As we cross Malaspina Strait, fluffy white clouds flit across azure blue skies & we quickly start stripping off layers as we bask in the sun’s warmth. Parsifal shines in the sun’s glow, heeling over as the wind fills our gleaming white sails, parting the ocean in frothy waves. The wind is chopping up the water’s surface so that the sun’s rays are reflected in all directions, blinding us as we look west to the forested slopes of Texada rising beside us.
We are lulled by the humming as the water passes beneath us, then a gust suddenly heels us over & wakens us abruptly with her ferocity. We follow Hytta’s billowing sails as she heads towards the safety of Sturt Cove for the night. Moored to the dock with all our sails stowed & chores done, we head out to explore the community of Van Anda, encountering a friendly deer as we go. The first thing we notice is that everyone speaks to us, one man saw the boat come in so he wants to know where we are from, another just wishes us a good day, & one man who is working hard building stone walls on the slope beneath his house, offers us homemade ‘fake’ feta cheese & fresh beets, which we promise to pick up on our return from the store.
The store clerk suggests a walk to Turtle lake & we do head that way after being teased by a laughing lady about holding hands. She only gets to do it on Valentine’s day, reminding us how lucky we are to be so in love. The lake is a protected area inhabited by endangered western painted turtles, & we take some time reading about their lifecycle & exploring. We pick up the feta cheese & beets on the way back to the boat, their house is very eclectic with stuff everywhere, but the overriding noise & smell from the preening turkeys & chickens that surround us is overpowering. On our return we head straight to Hytta for a great meal of enchiladas with Tom & Karen, before turning in for the night.