Welcome to the shore at the Hakai Beach Institute, an active research, teaching, and meeting facility on the shore of Pruth Bay! This colorful carving greets visitors who have come ashore over the bay’s clear waters and begun their wanderings through the lovely gardens and handsome buildings on the Institute’s beautifully kept grounds.
Walt and I waited until Friday morning’s clouds had meandered off to pursue other opportunities and then motored to the dinghy dock in Coracle. There, among some other boaters, we met and visited with an energetic young Dutch couple who had sailed from the Netherlands all the way to Alaska and now here to Pruth Bay on their way to Vancouver Island’s east coast.
We were directed to the marvelous Mosquito Tree by some of boaters we’d just encountered, and then walked the easy mile-long trail through a fragrant forest of ferns, moss-covered trees and logs, and salal (the ripe berries are sweet and delicious!) to the justly-famous, breathtakingly beautiful West Beach here on Calvert Island, which is sometimes called the “Canadian Caribbean” because of its pristine, “tropical” white-sand beaches (follow this link to a map, by Josh Silbert of the Hakai Institute, that shows the locations of the many beaches: https://hakai.org/taking-out-the-trash-on-calvert-island; each curve of white along the western shores of the land-forms in the picture is a white-sand beach).
This sweeping expanse of sand is remarkably free of driftwood, seaweed, rocks, and even shells (and people!); the surface is powdery soft as one walks out of the woods past some drift logs and toward the sea, and then becomes quite firm as one approaches the water (very cool but pleasant–probably at a temperature of around 65 degrees). I spent an hour or so wading up to my knees in the gentle surf, watching waves breaking on distant rocks and islands and wispy “mares’ tails” of clouds frolicking in a deep blue ocean of sky, and remembering my family’s annual one-day trips to the beach at Oceanside, CA, my favorite day of the year despite the severe sunburns we often acquired!
After returning to Braesail, we welcomed Arianne and Michiel, the Dutch couple we’d met at the dinghy docks, to our “ocean home” and spent a long time talking with them. Walt gave them lots of advice and contact information regarding marine electronics systems and doing research and generally working remotely from a boat. We four had a grand time together and Walt and I were happy to be able to be of help.
The forecast storm clouds began to find their way into the bay as we ate a snack supper, and the superlative day ended with the glorious gift of this sunset!