Friday, October 30, 2015

The long extinct "creatures" of Gabriola Island: their secrets revealed...

We've paddled these Gabriolan waters many times. Little did we know that on this day, we would discover the shocking reality behind the legends of the lost and long extinct "creatures" of Gabriola Island. 

Oh yes, over the years, we'd heard the stories...gargantuan iguanas, ferocious dog-like creatures, monster fish, dragon beasts. All from another time, long before humankind was even a glimmer in the Creator's eye. But these seemed just far-fetched, and fanciful tales. 

On this paddle, there was a headland. We had always chosen to circumnavigate Entrance Island, rather than continue along the island coast. We'd never explored beyond this mysterious piece of land, jutting out into the Salish Sea. Today we would go further than ever the other side of the headland.

Near the very last sign of human habitation, they warned us away. 

Three seals called out, begging us, with their eyes, to paddle NO further. The sense of urgency, almost panic, in their expression was palpable. 

A sea gull stood by, almost philosophically...he'd seen this all before. 

He knew this would not end well. The timeless enigma would be exposed. Two human beings, one mango and the other red, would discover the hidden secrets of Gabriola Island...secrets entrenched in stone and hidden in this netherworld.

The seals beseeched us to reconsider...but we were drawn forward, as if by some irresistible, compelling force.

Rounding the headland, it was as if we had become time travellers...gliding backward in time through countless millennia and into a land of 65 million years ago when these "rumoured" creatures traversed the land, and swam in an ancient and primordial soup.

It was an eerie blood ran strangely cold. We both wanted to turn around, to flee back to the safety of what we knew...but it was too late. 

Curiosity is a powerful drew us forward.

And there, in this land shaped by time...

lay the evidence, the proof...incontrovertible and clear...of the long-hidden secrets.

It was, indeed, a gargantuan iguana...turned to stone.

It's expression seemed to be one of acceptance and compliance with some reality unbeknownst to us. 

Its time had come? Millions upon millions upon millions of years ago? How could this possibly have happened?

A massive dog-like creature, legs folded beneath its body, rested in repose...

...still looking towards the land, ever vigilant.

A dragon beast, no longer breathing fire, seemed to be enjoying the warm sunshine of a different world than it had ever known in life. stone.

Two fish, leaping into the sky had likewise been turned to stone.

How could all of this have happened? We'll never know.

Heart rates back to normal, we quietly drifted...and pondered these timeless mysteries.

There were more questions than there were answers. But questions are good. 

"Living the questions" is a much richer experience than grasping at answers. Questions open doors...answers, all too often, only serve to close them tightly shut. 

It's why listening is a much richer experience than talking.

When we listen...we draw in the wealth of what others share. It's always "value added".

But wait a minute...enough of this. We've missed lunch! Time to find the beach.

Ah...that's better.

After all, discovering "timeless secrets" builds up a hearty appetite!

And then soon it was time to return, once again, to the other side of the headland, and back to the present.

As a BC Ferry approached the Entrance Island lighthouse...

...we navigated our way back to the Descanso Bay launch in the forecast breezy air and bumpy seas.

All in a day's paddle around Gabriola Island, British Columbia. 

Perhaps we should have told the seals that it all worked out, just fine. :)


  1. Ah Duncan, in your last blog you said you'd come home. I'm a little concerned you left an important part of yourself behind. LoL. Oh well Scotland may have its ancient castles n history but we've got our stone aged monsters eh.
    Great story n I love the cute seals.

    1. Haha! Hi Linda. Hmmm...not sure what part of me you mean. It all happened...just exactly like I said. OK, so the seals didn't really "beseech us to reconsider", but they were sure making a lot of eye contact! :) Incredible paddling opportunities in both countries...and so different. Nice to have you back. Warm wishes. coco

  2. Brilliant D & J ! I love a good mimetolith and these are some of the best ever :o)

    Warm wishes

    1. Ah, Ian, I've been racking my brain for that word. Hmmm, could be the part of me that our friend Linda said I left in Scotland? :) Mimetolith, of course. There was a marvellous one, that Douglas pointed out, on one of our shared Auchmithie paddles.The Gabriolan ones were amazing, indeed. Thank you and warm wishes.

  3. Duncan, I love spotting mimetoliths, what a great post! :o)

    PS I even have a label on my blog devoted to mimetoliths!

  4. Hi Douglas, thank you for that. The sandstone of the Gulf Islands, which are literally right next door, feature stunning patterns, which we must try to capture more often with the camera. We'll check out your mimetoliths for sure. Warm wishes from us both.

  5. Hey Duncan and Joan, finally caught up with you with the blog...tho after an hour am still impossibly behind! Your photos are wonderful and I look forward to going backwards(!) to read more of your Scottish adventures. Wish a post notification could go directly to my that even possible with a blog? I forget. Anyway, it's a great read...and I deeply concur with the politics!!! Cheers.

    1. Hi Jill, great to hear from you on the blog. We miss your cottage adventures! :) I'm sure we can arrange notifications. It was lovely to see you at your Mum's. Warm wishes from us both.