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much like she was in the 40’s. On Thursday May 24, the newly restored Saravan was finally put back in the water as a heritage vessel. The small group of volunteers that have spent almost two years of effort scraping the hull, replacing planks, rebuilding the stern, rewiring her and so much more were on hand to enjoy the relaunching, knowing that they have given her many more years of life, and that she will be the pride of the Ladysmith Maritime Society and its members. Plans call for her to be entered in many wooden boats shows, so that the public can admire the beauty that wooden boats represent and appreciate the hard work that this small group of volunteers have supplied.

Georgia Strait. The waters of the Pacific Northwest have come to be known throughout the world as the Emerald Sea. During the summer of 2011 local divemaster Gord Bell led divers visiting our waters from Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Israel, Switzerland, Australia, Netherlands, and Spain. For those of us that live here there is so much to be appreciated and protect for our children and the generations to follow. Diving with killer whales and blue sharks is an uncommon occurrence in our coastal waters but diving with giant pacific octopus and wolf eels is normal. We are fortunate to have a variety of rockfish to view, but their numbers are diminishing. Numerous varieties of beautiful nudibranchs and seastars live in our waters. Intriguing ratfish swim by fortunate scuba divers. For the adventurous and those physically able, scuba diving is an incredible way to appreciate the variety and beauty of life in Georgia Strait. Those not able to dive can appreciate the life through the photographs and videos taken by scuba divers. Scientists tell us that only a small percentage of life in our waters is known at this time. Sadly we know that the number of species threatened or endangered is increasing. The time is now to appreciate the diversity, as we presently have 113 species of the Salish Sea listed as threatened or endangered which has almost doubled from the 64 listed in 2008. www.seadocsociety. org/species-of-concern-2011 .

A Diver’s Perspective BY KATHLEEN FENNER We are fortunate to live in an area filled with fascinating and diverse underwater life. Recreational scuba divers get a glimpse of Georgia Strait’s biodiversity, exploring life in the top 130 feet of the ocean. Georgia Strait is filled with invertebrates, fish, and mammals. As a recreational scuba diver I’ve been fortunate enough while diving to view diverse life in Georgia Strait including tiny nudibranchs, a blue shark and killer whales. Even after hundreds of dives there is always something new to be seen. Many people from around the world come to see the life in Above: Killer Whale. Photo: Gord Bell


Pirates and kids enjoyed the Ladysmith Maritime Festival.

Take 5 June  

Be A Home Town Tourist is here in June come out and discover all we have in our own back yard.