B.C. For the third time in as many summers we’re off to visit our friend Surati who lives near Duncan. Reviewed on Aug 10, 2020. All words and images by Alison Louise Armstrong unless otherwise noted However they are obviously quite at home in Fanny Bay, for I later learned that Sea Lions can be spotted here at almost any time of year. Oh the tea party was so much fun! It’s just beautiful. And it just happens to come up in conversation. Travelling through the world, and through life, feeling our way by the tips of our fingers. And of course once I knew about them I had to see them. Hope you get back to Van Island one day. Thanks so much Heather. It was a very sweet time. These two visits were last year. Now, with covid, it looks like it’s off the cards for a while longer . How lucky for us that we’re there for Entangados, a band from Argentina that’s been around since 2004. Thanks so much Sue. Cowichan Bay Kayaking is a resident of Bluenose Marina. The God of Rice – a Fushimi-Inari pilgrimage. Thanks so much Darlene, you’re welcome. I just want to fly over to Vancouver Island and try all those hikes! ... 2020. Zoo hike photos are so nice…our Bigleaf maple leaves tend to get more brown than yellow. I absolutely love the ones you’ve posted and you make this trip sound fascinating on so many levels! We really missed it this year. Every year for 39 days there are outdoor concerts in downtown Duncan bringing the community together for free live entertainment. But it’s not all copacetic, resident Cheryl Trudell reports. 69367 Read. Meanwhile you can get little peeks at the fabulousness of the lower mainland, and hopefully also get to the island eventually. I’m mourning the coming loss of all this. We’re so lucky to have friends there that we can visit. Alison. LIVE: Update on spread of COVID-19 in B.C. ( Log Out /  Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Alison. Ocean EcoVentures' whale watching excursions depart daily from the seaside village of Cowichan Bay.Our Whale Watching tours focus on the Southern Resident Orca Whales, Transient Orca Whales, Humpback Whales, Grey Whales and Minke Whales. But like you, I’m now starting to revel in the autumn, watching the turning of the leaves, and feeling them crunch underfoot. Well, autumn isn’t much in California and I hope I can catch a glimpse of it in Calgary soon! All the Gulf islands are worth exploring. They all loll around on the dock rolling around on top of each other, and just kind of slide off over the edge and into the water when they want to eat. Cowichan Bay’s floating breakwater is now a temporary home for sea lions. Kyoto’s Magical Mountain – hiking from Kurama to Kibune. It looks so lovely in your pictures; the autumn foliage is simply stunning. The sea lions remind me of several visits to the sea lion caves in Oregon – that smell is unmistakable and stays in your scent memory forever. Your trips to Vancouver Island sound very refreshing. Prices are calculated as of 14/09/2020 based on a check-in date of 27/09/2020. There’s a whole different feeling on the island, as if everything is slowed down a little. But commercial anglers on the docks aren’t getting a cut of the profit. Mt Tzouhalem, four kilometres from Duncan is threaded with hiking trails. Thanks Tracey. Read more. You captured perfectly what I’ve always loved about ferries – that time out of time quality, as if you’ve been moving forever, and there’s no concerns or shoulds, just what’s happening in the moment. As you wander along Cowichan Bay Road you will smell fresh-baking bread wafting out onto the colourful street. Scores of residents and visitors alike take to the fishing wharf in the Bay to witness the smelly creatures lounging and barking. Article content continuedHowever, Andrew Trites, director of the University of BC's Marine Mammal Research Unit, said there is not enough evidence that Last updated June, 2020. Cowichan Bay is a small little picturesque waterfront community on the southern edge of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley. The maples here are so bright. “It’s a big bachelor party out there,” says Mercer. And if it’s a still day down at the docks, Mercer says be prepared for a pungent bouquet. Helpful. I love the tea party and Don’s fascinator. Scores of residents and visitors alike take to the fishing wharf in the Bay to witness the smelly creatures lounging and barking. See 315 traveler reviews, 117 candid photos, and great deals for Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay, ranked #1 of 1 hotel in Cowichan Bay and rated 4 of 5 at Tripadvisor. We sit out on the deck overlooking the marina and the setting sun, full of peace and joy and good food. So random. Clown makeup and dress aside the band was really amazing – great music. And me too! See 313 traveller reviews, 117 candid photos, and great deals for Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay, ranked #1 of 1 hotel in Cowichan Bay and rated 4 of 5 at Tripadvisor. 2 out of 5. Alison, Pingback: Saturna Island: unspoiled gem of BC’s Gulf Islands | Adventures in Wonderland. You mean Don wearing a fascinator? COWICHAN BAY -- The island is great for hiking, and there’s loads of good hiking close to Vancouver too. Travel guide resource for your visit to Cowichan Bay. It’s really quite a spectacle. Along an empty eight-mile stretch of road between Cowichan Bay and Mill Bay, where the inky-blue Salish Sea is the backdrop, Jean-François and I stopped and sipped at a few wineries. It is a delightful place. Hope you get back there one day. Alison. What a lovely post Alison! KKPSTEIN wrote a review Sep 2020. Alison, Oh I’m excited to be driving out to see our grandson and peek more…I can imagine leaving etown and starting some new adventures…I’m grateful to be here…enjoy the fall days Alison hugs hedy, One day the big move will happen. He looks great! Ocean EcoVentures Whale Watching, Cowichan Bay: See 1,124 reviews, articles, and 357 photos of Ocean EcoVentures Whale Watching, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 15 attractions in Cowichan Bay. We begin with a hike through Sandy Pool Regional Park down by the Cowichan River. , Clowns and elves not your thing eh? “There’s not a lot of sleep around here,” says Jones. Mainly it’s just us. This is the first summer I’ve truly been able to take in the lush greenery, lazy relaxation, and ponderous heat of where I am. Mercer says several sea lions sunk a sailboat tied to the breakwater last Monday morning. Now £69 on Tripadvisor: Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Bay. Perfect for those who love the ocean and a focus on community. There had been some event where everyone had to wear a fascinator and C has the entire collection at her place. Alison. “If this continues, there won’t be a fish left in this bay.”. ... You might see humpback whales, orcas, seals and sea lions streaking through the water below your boat and bald eagles flying overhead. Hundreds of them are visible daily on the dock, and locals say that’s a fraction of the actual number of sea lions gobbling chum salmon in the area. Cheers- Susan, Thanks so much Susan. One of my fave spots too. We always have such a good time there. I think Don should wear a fascinator more often! Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. I’ve read many good books, wrote stories and made friends on BC Ferries over the years. The visitors will continue to flood the town until these barking dock stars depart. “You go home smelling like them, and your dinner tastes like them.”, Use of this Website assumes acceptance of Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy, 5pm News Anchor, CTV News Vancouver Island, Published Monday, November 16, 2020 1:01PM PST, Last Updated Wednesday, November 18, 2020 12:36PM PST, Sea lion entangled in plastic rescued near Victoria, 2 confirmed dead, one rescued after fishing boat sinks off Vancouver Island, Man decapitated sea lion near Parksville to take skull, rowed away on homemade raft: witnesses, B.C. Change ). Super 8 by Wyndham Duncan. Mini holidays full of good times. Love, love, love Vancouver Island. Thanks so much Caroline. Can’t get better than that. Jordan Cunningham I’ve seen orcas from them a few times. Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay: Sea Lions Galore - See 315 traveller reviews, 117 candid photos, and great deals for Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay at Tripadvisor. 5pm News Anchor, CTV News Vancouver Island. Oh, the third photo, perfect! As for the rest – Vancouver Island really is quite wonderful. It looks like I need to organise a return visit…when we can again of course! Do you need to wear a mask outdoors during the winter? Pinnipedia Sea Lions Each fall sea lions come into Cowichan Bay and haul out on the floating breakwater near the Government Dock. I have friends who live on Vancouver Island but have only really spent a couple of days there many years ago. The Brit royal family all wear them on special occasions – well the women do anyway. Alison. Alison, Don looks even more charming than usual in that fascinator . And the clown band seem like the perfect antidote to everything right now. The sun arrives, and at the river Surati and E swim in the cool water while Don and I laze on the beach. It has it’s own special energy that you just kind of sink in to. The men wear top hats, but I think Don looks especially fetching in a fascinator Find deals on Cottages in Cowichan Bay, Duncan. How is it where you are? It’s an annual spectacle, the massive sea lions making their way to Cowichan Bay to feast on spawning salmon and bask in the sunlight on the marina’s breakwater. Apparently the name comes from the word fasten, not because tiny hats that perch on your head are fascinating. They don’t stand a chance. Always it seems our trips to Vancouver Island are such a lovely time out. Sea Lion videos and latest news articles; GlobalNews.ca your source for the latest news on Sea Lion . Wishing you well as you partake in your outdoor festivities. And the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party stole my heart – we have EVEN more in common than I realized. Posted by Alison and Don in Canada, North America, #WPLongform, 39 Days of July, Cowichan Bay Estuary, Cowichan Valley, Entangados, Mt Tzouhalem, Mt Zoo, Sandy Pool Regional Park, sea lions, Stoney Hill Regional Park, Vancouver Island. He looks quite fetching. Winter is coming. I sink into a gentle peace as all the “shoulds” fall away. On this trip Surati takes us on a new hike, one we’ve not been on before, and I think it’s one of the best. Fabulous fotos of one of my most favorite spots on earth. Jones estimates a large bull will consume between 90 and 140 kilograms of fish per day. They’re better than any bliss pill. By Larry Pynn, on November 29th, 2020. We can’t get as close as I would like. Alison. Join us at Cowichan Bay Kayaking and Adventure Centre for a tour of the Cowichan Estuary in kayaks or canoes. Thanks so much Sue. And the tea party and C’s little beings spread around in her garden were all so much fun. I’d not been there before and was completely blown away by all the fairy creatures. Also no trips to the island this summer. Me too. What a beautiful post! Don’s a natural isn’t he! Alison xo. Aren’t we lucky to live in this gorgeous country? Not surprisingly the local boaters hate them. And indeed we are so lucky to live here. The trail runs slowly up along the side of the hill. Date of experience: October 2020. The mad hatter’s party was so much fun. Hundreds of sea lions descended upon the waters of Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island this fall. Some wonderful pictures of a place I am missing right now. 3,656 were here. While tourists enjoyed a world-class wildlife spectacle this month — Steller and California sea lions hauled out on the Cowichan Bay waterfront — Cowichan Tribes engaged in a “demonstration” commercial fishery of chum salmon. Doesn’t Don look dashing! But we are still close enough to appreciate their lumbering sea lion antics.The bigger ones eat about 16 kilos (35 lbs) of fish a day, and the Stellers weigh as much as 1000 kilograms (2,200 lbs). fisherman who tossed 'bear-banger' at group of sea lions facing large fine. Gorgeous photos Alison. Your posts never cease to amaze ~ so full of life and hope. Businesses along the town’s historic waterfront are cashing in. ( Log Out /  Wish we could have gone this year My pleasure. Alison. Both Vancouver and Vancouver Island are fabulous. Wishing you a wonderful autumn. In the meantime, there are few quiet moments. We head back to Vancouver and hunker down. The locals call it Mt Zoo and it’s one of the most popular hiking spots in the area though when we go, when the fall colours are at their best and all is golden, there are very few other hikers. If there are any in the area the ferries always slow right down. Mercer estimates 500 to 600 visitors come each day, with shopping bags and coffee cups in hand. One day, we’ll be allowed again! Thanks! Vancouver is a place that I have wanted to visit since I was a child and I read that it is a good place to see orcas. They turn brown within a day or so once they hit the ground though. Beautiful photos to match your writing…I hope to make it back to Vancouver Island one day. That’s what I call a perfect day – friends, live music and hiking. Cowichan Bay, B.C., about 55 kilometres north of Victoria, is typically pretty quiet in November, but a colony of sea lions have made their home on the local docks. It was really heart warming to relive this time. And fun! One Foot in Front of the Other – living your best life is not what you may think. Everything, from the forest-covered hills to the cool flowing river, to our lazy sun-warmed bodies, seems infused with contentment. Alison. One day, though, this is the life we will get back to. I’ll be smiling at the thought of the impromptu mad hatter’s party for some time. Cowichan Bay’s floating breakwater is now a temporary home for sea lions. A soft breeze carries us along the easy trail all the way out to the bay.Inevitably, in what has now after three years become a tradition, we end the day having dinner at the Cow Bay Pub. ( Log Out /  Steller and California Sea Lions gather in Cowichan Bay to gorge themselves on spawning salmon and bask in the sun on the breakwater. And the ferries are the best! Hugs back Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay. I love this, especially the photos of you all in fascinators – the looks on your faces are priceless! Alison. Thanks so much Julie, wishing you a lovely autumn too. Before you come, you need to understand that the marina deck and dock is not open for walking around and exploring. The band looks like so much fun, and so does the tea party! A. I love the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party! Tall straight moss-covered cedars, leafy maples, and stands of iron bark trees dripping with delicate white oceanspray flowers accompany us along the trail as it menders through the forest. So sad we couldn’t go this year but some great memories. Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay. But, as the season turns I am also reveling in all things autumn – the air of mystery, the crisper mornings, the shorter days. Book Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Bay on Tripadvisor: See 315 traveller reviews, 117 candid photos, and great deals for Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay, ranked #1 of 1 hotel in Cowichan Bay and rated 4 of 5 at Tripadvisor. Thanks for taking us alone. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them by that name, and I love it (and the photo) At first, I thought this adventure was from this summer, and I was so happy for your escapes. Alison, Loved everything but the singing clowns and the little elfish figurines scattered around the garden… both scare the hell out of me! . Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Sunny days are best, but even on a blue-grey day, the wide sea before us, and the foamy wake behind are enough to encourage a feeling of adventure. © Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – a pilgrimage of the heart, 2010-2020. I love that you are starting your own new traditions. I agree – can’t get much better than that combination. As you say – one day we’ll be able to do that again. We’ve lived in Van for many years, and have quite frequently visited the island. © Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – a pilgrimage of the heart, 2010-2020. They arrive sometime in October and stay ‘til the end of the year and fill the air with their belligerent barking and roaring and disgusting body odour. We had a really lovely few days on the island. The clown band was aaaaamazing – so much fun, and really good music. Sea lion Cowichan Bay Rescue team searching for sea lion with plastic band around its neck The sea lion was first seen about a week ago and appeared to be in distress. The band was a riot; they generated was so much joy. The colours get really intense. Nothing can be done about the smell. They come to feed on the coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in the Bay which at that time are waiting to head up the Cowichan and Koksilah Rivers and the small streams around the bay to spawn.When sea lions are feeding in the Bay or the Estuary there is … Saturna Island: unspoiled gem of BC’s Gulf Islands | Adventures in Wonderland, Follow Adventures in Wonderland on WordPress.com, Vancouver’s Granville Island and Commercial Drive. And C’s garden! What a delightful place! Is that Don in the net hat? Now $89 (Was $̶1̶0̶6̶) on Tripadvisor: Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Bay. The Argentine band looks like they’re great fun. They are so noisy the local hotel offers guests earplugs. It was Surati of course who told us about the sea lions. Larry Pynn. ... 2010-2020. Those in the forest where you hiked are so happy-looking. Or come with us on a birding tour of this amazing birding area. So intriguing that we both wrote about fairies this week. You’ll hear them before you see them, and if there’s not much wind you’ll definitely smell them. What a great experience you shared with us. Compare properties, read reviews, and book with confidence on Expedia. It’s an annual spectacle, the massive sea lions making their way to Cowichan Bay to feast on spawning salmon and bask in the sunlight on the marina’s breakwater. But they’re so much fun! I’ve never understood how people can sit inside or see a movie on a ferry – there’s nothing better than being out on deck with the incredible view and the wind in your face. We crunch our way through the fallen leaves, as the cool fall sunlight, filtered by the trees, lands on bright yellow leaves turning them luminous.Close to the top we come across two gigantic boulders, no doubt deposited there eons ago when a mammoth creeping glacier carved out the Cowichan Valley.At this higher elevation where the trees are more exposed to the weather, they are twisted and gnarled, and the thick green-grey lichen seems like a protective covering.And at the top there is the view towards Salt Spring Island and the Coast Mountains. Above My Pay Grade: the joys and sorrows of photography competitions. Sea lions throw a party on Cowichan Bay's federal breakwater to feast on spawning salmon While many of us are isolating as much as possible these days, a two-month-long noisy party is taking place on Cowichan Bay’s floating breakwater where ­massive sea lions congregate to feast on spawning salmon. Barry Crow is the president of the Area D Gillnet Association and says his livelihood is in jeopardy because of the sea lions, and says it’s the largest gathering he’s seen yet. Fascinators? We’ve never been on a whale watching boat but have seen the orcas for free a few times while on the ferry going to the island. And other tales from Rishikesh, India, Saturna Island: unspoiled gem of BC’s Gulf Islands. I love riding the ferries from Vancouver to the Gulf Islands. Cowichan Bay Family Hotels: Browse our kid friendly hotels in Cowichan Bay for your family trip. Oceanfront Suites delivers a boutique hotel experience in the seaside village of Cowichan Bay. Here is the briefest selection:Late afternoon we hike the Cowichan Bay Estuary Trail, a 4.2 kilometre (2.5mi) loop. While Don and i hope i can catch a glimpse of it in Calgary!. Of time, like a long train journey only on water sound fascinating on many... Can visit fairies this week it ’ s a big bachelor party out there, ” mercer. 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