I’m becoming the queen of last minute plans. This actually works well for us since it means that we’re also often available at the last minute. I got a call one morning last week asking if we wanted to spend the day on Rachael Islands. Heck, yeah.
I then proceeded to cleanse my body with multiple bathroom trips thanks to my boat anxiety, in between packing for the day trip. The forecast was for one metre seas but that really could mean anything once you’re out there. It was the same prediction the day we attempted to go to Big Bay and had to turn back just ten minutes from the beach because of huge (scary) swells. Generally speaking, sunny days mean more wind and rougher seas and I was nervous because it was looking to be a decent day.
As it turned out, the trip was smooth; the water was barely moving and it felt like being out on a lake.
We went past Ridley Island and watched a huge ship being filled with grain. Left me curious about the little ecosystems near by with grain and dust floating all over the place.
Rachael Islands is a small grouping of islands about the same distance from town as Lucy Island we’ve visited often. The beach on Rachael almost completely disappears in high tide which limits it’s fun but is still a beach I’d love to go back to. We went for low tide and beach combed through the deep white shell beach.
(click to see pictures bigger or more of them)
I found quite a few miniature shells and sand dollars, many intact bivalve shells, abalone and even a few smooth pink scallops. Kep ran maniacally back and forth on the beach, obviously happy with our destination.
There is a cabin on one of the islands connected to the beach, primarily for shipwrecked or otherwise stranded people. It’s partially stocked with food, wood and blankets.
The kids loved the really big tide pool that sat quite a bit higher than the sloping beach. The water was warm and inviting and very quickly my kids were naked and wading in it.
Erin and I walked around the small island the cabin sits on. It was only a twenty minute walk on a shelf like flat rock that surrounded the forested centre of the island. The waves crashed up on the rocks as we walked and we found the most remarkable thing: I’d always wanted to find my own intact sea urchin and we found not only one but seven of them! Jackpot. Perhaps this is a favourite hangout for otters (or ?) to feast on sea urchin.
There were hardy red paintbrush growing in amongst the rocks, as well as a type of coastal strawberry. A surprising find was a small patch of Northern Rice Root (aka Black Lily).
The kids had a really wonderful day hanging out on the beach, even as the tide took it all away. We headed home for a bbq supper of fresh caught cod and chicken for those too chicken the eat the cod.