BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Water, water, all around

Our first week back in Canada was a week of rain. A very typical Vancouver-style rain, in that it was persistent and heavy. Similar to the sort of rain that flooded Dundrum and the Dart in Dublin last fall.  In a Vancouver winter that sort of rain occurs more often then not. 

Jet lagged, having just arrived from relatively sunny Ireland, the bleak greyness of the sky combined with the bleak grey of the pavement below to cast all the buildings in a grey hue.  I went from beautiful, rolling, green countryside to a grey horizon of modern glass high rises and rundown single story commercial strips.  Our trip over to Victoria proved to be equally dismal.  We were subject to wet feet and an encompassing feeling of having moved into a bland and bleak existence. 

However, I have since had reason to change my outlook on my fate.  Victoria is about as rainy as Dublin in the winter, and often suffers from droughts in the summer.  In other words, it is a much, much sunnier place than Vancouver.  Last week I was too frantic in my unpacking and grocery shopping (final bill for last week alone totalled over $1000!) to enjoy the sunshine.  However this week is a different story, and I have come to realize that James Bay is a wonderful place to live! 

Last Friday we headed to the east of us to explore the HUGE city park of Beacon Hill (just two blocks away). On Saturday we walked north into downtown Victoria to do some shopping (we're five blocks away from the Parliament Buildings).  And today we walked to the water that borders the west and south sides of James Bay.  It is a small community, bounded by geography, and its expansive waterfront was something we needed to explore.

So I packed a picnic lunch and picked Nikolai up from preschool with the firm intention of finding a beach to rest upon.  Nikolai was more than game to follow in my plan, so we headed for the ocean, a mere four blocks from the James Bay Community Centre and Primary School (and to think we'd never even seen it!). At that point along our journey, we were high up on a break water.  The view was terrific, and I am determined to return on a clearer day for a better view of mountains (from a quick look at it appears that they are located in the USA).
However, the break water eventually opened up at Ogden Point to give us a rocky, log-strewn beach to have our picnic on.
From there we continued our walk down past the small port and cruise ship terminal to fisherman's wharf.  Fisherman's wharf is clearly a tourist trap, but on a Tuesday in February we had it all to ourselves.  It is a "floating village" that mainly comprises floating restaurants, whale watching tour providers, sea kayak rentals and hippy/artsy housing.  We bought chips from one of the two restaurants still open in the off-season and watched the local seal population beg for food.  Since I was the only tourist around, I decided to take more than my standard fare of photos. 

The first photo is one that Nikolai took, and the others are of floating houses that peaked my interest.

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