The northern reaches of the Strait of Georgia are gently rippling today, and in the background the lofty Coastal Mountains still wear a skiff of snow while overshadowing the gentler profiles of the Discovery Islands. I’m glad we have 45 minutes aboard the refit relief boat, Quadra Queeen II; time to savour the pristine, open view before arriving at Whaletown on Cortes Island, British Columbia.
We let our senses quietly expand and absorb. The day will culminate in Hollyhock’s hot tub overlooking the Strait of Georgia and Twin Islands, after three relaxing ferries and leisurely Vancouver and Cortes island drives. Oystercatchers will be calling close by our beachfront cottage and my friend, Pat Crossley, and I will fall asleep listening to the slurp of waves.
Hollyhock and, Misty Isles partner to offer a special Mothership Kayak Tour. With our kayaks loaded onboard the Misty Isles, we voyage out from Hollyhock each day to explore and paddle in beautiful places. Along the way we may be able to set the sails or view wildlife which may include eagles, seals, or even porpoise or dolphins. Upon arriving at our destination for the day we will launch the kayaks and paddle off for an exploration of picturesque channels or islands before returning to Hollyhock in the evening for supper and a hot tub.
A Different Sort of Hollyhock Workshop Space: things I expected and things I didn’t on my Hollyhock Misty Isles Adventure.
One evening, after I had spent an evening in a small bookstore in Massachusetts, giving a reading from my book about travels with the Koryak people of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Eastern Siberia, a woman came up to me and introduced herself as Jody. She told me that she was the artistic director for a dance company called Weber Dance and that she had liked my reading, adding that she was interested in knowing if I might consider working with them to integrate the Koryak message into the ecstasy of dance. Jody told me that she had been making dances for over twenty years, and had immediately recognised the power of my story and the importance of the Koryak people’s message. She told me that she felt she had nothing to lose by asking me, and as it turned out, I had nothing to lose by saying yes. It seemed we were destined to create together, and so we constructed a dance called ‘Synchronicity and the Sacred Space,’ where the magic of the Koryak worldview was expressed as the joyous movement of swirling bodies. Our artistic collaboration continues to generate an ongoing dialogue about the message of ‘Tundra, Hunter and Shaman.’
We didn’t notice the Canada goose, just a few feet away, tucked into a granite bowl of soil rimmed with pale green lichen and bright pink wild flowers. She sat so quietly, her plump breast encircled by a fringe of downy feathers. Wary, yes, the way her head followed our delighted retreat. But resolute, born to do her best for the new life snuggled into her warmth. She must sit through all of the sun and then the moon, again and again, emanating her perfection between body and place.
Can such perfection exist for us? What shifts in our hearts when we find it? How do we find the words to express it?
Late summer, when this program takes place, a sense of tranquility returns to the island. The yachts start heading south and the weather is often very calm. The birds and wildlife that have spent the summer away to feed and breed begin to return to these protected waters. This is the perfect time to learn how to paddle safely and comfortably as you navigate the friendly waters surrounding Cortes Island.
Start each day departing Hollyhock on a 43-soot schooner mothership carrying kayaks and lunch. Professional kayak Guide and Instructor, Michael Moore, will lead you into the deep quiet of nature where you can discover more about the area’s true beauty and history, in peaceful harmony with the ocean’s gentle ebb and flow.
Mike Moore is a ship’s Navigation Officer whose voyages have taken him from the High Arctic to Antarctica. He has been a kayak instructor and guide on Cortes Island for more than twenty years. mistyislesadventures.com