Savary Island, BC

Scott Blessley
August 6, 2014

We’ve spend our summers in British Columbia since 2004, and our winters either in Tucson or traveling. We’ve been in Tucson for over 10 years now, and have settled into a pattern of Scott driving to Vancouver in early spring and returning to Tucson in late Fall; Kathy flies up for the summer (update: it’s reversed now, Scott will be flying back and forth, Kathy and her sister Sue will drive up together).

Once here (Vancouver), we try to savor the nice weather and fantastic city. And two of our “repeats” are hanging out with Blake & Libby (friends from nearby North Vancouver) who we met in… South India.

In 2009 (10 years ago), Blake & Libby introduced us to Savary Island. Savary was discovered and named by Captain George Vancouver (yeah, that Vancouver) during his scouting expedition in these parts. The island is pretty small, about 5 miles long and about 1 wide. And it’s not straightforward to get to, which is not entirely a bad thing.

Car on, Car off. Repeat.

We got up around 5:30 in the morning and headed for our first ferry (about a half hour away). Drive to a second ferry, repeat. Upon arrival at Lund, BC (see photo) we hauled out portion of food and drink for the 8 of us here (we have to pack out the garbage too). Park our car for the week ($65) – they’ll deliver it to the dock for our return. Drag our stuff down to the dock, get it on a water ferry over to Savary, reverse (up the gangway with our stuff). Wait for a land taxi (pickup truck). After about 10 hours, we finally arrive. Yet another unloading, but, we’re settled in for the week.

We’ve been to this cabin before, it was rustic with only propane for light, refrigeration and cooking. To our collective delight, this year it’s got solar panels and battery storage. Hardly “rustic” at all! Also, since the last time we were here, communications have improved, there’s now cellular coverage…usually. I’m not sure this is that great a thing, I was sort of hoping not to be in touch for a while.

It’s a Family Affair

It’s not just the “senior” Kelleys here. We’ve got three generations – the “middle aged” set are Jennifer (Blake & Libby’s daughter) and her husband Merlyn, and their two children. While Kathy’s accustomed to all this commotion, it’s a little vexing for me – but it’s wonderful being able to hang out with a family. I don’t have much left. We’ve known the Kelleys for about 15 years and see them regularly (usually at their house, Libby is a great cook…). No photos of the Jenn/Merlyn kids – at their request.

Since we brought all this food…

So we’re here for a week, each of signed up for a couple of meals to feed all 8 of us, both the ingredients and the preparation. Kathy and I contributed her signature “7 layer dip” and a quinoa salad, I made a bean salad salad that’s a favourite at home, plus ‘Shrimp and grits”, a much-loved saturated fat and calorie fest. Packing all of this stuff (there’s a small General Store here, but selections are limited and prices are high) is a challenge. We must have brought a couple hundred pounds of various things, when you include cans and bottles of stuff, food for 8, a few pieces of kitchenware. Oh and then there’s the alcohol supply!

The days… are they that much different from Vancouver?

In a word, ‘No”. We both spend a lot of time with our iPads or phones, cook, eat, drink into the evening (sometimes the afternoon…) go to the beach. We’re actually a bit closer to the beach at home in Vancouver than we are here, but we never go – mostly due to crowds and regulations. Here we can pack some snacks and drinks to savor, if there are police here, they certainly aren’t checking to see if we’re kicking back with a beer or two.


The difference is the totally laid-back atmosphere. You literally hear the crickets, watch deer wander through the yard. Nobody locks up anything, folks leave bikes on the lawn, drop them wherever they go. Same for beach chairs, kayaks and so forth. You can reasonably leave something out for years without anybody touching it. I’m not suggesting that there’s no crime here, but let’s say I’ve yet to see a lock on a bicycle. It’s quite the change from city life. I don’t miss the sounds of ambulance sirens. The days pass slowly, the week quickly.

Going Home

The trip back is a bit easier: we have to clean the house and pack out all our garbage. It’ll weigh lot less. The Water Taxi takes us (and our trash) back to Lund. The people we parked the car with (for $65/week) will bring it to meet us at the dock. We take a share of the trash back to Vancouver. The drive back south [map] is as long as the way up (too long) with the added distraction of lengthy waits for the next ferry, and the good luck of being the 2nd to last car to make it on the second ferry! A reservation would have been worth the $10.

Ten days at home to recover and pack, then off on another adventure!

Selected photos. These are actually from several years’ visits.

Copyright(c) 2022 Scott Blessley & Kathy Hornbach
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