East Point Park…
Me and my Hanky Boy!
East Point Park
Out top secret cabin.
The view from our cabin!
The View…I LOVE the view.
More misty mornings…
Beginning of the path to Boat Pass.
Looking out at the lookout…
Learning about currents.
Boardwalk over the swamp!
Family walk in the wild West Coast woods.
Dad and Cat Tail.
Nature talks with Nona.
Sweet baby face.
Walking with Nono.
Hudson and a Sword…safe right?
One of my main motivation’s for starting this blog was to write about places we go. I found it so helpful when I was away and would find a blog that would let me know about things to do with children for whatever area I was in. It really cut the guess work out trying to figure out where to go! So, here is a little post about our two days on Saturna.
Saturna is one of the Southern Gulf Islands. It is accessible by boat from Victoria (Swartz Bay) or Vancouver (Tsawassen). It took us just over an hour from Victoria to get there, and just over two hours to get home (it Island hops on the way back). I would bring your car, as you will be doing a fair amount of driving to go check things out.
It would be ideal to get a pimp cabin when staying on Saturna. There is not a whole lot to do, so you will probably hang out at home a lot…so a great home base is important! I have heard that the local’s like to keep their Island to themselves (not in an unfriendly way- they just don’t want gob’s of tourists)- so if you get a hot tip on a great place guard it! There are a few listed here though…VRBO.
There are a few place’s to spend your money. One is a nice little grocery/liquor store & cafe not to far from the harbour. They have good baked goods and a pretty decent supply of produce as well as your main supplies. In the summers there is a market here on Saturdays too. Saturna Winery is a nice place for a walk, and they have a restaurant which is rumored to be quite good (however, it was closed both times we were there). Down in the harbour is a pub, a little store where you can buy snacks, books or rent DVD’s. There is also a converted bus cafe (Wild Thyme) that is well worth it. They use local ingredients where possible and everything is DELICIOUS!
And that is about it!
But there are lot’s of outdoorsy things to do. On our first day we went to Boat Pass (in Winter Cove National Park)- it’s around a ten minute walk from the parking lot- with a pretty smooth trail that was stroller easy (until the last part- we just carried Hank from here). It weaves beside the shore, and has boardwalks to get you over swamps! Boat Pass is actually a really narrow channel between Saturna and another little island. When the tide is right water whips through it creating a massive current. It’s pretty cool. Sometimes you can watch boats navigating it (quickly). Hudson loved it!
Another nice little trip is to East Point Park. Again, a stroller appropriate walk- for the most part. It is so picturesque here! The golden wind swept point juts into the ocean, and from it you can watch the fishing boats come in, and often see seals bobbing about. Here is also home of the little Saturna Museum which has some neat artifacts. A whale scull, some model ships, and some stories of the olden days. If you bramble down the cliffs you can go into the sandstone caves. We played red light green light on the point and really ran Hudson well.
If you are feeling like walking on the wild side, you can head to the Campbell farm. You might just see the heard of wild goats that roam around. Those guys are beastly! Pack a lunch and walk down to the beach. This is a longer walk though and not stroller friendly- and there is a possibility that you are not supposed to be there. My dad just goes, and if he’s see’s anyone he asks if it’s ok…so far he has never been denied…
It’s also nice to just drive around and take in the sea scape and country side. There is a huge variety of homes. Everything from richy rich vacation properties to crumbling hill-billy shacks. There is lush of farm land, barren wind swept beaches, deep dark forests and sunny and sandy ocean front perfect for frolicking (man it’s cold though). I’m sure there are boat and kayak rentals and things like that- but we didn’t explore any of these kind’s of things.
When we were there it was a pretty typical West Coast weather- periods of rain and lot’s of drizzle with the sun breaking out every so often. In one of these sunny breaks we walked down the hill from our cabin and picked a whack of blackberries, and Hudson and my Dad made us all blackberry jam. The way my dad makes jam is so nothing like the way I make jam. I hover over the pot, stirring stirring stirring, and checking- rechecking the recipe. Then stirring. Then worrying. Then stirring stirring stirring. It’s fast and furious and a bit stressful. But then my dad, he just put the berries in the pot with some sugar- gives it a stir, and goes and has breakfast while they are cooking. Maybe he got up a couple times to check on it. Then he ambles over to the pot, declares it ready, and him and Hudson jarred it up (with sterilized jars of course). I would NEVER let Hudson near the boiling sugar jam area. But he was great…ahhhhh, my sweet dad!
Here is my Dad’s Mellow No Pectin Blackberry Jam Recipe:
- 6 cups blackberries
- 4 cups sugar
Put in pot, slowly let boil over a not too high a heat. Stir a bit to keep from burning. Cook it down for quite a while (20 minutes at least). Then when it doesn’t come together when you fun your finger through a blob of it on a frozen plate it’s done. Jar it in sterilized jars, and just let the heat from jam set the seal. Listen for the pop pop pop, and you are done. Maybe have some breakfast while you are doing this!
All in all Saturna is a great QUIET place to get away. It was really nice being there with other people (not just us). Bring your car, bring food to feast on, bring your rain gear & your swim suite (you never know what you will get)…don’t stay too long if you have little kids, and go explore.