Yesterday we drove out the West Coast Road so John could swim at Sooke Potholes. I used to go there with my brother and his friends in the early 1970s, lured by the deep green pools formed by natural erosion in the Sooke River before it empties into Sooke Basin. The water was cold and clean and my brother and his friends jumped from various high points on the rocks though I was never so bold but eased in slowly. Angelica and I watched John swim and noticed all kinds of salmonids in the green water, eager for insects.
After that, we drove further out to Point No Point. When I was a university student in the mid-1970s, I’d come to Point No Point for Miss Packham’s tea some weekends. In a small building hanging out over the rocks above wild salal and trails leading to the beach, one could drink tea and eat little sandwiches. There’d be seals in the kelp beds and a view of the Olympic Peninsula on clear days. More often, it was misty, with enough wind that you realized why the spruce trees were bent and twisted. Log cabins were hidden in the salal and John and I came for a weekend once, my parents caring for Forrest to give us a break. The cabins were cosy, with fireplaces and copies of old New Yorkers. No televsion, no phones. Yesterday we had lunch at a table by the windows — delicious chowder with soda bread, seafood pasta, a croque monsieur — and used the binoculars on our table to peer down at the kelp beds. The resort is bigger but still itself somehow. From the beach, you can only see salal, a red bench, the peak of the restaurant roof, though you know the cabins are huddled in the green tunnels.