Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Southward Bound and Merry Christmas!

First of all, my deepest apologies to our good friends, Wayne and Martie who hosted us graciously but an event without commemorative photos!  This lack of graciousness extended to our next good friends, Heidi and Roger.  Pictures perhaps on the Northward Bound trip in the spring.

Doug and I traveled south with joy with year which was unprecedented.  We welcomed into our family our beautiful daughter-in-law, Tammy and a spectacular wedding held in Portland.

The new couple quickly graced us with our first granddog, Pepper who is a Bernadoodle.

Kathy got her birthday gift in time for a winning Cougar season.  Jan designed and knit the double sided scarf.

And Nana knits on.  The family hats...

And Batman got to choose his costume this year and did not have go as furry animal to accompany the twin Cinderellas of last year.

The Northwest showed her stuff for Shari's visit with Taryn and Jude.  Mt. Rainer was spectacular.

The weather allowed Jude to learn to kayak, first tethered by Papa's rope and then solo.

Jude reads to Nana.

A family snuggle.

Where is Maddie as Aunt Jan snuggles her sisters, Peyton and Lulu.

Doug hangs out with his friend, John, from OSU Engineering School days.

John and Denise send us on our way south from Gilbert, AZ.

We arrived just before the Day of the Dead.  We got to watch the artists paint (using cans of spray paint)  wonderful murals that celebrated those who have gone before us.

Linda spent the day with us when her cruise ship docked.

We took her to the port to view the iguanas.....I wanna iguana!

So I missed my friend, Jana, in Vancouver.  On a whim, I emailed and invited her to lunch in Puerto Vallarta to which she instantly replied, "We are in Puerto Vallarta!  Where are you?"

Doug and I were once again blessed in 2016.  We have family that we love and cherish, we have good friends and we live in Paradise Canada in the summer and Paradise Mexico in the winter.  

We send our holiday wishes from our house to yours.  May your Christmas be merry and your new year filled with health, prosperity and happiness.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Celebrating the Season's Finale

September is a bittersweet time, a time to recall a summer at sea, a time to look forward to Old Mexico and a also time to reflect that we are ending another journey around the sun.

An ending is a beginning and is a reminder to live life to the fullest:  to cherish the love of family, to celebrate friendship and be not wasteful with time.  We know not when those joys will end.  So join us in a celebration of our summer of 2016 and know that while you may not have laughed across our dinner table, you traveled with us for we are connected in our journey.

Season Finale:

Tammy's First Salmon

An Early Summer Morning

An Engineer's Response to Jan's Longing for a Humming Bird Feeder

Famous McAllister Annual Smore Race

Chicago Friends and Prawns

Sunset in Shearwater

 Theresa (A Character) and Jan near Pruth Bay

Barry and Nadia Canadian Friends Met in Puerto Vallarta

Curry Dinner with San and Marion Before A Great Bridge Game

Jan and Jeff with Growler and Missy

Cocktails with Jeff and Bill

Jan's Last Salmon of the Season

And so remember may you  be safe, healthy and happy through your next journey around the sun.  Leave the world a better place tomorrow than it is today and tarry not in your quest to live well.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A World Apart

When Carolyn and Sylvia flew to Bella Bella they left  behind the glass skyline of Miracle Mile, Chicago's elegant restaurants, concerts in Millennium Park, live theater and jazz clubs.  They came to a world apart to  aboard The SeaDrifter to a safari on the sea.

We left Bella Bella for  Codville Lagoon where we nestled into the tall mountains of the mainland and fished for crab and prawns.

Hungry for Dungeness?

Our next stop was the Burke Inlet where we fished for the elusive halibut.  Both Carolyn and Sylvia proved to have the touch!

 Carolyn nails a 32 pound hali!

Time to move on.  We traveled inland hoping to see bears, whales and catch good views of the black granite cliffs of Roscoe Inlet.

Sylvia takes the helm.  Good job, Cappie!

 Whale sightings, granite cliffs but alas not a bear!

We only have a week.  The salmon fishing hasn't been great but let's try at Idol!

Nice job, Sylvia!

Two for Carolyn and two for Sylvia!

Does this place have any crab?  Let's put out a pot or two and see.

Doug in his fox jammies with two big boys!

Let's head for the islands near Queen Charlotte Sound - the landscape is different there.

Captain Carolyn

The trees are small and formed by prevailing winds.

Paella anyone?

We celebrated with another good meal and another  night of playing bridge!  Laughter and fun for all.  Tomorrow the lovely ladies from Chicago return to a world apart.

Monday, August 1, 2016

An Ode to Sea Otters

Sea Otter History:

After being hunted to extinction on the British Columbia Coast by the late 1700's sea otters were reintroduced in 1968.  The US Atomic Energy Commission decided to detonate their largest ever nuclear test on US soil in Amkchitka, Alaska the island home of 6,000 sea otters.  None were expected to survive the test.

British Columbia agreed to allow the sea otters to immigrate. Soon had a boat load of otters was headed to  Vancouver Island.  Unfortunately many did not survive the trip but 89 were eventually released into the waters of north Vancouver Island in 1968.  By 1990 the population had increased to 600.

Each year we sight a few more.  First solo otters, then small family groups and a few years ago a raft of 14 otters outside of Nakwakto Rapids.  This year there was a sea otter party outside of Abandon Cove south of Hunter Island.  This sighting  was more than 100 miles north of their original release.  We watched over 40 sea otters congregated together.

Partying Sea Otters

The reintroduction of sea otters is critical to the habitat because 

Sea otters eat sea urchins.  

And sea urchins eat kelp forests.

Sea Urchins at a very low tide

And kelp forests hold the herring eggs 

And herring eggs grow into bait fish

That feed the salmon

That feed the people and the bears and the wolves

Almost a Tyee

We are all linked together in the most unexpected ways!

A Photo Journey Aboard the SeaDrifter

Colors of the Land and Sea

Big Ling

Mama and Baby Orca

A Beautiful Morning

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Grand Tour of Wild British Columbia

Previously Rick and Becky's visits have been to the Bella Bella area.  This year they opted for a grand tour which covered more than 100 miles of spectacular British Columbia coastal waters.

Becky and Rick flew into Terrace to join us in Kitamat and head for Gardner Canal which is so remote that there are no radio communications with Canadian Coast Guard.  During our three days there we did not see another boat or human being.

Leaving Kitamat

After anchoring in Kildish Inlet we proceeded to Chief Matthews Bay where we examined hanging glaciers, kayaked and watched a grizzly bear onshore.  The mainland is big country with towering mountains.
Rick Kayaks through the Turquoise Glacial Till

Then off we go to our prawning grounds watching for more birds and wildlife as we travel.  We do well prawning but it is hard work.  We designate prawn sizes as one through 4 bites.  This one was our first 5 bite prawn!
One Big Prawn
A Record Breaker

Between prawn pulls we watch the shore for wildlife and the water for birds.  There are several types of loons in the area including the Common Loon and the Red Throated Loon.  Their mournful cries can be haunting.
Male and Female Common Loons
A Quiet Anchorage

A peaceful night was spent in this cozy, calm anchorage.  As you move to the Outside Passage on the western portion of British Columbia, the islands become less towering.  The glaciers must have ground harder there.
Fight that Fish

This year we have had to fish hard for each catch.  Rick did very well this day and out fished some of the commercial guides.  Each day we think the runs will be coming in but that hasn't happened yet.  The latest the old timers have seen.
Nice Catch, Rick!
Another Big One

We hope you have enjoyed the tour.  We have all enjoyed your company!