Salt Spring Island, Canada

July 9 - 11, 2000

 Our Travel Experience

More Photos


Tourist Info


Our Travel Experience

I hope the majority of the days on our year off are as relaxing and enjoyable as the past three days have been here at Salt Spring Island. We are in a stunning location and the most taxing thing we've done any day is to walk down to the rocks in front of the house. The walk down three levels of balconies is worth it because of the beautiful view up and down the Straight of Georgia.
The walk down to the rocks was especially gorgeous at sunset. All six of us (Bob, Eileen, Seth, Tara, Baily and Kaluah) would head down to enjoy the view. Well, maybe only four of us enjoyed the view. 

Two of us were probably more interested in poking our noses into every nook and cranny we could find! Bailey made sure to bark at every bird who flew nearby and Kaluah was nicknamed Otter's Bane since she chased away some Otters who were sunning themselves on the rocks in front of the house.

Even though Bailey chased away the sunning otters, we've seen wildlife around the house every day: bald eagles, otters, deer, hummingbirds, cormorants, finches, cranes, starfish, crabs. The starfish were extremely numerous and brightly colored. Tara especially remembers how big and sharp the bald eagle's back claws looked. She was also lucky enough to watch the cormorant swallow a fish just as she was looking at him through the binoculars. The otters were a nice treat too - three of them swimming playfully near the shore. We saw the deer out in a field when we were driving back from town with our Chinese take-away. Bob turned the car around and drove by them again so that everyone could get a good look. It is very nice to be in a natural environment with wildlife & surprisingly, very few mosquitos. 
Tara especially spent allot of time outdoors. The area down by the rocks was so pretty, that she went down to the rocks one morning and wrote a Locomotions article. She also had fun scampering around the rocks in order to test how comfortable she felt in her new Teva sandals as well as her hiking boots. Scampering around these rocks was much easier than scampering around the rocks in Tasmania when we went river rafting. This is probably because Tara did have new shoes and a misstep here only meant a one foot (not a 20 foot) drop!

She was lucky and didn't fall in once. Unfortunately, Eileen was not so lucky. Eileen was rescuing Kaluah who had fallen into the water and couldn't get back out when she slipped on the exact same seaweed covered rocks that Kaluah had. Eileen's scraped hand was therefore the first injury that we treated with our recently packed first aid kit. 

Each day Tara and Eileen have enjoyed hydrotherapy in the whirlpool spa on the 2nd deck. This is the only time that Tara hasn't felt a little chilly. The weather has been good, but cool - especially if the sun is not shining. But, Tara uses many tricks to stay warm: snuggling under blankets, sitting on the hot rocks down by the water, being sure to enjoy the whirlpool twice a day and sun gazing whenever possible! 

In three days, we have only left the house and gone into town once. The main reason was so that Eileen could get chocolate ice cream from the local Dairy Queen. We had to go out on Tuesday for this special treat...since the Dairy Queen only serves chocolate ice cream on Tuesdays!  We would have to say that this trip to Dairy Queen was the most active thing we've done. Not surprisingly, therefore, both of us have caught up on our sleep by taking naps throughout the day. This has been very enjoyable. 

The view out the main windows in the house is stunning. As I look up, I see a few evergreens framing a gorgeous water view. We believe that we'd like to live on the water someday and this location would do just fine. The mountains shrouded in clouds in the far distance, the shimmery light blue water, the islands covered in evergreen trees and the occasional bird either flying across the water or perched on the channel marker all make for a picturesque scene. 
It is also so quiet here. There are rarely sounds of other people - even though there are houses on either side of this house. The houses on both sides are shielded by trees and we are very secluded. Once a day, someone has went by on the water: two kayaks, a sailboat, a rowboat. The biggest disruption has been when a bird has come to the feeder and Bailey has started growling and barking at it. 
Seth has, as always, enjoyed being around Bailey and Kahlua. While Bailey barks at the birds, Kahlua more aggressively chases the wildlife. For example, it was Kahlua who found the raccoon's den. Kahlua who fell into the water. Kahlua who has been renamed "Otter's Bain" and, thus, we haven't seen any otters lounging on the rocks by the water since arriving. Bob and Eileen had the pleasure of lounging otters on the first day they arrived. Bailey, though, is the fun one to sleep with. Tara has been asleep many times on the couch and had Bailey come up to be a heat generator on her legs. Very nice! Tara and Eileen also had the pleasure of taking the dogs for a walk to the end of the road. There they discovered a very nice beach at the Northern point of the island and picked red raspberries on the way back. 

Overall, this has been such a relaxing and enjoyable time away, that we don't want it to end. Bob and Eileen are planning on buying a house here on Salt Spring within ten years and we'd be happy to be their first guests!

Category Rating Comments
Overall Experience 9 We could not have asked for a better start to our world tour. 
Ease of Journey 7 We made the journey harder than it needed to be since our flights were into and out of the Seattle airport and not the Vancouver airport. It was US$ 600 cheaper to use Seattle. So, we drove for a few hours between Seattle and Vancouver each way. Taking the float plane over to Ganges Harbour on Salt Spring Island was very convenient. 
Accommodation 9 We really enjoyed having a whole secluded house for just the four of us. It was very cozy and had everything we could ask for inside of it. 
Activities N/A We did basically nothing for three days.
Coolness 9 We wished we could have stayed longer!

Tourist Info

Bob & Eileen's rented house at 112 Arbutis
Harbour Air float plane - we recommend arriving early and eating in the attached restaurant/bar at the Vancouver Airport