Cormorant Condos

We enjoyed more of Gabriela Island’s beauty today with another wonderful paddle. We put the boats on the car to put in at another spot close to the ferry. We had the pleasure of carrying our boats way out due to low tide. But when we came back high tide allowed us to land right at the end of the ramp! This ebb and flow of tides is one of the things we like about here. It provides ever-changing landscapes.

We started by paddling along the Gabriola cliffs. The west side of most Gulf Islands have spectacular cliffs and Gabriola is no exception. They are spectacular. We were lucky enough to go both ways along the cliffs. The way up we went right up close to see the marine life and rocks up close. Then we returned a bit further out in the water to gain the full view.

They start off as essentially a jumble of huge rocks that have fallen off the side, presumably due to erosion. The rocks were huge, all different shapes of course.

There were some interesting narrow passages that were fun to navigate.

I got my sea star viewing quota filled. There were lots just above the waterline, hugging the rocks. I was informed that big clumps like this were in fact ‘sea star orgies’!

Then we met the cormorants. The huge cliffs with lots of holes provide an ideal nesting and resting grounds. There were so so many. Mary, who spends a lot of time in the Baja over the winter, called the white rocks ‘Baja Snow’. It really did look like snow. There was even an evergreen tree that was white and looked like it was snow covered. These Cormorant Condos went on for quite a length of the cliff. I saw one bird trying to climb the wall. Rest assured they are better divers than climbers.

There were of course all the wonderful carvings and shapes of the sandstone. So many reminded us of Anton Gaudi’s work we saw in Barcelona. When we read that nature inspired his designs we now understand how that could be.

The return trip, at a bit further out, was impressive on a different level. We could appreciate the massive cliffs, see the layers where differential erosion creates lines and also marvel at the houses on top and hope they do not fall into the sea at some point.

After lunch in a quiet lagoon we ventured further down the coast and saw Malaspina Galleries from the water. These are huge carved caves in which you can walk. That will be tomorrow’s adventure.

So another day in Paradise. A wonderful relaxing paddle of 11km that allowed us to see so much. We feel like we have been tourists for the two months that we have been here. We have seen so much and realize there is so much more to see, learn, and appreciate.

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