Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sidney Spit with our Friends

We learned a valuable lesson about how the ferry to Sidney Island works...
First Come... First Served.

This is what the Sidney Spit Ferry looks like pulling away from the dock without us.

We planned to leave on the 10 AM ferry... and we bought our picnic lunch... but when we arrived at the ticket booth only five minutes before departure we found the 10 AM sailing was sold out.  Next sailing was 11:30 AM.  Hmmmmm.

Our friends Lorne and Gail sitting with Shirley...

Roger & Lori were behind a couple of rows.

Approaching Sidney Island several boats are tied to buoys in the lagoon area.

Left centre is Eagle Island and the sand bar above the boom on the sail boat is the lagoon perimeter beach.

As we disembarked we were welcomed to Paradise by Jodee, the friendly deck hand.

The wharf had several bird houses...

But the Purple Martins were so quick it was a trick to catch them with my camera.

Several plaques on the wharf talked about protecting the ecosystems. Since the deer have no predators on this island they keep multiplying.  Some plants needed by other animals are in danger of being wiped out by the hungry deer.

We didn't see any deer either time we visited here... so I took this picture.

We got into a pretty heated discussion with another passenger who was buying tickets behind us... she didn't like the program to reduce the deer population on Sidney Island... and was not at all happy that we agreed with the Parks program to cut the number of deer from 1,000 to about 200.

As we got off the ferry some people headed down the beach toward the campground... that is Eagle Island top centre.

And some headed out on a hike to the point of the spit. We decide to do first things first and eat our picnic on the benches provided near the dock so we didn't have to carry our lunch... not to mention we were getting hungry and it was already noon.  Sorry about no picture of our picnic. 

Well fed and ready to head out to the spit I took a group photo.

We stopped along the way to look at some waterfront property. 

Some beach houses were smaller than others.

Some needed a little more work.

And some needed a lot of work.  This is a real handy man special... but the location was second to none... right at the point of the spit!

We stopped and talked with people enjoying the beach... cooking some lunch.  I asked if I could take their picture...

And they told me to also get a photo of their mermaid before the rising tide washed it away. Pretty cool, eh?

Several of those enjoying the wonderful sandy beach have boats moored in the bay.  

These guys told me they had been playing a game for three days.  

They came prepared for combat! We caught them just as they were putting the game away.

By the time we got to the point of the spit it seemed like a good time for a little sit down.  The girls overheard Roger say something about "three blind mice..."  and one thing led to another.

The three mice evolved into three monkeys... "Hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil."

I really enjoy the beauty of the dune grass along the spit.

Canada is always well represented here in the park with our trademark geese.

A jelly fish was being washed around as the tide was rising.

But this little harbour seal on the beach was a real treat to see.

I asked her if I could take her picture...

And she told me, can't you see I am hurting. My family left me here and took off... and I don't know if I will ever see them again. And all you want to do is take my picture?

Roger and Lori had to take the 3 PM ferry back to Sidney to catch the big ferry back home to the mainland... and everyone else was too low on energy to do more hiking...

So after a little rest and sitting around visiting I decided to do a little more exploring on my own... and headed in the direction of the view point at the bottom centre of this map.

Down near the campground I stumbled onto quite a mess of old red bricks from the days when there was brick factory here on Sidney Island.

For more details about the brick factory and Sidney Island history click on this link to see my Sidney Spit blog from last month.

I wondered how all these bricks came to be scattered here along the shore?  Maybe they lost some pallets off the ship trying to load during a storm.

Going along the shoreline at first, there was a mowed path... but it became less and less as I went.

I walked along the beach as much as I could... but the tide was rising and trees often prohibited easy access.  From this opening in the trees I could see Eagle Island.

Much of the way thru the trees was pretty wide open and easy going.

Then across from Eagle Island there was a marsh bog that is often flooded... but I could walk on it.

I took about 5 shots to make a panorama.

It is a long way across the lagoon.

This is looking back towards the campground area and the wharf  beyond.

Progressing towards my goal of the western viewpoint I saw people again for the first time since heading off on my own.

I took a few shots looking along the ocean side of the lagoon...

And then towards Eagle Island.

I had to now hustle to get back to catch the last ferry at 4:30 PM... so along with the couple I met at the viewpoint, we hiked together back to the dock.

We stopped to see how high the water had come up across the spit. No doubt anyone not back from the point would get wet feet now.

We just made the 4:30 ferry... but there were more people then they could take at once time. They told us that they would count as the people boarded and cut off at 41... then come back to take the rest in about an hour. 

It was another beautiful day in paradise!

"Being by the ocean is always delightful... but to be by the ocean at Sidney Spit is beyond delightful!" -Sherwin Goerlitz

My previous post on Sidney Spit is here.  It has different pictures and includes some of the history of this incredible park.... it is an awesome asset.

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