Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pender Island Adventure: Part 2 ( the beaches)

Medicine Beach

    Located at the end of Wallace Road on North Pender Island Medicine Beach affords beautiful views of Bedwell Harbour- many sail boats and cruisers are moored here which provides a beautiful backdrop. The beach offers varied recreational opportunities from hiking and swimming to bird watching in the nature sanctuary.

      The beach it's self is quite rocky- made up of shale and sandstone- so shoes are highly recommended at this site! The point that juts out into Bedwell Harbour is very interesting- geologically- the shale has been ground into sharp rows of what were described by The Boy as "Dinosaur teeth"- the rows of jagged rock and the trapped sea life caught with in were fascinating.

        With lots of driftwood to shelter sunbathers and ample roaming space for the Littles this was a pretty good beach. It seemed to be a popular launching spot for kayakers but was relatively quiet. The only downside to this spot was a lack of shade- the dark shale really absorbed the heat making the beach insanely hot!

Brooks Point

         After chatting up some locals we were pointed in the direction of Brooks Point Regional Park- located on the South Pender Island- this was by far one of the "busier" beaches we visited. That said there was still plenty of room for Littles to roam undisturbed by their parents!

           An intertidal rocky shore provided the interesting tidal pools were had been searching for- sea anemones, oyster shells, crabs, hermit crabs, star fish and jelly fish kept every one engaged and interested for the entire afternoon. The jelly fish situation was a bit alarming so swimming was pretty limited and when I did go in for a dip I had friend Caro keep watch.

         The water was so clear and inviting it was tough not to go in- however it was cold! Less sheltered this beach was on the open ocean- beautiful views of the San Jaun Islands and Mount Baker. An short trail system runs through the park and we saw many hikers passing by- the trail is quite steep in parts and I'm not sure it is advisable with Littles- but there is plenty to do on the beach. Small smooth pebbles make the terrain a bit easier on the feet but again good shoes for exploring the rocks and tidal pools are a good idea.

         We were at Brooks Point during high tide so we missed most of the star fish- finding only this wee dried up fellow and another larger one that was rescued and thrown back in the ocean. However we gathered from speaking with a resident of the beach that star fish are plentiful during low tide and the tidal pools are even more engaging- so if you go be sure to check the tidal charts!


       This was by far the most interesting of all the sites we visited over the past weekend- Roesland is part of the Nation Parks Reserve and is just the most charming place to spend some time. After two days of beaches we finally asked the park wardens at our campground where we could find a bit of sand for the Littles to dig in- the girls suggested Roesland- home of their Parks Board office and the Pender Island Museum- located on the NOrth Pender Island just south of the Otter Bay ferry terminal.

         In a shady little nook between the main island and a smaller island we found sand and limestone outcroppings full of tidal pools- crabs and lovely warm water! The perfect place to spend time while waiting for the ferry- knitting, hiking, playing and picnicking. Up the stairs is a short trail that leads out to the end of the island where you can find a charming white double Muskoka bench to rest on and meditate on the sea- easily loosing track of time.

         Located on what was until the 1990s a working farm and summer resort the park is home to the Pender Museum which is full of local island history- admission is by donation and hours are very limited. Old orchard trees still dot the property and a large grassy lawn is a great place for a picnic.

         Our island adventure was magical to say the least- I may have left a bit of my heart out at that white bench- sitting there listening to the warm ocean wind rushing through the arbutus leaves was nothing short of complete peace. Watching my Littles collecting crabs- screaming as they escapes- digging up shells and splashing in the water was nothing short of perfect.

        Here's the deal- we missed the 3:20 ferry off the island- next time we will reserve- so with our spot booked for the 7:40 ferry we sought out Roesland- the gift of missing that ferry is immeasurable. The Mr. totally relaxed- he went for a hike on his own. I relaxed and knitted while the Littles played near by with a new friend- I went for a hike on my own. We were given those extra four hours and it was amazing- sometimes mistakes or set backs are the Universe giving you something- like an amazing end to an amazing weekend getaway!

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