Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oceans of Art - Day 2

After a hearty breakfast, we all piled into, in 12-body groups, two of the station's skiffs to make our way over to West Bamfield. Bamfield is split by Bamfield Inlet: some of the community is on the east bank, some on the west bank. On the other side of the peninsula on which West Bamfield sits lies the open Pacific Ocean. We trudged across the peninsula to arrive at Brady's Beach, a spectacular and well-known sandy beach with rocky sea stacks, perfect for landscape artists! And, at the right time of day, it is perfect for tide pool puddlers. Unfortunately, we arrived late on the incoming tide, so no fantastic tide pools to puddle in. But there were plenty of neat things to sketch and photograph that had washed up on the beach, not to mention the stacks themselves.

We spent the morning on the beach, walking, sketching, snapping shots, and just watching the surf roll in. The hike back was interesting: it's quite hilly crossing the peninsula, and the first hill from the beach is huge! Some of us took the scenic route, and walked the beautiful boardwalk along the shoreline of West Bamfield. Even met some of the residents:

In the afternoon, we split up into our respective groups, and went on different excursions. Our group took a boat up Grappler Inlet. The sun decided to bless us with its presence and made the lighting spectacular for our trip. The water was crystal clear, and we could see way down to the bottom, strewn with pink stars and huge clam shells. At the head of the Inlet was a freshwater lens that had frozen, so we did a little ice breaking (kind of entertaining). And we got to witness nature at work: a couple of raccoons picking up nibblies from the exposed foreshore, rafts of ducks, a cormorant drying off on a piling after a dive, and the ultimate wildlife experience of a bald eagle catching a juvenile gull, then taking it to a rock to pluck and devour while we watched.

A little time was left before dinner for a visit to the Whale Lab, and I took the opportunity to work on some sketches.

Hermit crabs - 2009 Oceans of Art
Heart crab shell - 2009 Oceans of Art
After dinner, we were treated to "Life at the Edge of the Sea", a documentary filmed on location in Bamfield and off the coast by the BBC. It's a great film, I've seen it before, but I was so tired from the day's events that I just had to crash. Off to bed to rest up for another jam-packed day.

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