The St. Louis Ghost Light


Navigator Newspaper graphic designer Zyre Hoskins created this image for the article’s centre spread.

The first time I saw the St. Louis Ghost Light I didn’t know what I was looking at. I was seventeen years old at the time and did not believe in ghosts.

One of my earliest childhood memories was of a strange cloud in the basement of our home. The room had inexplicably filled with a greenish fog that slowly rolled together and transformed into a human-like shape. My ears rang and my body froze. I tried to breath. It was something I did not want to see. Somehow, I broke the spell and ran. My mom told me I was imagining things, but I learned as an adult she had seen things herself.

Over the years, I sometimes woke to see that green cloud hovering over me. Not just in one home either. I would close my eyes and hide beneath the cover of my blankets. As I grew older, I slowly realized that the cloud was a figment of my imagination. I was half asleep. It was not real. It would be years before someone else saw it at the same time as me.

When I was seventeen though, I no longer believed in ghosts. The cloud wasn’t real. I thought I had grown up – but really, I was just naive.

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Mushrooms of the West Coast

Mushrooms of the West Coast was an introductory identification and foraging class taught by Andy MacKinnon and Erin Feldman out of the Tofino Botanical Garden Ecolodge. These annual workshops are hosted by Raincoast Education Society and have now been offered on Thanksgiving weekend for several years in a row.

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My Social Media Fast and the I Digher

This summer, I spent my time in Tofino on a social media fast working on the I Digher, a 1961 decommissioned gillnetter with a built-in living space. I purchased the old boat last summer, with the intention of using it primarily as a living space when in Tofino (writing and surfing), and secondarily as a vehicle for exploration, fishing, and adventure for next summer (2017) – a dream I have had for as long as I remember.

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Campfire Ghost Story: Keeha Beach Vancouver Island

Campfire Ghost Story: Keeha Beach Vancouver Island

This is a personal account of an unexplained experience I had on Keeha Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island during the late 90s. Keeha (sometimes Keaha) Beach is part of “the Graveyard of the Pacific,” a stretch of water that has claimed thousands of vessels and lives. To the south of the beach is Pachena Point, where people have reported seeing the ghost ship SS Valencia, and to the north is an abandoned First Nation village some have claimed is haunted as well. Many people have claimed to have had “spiritual” experiences here.

Towards the end of the video I also share the release date of my upcoming book!

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Staqeya: Sacred Wolf of the Songhees

The 25-foot Amanda Anne plows through the frigid February waters of the Juan De Fuca Strait. Somewhere in the darkness ahead of us are the islands habituated by a wolf many in the Songhees First Nation believe is sacred.

Campers were the first to report a lone wolf on Discovery Island, east of Victoria, in 2012. Conservation officers dismissed the sightings as mistaken identity. Perhaps a dog had been abandoned on the island? While coastal wolves have been known to swim short distances, it seemed unlikely that this one would have swam the five km. from the city of Victoria.

However, Songhees First Nations members and conservation officers have since confirmed that the skittish animal is a coastal wolf. Discovery Island is part marine provincial park, part Songhees reserve land, but the wolf has also been spotted on various other islands nearby, including First Nations reserve lands such as the Chatham Islands. It has been dubbed Staqeya by the Songhees, which means “wolf” in their Coast Salish Dialect.

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