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hieronyma Mayne Island - A travel report by Christl
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Mayne Island,  Canada - flag Canada -  British Columbia
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hieronyma's travel reports

Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

  21 votes
Page: 1 2
Between Vancouver and Vancouver Island you’ll find an island world, full of wonders: Saturna, Pender, Saltspring, Galiano, Prevost, Moresby, and Samuel Islands, to name only the bigger ones. But Mayne Island - the magic island, is the one I love.

You take the ferry from Tsawwassen Ferry Station in Vancouver and the charme of this world captivates you. When you see Georgina Point Lighthouse on Mayne Island on your left side, you meet the fishermen, not as many nowadays as in former times but still, the ferry blows the horn again and again because she is on the way through Active Pass, a tight waterway, leaving the old harbour of Miners Bay and the Indian Reserve behind, and, turning around Helen Point, she reaches Village Bay, where you better look for a lift, otherwise you have to use your feet or to call a cab. 40 millions years ago the earth’s shifting tectonic plates created it, as early as 3000 BC the Coast Salish occupied the peninsula with Helen Point as they do today, in the late 18th century the Europeans arrived, the Spaniards, Captain Vancouver, who camped on Georgina Point, the Royal Navy, who named it, mid 19th century the Caribou Gold Rush touched it, at the end of the century the first homesteaders started to work the farms successfully, built the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, the school, the Plumber Lock Up, now the museum, the Springwater Lodge opened, the oldest continously operated hotel in B.C., mail came regulary, but the mailboat didn’t stop at Miners Bay because of the lack of mooring, so mail and goods of all kind were brought from and to the boat by rowboat. These people created a democratic society in which English, Germans, Indians, Japanese, aristocrates, farmers, and workers lived in peace with one another, stimulating each other, until Pearl Harbour, when the Japanese were forcible taken inland and the economy of the island was destroyed.

Favourite spots:
Off Georgina Point Road you’ll go down to the beach, where I love to sit, to feel the rhythm of the sea, to watch the Blue Heron on its buoy, to forget the time. At the end of the beach I climb up the stairs and walk to Georgina Point Heritage Park to sit in the cliffs until the tide gets at me. Or I take the trail high above Campbell Bay, where you can go for a swim when you are brave, out to Edith Point, the peninsula, a family, who earned her money in the oil busineess, gave to the public, another quiet place to enjoy the silence of the forest. When sun is shining I walk through the forest of Mount Parke Regional Parke, envelopping me like a second skin, up to the Halliday Viewpoint high on the cliffs above Navy Channel, were the eagles are, strong and beautiful. At the Radarstation I enjoy the view over the islands, dotted in the sea. The fireroad with ist hidden houses and the strange tree takes me back to Miners Bay.

What's really great:
I love kayaking, going out of Bennett Bay along Georgeson Island to the Belle Chain Islets to see the seals, curiously observing you, exploring the shores of Samuel Island, see the seaotters play their funny games, taking a tour around Curlew Island and back again to Bennett Bay. And above all this beauty the blue sky of B.C. with just these few white clouds. But the evenings on the deck of the Springwater when the sun sets over Active Pass are dreamlike. The day ends on the bench in the Memorial Garden below the cliffs in the cemetary of St. Mary Magdalene, where you meet those, who and made the island what it still is. The deer comes by, undisturbed by your presence. The night arrives and the sky is lit by the stars. But the highlight ever will be the Indian Reserve as long as the Indians don’t log it. You enter another world, a magic world where the forest with those old trees captivates you, the light creates an irreal world and you are able to hear yourself again.

When, coming from Georgina Point, you reach the crossing Waugh and Georgina Pt. Road, you'll find on the right side a small wooden sign: Comfort Cottage. A comfortable way brings you to the entrance of it, the door is marked by an old doorbell, saying in Latin: When you move me, I tinkle. It is a quiet place with a small wooden house, where, as it seems, sombody lives. It is built on a small promontory. overlooking Active Pass. Don't trespass! It is private property. This is all what is left of Point Comfort Hotel, turned into a private residence by Commander Eustace and Mrs. Grace Maude, who "sold" it "to Colonel Fawkes and his wife Lady Constance", who "renamed it Culzean after the castle in Scotland, where Lady Constance grew up". (See: D. and A. Spalding, G. Montgomery and L. Pitt, Southern Gulf Islands, Attitude Publishing, Canmore, Alberta 1995/2000, p. 66)

The Root Seller Inn
The best accomodation, ever was and still is, is the Root Seller Inn, the smallest hotel of the world, just downtown Miners Bay, today you can rent a suit, a fireplace room and the woman’s room on the same floor with bath.

No clubs

Try the Springwater

Miners Bay has all what you want.

Other recommendations:
- Try the market on Saltspring Island,
- go by catamaran from Galiano Island around the place
or take a bicycle to see Dionisio Point Provincial Park at the other end of the is land
or see the sun rolling down the mountain in Montague Harbour Provincial Park,
- visit Sidney on Vancouver Island, the booktown,
- tour Pender Island by hitchhiking to meet the people,
- spend a day in Victoria, the very English town,
- etc., etc.

Published on Monday February 21th, 2005

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Thu, Feb 18 2010 - 01:55 PM rating by jacko1

I found that this conjured up pictures in the mind, very descriptive and well written.

Wed, Feb 21 2007 - 05:09 PM rating by travler

I have heard of Vancouver and Victoria but nothing about any islands between them. I learned a lot from reading this review.

Tue, Jan 23 2007 - 11:44 PM rating by mrscanada

I love going to this Island and Saltsping as well. If you add pictures to this review please let me know and I'll read and rate it again.

Mon, Feb 21 2005 - 03:37 PM rating by mistybleu

Good report, (I'm sorry I like pictures).


Mon, Feb 21 2005 - 01:07 PM rating by davidx

I have never given 5* before pics but here your words portray what you describe. Terrific.

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