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Baynes Sound and the Reeking Wall of Stench! (+6 insets!)

Baynes Sound and the Reeking Wall of Stench! (+6 insets!)
(+6 insets!) (please enlarge for an immersive feeling! :D)

NOTE! PLEASE BE ADVISED--War & Peace Door Stop Ahead!
Today post is really, really long, and what's more, most of what I’m talking about doesn't even have pictures to illustrate! I wanted to write about the wonderful experience of this day, even though there are only a few images to share. Please scroll down to Today's PIctures to learn more about the main image and insets.

Trip Talk: A Day of Adventures, Starting with an Art Fair!
For nearly a month before Steve and I left on our Vancouver Island trip, I spent time poring over every area that we'd be staying; as I looked, I built an itinerary of activities and highlights. The point was to have a nice selection of choices so each day we had a number of options.

Both of us enjoy going to festivals, markets, craft fairs and any type of parade or other event that looks like fun. The 100-mile (160km) radius around Nanaimo and Parksville was overflowing with endless possibilities to be had and it was really hard to pare it down to a reasonable group, but I did my best! The fact of the matter is that this area would be a perfect place to stay for a solid six months—there really are that many wonderful things to do and experience!

While looking around the 'net, I learned about a fantastic art show called the Filberg Festival. This show is held every year in a town that turned out to be just an hour's drive north of Parksville. The event attracts some of the best artisans on Vancouver Island--and abroad as well--and is a Must Not Miss for anyone who loves this sort of thing. In other words, we couldn't wait!

We got up early that day and enjoyed the scenic drive to Comox, finally arriving to park conveniently nearby. It wasn't hard to know which way to go—just follow the stream of people flowing down the upscale shop-filled streets towards the festival! The gradually increasing sound of upbeat world-style music also told us we were getting close and made us even more giddy. Held on the grounds of a historic park and ringed by high, ivy-covered fencing, we entered the vast estate grounds with wide eyes and huge smiles. Steve led the way with jovial conversation as we got our tickets and hand stamps. Minutes later we were moving towards the tantalizing artwork just visible at booths at the edge of the festival.

The Amazing Filberg Festival
SO MANY BOOTHS! Stretching out in long rows in a fairly haphazard fashion, the seemingly countless kiosks were filled with every kind of artwork and high-end crafts that you could imagine. Paintings, woodworking items, jewelry and murals. Big and small clockworks, tiny electric art-doo-hickies, gorgeous ceramics and even food-as-decadent artwork to eat! Glass-blowing marvels, metal artwork, intricately sown quilts and one-of-a-kind clothing. Racks brimming with beautiful hats of all kinds, incredible gameboards made from exotic woods, dazzling windchimes that filled our ears with nature's music...it went on and on. The variety and exquisite quality of nearly everything presented was simply boggling! A key reason of this show's exceptional quality was the fact that every vendor was juried and only the best artisans were given the nod to be there. It was, without question, the very best art and craft-type show we'd ever visited. WOW!

Many happy, awe-struck hours were spent there as we soaked up this delicious and amazing show. The reverberating sound of music and deep drum beats immersed us even more as we walked around and we had an absolutely fabulous time. In fact, we couldn't help repeating how totally blown away by all that was offered.

You may think it's odd but we didn't buy a single thing! The fact is, we aren't souvenir collectors like we once were. And in any event, we expected the prices would be inflated and beyond our means. However, though the asking prices were often jaw-dropping and laughably ludicrous, we were also surprised by the number of reasonable prices too. We did keep our eyes open in case something screamed at us to bring it home, but in the end we were happy to just look, and that was fine with us.

I know what you're thinking: where are the pictures?!! Well, guess what? We didn't take any! Over the years we've learned that vendors don't often like their wares photographed. Some are fine with it—they even encourage photography—but a great many are less than enthusiastic and some will bounce up and down with fury that you would dare to photograph their goods. That adds up to a great big NOPE! in our books. Much better to just enjoy the day and remember the fun we had. And that's exactly what we did!

(If you're interested in seeing pictures of some of the superior craftsmanship offered at the Filberg Festival, here are some images of the festival crowds, the grounds and musicians (click) . I also found a page which shows some artwork exhibited by one artist...it's amazing!! Wanda Designs: Painted Teapots Finally, there is a very interesting video about the history of the festival and also shows the quality of the art found at this event (click).)

Royston Ship Wrecks
After we were completely satisfied, we left the show and headed back towards Parksville. On the other side of the large bay where the festival was held, there was a place we didn't want to miss. Often missed by travelers, Royston is the home of 14 scuttled ships that were intentionally sunk to make a breakwater for calmer waters in the area.

Unfortunately we arrived at high-tide and that meant that most of the wrecks were below water. BUMMER! We weren't able to see much but we still had a great time taking pictures and enjoying the incredible beauty of the area. To make matters worse, I found out after we got back that I'd forgotten to replace the memory card in my Sony camera—so all of the pictures I took that day were merely vaporware. BUMMER SQUARED! However, I did have a few shots from my phone so at least I can share a couple.

Researching the Royston Wrecks turned up some very interesting history. Royston was once the home to many busy lumber mills (closed now) which floated logs down the coast from Comox Harbor to the mills in Royston. The area's rough waters and unpredictable seas could be very dangerous, so a host of decommissioned ships were strategically positioned and then sunk to create calm waters in the bay. (In case you're interested,... I found a video which shows some of these ships when they were in their hey-day. I was unexpectedly moved nearly to the point of tears to see what they used to look like and now, just rusted skeletons. The video is fascinating and somewhat heartbreaking to see!

Our First Eagle Sighting!
After our visit to Royston, we continued our drive down the lovely coast—when suddenly Steve gasped and pulled over, yelling, "IT'S A BALD EAGLE!!!" He rolled down his window so we could get a good look. Sitting at the very edge of some rocks leading into the bay was indeed, a real, live Bald Eagle! It was so far away that our hasty phone pictures merely show a dark blob with a white head but we were beside ourselves with joy! We've only seen one in the United States—and we weren't even positive the white-headed raptor flying away from us was a Bald Eagle. However, the bird we were goggling at right then was absolutely and without a doubt, a Bald Eagle! HOORAY!!!

We hopped out of the truck with the hopes of slowly approaching just a bit closer, but as we were crossing the highway, the regal bird leaped into the air, flapped his wings and took off over the water and out of our lives forever. Oh the sad, mournful tears of defeat! :D (Of course, I wouldn't have been so bummed had I known that just a few days later I'd get a Bucket List picture that makes me beam every time I see it!)

We Found a Local Seafood Shop!
Once again heading south, Steve and I jabbered happily about our first Bald Eagle sighting while we enjoyed the lovely coastal route along the many named bays from Comox to Parksville.

Then Steve saw a run-down seafood shop and said the name, "Baynes Sound Oyster Co." With a grin, he pulled into the parking area and added, "Let's get some!"

You must understand something about Steve. He loves seafood. Fish, octopus, shrimp, crabs…you name it, he loves it! In fact, his enthusiasm and stellar ability to coax me with the right fish was so good that he was even successful at turning me into a sushi fiend, when I wouldn't even consider it in the past! I didn't have a problem with cooked fish. But raw fish? Who was he kidding?! But I have to laugh because it's true--sushi is my favorite food, and it's all because of Steve!

We'd been trying to find a seafood store that wasn't priced for tourists and this place was exactly what we were looking for! The place was basically a wreck. Baynes Sound Oyster Company operated its retail business out of a run down, dingy white building in dire need of a paint job. The cringe-worthy sight was complete with a sign that was nearly impossible to read. We could tell it was obviously a place where locals bought their seafood. Where's the fish?! We're all in!

Opening the classic, creaky, old-time door with a jangling bell on a string to alert the keeper, we stepped in and I wrinkled my nose at the smell. Quickly recovering my manners, I repaired my expression to a pleasantly smiling one and looked around at the meager attempt to create a shop. A long, low, glass-lined freezer stared back at us. Next to it was a worn counter and an old cash register. Cobwebs hung in the corners of the dingy walls, flickering fluorescent tubes offering the only light in the otherwise dim cave.

A crusty old man, roused from whatever he'd been doing beyond our view, stood and shuffled over with a rather crabby look on his face. I don't think he was very happy to be interrupted but resigned himself to waiting on us. Steve struck up a lively conversation to break the silence and soon they were jabbering away. We picked out some lovely-looking red snapper for our dinner and Steve picked out a large tub of shucked oysters.

The oysters, I might add, would be ALLLLLL for him. The only way I'll eat oysters or clams is in a chip dip. Otherwise, no way, Jose! I've tried them over and over again, and they're either nasty chewing gum or a glob of the most horrendous er, sorry, phlegm I've had to choke down. No can do honey, they're all for you! "MORE FOR ME!!" is always Steve's delighted answer, though to be honest, he really wishes that I enjoyed them so we could share the goodies when he buys them.

Braving Hell's Wall of Stench!
I spotted something on the side of the building as we approached the shop so I told Steve I was stepping outside for some pictures before we left. Thanking the owner, I left and headed towards the side of the building.

That's when it hit me.

A wall of stench so foul that I felt all of my hair begin to curl. And fall out. I couldn't help myself from exclaiming, "OMG…THE SMELL!!!" It was so horrible and strong that the air felt thick and difficult to walk through.

I rounded the corner. There was the source of this unbelievable, putrid cloud of doom. Multiple enormous piles of oyster shells glowered down at me from a staggering height of six feet or more. Next to the piles was an entire MOUNTAIN of fuming shells which blocked the view of the bay beyond. The hill of stink breathed its wafting, foul breath at me and I imagined this is what Jabba the Hut must smell like. Seriously gross.

With watering eyes and a rigid determination, I took pictures of the fetid mounds. I wondered mockingly…could I possibly be losing years of my life as I stood here trying not to vomit?! Chuckling to myself, I couldn't deny how cool those piles of shells looked. Smelly or not, I loved the shapes of these cast-off piles!

Then I noticed the bay beyond the shop and boats moored there. SO PRETTY! What a contrast, eh?!

With all the pictures I wanted to take, I did an about-face and got out of there as fast as I could. Still, I had to literally fan my body before I got into the truck and even after I did that, Steve wrinkled his nose and stared at me. "WHAT is that SMELL!!!" LOL! What a wonderful last stop on our adventurous day!

Today's Pictures
My main picture today is the boat-filled bay out behind the Baynes Sound Oyster Company. I am surprised how peaceful it turned out looking. Especially with such horrendous smells so close by! In fact, I believe every one of those vessels used for gathering oysters, so the stink is everywhere! RUN AWAY!! :D

Insets include my itty bitty eagle pictures, two from the Royston Wrecks site and two images of the mounds of reeking oyster shells!

Pam, what you think about seafood? I know you love it but what's your favorite? And what do you hate? Along with oysters and clams, I won't eat octopus or squid (rubbery and awful--and even cooked well I hate it), any sea urchin-type stuff, nor will I eat strong "fishy" tasting fish like mackerel or anchovies…EWWWW!!! I love trout, salmon, steelhead, bass, and all sorts of other fish like sole, flatfish, snapper, tuna, and plenty of others…as long as it's not strong-flavored, I'm all over it! And of course, sushi is my favorite! #1: Hamachi sashimi! What about you? I know you love fish--I don't remember if you told me your favorites or least favorites though! :) *HUGS FROM SOUTHERN OREGON* :)

Explored on 2/17/20; highest placement #4.

Helena Ferreira, RHH, Trudy Tuinstra, Berny and 42 other people have particularly liked this photo

34 comments - The latest ones
Ruth club
Superb shot Janet and a wonderful read my friend.
4 months ago.
uwschu club
Herrliche Weite, das sind meine bevorzugten Urlaubsgegenden. Wasser muss sein
4 months ago.
╰☆☆June☆☆╮ club
★彡 Good work. Have a lovely new week 彡★
4 months ago.
 Boarischa Krautmo
Boarischa Krautmo club
beautiful picture - and really bad luck with that eagle... these guys are really shy.....
4 months ago.
 Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen club
Can almost hear the silence ...
... lovely soft colours Janet.
4 months ago.
ColRam club
4 months ago.
Nouchetdu38 club
Great series!!!!!!
Have a lovely and peaceful new week!********
4 months ago.
 William Sutherland
William Sutherland club
Wonderful series!

Admired in:
4 months ago.
 Ulrich John
Ulrich John club
Fine work, Janet ! Have a very nice week ahead !
4 months ago.
 Josiane Dirickx
Josiane Dirickx club
Très beaux tous ces clichés, profitez bien de votre semaine et partagé avec nous vos belles photos ***********************
4 months ago.
 Nicole Merdrignac
Nicole Merdrignac club
Très belle photo avec notes. Nicole.
4 months ago.
 Roger (Grisly)
Roger (Grisly) club
Wonderful narrative and an interesting set of images especially the main image and the bald Eagle, I enjoy sharing your adventures Janet.
4 months ago.
 Kama 56
Kama 56 club
Superbe panorama
4 months ago.
 Peter Castell
Peter Castell club
Wonderful panorama
4 months ago.
Kenny club
Lovely shots
4 months ago.
Kawasirius club
Belle série sur cette baie ! Heureusement que nos appareils numériques n'enregistrent pas l'odeur de ces tas d'huitres en attente .....
Je vous souhaite une bonne journée, Janet !
4 months ago.
 Vijay Uppar
Vijay Uppar
Your outstanding performance to captured whole Beauty in one frame and beautiful compliments.
4 months ago.
 Pam J
Pam J club


4 months ago.
annaig56 club
très beau panorama
4 months ago.
 Herb Riddle
Herb Riddle club
A great scene. A lovely tranquil moment here. Great PiPs too. We saw many bald eagles in Alaska. A great sight indeed.

4 months ago.
Annemarie club
also the insets
4 months ago.
trester88 club
Eine wunderschöne Seenlandschaft! Ich mag die Ruhe, die das Panorama ausstrahlt. Aber es scheint auch ein gefährliches Gewässer zu sein, wie die Schiffswracks vermuten lassen. Eine beeindruckende Serie, Janet!
4 months ago.
 Rainer Blankermann
Rainer Blankermann club
A nice series. I would like to spend my holidays in this quiet area, which is not affected by tourism!
I wish you a relaxing week, Janet!
4 months ago.
 Jenny McIntyre
Jenny McIntyre club
What an incredible story, Janet. You really do know how to engage your reader and get them to really want to go and stay where you've visited. I for one would really love to visit this place, you made it sound so beautiful and exciting. I can fully understand why you two want to visit it again only this time for a longer time, so you can enjoy each different aspect properly. I just love the idea of keeping the old ships under the water to stop floods. Rather sad, but it does mean the boats still manage to be useful.
4 months ago. Edited 4 months ago.
 Keith Burton
Keith Burton club
A smashing main image...............lovely little boats, glorious sunshine and super reflections and a distinct air of calm and tranquility..!!

The PiPs: I like your phone shots from the Royston Wrecks site.............they look fascinating and it's such a shame the tide wasn't more favourable for you. I'm still laughing at the Bald Eagle images :-))), but at least you got a "record" shot to prove you weren't imagining it.

As for the images of the discarded oyster shells.................I can't say that I share your fascination and I'm just glad we don't have smelly-vision :-))) Lucky you weren't tempted to try some macro shots..!!

I enjoyed reading your narrative.................and thanks for sharing the links. I've had a quick look at the Festival video, and have saved it to have a longer look later. I enjoyed the one about the Royston Wrecks...........it's always sad to see the wreck of a ship and I can fully understand why it affected you as it did.

My fave link was the one that lead to those awesome teapots!
4 months ago.
Betty【ツ】 club
Congrats on Explore! Like the pips too!
4 months ago.
Valfal club
A great series, and wonderful travelogue! Wow, good on you for finding a bald eagle and snapping a picture! I had the same thrill about 3 years ago while on a walk near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Havre de Grace, Maryland. It was my first ever sighting and I tried to capture it as best as I could, but of course, the picture does no justice to what I saw! There is a small flock of them that live around that area and the near the Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River, so I am hoping to have another opportunity for bird-watching and picture-taking this coming spring and summer! Have a great week, Pod Sister! :-))
4 months ago.
cammino club
You have had wonderful experiences in this beautiful area (with the exception of the stinking waste). To see an eagle must be a great experience, recently white-tailed eagles have been appearing on some of our lakes, but I have not seen one yet. And I don't like raw oysters either, but in many restaurants they are baked with spicy sauces and then I like them very much.
4 months ago.
Ruesterstaude club
Liebe Janet! Deine blumigen Reiseberichte: Wenn du ins Rentenalter kommst , hast du bestimmt keine Langeweile beim Nachlesen all dieser schönen Erlebnisse und weil sie nicht stinken, ohne Übergeben. Hoffentlich existieren die dann noch im Internet - oder speicherst du alles sebst ab?
Schöne Grüße aus old Germany!
4 months ago.
 Rosalyn Hilborne
Rosalyn Hilborne club
A super series Janet. I love the PiP with your thoughts on it ;-))
4 months ago.
Ecobird club
A lovely series of images Janet and for me your diary notes were absolutely facsinating. I love taking photos but sometimes it is just good to enjoy the sights. Have a great day
4 months ago.
 Trudy Tuinstra
Trudy Tuinstra club
thanks for these
4 months ago.
RHH club
What a beautiful sunny scene. Seems so remote and impossible here in the desert, and inviting, too. Love the insets, too, and sorry you did not get to see the wrecks at low tide. That would have been awesome. The photos of that area are wonderful, though, and I love the panoramas.

As to Carlsbad Caverns, they are especially nice because you don't have to go on a guided tour. You get your pass and can either take the elevator down or walk in through the natural entrance and go out again either way and you can take your time ambling through the caverns.

They tell you not to touch an formations as even the oil from fingers discolors the formations and destroys them. The caves are not as lighted as in the past either because the light encourages fungus and raises slightly the ambient temperature of the caves. Should have taken a light.

I would imagine that putting in the walkways for tourists destroyed a lot of formations, but at least a lot of the cave is still preserved in its natural state. You can get caver tours as well that take you to other areas of the cave where tourists can't go. Not sure, though, if that costs anything.

It's amazing, too, as you walk through the tourist areas how many formations are broken. I would imagine that happened in the past before the caverns became a national park, but it is still a shame. People just do not seem to care about preserving such beautiful places.

We had some awesome experiences the last few weeks. Probably did around 50 miles of hiking and the biking and kayaking were great, too. Very tired last night and felt like I was done, but feeling better this morning. Nancy is like the energizer bunny and never tires.

Headed for White Sands National Park and then Grand Canyon and then we'll decide whether or not we are going on to Arches and/or Canyonlands or just heading home. Home is starting to look and sound good and we are missing Neal and the other family members, too.
4 months ago.
 David Dahle
David Dahle club
Re: stench... I can understand and sympathize in regards to a cloud of stench hanging on you after looking at the piles of shells. Years ago, when I worked as a meter tester, one time I had to fetch a meter that was for a hog finishing barn (where they're fattened up to market weight)... the meter cabinet was located directly beneath one of the numerous exhaust fans. After I finished testing, cleaning, and calibrating the meter, I put it back in place and, before getting back in my truck to go to the next site, I actually took off my winter coat (even though it was in the teens / 20s) and shook it out to try and dispel some of the odor...!
3 months ago.

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