Comparing islands


As mentioned in the previous post, there are many differences and commonalities between our current home Newfoundland, and our future home Vancouver Island.

The map images above are on the same scale, so you can clearly see Newfoundland is much larger. We aren’t going to notice this in our day to day life though because that will most likely take place within easy driving distance of Nanaimo, where Marije works. Here in Newfoundland, a typical workday for me involves driving anywhere from 60 to 300 km, depending on the weather, and driving around like this is also very much possible on Vancouver Island.

An obvious difference between these maps is the colour. Large parts of Vancouver Island and British Columbia are coloured rusty red, while Newfoundland is green and yellow. This of course indicates the increased elevation found on the west coast. Here in Newfoundland when I go out on a hike, I typically walk between sea level and about 200 m above sea level. Trails on Vancouver Island will be more challenging perhaps? I’ll find out when I get there.

Differences in geology are not just evident in the elevation profile, but also in the news. Vancouver Island is susceptible to earthquakes, so that’s a little disturbing. I don’t know much about earthquakes, I’ve never experienced one before. Here in Newfoundland nature tends to strike in a different way, with powerful hurricanes that damage the coast every other year.

As far as the wildlife is concerned, I will have to learn about a whole new set of animals to watch for. I enjoy watching wildlife, both on the water and in the forest. Vancouver Island and Newfoundland share a few basic Canadian mainstays such as the Beaver, but there are also a lot of new animals to look forward to. While we do have Black bears in Newfoundland, they do not live in our area. Our new home however, has Black bears living right on our doorstep. It’s going to take some getting used to, walking among bears, but I understand it’s not an issue as long as you’re careful and ‘bear aware’.

Instead of Capelin spawning on beaches, Vancouver Island has Herring and Salmon spawning events. Herring draws in all sorts of marine wildlife, Salmon attracts bears. Both will be exciting to watch!

The climate is different too. While the west coast is known for being wet, weather statistics I’ve seen actually show that Newfoundland is wetter… Vancouver Island is milder all around, less cold, less precipitation, no harsh winters. I understand that you’re allowed to say ‘it’s cold’ on days below 10° Celsius… Don’t try that in Newfoundland, it’s snowing outside as I’m typing this on May 7th…


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