Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sharing the Season's End with Friends

Mother Nature Sends Us South:

It was late August in the Burke and we expected a lovely Indian Summer with warm days and cool nights.  Hali fishing was poor so we relocated to a prawning ground as we heard of an impending storm.  Snug in our anchorage, we were reminded that mother nature has no master and a beautiful Indian Summer became just a dream.  Winds hit 60 knots at McGinness and the rain pelted down

When the winds calmed we headed south.  We fueled in Port McNeill and spent time at our favorite marina. From there we navigated the tidal rapids to Powell River.  Many of our friends can be called our Canada/Mexico friends.  Among those are Marion and San.

A Canada/Mexico Connection:

I think that it was raining too hard in Powell River to get a clear picture so I had to go to the archives for this photo.  Powell River has an interesting history and we received a first rate tour.  San has lived in Powell River for more than 50 years.  I tried to imagine growing up in a mill town where housing was provided - you lived on a street that denoted your position in the mill.

While San and Marion are among our more recent friends, Jim and I grew up together and have been friends for more than 50 years and Masa for more than 25 years.  We did a different trip south this year - a leisurely tour of the Canadian Gulf Islands and the American San Juan Islands.

The Happy Crabbers:

Masa showed an interest in and an aptitude for crabbing.  He and Doug did well in Ganges Harbour.

Roche Harbor:

Jeff and Bill's Place:

Wind Blown on the Bow:

Goodbyes in Everett:

It is fitting that we said our goodbyes in Everett so close to where Jim and I grew up!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Reel Dreams

Doug started his son and nephew fishing when they were little guys.  Then they dreamed of big walleye  but not so much these days.  Heard tell that they dreamed of a BC fishing trip.  Hopefully, our time together was the reel-ization of a dream for Ron and for Seth.

Leaving the Mothership:

Not A Bad Day for Catching!

A King and A Ling!

Nice Fish, Seth!

Nice Fishes, Ron!

Who Caught the Octopus?

Until Next Time, Guys!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

All the Usual Suspects

Ginger and Bob, friends from Puerto Vallarta, joined us for an adventure.  They travelel 5,326 miles (roundtrip) to join us on the SeaDrifter.  And we wanted to introduce them to all the usual suspects.



More Salmon:


More Prawns:

Pilot Roberto:

Civilization (??) At Shearwater:

Cheers to Good Times and Good Friends:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Just for the Halibut

Beck and Rick ventured back on the boat this year even after our failure to pick them up last August.  The mistake on dates caused much family angst and acquainted us with the highly professional and talented Canadian Coaat Guard.

As Beck and Rick exitted Star Taxi which is operated by Don-Who-Is Richer-Than Midas they looked a bit relieved that we were there on the right day at the right time.  Forking over the $12 each fee for the 3 mile ride from the airport, Rick hoisted their bags and we set forth.

Typically, we have beautiful weather in August but this year has been anything but typical.  For too much of their time with us it rained and that rain was sometimes of Biblical portions,  But we refused to let it interfere with our fun and merriment.

We ate well!

We prawned well!

We fished well!

We fished well again!

Just for the halibut!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Good Friends, Good Times, Good on You

One of the many nice things that Doug brought to our marriage was his friendship with Jim and Denise.  Many years ago Jim and Doug were part of the Simpson Timber Company but in very different sectors.  They met at a clean up preparing the Mason Lake Campground for summer use and have been friends ever since.  Like so many of our good friends we see them too little due to a "drifting" lifestyle, so it is a special treat when they join us on the boat.

We have a tradition of having crab for our first dinner on the boat.

Really, Doug, how many crab did you cook......

What big pincers you have, my dear.

Fishing was GOOD but not GREAT.  Last time Jim was up, they caught a 52 lb salmon.  That is a hard act to follow.

But not too shabby!

Those of you who have cruised with Captain Doug understand that he has fully earned the name Captain Redundancy.  Now sometimes being redundant is not a good thing but at sea it is a very good thing.  We have not one electronic navigating system but two with a third held in reserve.  When our Nobeltec started bonging, Doug became concerned about the dongle.  Great help I was with my insightful question, "What's a dongle?"  

One of Jim's many talents is computer systems.  I believe that Simpson still uses one he developed.  Doug got the new dongle and charts all downloaded and Jim helped him with tweaking them to perfection.  This is a good thing for the Captain's calmness.

Denise knitted a long time ago and brought yarn for a project to do on the boat. A hat for their beautiful little grand daughter.   She and Jan had a great time knitting and chatting.  Pretty cute EXCEPT for the color.  Got to get that girl some Cougar duds!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

North to Prince Rupert

When we began our boating journey we had a very different plan.  We thought we would spend a couple of years exploring Canada and Alaska and then head south toward the Panama Canal.  Seven years later we have yet to make it to Alaska.  British Columbia is spectacular!  We picked Deb and Ralph up in Prince Rupert which gave us new territory to explore!

Prince Rupert:

Khutzeymateen Sanctuary

This area is also known as the Valley of the Grizzly and is the only park in Canada which prohibits hunting of  grizzlies.  Grizzlies are born after a 2 month gestation period and weigh only one pound.  The mother does not wake for the birth nor for nearly five more months.  By that time the young grizzly weighs 50 lbs.  Mother and cub stay together until the cub's second year.

Clam Digger
Young Grizzly Eating Sedge Grass
On September 25, 1985, Kazukio Sakamoto left his home in Owase, Japan for a day of fishing.  Unfortunately, he never returned.  A year and a half later his beloved boat, the Kazu Maru, was found afloat off the Queen Charlotte Islands.  When it was brought to Prince Rupert for identification it was discovered that the Kazu Maru was from Prince Rupert's sister city in Japan. After the citizens of Prince Rupert loving restored the Kazu Maru,  Mrs. Sakamoto and several family members came for the dedication of the memorial for those lost at sea. The list includes the founding father of Prince Rupert who was lost on the Titanic as well as Mr. Sakamoto and many native sons and daughters of Prince Rupert.
Kazu Maru

Moose Loose on Pitt Island:

While exploring on shore Jan rounded a curve and made our first moose sighting.  It stayed long enough for a photo shoot but not a second more.

Debra and Ralph:

As always we had a great time with Debra and Ralph onboard.  The fishing was not spectacular but it was reasonable (the Pacific blob seems to be affecting salmon fishing) but left with fish.  Ralph's 25 lb fish holds the current record for the biggest salmon caught his summer.

Ralph holds a second record for the biggest hali caught this season (just under the maximum legal take) and the record for the biggest hali caught on salmon gear - 65 lbs!

Nice prawns!

The Beauty of BC:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Eat to Live or Live to Eat

We are happy to have rounded Cape Caution and entered our summer cruising grounds.  By the time we travel from Olympia to Fitzhugh Sound we have developd a hunger for seafood that must be met.  We  anchor in Kildidt Sound where we know where to forage.

 When we prawn it is a consuming task.  In a full day of prawning we move traps twice and pull (with the aid of an electric puller) 4800 feet of prawn lines.  Jan is the self designated puller at a part of her on exercise program.

Last night smaller prawns were transformed into a prawn Thai soup.  Jan boiled some prawn heads with shells to make a prawn broth then added Thai chili and onion.  Simmered, strained and added cilantro, coconut milk and fish sauce.  Very nice!

Jan pays less attention to camera settings than her beloved engineer husband, hence, the  beautiful Chinook salmon are a bit over exposed but the 25 lb male ling cod is truer to color.

  Doug is a great fish cook.  He plank grilled the salmon and we use the left overs for salmon sandwiches.  He dredged the ling cod with brown rice flour and deep fried it.   Delectable!

I am not sure how so many crab stuffed themselves into our traps.

On our boat there is always a slight disagreement about crab.  Crab is Doug's favorite and he is a true purest - for him a crab feast is fresh, plain and abundant!   Jan, however, is more eclectic in her approach to crab and is plotting a crab frittata with Gruyere cheese, bacon and asparagus.

As our friend Nicky shared, some people eat to live and others live to eat.  There is no question of where we are placed.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Life's Greatest Gift

Life's greatest gift is family.  It is such a joy to watch the next generation create loving families.  

Shari and Ryan

Doug and I had the wonderful experience of spending nearly two weeks with the Shari, Ryan and Jude before the new baby was born.  Doug and Jude rode bikes together.  We cooked and froze meals.  Nana knitted toys for Jude.  It was a magical experience.

Everyone welcomed Alyse Taryn on May 15, 2015.  Another beautiful child for us to love.

I'm just a few hours old

Welcome Home!

Goodnight and Sweet Dreams

And to think that my baby sister was kind enough to bring me a new lego set when she came home from the hospital.  What a sister!

Maybe I wil be an engineer like my Papa

Courtney and Jason

Courtney and Jason welcomed their little boy, Ashton, on May 10, 2014.

Daddy loves me!
Meeting my Grammy Kathy

Ashton with intent

Wendy and Kuzi

Wendy and Kuzi are busy, busy with their three girls.  They are such wonderful girls.
Family fun!

Maddie is into horses and busy with Pony Club. And we were able to see Peyton compete in her first state gymnastics meet.  

Lulu has not chosen her passion yet.

Seth and Meghan

With  adults abounding birthdays are busy, busy. 

Doug and I choose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Seth and Meghan's family. Typically, we bring them an outfit when we return from Mexico but this year Aunt Jan made the girls Jalisco dancing dresses.  A quick consultation with Mom let us know that Eli  really wanted fireman boots to go with his Cinco de Mayo outfit.  Cool!
Twirly Girls and the Chief

Loving Family!

And the greatest of gifts is the love of our family.