Saturday, June 04, 2005

Spent my birthday on Quadra with V and friends, the most beautiful gulf island I've seen yet. Were it not for the tiny winding driveways arcing off into the woods you could be forgiven for thinking no one lived there at all. Nothing but lush green forest and scattering deer around every corner.
Stayed in the recently finished "executive suite" at an oceanfront hotel on the east side of the island. This consisted of a newly renovated two-level attic reeking of fresh paint and drywall with a few clumsily positioned pieces of furniture scattered about the unfinished wood floor.
Downstairs to the restaurant for dinner, which is cut short by the sound of ground level renovations (starting promptly at 9 pm, continuing late into the night.)
Lacking a TV or even a radio, we are forced to pilfer a sawdust coated boombox from the workmans storage space, just to drown out the hammering. Barely recognizable pop music wafts out of the speakers through a haze of static and drywall dust as we drink warm beers and play increasingly less complex card games, culminating in a seemingly endless round of "spoons."
Awake the next morning to find the toilet in the suite does not work.
The ferry ride back is shared with what feels like the entire student body of a local high school, as if I wasnt feeling old enough already. Outside on the deck, there are still some quiet places to watch the clouds rolling in.
How many of my life experiences have been framed by rides on these big, beautiful boats? When I was a kid, the ferries were the height of adventure. Packed to the gills with people in the summer, eerily empty in the winter, they were jungle gyms on a massive scale, moving playgrounds. At night, with the front blinds pulled down and the engine vibrating, a bc ferry was as close to riding in a spaceship as I could imagine. Not some dinky buck rogers spaceship, but one of those slow moving industrial behemoths from "Alien" or "2001."
In the winter on the upper sunshine coast, at night, it's still not uncommon to be one of the only people onboard. There is something comforting about the idea of a boat that travels it's route regardless of how many passengers are aboard.