Work and writing by Stacy Thomas
I am a bath person. I must confess that I would rather take a bath than make love, eat, shop or exercise. When in a good hot bath, I don’t read, I don’t think, I don’t even wash. I meditate. It is the only place in the world –– besides perhaps the top of a mountain which I have just climbed –– where I can turn off my never ending self examination and just sit. Or lie, as it may be.
I have just had, hands down, the best bath of my life. It’s early morning, my boyfriend’s still asleep, just a messy clump of little boy brown hair sticks out from under the white billowy blankets. I saw my chance for some water-solitude and snuck out of bed at a quarter to seven. Finally, the tub to myself.
The bathtub itself is huge, pearly white, modern and deep. The sides come up to above my shoulders. Windows reveal the churning, stormy ocean, not twenty feet from where I languish and splash about with my society magazine, reading about fashion icons and car releases. The water is high, as high as I want it to be, and endlessly hot.
I feel free and at peace, the cold sea breeze cooling the hot water on my face and shoulders. I feel truly decadent, a rare, rare, feeling. I feel like an heiress. Apart from the crashing waves on the rocks and the occasional soft snore from the bed, all I hear is the flapping of canvas in the wind.
Oh yes, by the way, we are in a tent. A lovely, lushly appointed yurt nestled in the rocks surrounding Secret Cove, about a forty-five minute drive north of Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast of B.C.
It is our second stay at Rockwater Secret Cove Resort, and they have put us up in the coveted #60, as close to the ocean as you can get, and private. Yesterday we sunbathed naked on our deck for all the fishermen and tugboat pilots to see, and last night I got out of bed in the middle of the night to just make sure that our yurt wasn’t being enveloped by the ocean; the waves were that close and the storm that loud.
The suites are nothing if not elegant. The japanese pagoda-style rooms have heated stone-tiled floors, gas-burning fireplaces which never go cold, spa tubs, king-size beds, shoji doors which add to the japanese aesthetic, and spacious, airy showers with rain-shower heads. If you can’t bear to leave the suite to eat, the resort offers (pricey) room-service from its high scale restaurant.
The yurts are spread out along the rocky bluffs above Secret Cove, and are connected by long, raised wooden walkways that wind their way through the pine and arbutus trees. At night the walk to and from your suite is a charming stroll through the flickering lights from the other tents, and the stars overhead. By day, you can gaze out at the Strait of Georgia.
The accommodations offer all the charm of staying in a tent and all the perks of a luxury hotel. The windows are plastic and zip open. The curtains are canvas flaps that roll up and velcro into place. You’d think it would be cold but with the fireplace, heated floors and reliably powerful space heaters, they achieve a coziness not attainable in a wood and concrete structure. The elements are kept at bay only by a single sheet of canvas. We are reminded of our dependence on technology to survive, or at least to be comfortable.
With the charms of tenting it come the classic drawbacks of tenting it. If it rains through the night, you’re pretty much screwed for sleep, because it’s loud. And much like the campgrounds of your childhood, get used to your neighbours fast because you’re going to hear every sound they make, high heels on stone tile included. I found playing jazz at a nice steady volume remedied that nicely.
As I look out now through the double doors that open on to our private deck, all I can see is water. I could throw a rock from my chair and it would land in the ocean. I can hear the waves hitting the rocks below me and the rain on the canvas roof. This is camping deluxe, “roughing it” for the true nature-phobe. For me it’s a connection between my past and where I am now. The yurt is reminiscent of the old tent-trailer we used to camp in when we were kids; but the luxury reminds me that I’m a grown up now, with refined tastes, like sitting in a bathtub, watching boats on the ocean.