Monday, August 26, 2013

Smuggler's Cove and Porpoise Bay

Finally I am posting the photos of my camping/cycling trip.  It seems so long ago that I was staring out at a crystal clear blue, green ocean with starfish clinging to rocks.  The heat of the day with the soft moss under our feet is now a fleeting memory as the days get cooler.  Such is summer; that glorious time of year which vanishes swiftly, vapor-like as it wafts by mingling with fresh smells of Autumn.

We spent two days at Porpoise Bay enjoying the estuary, the town of Sechelt and the sun.


A jelly fish reflecting the sun





A view of the Bay  at the estuary early in the morning


Beautiful water-smoothed rocks in Sechelt
After a few days at Porpoise Bay, where we felt the peace disturbed by a city that had followed us there with its noise and boisterous crowds, we decided to leave for a more remote location.  So we stocked up on water, since Smuggler's Cove did not have any running water, and began our journey starting with a killer hill.  We conquered the hill with shaky legs and coasted all the way down to the Cove in under 2 1/2 hours. 


Beware the bears!!
To get to the campsites, we hiked about 1.5kms in.  There was no way we could ride our bikes there as the trail was full of people and rough terrain.  There were a few black swamps with boardwalks to get across and at one point, we tried riding across.  The boardwalks are narrow and only had railings on one side. So as I was riding across, my handlebar touched the side railing and my bike ricocheted off the railing and I nearly fell into the swamp...gear and all! After that, I walked my bike across those boardwalks.





When we reached came to the campsite area, of which consisted of three spots, we saw the cove where all the smuggling of rum happened over 100 years ago.



Smuggler's Cove has a seedy past. Now it's a marine park and enjoyed by day hikers and campers like us. 


Larry Kelly charged Chinese labourers $100 to smuggle them in the US.
Excited about our adventure we pitched our tent in the furthest campsite from the trail. 


Our little home away from home
Once set up, we followed a trail behind our campsite and saw hundreds of tent-like webs cradled in the trees. 



At the end of the trail, it opened up to an azure paradise, replete with starfish, moss and arbutus trees.  Stunned, we sat in silence, soaking up the glory of the cove.


Coming up to Paradise
Rocky crags
Hundreds of starfish huddling together waiting for the tide to come in
Our mossy seats for two days

Arbutus tree
The only deciduous tree that sheds it's bark and keeps it's leaves
Ignore me...look at that water!!


Beautiful forest moss

Close up of the moss
Oh how I wish I was there again!!

Onto the animals at night part.  So our first day there we heard some loud sounds coming from the bushes.  My heart literally stopped as I thought a bear would come crashing through the bush.  It wasn't a bear, it was some squirrel dropping it's nuts from the treetops.  Or so we thought.  The squirrels there are really tiny, and these sounds were quite loud and too large for a tiny squirrel to make.  Throughout the day, we heard more odd sounds...like something was gnawing on skulls and making weird wheezing, gurgle sounds.  That night, I slept like a log.  The advils helped with that.  My husband, however, didn't.  He told me in the wee hours of the morning that something was circling our tent! EEK! What the heck could it be?  That night, after being bitten to pieces by the bloody mosquitoes...they ate me but not him! BAST***S is what I called them, I was lying down with my book when I heard a thump jump from the log near our tent close to our tent.  It definitely WAS NOT a squirrel.  I stopped breathing.  Literally.  I wanted to hear what it was.  We heard something pitter-patter over our tarp beside the tent.  Then it went to our kitchen area and our pots rattled a bit.  Hmmm.  My hubby pulled out his harmonica and started playing it frantically.  Our thoughts were that the noise would scare whatever it was away.  Well, a few minutes later, something touched my foot.  I SCREAMED!! So loudly I swear people in Vancouver could hear.  My hubby said "Talk to me! Talk to me!!" I said quietly "Something touched my foot!"  Out came the harmonica again and our axe and knife.  LOL! Like that would help us win a fight with a bear! It definitely wasn't a bear because bears don't touch feet lightly or pitter patter over tarps.  All night this animal circled our tent and my hubby said that it touched his head at times.  EEK! Luckily, it was our last night there since we ran out of water.  So not to leave you all in suspense, we figured out about a week ago that the animal was.....wait for it............

A PORCUPINE!!!

They do gnaw on bones and sound like a kazoo!! Thankfully that's all it was.

Okay, back to the Cove.  We left bright and early in the morning.  As we passed the swamp, beautiful kingfishers swooped and chased each other in the morning sunlight.  It was magical.  No photo could capture that beauty. 


The morning sun
This photo was taken the night before. 
Blinding sun
the dead trees
The coolest bright green algae in the black swamp waters

It was heavenly and quite the adventure.  I don't know if I will camp over night there again.  My mom forbids it! My hubby thinks that he can save us from a bear...so silly.  Anyways, we ventured back to Porpoise Bay for our final few days.  The weekend was noisy and more crowded than before.  The 200 cyclists came and took over the campground.  Thankfully Sunday they left and we had a peaceful anniversary floating in the Bay and eating clams.  I've never had fresh clams before and I have to say there were the yummiest shellfish I have eaten yet!!





Thank you for getting this far.  It actually was nice taking the time to write about our trip as it transported me back there for a time.  Tomorrow I'm off to school to set up my classroom and get things organized.  I have a lot of crafty photos to show you all but I may leave that for another day.  I noticed that my 3rd Blogoversary is coming up September 12th but that's a bad time for me as it's a hectic time for teachers.  I'm really not sure what I want to do.  I know that I will have 3 prizes, but what those will be...who knows.  

Hugs to you all and thank you for visiting!!

Anne

40 comments:

cucki said...

Aww so beautiful...
And so much fun.
Hugs x

gracie said...

Thanks for including
us on a wonderful trip.

Vickie said...

Yikes! I am with mom on this one!!!

Shirlee said...

Oh Anne ... I was on the edge of my seat reading your post & wondering what in the world was circling your tent! Just seeing that Beware the Bears sign would have had me heading for home. I have decided that camping is definitely not for me : ) So glad you weren't ricocheted into the swamp ... bike, gear & all! Thank you for sharing all the lovely photos! The scenery is beautiful! Lovely photo of the bathing beauty as well : )

Linda said...

Loved seeing the pictures and reading about your adventures Anne. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Linda

Rhona said...

What brilliant pictures (loved the starfish)...looks like you had a fab vacation....except for the porcupine!

Catherine said...

What a fabulous post! I think you truly captured all the beauty and emotion that you experienced!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Mouse said...

heheheh that was as bad as me and the dinosaurs' ...lol .. glad you had a fab time and love that photo of you and the water hehehehe ....
mmmm swamp bath's are not recommended .. glad you took the safer option :) good luck with going back to school and happy bloggaversary too :) love mouse xxxxxx

Kaisievic said...

Hmmm! I must admit I would think twice about going back to the wild, too. Sounds like an adventure, too. Love the idea of your DH and his bear-slaying harmonica!

Good luck with the new school year and happy upcoming blogaversary.

Melissa said...

That was a very entertaining post, Anne! I don't think I would've liked the night time adventure with the porcupine but the scenery looks amazing! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

Ellen said...

Awesome camping trip! Thanks for these wonderful photos!

Hugs,

Krista said...

What beautiful photos! The purple starfish are amazing. Looks like you had an amazing time in the outdoors.

Annie said...

What an adventure! You are braver than I am. Gorgeous scenery and a vacay to remember!

Margaret said...

I really enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing all the pictures. I'm way past the age of having adventures like that ever again, so it's great to live vicariously. I haven't been camping in ages and ages. lol! Glad you figured out the animal was just a porcupine. Even so, yikes! Good luck with setting up for the start of school!

Ele said...

Thank you for this post, loved reading about your adventure!! Though I believe I would have been terrified by your night visitor... :)
Beautiful photos, so glad you had a great time

Chris said...

What a beautiful place. Funny about the night visitors. Too scary for me.
Thanks for sharing this great adventure.

thegreytail said...

loved the trip, you had serious fun there!
great pictures, thanks for those too. the porcupine thing, how crazy! my first thought was I'd probably go out and see what the darn thing is, really not out of courage but stupidity. I'd make a terrible camper. or a short lived one, anyways. ;)
hugs and happy xxx,
chiara

Brigitte said...

Have you ever thought of writing a book? A mystery adventure maybe? Lol. I was just glued to my computer while reading what happened on your campground. And then I remembered why I don't like being in a tent out in the woods during the night, lol.
I have admired your wonderful pictures several times. They express a lot of the atmosphere that you experienced there. Thanks for sharing.

butterfly said...

What a great holiday and fab photos, thanks for sharing.

Lianne said...

Love your photos!

Best of luck with your return to classes. Can't wait to see what you are working on next.

Dani - tkdchick said...

we truly live in a beautiful country!!!

Annette said...

You had a wonderfull time!!
Really beautifull pic;s

Lois said...

Loved reading your posting! Great pictures. What a beautiful area.

Carolyn said...

Anne
Awesome! I can see why you want to go back. Thank you for sharing your pics.

At least you guys were somewhat prepared for the bear. When my husband and I went camping he brought a gun. When the bear was wandering around in our campsite you could hear it getting into stuff. In the distance a dog barked and the bear left. My husband checked the gun and it wasn't loaded! Neither of us got any sleep that night. Another couple we were camping with slept in their camper. That same night they saw a brown bear wandering around.

Sorry about rambling on. It sounds like you guys had a fantastic journey!

Carolyn said...

Anne
Awesome! I can see why you want to go back. Thank you for sharing your pics.

At least you guys were somewhat prepared for the bear. When my husband and I went camping he brought a gun. When the bear was wandering around in our campsite you could hear it getting into stuff. In the distance a dog barked and the bear left. My husband checked the gun and it wasn't loaded! Neither of us got any sleep that night. Another couple we were camping with slept in their camper. That same night they saw a brown bear wandering around.

Sorry about rambling on. It sounds like you guys had a fantastic journey!

Veronica said...

Gorgeous photos, Anne. Gosh, your porcupine story really kept me in suspense. LOL! Those broadwalks certainly look narrow! Good thing you did not fall in.

Hugs,
Veronica.

P.S. Say hi to Titus for me and give him and extra hug too ^.^

Karoline said...

Gorgeous photos, sounds like a wonderful trip

Sally said...

What an amazing trip Anne. Love seeing your photos. Such a beautiful place.

Melanie said...

What a great adventure! You're far braver than I. I would have taken off running if something touched my foot in the dark. NO WAY. OUTTA THERE. Heh.
Lovely photos!

Melanie said...

What a great adventure! You're far braver than I. I would have taken off running if something touched my foot in the dark. NO WAY. OUTTA THERE. Heh.
Lovely photos!

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Wow! Great photos :) I had never heard of those trees, and I have *never* seen so many starfish clustered so tightly together - very cool and slightly creepy, LOL :P Glad you had a good time, hope your school year gets off to a good start!

Maggee said...

I have come to realize that I am SUCH a city girl--no overnights in the great outdoors for me! Day trips are fine, and you won't find me venturing past a 'Beware of the Bears' sign--see, City Girl! Cool starfish too! Never thought about them like that... Thanks for sharing your trip! It was...wild! Hugs!

Kathy Ellen said...

What a magnificent trip you and your hubby had, and how brave you were, camping out in that wilderness! You must have been absolutely terrified by that 'creature' poking all around your tent and campsite all night!

Thank you for sharing all of the gorgeous pictures of your trip. There is nothing as beautiful and calming as the incredible outdoors in such a wonderful setting. So glad that you are safely back home.

Blessings!

The Maiden said...

What an amazing narrative and photo gallery, you absolutely must go back, and take me!

Pumpkin said...

What a beautiful spot for camping! How I miss camping myself... Great photos. TFS!

LOVE the porcupine story! ROFL :)

P.J. said...

Wow, what an awesome adventure. You made my heart jump! Your pictures are amazing. Thank you for taking us back there with you. Happy belated anniversary. :)

Valma said...

ho my ! I wish I was there too !!!! please go back and take me with you too =D
what a beautiful place
wonderful pictures you're sharing with us !
paradise on earth =)
special award for the picture of the sea stars !!
Big hugs
xxxx

marly said...

Beautiful photos. I can imagine the peace and dancing light on water and through trees. Do they make Tyvek tents????

Carol said...

What a great trip, Anne--your photos are stunning! I've never seen starfish huddled together like that... I would be freaking out with those noises and something touching my foot. I love nature in the daytime, but am not a good overnight camper :)

Meari said...

Beautiful photos! I could hike/camp there for sure. Glad it was only a porcupine, LOL.