Point No Point

A point is that which has no breadth – Euclidean geometry on the west coast of Vancouver Island. A long and winding road across a logging-blighted landscape brings us past the mighty Harris Creek Spruce, an absolutely enormous Sitka Spruce tree who-knows-how-many years old,

and lands us next at Jordan River, a metropolis of eight houses along a windswept stretch of rocky beach.

One house is for sale – M expresses mild interest; I reply that she’d have to be a fanatical kayaker or surfer to exist out here – there’s nada else. Well, except for the food bus open the two months of the
year that the weather’s good out here.

We walked briefly along the rocky shore line and watched while a young man from Alberta geared up to go kayaking in the white-capped waves.

The twenty-five acres of real estate that is the Point no Point resort occupies a rocky high bank waterfront about 8 k south of Jordan River. We pile out of the wagon and into Miss P’s, the original home of the original owner of this prime plot of land. Miss P’s is a log cabin with two bedrooms, a two-tiered deck and a private hot tub. Unfortunately, the hot tub wasn’t ready for us when we arrived and we had to wait until 11 pm to take our first hot dip.

After having cleared the vehicle of all our gear, A and I made our way down the forested trails to the Beach House, a large log shelter on one of the many bays here.

Large blue-black mussels and barnacles are seemingly the only shells on this stretch of coast, likely because the environment is too harsh most of the time. Large ropes of kelp lie entangled on the small beaches.

A walk along the rocks and through the forest brought us to the “island”, a little islet joined to the main cliff by a small red bridge. Looking up, I saw a plump eagle glide in and plop himself on one of the tree tops. The surf crashed ashore.

Night time necessitated a game of bridge, all dolled up as if on the deck of the Titanic, each in one of C’s multitude of fancy hats.

Ahhh – glorious sun. While the first day had been windy, the second dawned still and warm. Always an early riser, after a first cup of coffee I slipped away down to the beach before anyone else was up.

The seashore is rocky here, basalt formations with small sandy bays at low tide. Lots of white and beige driftwood lay pushed up against the cliffs, interspersed with forests of sinewy, bullwhip-like kelp ropes and broken off bulb-heads.

After breakfast prepared by C, we headed back down to the Beach house with my bags of heads and toys, all the better to decorate the beach with.

See a few more pictures here.

Read more about the resort here.


Animals on the Beach

Every time I read of yet another animal species headed for extinction I want to scream and tear my hair out. Please let us not preside over the greatest extinction event in history. I don’t want to be alone on the earth, with the only animals left our stuffed toys. Biodiversity matters!

While out skating around Stanley Park last weekend, I noticed that a striking structure of driftwood, branches and leaves had been erected on Third Beach. Friday, since the day was warm and dry, I decided to enact a small intervention into it with my stuffed animal biodiversity/species loss project. During the afternoon I hung up in the structure twenty-four stuffed animals, the animals representing species threatened or destined for extinction, as well as ones crafted in human imagination, and the number twenty four, the hours in a day standing for the time span of human history.

Around the bottom of it I wove seven coloured crepe paper ribbons, each colour of the rainbow representing the days of the week. Together these suggest the time we have left to get it right, stop destroying animal habitats, change our habits and find a transformed relationship with the natural world of which we’re all a part.

While I was working on this piece, several people stopped by to chat; these included Joan, a Vancouverite now living in Switzerland back for a 50th high school reunion, her friend Lori, and an unnamed Iranian expatriate. Joan mentioned Gauthier Chapelle as a person to check out, with his ideas of “Le Vivante”, the living. After having finished their walk, the two women returned with two colourful balloons for the interior of the piece. The Iranian fellow told me that the structure reminded him of the tents in which he used to sleep as a child (and said that the two snakes I’d included bothered him, since he had to be vigilant against them as a child in the Iranian countryside). But snakes, too, have their place in the balance of nature.

Later, at sunset, Ty and I returned with small LED lights and the juvenile mannequin, a symbol of the human, and installed these in the wooden frame as well. As the sun slipped down on the horizon,  the lights on the ships waiting to be unloaded came on and the moon came out, people rode by on their bikes, others gathered for a beach bonfire, and we all enjoyed the colours of the piece glowing against the darkness.

Read more about biodiversity here.

Read information about Gauthier Chapelle here.

See more pictures here.