Sailing, Shakespeare, Seals, Shags and Slicks!

Last weekend my family and I were lucky enough to travel to Vancouver to see the wonderful Bard on the Beach production of Antony and Cleopatra. Surprisingly it was our 12 year old son’s choice. We sailed over from Gabriola Island with an 18 NW knot breeze to push us along. Glorious conditions saw us sail right to our anchorage in False Creek where we anchored for the night. A short dingy trip ashore then a detour to Granville Island for some delectable chocolate eclairs.

On our way out of Granville Island, a large crowd was gathered on the board walk under the Bridge. My curiosity piqued, I wandered over to see what the attraction was. On the dock of a fishing boat charter company some folks were feeding a Harbour Seal. As the seal came back again and again for treats I watched the intense enthusiasm of the crowd as they oohed and ahhed at its antics. Just like when the Grey Whale visited False Creek recently, it reinforced for me, once again, that people are enamored by wild marine creatures and that there is a connection between our species.

As I continued to observe this phenomena I looked more around the waterfront and could not help but notice the scum on the water’s surface undoubtedly consisting of once airborne particulates, spilled hydrocarbons and oily bilge discharge. Along with a couple of plastic bags and disposable coffee cups, this made for a not very nice place for marine critters to hang out.

Why the heck as humans, when many of us love and respect wild creatures, we just don’t get it when it comes to looking after their (and our) habitat? Why don’t folks understand that as long as we pour, spill and throw our waste into the waters (accidentally or otherwise) we will continue to degrade the very home of the critters that give us so much joy. I guess it gets much more complex than that when we start to look at the waste created by the production and transport of everything we buy and every thing we do, but as a start we should at least look at our direct discharges to our beautiful waters!

The show was fantastic and the highlight for many was when a Pelagic Cormorant entered stage right just as Antony died in Cleopatra’s arms. The bewildered bird flapped and flopped around in front of the audience as Cleopatra embraced it’s appearance and somehow made it part of the show! The bird exited stage right as if on cue!

Next day we dodged the myriad of shipping in English Bay before setting course for Silva Bay. With once again a beautiful breeze we enjoyed yet another crossing of this wonderful body of water. Just outside of our home port we were treated to visit of 50+ Pacific White Sided Dolphins who rode our bow wave and cavorted around us for some time before continuing their journey north. We really do live in a most magnificent part of the world and we need to look after it.

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