We’ve done a lot of beach combing this summer thanks to our friends who own a boat. We headed out into the fog one morning last month for a day on Rachael Islands. It was slow going through the dense fog and when we arrived at these small islands we weren’t alone.

Rachael Islands

There was a mostly beached boat being rocked and pushed into the water by a few men and it pulled away from shore before we had finished pumping up our inflatable boat. I remember remarking about how lucky they were that the water was so calm because of how shockingly low in the water the boat was riding. You couldn’t have paid me enough money to get in that boat!

Rachael Island

This wasn’t our only encounter before setting foot onto shore this early morning. A skiff with a husband and wife, both dressed in camouflaged and hooded against the cool air, pulled up long enough to ask a little about the beach. It wasn’t long before they were off to spend the day fishing. No time for beach combing for them.

Rachael Island

It stayed foggy for much of the morning. At lunch the sun decided to show itself and we rejoiced by running around, flying a kite and wading in tide pools. Erin and I did yoga on the beach’s crest.

Untitled Baby Blue Searching the tide pools

There is a basic cabin on this island for those caught in rough weather. It has a couple of beds, a wood stove and is stocked with a small amount of canned food. I still remember my surprise when I first found the flush toilet down a small path from the cabin. The tank simply needs to be filled with collected rainwater in order for it to flush.

Flush toilet Rachael Island

The beach here on Rachael Islands is one of my all time favourites. It’s a fairly small sandy, white shell isthmus of a beach that almost completely disappears at high tide but it’s still well worth a visit for low tide. I love the soft sand and crumbled white shells under foot.

White shell beach

White beach Playing on Rachael Islands

There are plenty of cool things to find at low tide and in the tide pools.

Hayden and his sea stars

The kids were eager to swim and were running into the water as deep as they could go before it was simply too cold to stand.

Leif Bull Kelp

As the tide comes in and swallows the beach up, I am in love with the colour of the water.

The tide is swallowing up the beach from both sides Qwabby

Look at the colour!

Most of the day we were watching and hearing grey whales feeding not far off shore. This is something that never ceases to put a smile on my face and make me scramble to the highest point I can find for a unobstructed view.

Can you see the whale in the distance?

Grey whale just off shore

Keith had left Erin, the kids and I on the beach while he and Hayden did a little fishing. When they returned with a couple halibut he took the boys out in the inflatable boat for a chance to practice their rowing skills.

Erin and Keith Practice

On the way home we checked our crab traps but found mostly sea stars. Damn things! Beautiful but not what you want to find in your crab trap!

Sea Star Sea Star


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13 Responses to Rachaels

  1. Lynn says:

    Ah ha! Glad I decided to pop by your blog today! You paint a picture of a lovely place. That’s so cool about the humpbacks feeding. As usual loving your photographs, gosh you’re talented.

  2. monica lamb-yorski says:

    What a beautiful journey to one set of islands I only ever saw from the air. Thanks Annie. As always, your words and photographs weave a wonderful song. Hope all is well with you and yours. I miss the ocean and friends on the north coast, however, have enjoyed exploring a new region of the province.

  3. Annie says:

    Thank you both!

    We miss you, Monica but I’m so happy to hear how settled you are in your new community!

  4. Lise says:

    Wonderful photos!

  5. Annie says:

    Thank you, Lise!

  6. Larissa Goruk says:

    Lovely, awesome pics!

  7. Annie says:

    Thank you, Larissa!

  8. k says:

    what a spot – i love the wildness of these places around rupert that you share with us.

  9. Annie says:

    One day you’ll have to come up and explore with us. Thank you, K.

  10. Taisa says:

    So beautiful, Annie! Your kiddos in that cold water- and the whales! So lovely.

  11. Annie says:

    They were crazy about going into that freezing water. I didn’t even want to dip my feet more than I had to. You would love this spot, Taisa. Maybe one day you can come out for a weekend trip on Lucy? Erin’s coming into town today and will be in touch with you and Perry. xx

  12. erin says:

    so so gorgeous, and i can now honestly say i have seen some wild beaches, out of the way of frequent visitors and their inevitable impact. leaving cortes left me yearning for more wild and more ocean and i’m glad i read this and got to savour these images with your words. your writing lately has been filling me up! i hear you about the starfish, on the one hand lovely and so cool to witness and explore but on the other voracious! on cortes there is alot of oyster farming and they are not so revered. we saw many when we went out clamming and oystering. they arrive and wreak havoc.

  13. Annie says:

    Thank you, Erin! I can’t wait to see the images from your last trip! xx

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