LITTLE VALLEY: JUSTIN YARETZ

Our young residents reflect on the home they’re growing up in.

 


 

Age 12

My name is Justin, and I am a very active boy who loves the outdoors. My favorite summer sports are BMX racing and mountain biking, and in the winter I love playing hockey! When springtime arrives, and when we aren’t at a BMX track, my dad gets the boat ready and off to the ocean we go!

I have lived in Cumberland since I was 10 months old, and we have been boating on the waters off the east coast of Vancouver Island ever since. From the Gulf Islands through the Strait of Georgia to Desolation Sound, my favourite place to boat to is Cortes Island.

When I think about the ocean I think about my family and the fun boating adventures and vacations we take together when the season starts. We start planning our boating trips as early as January! We have a boat that sleeps four people, with a bed in the bow and a bed in the stern. It also has a “head,” the boating term for bathroom. There is a small galley kitchen and lots of storage for food, a sitting area and swim platform up top.

When we drop anchor for the night, I find it very quiet and peaceful. When it gets really dark out, we go up on deck and watch the water. Eventually we can see the fish moving because of the phosphorescence. These are glow-in-the-dark emissions that are activated by light exposure in certain underwater organisms. We like to activate the phosphorescence by getting a paddle and moving it in the water.

We meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world. We have met people who have sailed from California up the Pacific Ocean to Desolation Sound.

The worst part about our boat adventures is the bad weather we sometimes come across. No matter how much we plan, prepare and watch the weather, it sometimes takes a bad turn and we get caught in big waves. Knowing that my dad, my mom, my brother and I all have our boater’s licenses means we are prepared to work together and get through it. In my opinion, the best part about our boat is the little two-man dinghy and its two horsepower motor we take with us. When we drop anchor my brother and I use it to fish, explore the shores, and just have a fun time.

I have learned that the ocean is a great place to be. It’s relaxing and stress-relieving, even for a 12-year-old. It can also be very dangerous when you least expect it. So be prepared, plan ahead, and just have fun! When you live on the boat for two weeks at a time, you don’t go door-to-door asking your friends to come out to play. You get in the dinghy and go boat-to-boat!