|Looking west from Newcastle across docks to Nanaimo|
Thanks to the thoughtful invitation of Edie and Adam of SV Libertina, we were once again able to attend a Bluewater Cruising rendezvous. The August gathering has been held at Newcastle Island for several years, organized by the Vancouver Chapter, in conjunction with the Peterson Cup rally. We were looking forward to exploring the Island and participating in the gathering.
|Libertina at Newcastle docks|
The Newcastle Island website states:
Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park is part of Snuneymuxw First Nation Traditional Territory. The Snuneymuxw are a Coast Salish people who live on Vancouver Island and speak the Hul'qumi'num dialect. Prior to European contact the Snuneymuxw had many winter villages along the Nanaimo Harbour, each one consisting of several longhouses. Newcastle Island or Saysutshun has always had a special place in the hearts of Snuneymuxw people or mustiyuxw. It has been used as a place of healing. Saysutshun was also used for the training grounds of the competitive canoe pullers, they would run the trails to keep themselves in top physical shape. Saysutshun was also used for gathering traditional medicines.
BC Parks: Visitors to Newcastle Island can choose from an extensive network of walking/hiking trails that lead to various historic points around the island. Indian middens offer mute evidence of at least two Salish First Nations villages, which were deserted before the discovery of coal in this area in 1849. Subsequent decades saw the island’s fortunes rise and fall as it went through various incarnations while supporting a fish-salting operation, a sandstone quarry and a shipyard.
Dock space had been secured, which made attending the various potlucks and land activities as easy as stepping off the boat. Libertina's tender was not meant for more than two, so we left the water sports to those who had roomier dinghies. We were pleased to reconnect with several Vancouver members we hadn't seen for many years and meet newer members. An abundance of tasty food, stories, time for walks across the island, passenger ferry rides across to Nanaimo, all contributed to a busy and enjoyable weekend.
|Trails and beaches to explore|
We made a mid morning departure on Monday and successfully avoided the Malahat crawl. Back to house projects!