Benson Island

We escaped the charms of the big city this morning, motoring out of Ucluelet in a drizzly fog and coolish weather that had Melissa and me wondering where our summer had gone. I like Ucluelet; it is an easily walked little town and has a lively working waterfront. Melissa and I did our part to stimulate the economy with a parting gift of payment for 300 litres of fuel.
For our first foray into the Broken Group, I had wanted to anchor again at Benson Island and that is where we are this evening. Five years ago, we anchored here and thoroughly explored the island. I remember looking out over the west facing cliffs to an ocean that has not seen land for thousands of miles. If you want to feel small, look out over a great ocean.


This island is part of the native people’s origin story; it is where the Day Chief drew out the first man and woman from the thigh of an old man. There is a beautiful wood statue in a grassy meadow that has been erected since we last visited. It doesn’t take long to know that the old stories are true. The edge of a wild ocean is like a Baptist revival tent; if you didn’t believe when you went in, you surely will when you leave.


This place is now some part of our own story. As we walked through the woods, Melissa remembered how, five years ago, we came upon a buck that stood higher up on a slope looking down on us. “Just like in Bambi.” she said. She was hoping for a similar encounter and, sure enough, we walked upon that old buck’s son. He looked fat and healthy. Too healthy, apparently, to get up from his bed of moss. He just lay there, working his cud as he considered the ridiculous creatures before him.


The weather seems to have returned to a more typical Northwest summer here. We are both missing the warmer weather and sunshine, Melissa especially. Ever the Polly Anna, the weather makes me appreciate our cozy boat. We are both making lists of things to fix and improve but in truth, we are very comfortable and have all that we need.

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