Botanical Beach trip report – Mar. 16, 2019

Twenty enthusiastic Nature Nanaimo members boarded “Janie’s Got A Bus” last Saturday morning and headed across the island to Port Renfrew and Botanical Beach for some nature enjoyment under a beautiful blue sky. We stopped along the way for views of the massive Harris Creek Sitka spruce, Harris creek and a small canyon, as well as picturesque Lizard and Fairly lakes. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the Port Renfrew Pub before our main attraction – the amazing intertidal life of Botanical Beach. You reach the beach following a gentle downhill walk (which was not quite as gentle on the way back). Members spent three hours exploring the rock beach and tidal pools which are adorned with a great diversity of living things – seaweeds in all sizes, shapes and colours, mussels and gooseneck barnacles, limpets and chitons, crabs of various sizes and many anemones and urchins. We were also fortunate to observe a number of bright red sea stars (“starfish”) – hopefully marking the beginning a major comeback for sea star populations that were devastated by disease along the entire west coast. Below are a collection of wonderful photos taken by Lynda Stevens who kindly offered to share for your viewing pleasure. I suspect trips to Botanical Beach will become popular repeat events for our club. And a big thanks to Janie for her expertise and getting us safely and comfortably to our destination and back home. 😊