Thursday, August 26, 2010

From D'arcy to Gambier and points in between

I arrived in D'arcy very late on Friday, and while I intended to head to Gambier Island the very next day, it just seemed a little too rushed and I was tired. So I stayed put for a day, walking the dogs and watching videos and just hanging out in one of the prettier parts of the province of BC.

Getting to Gambier Island was complicated. I had to drive to Horseshoe Bay, park my truck in longterm parking and then haul my stuff to the ferry terminal to catch the Langdale ferry. Sam and I stopped for lunch in Pemberton and that kind of made me a bit late---catching the ferry is always a hurry up and wait affair---and so I ended up trying to run from the underground parkade in Horseshoe Bay to the ferry terminal with a heavy backpack, a dufflebag, a shopping bag and my shoulder bag full of stuff for fear of not catching the ferry in time.

But I made it to the ferry and almost an hour later I was in Langdale, where I had to wait another hour for the New Brighton ferry, a little walk-on ferryboat called the Stormaway.

There were five of us and an ambulance waiting for that ferry. It turned out that a young man on Gambier had broken his ankle while hiking, so the ambulance had come to pick him up, but the ambulance could not go on a walk-on ferry, they had to wait for the unfortunate young man to be ferried from the island to Langdale.

One lady waiting for the ferry approached me to find out who I was and who I was staying with on the island; it's a small island and everybody knows everybody so I guess I kind of stuck out as a stranger. In return for that information she proceeded to tell me that she and her husband, who lived year-round on the island, were en route from a hospital in Vancouver to a hospital in Sechelt, but were stopping at their home on Gambier to pick up the necessaries for an overnight stay in the Sechelt hospital. Turns out her husband had been feeling poorly last week so they had gone to his doctor in the big city and he had ordered up a colonoscopy and the colonoscopy had revealed colon cancer. So lickety split they were off to the Sechelt hospital for surgery. Thank goodness the process for diagnosing the problem and getting it treated was so fast (less than a week), but surely worrisome for being such a serious matter.

After telling me all this, she then points to another waiting passenger and confides that that woman had also had cancer. I guess island people have no secrets.

In short order the Stormaway arrived and we all boarded and paid our fares. Ten minutes later we were at the dock on the island, where the young man with the broken ankle was lying on a stretcher on the dock. Apparently the ambulance people had decided that they would not take him after all, but rather ordered up a hovercraft to go get him and take him directly from the island to the big city. But that meant that he had to wait a little longer for the hovercraft to get there. I suppose in the long run that was faster and easier, but at the time it didn't seem so. He was getting lots of attention from folks coming and going though.

My friends were waiting there for me and we packed all my stuff into their island car to head back to their place. I was only staying overnight, but it was equally beautiful there (as D'arcy) and very relaxing. We had a lovely supper out on the deck and then later went for a stroll down to the wharf to see the sunset. We also saw a deer in their yard and a seal off the wharf.

The next day we went for a walk with the dog in the woods, puttered around the house and later in the afternoon headed back to the ferry dock to go back to the mainland. The plan was to spend a couple of days in town and then go back to the island, but life got complicated and we ended up not returning to the island at all. We will probably go back for the long weekend coming up.

So in town I have managed to make all the financial arrangements for buying the house in Nova Scotia and had a brief visit with Josh and Kim who are expecting their baby imminently.

I'll also be going back to D'arcy for the Mayhem, an annual event amongst Sam and his friends. Not having ever attended before I can't tell you much more about it. But I am guessing that when a young man invites his mother to a weekend-long party, it must not be anything he wouldn't want his mother to witness.

1 comment:

Barbara Anne said...

I cannot wait to hear about Mayhem! I'm the mother of a 30 year old son who lives about 6 hours away and this intrigues me!

What wonderful adventures you have!!!!