Tag Archives: Southern Gulf Islands

Ferry travel = Stunning show

Above: the view from the back of the ferry, as it rounds the corner at the end of Navy Channel, heading into Village Bay, on Mayne Island. (About 30 minutes after leaving Saturna Island…)

Friday morning’s sunrise was exceptional.


Leaving Saturna-2

This is one of the first shots I took, about 15 minutes after we left Saturna Island, heading down the channel. I could tell it was going to be a promising sunrise. I love cloud cover, it adds drama!

Pretty soon, several other travelers looked up from their computer, device, or book, and came out on the deck to snap pictures with their phones. It was a spectacular show, and it kept getting better…

Ferry sunrise, with the silhouettes of Mt Baker on the left, and Saturna Island on the right. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, the pointy silhouette of Mount Baker, in Washington State (did you know it’s a volcano?) in the far distance. To the right, the silhouette of Saturna’s Mount Fisher.

And in the other direction, the still dark blue part of the sky, and the ferry’s motion cutting a swath in the water. Those dark hills are on Mayne Island.

Mayne Queen ferry, going up Navy Channel, with Mayne Island on the right. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I slowed down my camera’s shutter speed, to get the motion blur on the wake.

Here is another shot of the ferry’s wake, down Navy Channel, in the direction of the sunrise:

Ferry's wake in Navy Channel, between Mayne and Pender Islands. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And then… hang on to your hat…

Mayne Queen ferry, quaint pictogram. Photo by Andrée Fredette

…or to the railing, because those colours are about to get boosted to the max!


Sunrise to the max, over Navy Channel, Southern Gulf Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

and one more, for good measure…

Insane sunrise oranges on Navy Channel, in the Southern Gulf Islands of BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And after a stop at Mayne Island, where the Victoria-bound travelers transferred to the Skeena Queen, another ferry, about 30 minutes later, the bright oranges began to fade, and became more subtle.

Aboard the Skeena Queen, leaving Mayne Island and headed for Swarz Bay, Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And then the sky went into the pastels. Still absolutely gorgeous…

Subtle morning on the water, abord the Skeena Queen ferry, on the way to Swarz Bay. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Light on water: pure magic.

Water Moods – Photo Wednesday

Above: Header photo of the quick flow of water across a forest path, over pebbles, reflecting the sky.

Today’s theme is brought to you by the rains, which have fed all manner of ponds, seasonal creeks, and riverlets flowing around the wood paths, and the roads.

Surface tension, grasses bent by the water. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This is a macro shot of the surface tension of blades of grass, pushed by the water flow on a forest track.


Reed Abstract. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And more play with reed reflections on pond water. Amazing magic happens when you throw a stick into the pond! Sinuous waves.

And to conclude, I leave you with yesterday morning’s moonset, around 7 am, over Pender Island… Moody blues and pinks.

February 23, 2016 moonset over Pender Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

It pays to look out the window, early in the morning!



Friday’s Ferry Ride

Commuting from the islands to Victoria is a regular event for most of us. Some people take the ferry often enough that they lose their sense of wonder at the landscape.

Leaving Swarz Bay, island views in the distance. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Not me. I pay attention to details. The lovely beach with logs strewn about, shown above.

Cormorant Reunion, near Swarz Bay. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And the cormorants who hold reunions on the ferry traffic buoy near the Swarz Bay terminal, on Vancouver Island.

Cormorants get-together on buoy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And details on the venerable Mayne Queen ferry itself…

Mayne Queen Ferry lifebuoy. Photo by Andrée Fredette

On older ferries, the pictograms can be quite puzzling.

Pictogram on Mayne Queen Ferry. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Perhaps letting people know that this is not a garbage can…

Rusty links, story of my life. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I did write that the ferry is a venerable piece of equipment. It is over 50 years old, and despite regular maintenance, is showing its age.


Ferry wake, dramatic sky, Friday afternoon. Photo by Andrée Fredette

On a sunny afternoon, sitting on the back deck of the ferry offers up absolutely beautiful views of the wake, and the dramatic sky. On the right, the lumpy shadow is Salt Spring Island.

And arriving on Saturna, the ferry disturbs the birds that were perched on the dock pilings… But before they took off, I was able to get these shots, through the car window.

Cormorant, waiting. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The standard cormorant, first.

And a gull, of course.


Seagull, waiting for the ferry. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And I will close with my favorite shot of the day: a detail of the lighting on this 50+ year old ferry.


Lighting detail on the Good Old Queen. Photo by Andrée Fredette

A walk in the woods: Lilliput world!

Above: one of the forests in which I wander, and its emerald carpet of mosses. A magical world…

Forest path, into the green. Photo by Andrée Fredette


I take a walk in the woods almost every day. These days, the air is moist, the ground is alive with mosses. And there are treasures everywhere!


Moss cushion in the sunlight, close-up. Photo by Andrée Fredette

A moss cushion in the afternoon sun, enjoying its position on a very wet rock.

A drop, almost ready to fall off the moss. Photo by Andrée Fredette

That was a very wet spot, really. It was dripping in the late afternoon sun. I tried to capture a drop, about to fall off the moss, but not quite yet…


Moss close-up. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: a moss close-up.  I have a new toy: a set of diopter filters (magnifier-like filters, in different strengths, and you can stack them to increase magnification). These are my first attempts are seeing how much of this mini-world I can get into focus.


Moss in bloom, January on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Blooming club moss, above.

And then, there are the lichens… A whole new lilliputian world has opened up, through my lens.

Cladonia pixie cup and other lichens on a log. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: on a log, an entire miniature habitat where competitors reach for the moisture and nutrients.  The tall ones are “pixie cup” Cladonia lichens, along with other lichens whose names are still a mystery to me, and some moss.  (Note: I found a great lichen reference page here. Please have a look, if you are intrigued by lichens.)


Pixie cup lichen (Cladonia) macro shot, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: macro shot of Pixie cup lichen (Cladonia) and its “warts”… With the diopter filters, the depth of field is so shallow that hand-held shots are a “no breathing allowed” moment…


Jelly tooth mushroom (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum), Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Once your eyes get used to the very diffuse light, you notice all kinds of details in the mosses. Above: a jelly tooth mushroom (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum), and it is a very gelatinous thing. Almost glows in the dark, that tiny one!


 Bright orange mushroom, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

After the rains, there is a great deal of mushroom variety. Little ones, mostly. Like the orange guy above. Sorry, I have no idea about ID!

Coral mushroom (Clavulina) peeking out of the forest litter, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, in the darkest part of the forest, some coral mushrooms were peeking out of the forest litter. Maybe Clavulina cristata

Little grey cap mushrooms, all lined up for a dance. Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Delicate little “grey caps”, all lined-up for a dance.

Witches' Butter (Dacrymyces chrysospermus), a yellow jelly mushroom on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: Witches’ butter mushrooms (Dacrymyces chrysospermus) on a fallen log.

Tender Duo

And this lovely duo, basking in the afternoon light, in the clover…

To close this post, a shot of the seasonal creek that makes its way to the ocean, near my house…

Winter rains feed a seasonal creek on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette