Sunday Morning on MAYNE

Valentines weekend on S,ḴŦAK / Mayne Island was a whirlwind of discovery, filled with natural beauty and great people.

To start with, my obsessive participation in Mayne’s Love Local Bingo (hosted by the Mayne Island Community Chamber) had paid off. On Thursday, Lauren Underhill, the Executive Director there, pulled my name for a giant sack of prizes! So, a friend and I spontaneously hopped on the Saturday afternoon direct ferry to Village Bay. Like kids in a candy shop, we played our way around the Island, spending out gift cards, taking in the sights and connecting at “Hearts for Luke” — the Island’s biggest event since before Covid — an all-out party & auction to support a young couple struggling through cancer (including an epic crock-pot cook-off and cheesecake boat). I may have bid on a few… then we took the midnight ferry home (so that I could tend my lambs and hens).

The next morning at the crack of dawn, our groggy group of five boarded the Salish Eagle ferry to Mayne again, this time on bikes. After some rich coffee, friendly banter, and a lotto bingo card, we arrived in Village Bay to the welcoming smiles of Robin Walsh and Manny Borsboom, two kind and intrepid Mayne Islanders who’d offered to guide us on the ride.

Lauren at the Chamber had shared our invitation to Mayne riders. As a result, Maison Rouge emailed a super-kind offer to bake us a cake, and even though I’d spent time researching good routes, potential farmstand stops, and delicious menus, while marveling at S,ḴŦAK / Mayne Island’s remarkable resemblance to a rabbit riding a crocodile, Robin and Manny really had the inside scoop.

It was silent on the roads, because nearly everyone had been out at the fundraiser the night before! First, we cruised out to the lighthouse via Felix Jack to Campbell Bay Road. Somehow en route, this was the first time I really took in the WSANEC Honouring Figure, carved by John Aitken and erected in 2009 to honour Emma and Felix Jack, Coast Salish peoples, and “to accept and respect that nothing in life is static. All are embraced.”. Robin and Manny also showed us the brand new Family Place & Daycare and the nearby Community Garden, with its innovative rainwater catchment system draining the Community Centre‘s metal roof.

Sea lions and seals, shorebirds and vast expanses of water greeted us at the lighthouse, where we lingered in the mist.

Down the hill to town, our stomachs led the way to Sunny Mayne Bakery Cafe. Home of the CRONUT and pop-up eggs benny specials. Fueled, we cruised on.

We didn’t go far, before stopping at farmstands and Farm Gate Store and Envision Gallery and… I think Manny and Robin were getting impatient with our exploration.

After that, we just rode. All the way to the Gallagher Bay Road to Glen Echo to Wood Dale, via a beautiful unpaved “green tunnel” connector trail…

…and then all the way to the Japanese Gardens, where we spotted our first spring daffodil! Bob was impressed with the historic charcoal kiln, and Barb rang the deeply sonorous bell, which throbbed gently with a healing hum as we laid our ears to it.

On the way back to the ferry, there was just time to stop by Joyce Kallweit’s Meadowmist Farm and sheep, then the Dragonfly Gallery & Art Store for Valentines craft supplies and to admire more of Terril Welch’s and others’ art, before chillaxing on the boat home, then a hot tub and a nap.

Now, how to pick up those random auction prizes that I accidentally bid on? Maybe I’ll have to book a few nights at Manny’s swoon-worthy cob house:

Thank you Mayne for your generous Valentines welcome!

Photos by Robin Jenkinson, Bob MacKie, Carol Tenniswood, Barb Irving. Header painting and photo of painting by Terril Welch, a famouse Mayne Island Artist.