Monthly Archives: October 2011

Todd & Deb travel to Hornby Island

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

Thanksgiving trip to Hornby Island

Thanksgiving trip to Hornby…

Thanksgiving on Hornby Day 2

Thanksgiving on Hornby Day 2

Hornby Island Day 3

Hornby Island Day 3

Ft. Langley Cranberry Festival Canoe Regatta

in our TWO teams at Ft. Langley
– Gung Haggis Fantastic Cranberry Chasers
– Gung Haggis Fiery Chili Eaters

Standing back row Gerard, Steve, Aidan, Remus, Maggie (tartan green hat) Johnny, Xavier, Todd and Sara
Middle standing Carly (black shirt), Keng, Lisa (neon green hat), Dave, Michelle, Tracey
front row kneeling, Harvey, Debbie, Caroline, Karl.

I am proud of both Gung Haggis teams, having a
race down the wire for 3rd place in B Final
– and very glad we did not end up in
C Final.

was an incredible sprint to the finish after the last turn, following
the beach landing in the Pumpkin Final.  Neck & neck – both Gung
Haggis teams trading leads… Wow…  Officially, the score card says
Gung Haggis Fantastic Cranberries won… by milliseconds…

Gung Haggis Fiery Chillis leading the B Final Race after the first turn.  We were the first team under the bridge after grabbing our pumpkin. 

of 24 teams, we were 11th and 12th – in the top half…. and that is a
good thing… bragging rights over 12 other teams… and respect to 10
other teams above us.

I am now completely
fatigued after THREE aprox. 2000m races at the Ft. Langley Cranberry
Festival Canoe regatta…   I can only imagine how the rookie paddlers feel…

So please raise a glass to the rookie paddles:

First race ever – Sara

2nd races ever Xavier, Leo, Christian

other First year paddlers Aidan, Caroline,

experienced guest paddlers racing 1st time at Ft. Langley – Carly, Tracey, Michelle, Johnny Toi

experienced repeat guest paddlers @ Ft. Langley, Remus, Lisa,

Harvey & Maggie

experienced Gung Haggis paddles racing Cranberry for first time, Sabina

experienced Gung Haggis repeat paddlers at Ft. Langley, Karl, Steve S., Debbie, Keng, Gerard, Dave S., Todd

Harvey is steering, Johnny and Maggie in row 5, Leo and Christian in row 4, Sara and Gerard in row 3, Xavier and Keng in row 2, Debbie is lead stroke and captain in row 1.

Todd is steering – right side from rear Remus, Aidan, Carly, Michelle, left side paddlers from rear Caroline, Steve, Tracey, Dave – Karl is lead stroke in seat one.

Special thanks to our captains Debbie Poon & Karl Castillo

Special thanks to our steers – Harvey Doucet, Dave Samis & Todd Wong (me)

 Everybody had tons of fun,
lots of smiles, great to see old and new paddling funs…
Now to unload
the car, grab some zzzz's, then take my girlfriend to Hornby Island in
the morning for the next 2 nights…

please send pictures – especially send us links to posted pictures…

Deb will post pictures to my flickr account… 

Remember – no practice tomorrow – take Sunday off on race weekend

See you next Sunday Oct 16 – we will have dim sum lunch following practice

We will keep paddling on Sundays 11am until Nov 13  Remembrance Day weekend.

NO MORE Wednesday evening paddles…

Cheers, Todd