Hornby Island is a jewel of the Northern Gulf Islands:
We go to Hornby for the Thanksgiving weekend
Much of Hornby Island is covered with sandstone – Todd sits on top of a nature sculpted rock – shaped by multitudes of wave action. We had a great time walking on Sandpiper Beach – just around the corner from the more famous Tribune Bay. – photo Deb Martin
It had been about 15 years since I last visited Hornby Island. I had talked with my girlfriend Deb for years about going to visit my cousins who have lived there since the mid 1970's. My first visit to Hornby was around 1970 on a family trip. I remember swimming and my father creating rafts for my brother and I to paddle on in Tribune Bay. I had many trips in the late 1980's and 1990's. I watched my cousin's children grow up, and now they have left the island and live out of province.
Hornby definitely has a laid back feel, and you can almost feel transported back into the communal hippie love vibe of the late 60's and early 70's. We visited the Co-Op store and the ring of little shops next door to it – that constitute the “downtown” business centre of Hornby Island. We also visited the Community Hall where a Fall arts and market fair was happening.
Thanksgiving Dinner was on Sunday at my cousin's home. They had invited some of their friends, and slowly I realized how I had met some of them 15 years before. After the dinner, I played my accordion – like I had done many years ago at Thanksgiving dinners on Hornby. My cousin Wayne also played some flamenco on his guitar. Also attending the dinner was their artist friend Wayne Ngan who specializes in pottery and painting. We went to visit Ngan's studio the next day where I bought a small pot.
This is a picture at the pottery studio of Heinz and Gerhard. Past visits in the 80's and 90's always found me selecting plates, cups or bowls. This visit selected the large blue vase that can be seen in the bottom left corner of the photo.
On our 2nd day, we drove out to Ford's Cove and visited the marina where all the fishing boats are docked. It was almost so cloudy and misty that you couldn't see nearby Denman Island. The store is very small but not unlike a lot of marina stores up and down the coast. It has a little bit of everything and especially a large dvd rental collection. I had an Americano coffee as my cousin had told me they had good coffee.
In the afternoon we walked out to the bluffs at Helliwell Park. This is an amazing park with a fragile ecosystem along the bluffs. There are also lots of sandstone sculpted rocks along the shoreline. But it was very windy, and we were careful not to get blown about. It's a very steep drop off the bluffs. We didn't have enough time to walk the entire loop trail, as we went to visit another friend of my cousin's whom I had also met 15 years ago. She is now housebound due to old age, and I was asked to play my accordion for her. It was a great visit of sharing stories and playing music.
Deb stands on Whaling Station Bay – the tide was coming in. We went back on the next morning and saw the wide expanse of beach at the shallow bay. It's a great place to swim in the summer because the shallow bay keeps the water quite warm. I have promised Deb that we will return when it is warmer – maybe a Long weekend visit in May sometime in the future?
Here are the links to our 3 days or travel photos on Flickr photo site