Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19th then and now.......

Before I start I want to mention that if you click on any of the pictures in this blog - that will bring them up to full screen size. Since this site allows you to upload pictures at full resolution - most of the pictures look much better as a full screen. The exceptions being those that were taken in really poor light, or that I have cropped down considerably. Of course full screen shows up the flaws in the photos that I missed while editing - my camera had a dust problem and was taken in for a good cleaning following this trip. To get back to the blog itself - use your 'Back' button.
So March 19th today is a miserable wet day. About the only good thing you can say about it is it is rain and not snow! As you can see from the picture below, it was a lovely day last year, at least in the morning. This is another scene of Miracle Beach - not as stormy as the last ones. Once more we are at the 'dog' area. We went for a long walk in the morning, before packing up and heading back down island. We had an appointment for Easter Dinner at my 'Parksville' daughter's - Easter was on March 23rd last year - and since one of the reasons we had come over to the island at this time of the year was to see the Brant and as so far we had only seen them that one evening, we figured we should move back, at least temporarily, to where the Brant were located.

As we drove through Qualicum and Parksville we noticed a large congregation of boats, all clustered together. Turns out there was a Herring opening and all the boats were sort of jockeying for position and waiting for the exact hour to approach.

When we got back to Rathtrevor, this was when we found that the almost empty campground was now almost full, thanks to Easter and Spring Break coinciding. We found a spot up in the back, close to one of the walking trails and set up camp again for the next few days.

After supper we walked down to the water. The above shot shows part of the trail system that runs along the shoreline. This section was very new. Other sections are nicely outlined with attractive split rail fences as the park tries to funnel people from the trail, to the beach area, using only certain paths, rather than just cutting through where ever and destroying the vegetation in the process.

As we neared the beach we could hear a great ruckus, gulls crying and a lot of 'barking'.

Some of the Herring fishing fleet were right off shore.

and what a commotion! Too bad we couldn't capture the sound! (I have a video recorder now and if I can figure out how to use it, that won't be a problem next time - of course I always forget that 2 of our 3 digital cameras - excluding the camcorder - can also record videos). Turns out the 'barking' was coming from seals and or sea lions, they were everywhere, but impossible to get pictures of.

The weather had deteriorated to a drizzle, the tide was high and it was getting dark, but we enjoyed all the frenzied activity.

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