrow everyone.


corey.blosser said...

Just putting this out there.. ..that's all..

Jabbles said...

You've tried the local flora how about the fauna?

Colin Young said...

That's an awesome suggestion Corey! Not sure I'll get a chance to stay there, but I'll try to stop by anyway.

Jay, I tried some tasty fish today, don't know if that counts.

Debbie said...

Why didn't you pick enough blackberries for a pie =) It's one of my favorites!! lol

Colin Young said...

Funny you should mention it, because we got home and Grandma got out a Blackberry and Apple pie that she'd baked earlier and that's what we had for dessert that evening. :) Sorry Debbie, I should have sent you a piece. ;)

Debbie said...

That figures =)