Supply chain issues seem to be a fact of life these days. Whether it was the lack of flour and eggs in our grocery stores back in March 2020, the recent shortage of infant formula in the United States, or (my latest issue) having to wait up to two months for a backorder of my preferred brand of cat food — all these things make us stop and think, “Wait a minute. What’s going on here?”
I learned on my last visit to Galiano Island that freighters like to park themselves just off the northern tip of the island while waiting for an empty berth at the Port of Vancouver. English Bay always has a number of waiting freighters as well, but when the bay is full, those ships have to look elsewhere for a place to anchor and wait. Vancouver is Canada’s largest and busiest port, with 3000 ships arriving every year. That’s a lot of ships and an awful lot of waiting time.
But while on Galiano again last weekend, I was surprised to learn that often these ships are waiting for what seems like an awfully long time. The container ship in this next photo? It was sitting off the north end of the island for three weeks.
I can’t see any way that a three-week delay to offload a fully loaded container ship from Asia doesn’t add to our supply chain problems. Not to mention the cost of goods.
Or the seafarers stuck on board. Waiting.
Another island I hopped to this summer was Salt Spring Island. I go here often, thanks to the hospitality of one of my dearest friends.
These Highland cows are at Ruckle Farm on Salt Spring’s South End. Salt Spring has a long agricultural history and Ruckle Farm — founded in 1872 — is one of the oldest farms in the province. It is still being farmed by the Ruckle family.
Fun fact: Highland cows are a Scottish breed of cattle and my friend who lives on Salt Spring Island is a proud Scottish-Canadian.
Just though I’d mention that.
One more note: The haze in this photo is due to the smoke from BC’s wildfires, which blanketed the southern coast of the province the weekend I was on Salt Spring Island.
I was on Salt Spring Island again this past weekend, and I met a new friend.
This is a Hairy Woodpecker. He’s not that big, but he sure makes a lot of noise for his size. He was busy making himself heard on the wildlife tree in my friend’s front yard, so I walked over to introduce myself.
And to take this photo.
Another mini-break on Salt Spring Island means another photo of a spectacular view. I took this from Channel Ridge where my friend and I went to walk her dog. We’re looking east over Trincomali Channel towards Galiano Island.
And here’s a cool bit of trivia: Trincomali Channel is named after HMS Trincomali, a British warship built in 1816 that is now docked in Hartlepool, England. What’s the connection between HMS Trincomali and BC? The ship was stationed at the Esquimalt Royal Naval Dockyard near Victoria in the 1850s. The dockyard was an important station of the British Royal Navy from 1842 to 1905 and is now home to the Royal Canadian Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
And … it’s that time of year again. Tomorrow I head off to Salt Spring Island for my “island fix” ― and it just so happens that it’s also the weekend of the Salt Spring Island Fall Fair. It was during my visit to the fair two years ago that I snapped this photo.
I don’t know if my friend and I will make it to the fair this year, but I do know I am looking forward to some island time.