Qualicum. B.C. Late yesterday afternoon big and little herring boats began to arrive, dozens of them, all converging on the bay; by the time we returned from dinner--where the waitress, newly arrived from Dublin, said the herring season had officially opened at 4 p.m.--they were clustered offshore, masts strung with lights. The sky had cleared, it was colder, there was wind, there were stars, waves slammed into the seawall and we thought that in a tsunami we'd rather be elsewhere.
Today the mountains on the mainland stand out, trees distinct, one range of peaks rising against another, the highest, snow-capped behind, and not only are there fleets of herring boats, but thousands of gulls hovering, wings catching sunlight, ducks, seals and sea lions.