Yet creeds mean very little, Coth answered the dark god, still speaking almost gently. The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. - James Cabell, The Silver Stallion

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The Sunshine Coast

Thu, Sep 2

- Picked up at the airport by Chantelle in her old, gold, Hyundai. Dropped us off at The Cottage and Castle in Chemainus.

Fri, Sep 3

- Walked around the beach. Took a walk through downtown Chemainus. Houses had some really nice gardens.

- Went to Riot Brewery, which had a lot of beers that we liked.

- Had lunch from Soul's, Korean sandwiches,

- Chantelle picked us up and dropped us off at YCD airport. No problem getting our rental car, very efficient.

- CM wanted to go to Little Qualicum Falls, but CB reminded him we have already been there. Good thing we keep a journal!

- Bought some (small) tacos from Tacos Banditos. Ate them at the Courtenay Airpark. Saw one sea plane take off.

Walked around the air park, ate some berries, and then drove to Goose Spit Park.

- Continued on to our Airbnb in Oyster River (or Bay?)

- Picked up some surprisingly good pizza from Jackknife Pizza near the Saratagoa race track.

Sat, Sep 4

- Had breakfast and went to Miracle Beach during a break in the rain.

- Drove on to Seal Bay, which had no seals, but old growth forest.

- Checked out the Comox Valley Farmers Market. Bought some garlic, cider, and delicious baked goods (Alder Lane Farmhouse)

- Watched some dogs run around a course and earn points.

- Dropped off our stuff at home and drove to Elk Falls. Walked over the suspension bridge.

- Couldn't resist buying 24 monster cookies at Thrifty Foods.

- Had a few drinks and dinner at Beachfire Brewing.

- Tried to get Thai food, but cancelled our order when told it would be an hour.

Sun, Sep 5

- Got up early and checked in at our Campbell River Bear & Whale Watching tour.

- Captain Steve took us on our journey. First we encountered 2 humpback whales.

- Pressed on to the Toba Inlet. Our First Nations guide took us to see the grizzly bears from the viewing platforms.

- First we saw a female grizzly, who was adept at catching salmon. Then we saw a male, who was not quite as efficient at catching salmon. But he did come all the way down the river to walk right in front of us.

Then a black bear walked across the bridge above us.

- We moved to the next plaform and saw a bear catch a salmon and display it in his mouth. While he was eating it in the forest the female came out.

- Had lunch and then started our long boat ride back. We weren't having much luck with spotting anything on the way back, until we encountered a solo humpback.

- We thought that was pretty much it for the day, but all of a sudden over the radio we heard "2 black and whites spotted".

Orcas! So we raced over there and watched an adult and baby orca.

- Had pizza from Jackknife Pizza again. Tried pepperoni and 'mush rush' this time.

Mon, Sep 6

- Caught our ferry from Comox to Powell River. Saw a few humpbacks on the way over.

- Tried to find Lang River Fish Hatchery. It turned out to be difficult to find on the dirt road, so we went to Inland Lake instead.

Chris didn't find the lake too interesting, but we had lunch there and drove back into Powell River.

- Checked out the viewpoint and went for a beach walk, which ended at a swing on the beach.

- Checked into our place with a beautiful view of the Strait of Georgia, across to Texada Island.

- Played Lost Cities, went into the hot tub, and didn't want to leave, so we ate our snacks for dinner.

Tue, Sep 7

- Woke up early after hearing some humpbacks breathing outside our door. Ran outside to go take a look.

- Had breakfast at our place and then drove to Lund to do some standup paddle boarding.

- During our SUP down the coastline we found seals, starfish, and sea urchins. After about an hour we turned around to head home.

Almost immediately after turning back we heard the unmistakable sound of a whale surfacing, not too far from us.

Some fisherman in a small boat cruised up to us to make sure we weren't freaking out. "Just wanted to see if you needed a new pair of shorts" he yelled from the boat.

- After that excitement the rest of the paddle back was uneventful. We drove back towards Powell River, stopping at the Townsite Brewery on the way.

Picked up some meals to go from the Convenient Chef.

- Bought some bread at Rocky Mountain Bakery.

- Went for Mexican food at Costa Del Sol, which restored my faith in BC Mexican cuisine.

- Played bocce in front of the water and then went into the hot tub, in front of the red sunset.

- Ate our canneloni from the Convenient Chef for dinner.

Wed, Sep 8

- Hot tub in the morning, and then off to Base Camp for a delicious breakfast sandwich.

- Off to Wilmington Beach Park to play frisbee, after unsuccesfully trying to play badminton (too windy and/or bad rackets/birdie).

- Walked across the street to Putter's to play mini-golf. CM had a tough time on one particular uphill hole, which cost him the game.

- Came back and relaxed. Played crib, went into the hot tub yet again. Had mac & cheese for dinner and watched the U.S. Open.

No whales tonight.

Thu, Sep 9

- One last hot tub and still didn't fulfill Chris's dream of seeing whales from the hot tub.

- Headed off to Saltery Bay to catch the ferry to Earl's Cove.

- Once we were off the ferry we rushed to the Skoocumchuk Narrows to try to catch the peak time for the Large Ebb Tide.

- We jumped out of the car and hiked/jogged 3.5km in 32 minutes. We arrived to swirling whirlpools that we sat and watched while we ate our lunch.

- Headed to check in to our Airbnb near Madeira Park. Nice view over a small bay and another hot tub. We were given the tour by our host Martin, who recognized Chris's name from YVR Deals.

- Went into town and picked up some snacks from the Oak Tree Market and then went for dinner at Aqui es Mexico.

- Had a hot tun and enjoyed views of the stars.

Fri, Sept 6

- Went and picked up snacks from "Baked on the Sunshine Coast", wasn't as good as the other bakery.

- Headed to Francis Point Park for a short walk. Made it to the point where there was a small lighthouse. We sat and enjoyed the view, as we were about to leave I spotted what looked to be a whale spouting in the distance. Turns out it was two humpbacks and they swam close to shore and we were able to get a view of them. Chris thinks we should become whale chasers (but with no boat), I thought it seemed like a low chance of success.

- For lunch, we went to Budabing Burgers, I had and the fish and chips and Chris had the Sunshine Burger. We sat outside at picnic table and enoyed them.

- Headed back to our Airbnb, I had a hot tub and then we got ready for Night Kayak tour. We were skeptical of it as it claimed we would be able to see bioluminescence.

- After a very thorough lesson from our guide, Greg. He taught us how to paddle in a straight line which no one ever explained to us before. (Visualize where you want to go, paddle in sync). And how to do a pivot turn (the person in front does a sweep stroke and the person in back does a sweep from back to front on the opposite side).

- We got fitted to our boats and off we went into the night. Greg told us about the history and ecology of the area and helped us connect to nature. As it got darker, more star came out and as we dipped our hands and paddles into the water, we could start to see the bioluminescence.

- At one point we used our "magic wands" to create trails of light in the water. We floated past some fish which glowed brighter under the water when we tapped the side of our boat.

- Paddled over to an area where some seals lived. As as paddled by we could hear them breathing then splashing into the water around us. They also made some strange snorting noises which sounded quite loud in the dark.

- We floated over some rock in shallow water which were glowing. We paused in one area and a curious young seal, swam up to our kayack, glowing in the water and attempted to come onto our boat.

Sat, Sept 7

- Took the canoe our and paddled around the cove. Got back just in time before it started raining.

- Watched some of the US Open while we waited for the rain to subside, but it did not. Headed out anyways to hike Pender Hill. By the time we arrived, the rain had let up. Hiked up the hill for some good views. Then we drove along "Orca Road" to Daniel Point where we hoped for one last whale sighting. Sat and ate our lunch but didn't see any whales. Started raining again so headed back home for a hot tub. Then sat outside and watched the Women's US Open Final. (Leylah Fernandez lost).

Sun, Sept 8

- One last hot tub before heading out to Gibsons. First stop was the Smuggler's Cove hike. Saw some hurons, a woodpecker, and ducks.

Went around the cove area and a seemingly never ending coastal loop. The parking lot was way busier on the way back, the Vancouver crowd had caught up to us.

- Stopped by Seargent Bay. A rocky beach with driftwood, as advertised.

- Went to the day's first cidery, Brickers, which was seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but quite a nice garden/orchard setting.

- Off to Sechelt, where had lunch at Basted Baker (CM had huevos rancheros).

- Bought some toys at Pastimes for Jeff's boys. The owner was from Calgary and knew Winston Heights.

- Walked along the ocean and bought ice cream at E.B.'s ice cream. It was no Village.

- Drove to Davis Bay. Another rocky beach. Didn't even bother getting out of the car (too windy).

- Off to Roberts Creek Pier. Saw the mandala. Learned about some rare, glass sponges.

- Next up was Sunday Cider. Another nice garden setting. Impressive trailer driving.

- Met Tea and checked in to the Apple room.

- Drove to Persephone brewery. Tried not to overhear people talking about tennis. Nice setting but didn't like the styles of beer.

- Final drink stop of the day was Banditry. A goose (or large duck?) came to visit us.

- Had dinner at Lunitas. Had a really nice view of all the boats, lit up by a half moon. CM was very happy with his wet burrito. Glad he didn't go for the tacos.

- Walked by the pub and boat from Beachcomber's.

- Back to our room and watched the International at Spruce Meadows.

Mon, Sep 9

- Got up early for our ferry from Gibson's to Horseshoe Bay. Then Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo (may have seen some dolphins and/or whales in the distance).

- Mailed my Swiss army knife back home.

- Walked around Nanaimo waterfront. Saw some seaplanes taking off.

- Went to White Sail brewery while waiting to drive to the airport (YCD) for our flight home.