Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Bear Who Viewed the People

In Bute Inlet boats of tourists arrive daily to watch the grizzlies from various viewing stations. One bear wanted to return the favor...

Our early rising guests, Carly and Gerry, were startled to see a grizzly bear standing on a nearby abandoned dock structure looking at them intently. The salmon carcass intended for crab bait must have been a tantalizing smell. The bear sniffed for a while considered the situation and turned his attention to doing his own fishing.

The four of us spend part of two days watching grizzlies and the enjoying the majesty of Butte Inlet.

On our final days in BC. more records were broken. Gerry caught the biggest coho that we have caught - 16lbs. Carly is pictured with our record breaking prawn pull.

Our last days in Desolation Sound once again denied Captain Vancouver's name for what he determined was the most desolate place on earth. The weather was magnificent and the sunsets and sun rises glorious. A nice ending to a wonderful season of boating!

Enjoy the video of the us viewing the bear and know that turn about is fair play - our turn to view!
We hope you enjoy the video of the bear preparing for winter. Quite a show!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lefse, Ling and Octopus Soup

All season Doug and I have longed to catch ling cod and have had an ongoing contest for catching the biggest rock fish.
Rick shattered my record rock fish and caught more and bigger ling in a few days than we caught all season. AND he has pictures to prove it!

However, we ponder the question of which has the bigger mouth Rick or ling.

We have few pictures of Beck and Rick's time with us because we feared water damage to our camera equipment. It poured for most of four days.

Beck braved the elements to shuck oysters that are reportedly for Dale.

It may surprise some of you who know Beck that she tasted (and professed to like) our octopus soup. I am not sure she enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed the lefse she brought to share with us.

Next year we will try for better weather and the hope that Rick breaks our record salmon of 38 lbs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Would There Be a Naturalist Aboard?

Jeff and Bill joined us in Campbell River for four days. The first day was spend in Bird Cove gathering oysters, crab, prawns and clams for our foray up into Pendrell Sound that has waters that exceed 70 degrees. The Sound is the major producer of oyster spat for British Columbia. We swam, ate, laughed and ate some more.

For those of you who do not know Jan's brother, Jeff, it may come as a surprise to you that he was a gifted student of marine biology at age 10 and began taking college courses in junior high. His knowledge and personality made him a favorite with the older students who were somewhat amazed that he was first in the class.

During his stay we never managed to send him to research to identify the various species we encountered. Often he shared the Latin name as well as genus and phylum information. Just like biology with Mr. Smith.

After several days of fun and a last supper of paella, we returned our guests to Cortes Cove where they caught a float plane home. The nomads motored to Bird Cove where we used to live.

Soon after our guests returned to real life, we were stumped with a strange starfish found in our prawn pot. Neither of us had seen anything quite like it. A photo shot through the internet. Our own personal naturalist identified it as a rare basket starfish. The tendrils were wrapped around a sea worm with a hard shell. I fear that lunch was interrupted.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Nations Culture

Throughout the Broughtons there is evidence of aboriginal First Nations people.

Some of the best petroglyphs are found on Robber's Knob in Port Neville. Robber's Knob is built on a huge mound of clam shells (a midden) thought to be more than 8000 years old. It is easy to picture Aboriginals eating clams as they carved sea monsters and creatures into the rocks.

Unlike a petroglyph, a pictograph is painted on the rocks using natural pigments. Aboriginal artists selected white lichen free and south facing cliffs. Two exceptional examples are found in Allison Sound. One pictograph shows a three masted vessel with several long boats. Occupants of the long boats carry guns and wear broad brimmed hats. One of the longboats has a sail and the other has 12 oars. There is an orca whale off to the side. The second shows six small canoes facing a larger vessel.

Both Allison Sound pictographs are thought to commemorate the attack by the Nakwaktok Indians on the Thornton in 1868. In retaliation for the attack the Thornton shelled Village Cove in Mereworth Sound.

Modern first nation culture can be visited at Alert Bay. The Indian Cemetery has commemorative totems as head stones. There is dancing several times a week in the long house which seats 1000 people. Dancers range from three years of age to adults. Global BC was filming the dancing and interviewed Debra and Jan. The clip has aired and to date there have been no movie offers.

As soon as I become a more proficient editor, I will put a dance video of the Welcome Dance at Alert Bay.