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Bull Kelp
Besides being edible, and delicious at that, this gigantic algae had a number of important technological uses for coastal First Nations. The stalks were spliced together to make fishing lines hundreds of metres long. Though brittle when dried the lines could be thus stored indefinitely. Soaking before use would resore pliability and strength suited to hauling halibut from the depths. The hollow stalks could be employed as water conduits as well. Bulb and wide upper stalk were employed in the kitchen as squeeze tubes and storage containers for edible oils. Salves and ointments made of deer fat and other ingredients could be poured in the bulbs as well. Upon hardening the kelp was peeled away leaving a "cake" of skin cream or sun screen
Illustration by Manami Kimura
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07
Feb
2007
argaiv1146
Gambier Island: West Bay Amble E-mail
(7 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   

Level: Easy
Distance: 4 km r/t
Time: 1½ hr Elevation: 50 m
Season: Year Round
Map: 92 G/6
Access: Take the bus to Horseshoe Bay and catch the ferry to Langdale on the Sunshine Coast. Crossing time is 40 minutes. As you step off the loading ramp of the Langdale ferry you'll find the foot passenger ferry to New Brighton immediately on your right. Since this ferry services both Gambier Island and Keats Island make sure you get on the correct sailing.

To avoid retracing your steps, contact Cormorant Marine water taxi [604-250-2630] in Horseshoe Bay to find out if any trips are planned directly to West Bay. Though scheduling is sporadic and custom trips prohibitively expensive it may be possible to piggyback on another previously scheduled outing for just $20 or so. From West Bay just follow the directions below in reverse, returning via ferry from New Brighton and Langdale.

A boat ride or two, a pleasant rural stroll, and lunch at a charming country store are the highlights of this low-key day trip. From the government wharf in New Brighton climb the hill past the pay phone, staying with the right fork when you reach the Gambier Island General Store [604-886-3838.] Soon enough the road levels out, taking you past old homesteads and newer recreational properties as it winds through mixed forest of maple, hemlock and fir.

Think Globally, Buy Locally. Gambier Island Store has a sandwich and a porch swing with your name on it.
Picture of Gambier Island Store

Chest-high glades of sword fern burning with backlight offer plenty of opportunities for the photographically-inclined. Continue straight at the only other intersection en route to reach the long pier at West Bay. Or turn right and take a side trip to Gambier Harbour, adding 6 km to your day. Return to the general store for a gourmet sandwich before heading back to the city. Later in the summer picking blackberries along the foreshore is a good way to kill time while waiting for the ferry.

bearpaw

 

Comments 

 
+1 #2 Gambier residentKathy 2010-11-04 00:41
Actually, if you want to hitch a ride back to civilization from West Bay, it's more practical to call Mercury water taxi in Horseshoe Bay than Cormorant water taxi. Cormorant is based on Bowen, and only randomly comes to this part of Gambier. Mercury has scheduled service on weekends out of Horseshoe Bay, to both West Bay and Gambier Harbour. Mercury's number is 604-921-7451.

Their schedule is at

http://www.mercurylaunch.com/schedules.php
Quote
 
 
+1 #1 Gambier residentKathy 2010-11-04 00:40
If you hike this stroll to West Bay in late October and plan to be there at low-ish tide, it's spawning season!

You can see Chum salmon fighting their way up the beach, and then into the lower reaches of Whispering Creek, which parallels the lower part of the West Bay road, leading to the dock. Look over the edges of the bridge just above the dock, and you often can see half a dozen big, tired Chums in the shallows, waiting to climb the next stretch of the stream.

They're usually there around Hallowe'en.
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