Of all the places I’ve been, home is the most beautiful. It’s funny, though; I didn’t realize it until I left. I grew up on the west coast of Canada, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. On clear days, Mt. Baker stands tall against the sky. To the south, the Olympic mountain range thrusts upwards while the ocean laps at its feet. A short jaunt from nearly anywhere on the island puts you in the middle of some of the most incredible landscapes on earth–towering trees scent the air with pine and cedar while the moss growing on nearly everything dampens the sounds. The ocean is around every corner; rocky outcrops battered by wind and rain guard the coast while small, empty, driftwood-covered beaches decorate the seascape. Everything is quieter among the trees that ring every community, and the people who live there, for the most part, take full advantage.
While there are amazing waves along the Island’s west coast–places like Tofino, for example–kiting is a popular pastime. A multitude of islands dot the area and they stretch all the way up, reaching north like spindly fingers. Small, shallow bays, often backed by empty white sand beaches are numerous on those islands, and with the help of a boat and a sense of adventure, it’s entirely possible to feel as though you’re the only person on earth.
Spring Island is one of those places. It’s tiny and rugged, populated by wolves, eagles, and all manner of wilderness. Adventuring to islands like Spring (although I’ve never been there myself) is part of growing up in the area. The Manera team, consisting of Pauline Valesa, David Tonijuan, Paul Serin, Camille Delannoy, and Etienne Lhote, went there, set up camp, and lived in the moment for seven days. “Even if the conditions are sometimes rough, changeable, and unpredictable, we would not exchange our seats for a more classic destination,” they wrote. “Cold weather, adventure, and lack of comfort create lasting memories that only those who have experienced them can understand. Our mind still shivers at the memory of these sessions. Our hands are still shaking at the frozen memory of that water.”