Burleith Arm

And what on earth is that, you ask? It’s what I have been calling “Ladysmith Inlet”. We live at the ‘blue dot’ and we discovered the other day that the official name of that large inlet is Burleith Arm. Today we decided to put a couple of our lessons learned into practice with another paddle and we discovered that the arm is full of activity (well we always knew it but saw it up close and personal today).

We put in at the Ladysmith Marina which was so awesome (one of our previous Lessons Learned). We could pull the car up to the shore and we had almost no distance to carry the boats. The beach was small stones and sand – a great beach.

The marina is a good size and we paddled beside the boat barns and across the water to the far shore where there are log booms ad infinitum. We paddled for close to a kilometre I’m sure beside these booms. Some had logs that seemed VERY old, others more recent. What we found interesting is that they logs were actually grouped with wire ties around them. We can’t figure out if they come off the log barge that way or if it’s done afterwards. When we see them fall off the barge, they SEEM to be individual logs but we are always at a distance so we can’t be sure.

We continued down the shore and realized that on the Ladysmith side there is a lot of activity. Two marinas, a log processing facility, and a fishing boat marina. So there is a lot of boat traffic in this are – everything from ocean going ships to tug boats to sailboats, jet skis, motor boats and of course kayaks.

We crossed the 49th parallel: and continued to the end of the inlet and around the corner into a bay to find Eliot Beach. We had recently read and heard about this beach that seems to be a fairy well-kept secret. What a gem. It is well protected, has a huge arbutus tree for shade and is gently sloping so great for kids. It was a lovely place to get out and stretch and enjoy the weather and scenery.

We put another lesson to practice and used our new noodles. They worked great:

As we made our way back we discovered a new ship was anchoring in the water. We heard the anchor chain being released with quite a clatter.

This area is ideal for ships to park waiting until they can load up in Vancouver. We have seen many this summer, some staying for up to a month and we can see them from our deck.

What is more fun is that we found there is an ‘app for that’. We can find out all kinds of stats about the ship (country of registration, size, etc etc) and where it’s come from. It also tracks the last 24 hrs of its voyage. So, for newly arrived ships you can see that they come from the Pacific and then thread the needle between the islands to get to the inlet here:

Then when they have been at anchor for days, or weeks, you can see that the stern moves in circles with the tide:

So we can always satisfy our curiosity about boats plying the waters anywhere we are!

We returned on the Ladysmith side of the inlet to look at the various activities along the shore. We were aware that there is a large sawmill/wood processing plant because we saw the sign on the road but tress block the buildings. From the water, it’s all visible. We watched the cut the wires around the bundle of logs being cut by the ‘giraffe machines’ and be ‘fed’ into the saws or whatever was being done in the large building.

So a lovely day on the water. Weather perfect again, and we acquired new appreciation for the activities and bustle of this little town on the water!

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