We love Evita. She's a 32-foot C & C sailboat owned by our Click Media Works colleagues John and Karen Laing.
We're starting to get to know every inch of her seaworthy elegance as she patiently whisks us to new adventures on that forever-changing and colourful nautical canvas many know as the beloved west coast of Beautiful British Columbia.
Our skipper John Laing carefully scrutinized the tidal charts for this three-day excursion, and with some help from Kyan II sailors Nick and Darcee Bidgood of Victoria, we ended up anchoring in Princess Bay at Wallace Island and later at the marina in picturesque Chemainus (which I will refer to in a later blogpost).
Research tells us that narrow Wallace Island was named after Capt. Wallace Houstoun who first surveyed the area in the 1850s.
Gnarled fruit trees are evidence an orchard was planted here by Scotsman Jermiah Chivers who retired to the island and lived alone on it until he died at age 92 in 1927.
The island was purchased by David Conover in 1946, and he and his wife Jeanne struggled to create a "modern" holiday resort known as Royal Cedar Cottages. By the time he sold the property to a group of Seattle teachers in the late 1960s, he documented his experiences in four books: Once Upon an Island; One Man's Island: Sitting On a Saltspring; and Finding Marilyn, A Resource.
After a little skirmish between the teachers, the island was purchased in a court-ordered sale and became a provincial park in 1990.
After a night of partying and sharing laughs, stories and culinary wonders paired with wine aboard Kyan II, the morning light glistening through the trees beckoned us onto the island for an hour of exercise and discovery.
One lone, rusting hulk of a jeep is resting beside the trail leading to the former resort. . . and its presence is a mystery because there are no roads on Wallace Island.
The next surprise on this hike is an old resort cabin that has become home to hundreds of driftwood and seashell signs, some dangling in the wind, others permanently nailed to the walls, It's a delight because the care and attention of the boaters who created and mounted their mementos has not been ravaged by unthoughtful visitors.
Karen was particularly excited because she found a treasure chest in the cabin, and wanted to send her grandson, William, a picture of it. The little guy loves all things related to pirates, and can't wait to see his grandfather "Yumpy" turn Evita into a pirate ship, complete with cannons. Arggghh.
After the fun of discovering Wallace Island, digging into its history and soaking in its sheer beauty, it was time to retreat, to pull up anchor, and sail off to another Evita adventure with the Bidgoods and their two small seafaring dogs, Tami and Tucker.
Nick Bidgood manually powered his dog dinghy to shore one last time and radioed ahead to arrange for Evita and Kyan II moorage at the Chemainus Marina. We'll give the mural town it's own story. Stay tuned.