Luckily for me, Mr E Man was on his way! He missed the 7 am ferry by ten minutes, but caught the next one, and picked me up from my picturesque (if chilly)
So off we went to Sooke, on Vancouver Island's Southernmost tip.
As you can see on this map, the border does a weird little blip around these parts in order to incorporate the whole of the Island into Canadian territory. If I'd been reading my citizenship test preparation materials like a good girl, I might be able to tell you whether this act of border manipulation was negotiated peacefully or not. Either way, upon arrival in Sooke my phone sang me its happy little text message song, and I found a "Welcome to America!" message from a US cell phone network, which I thought was a bit presumptuous.
But it didn't matter, because we were in heaven. We had a beautiful little cottage overlooking the water, with a hot tub on the deck. The upstairs bedroom was smaller than the master suite downstairs, but we slept there anyway on account of the two-countries-for-the-price-of-one view towards Washington's Olympic Peninsula.
I do like Vancouver Island. We walked on the beach, saw a seal and loads of eagles (but no whales unfortunately), soaked in the South facing hot tub, had a nap, played Scrabble (a rare win for me!), tried some local beer in a redneck bar followed by a lovely dinner in an old (by local standards) and allegedly haunted pub, and finished the day with some chocolate brownies and more local beer in the hot tub. It was interesting though that I didn't have my usual reaction to small town BC - almost every time we visit my mother-in-law on the Sunshine Coast, I get the urge to drop everything, leave the city, and buy a wee place by the water. Not so this time - perhaps it was the chill in the air and the early sunset, despite our attempts to pretend that it wasn't actually winter.
No trip to the Island is really complete without a ferry ride. In an unprecedented move the following day, we arrived at the terminal five minutes before the ferry was due to leave - and got on. Fortified by some hot mint tea and BC Ferries' excellent chips and gravy, we spent most of the trip on deck, continuing our "it's actually summer" delusion.
Very cold and windswept seagull catching a free ride at the back of the ferry
I didn't see any whales this time, but the narrowest point on the route contained several seals and a variety of bird life, no doubt feasting on an abundant supply of fish. Duly inspired, we headed home for an evening of chores... and sushi.
Have I ever mentioned that I really enjoy living in Vancouver?