Gabriola is a small island in BC, Canada. It’s about 22 sq miles. We come here every three to four months. We stay in a tiny, old cabin, made by my great grandmother and grandfather, while they lived out of a motor home. It’s only 400 sq ft, but I love it and I always will.
Gabriola Island has many memories of mine, such as watching movies on the 10×10 inch screen, playing board games by the fire, and eating the most delicious pie in the world, handmade on the island by Gwen. There are three main beaches: Sandwell, Drumbeg, and Mallaspina Galleries. Sandwell is an enclosed, remote beach. Now I bet you are imagining palm trees, warm water… if you are, stop! This water is freezing, such a thing as a palm tree has never been considered, and I highly recommend bringing sweatshirts. It’s still wonderful to be out on the beach, but think of it as a fun place to sit down and enjoy a snack and get your feet wet. I swim, but most people (and me too, but I swim anyway) would get hypothermia. Be careful! The nature can be wild up here. I remember going there and being surrounded with yellow jackets wanting the meat on my sandwich.
Drumbeg’s water is the same temperature, but that is where the similarities end. Drumbeg has no sand, the whole thing is covered in driftwood, and the reason you go there is to climb on the rocks and huge logs that rolled up in the last storm. Mallaspina is a rocky beach. At Mallaspina Beach, there is a special area called The Galleries that is a passageway with an overhang, hollowed out by wind and waves. There are many starfish, sea anemones, and small crabs. I remember carefully jumping off the overhang into the water the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade.
Also on the list of things to do is: taste Gwen’s famous pie, generally eating one pie a day. We visit my Grandma’s property (a piece of land in the forest). We hike Yogi Trail, which is this small trail guarded by Yogi, a stone statue. We visit Silva Bay Yacht Club, walk around the dock, and then check out another small beach to look for crabs under rocks and get your feet wet.
Traveling to and from Gabriola takes a while. The drive takes two to three hours, though it used to take six to seven when we lived in Portland. Then the ferries take two and a half hours, not counting the possible wait for the next ferry. You also cross the border into Canada on the drive.
All in all, Gabriola Island is a fantastic place to visit. Gabriola Island holds many memories for me. I love going there and am happy to go to Gabriola whenever possible. The area has always been a great place for my family to get away from the stress of work. I hope that it will always be in the family.