Wednesday, June 30, 2004

With all the election furor around here, I missed out on our third year anniversary of moving to Bowen. We set foot permanently on the island on June 28, 2001, and this blog started that very week, as soon as the computer got hooked up.

To those of you who have been following our exploits over the past three years, thanks for riding shotgun.

Friday, June 25, 2004

We're already under drought conditions here on the west coast. Yesterday a big sign went up in the Cove indicating that there is now a burning ban on the island. Now is a good time to use your rainbarrel if you have one, which we don't, owing to the fact that our gutter system is problematical at the moment (i.e. it lleaks all over the place making water collection a problem). Our lot however is ideal for rain water collection, so maybe next year.

Monday, June 21, 2004

My good friend and business partner Chris Robertson lives over in Grantham's Landing, which is a small community on the Sunshine Coast. That's on the west side of Howe Sound, about three miles away by boat.

He has a 16' Hurston Glascraft which he uses to putt around the inlet. Yesterday he called up in the morning and asked if we wanted to spend Father's Day on the water. Duh. Anytime, I say.

He and his son Nairn picked us up at Galbraith Bay, at the Mount Gardner government dock and we headed out to Keats Island, a populated but unserviced island at the mouth of the Sound, between Bowen and the Sunshine Coast. We pulled up on the beach above and spent the day swimming, eating Brie and baguette and generally just enjoying the sun and the sea and the view. This was the beach that was used most often in the old Beachcomber's days, when the film crews would need a shot of Nic and Jesse out on the water.

We admired the odd boat that pulled into the bay, and then a beautiful gillnetter slipped in and dropped anchor. It had gorgeous lines, kayaks stowed beneath a boom and three people who kept themselves cool by jumping from the flying bridge into the water. It wasn't until we were leaving that the captain hailed us, and it turned out to be our mutual friend and sometime business client, Mike Mearns and his family. He welcomed us aboard and gave us a tour of his boat, which was originally his dad's boat, operated full time as a commercial fish boat. Mike uses it now for touring in the summer and for catching his quota of food fish the rest of the year. It's a pleasure boat which is fully equipped for west coast fishing. It's so well designed that neither use impedes the other in any way.

I don't have a boat (yet? hmmm...), which seems kind of absurd, living on an island and all. Days like yesterday remind me that it's really the only way to know the coast, and it bestows a precious degree of freedom to wander through the islands and pitch up on whatever remote beach suits your fancy, away from the crowds and the cars and the tourists.

Friday, June 18, 2004

It's hot a muggy now, and in f act over the last couple of hours a squall came up and a couple of thunder claps were heard. It made 30 degress today here on the coast. Summer is two days away but we're living it now: sweat, ferry overloads, ripe huckleberries and dusty lavender in full bloom.

Off to the beach!

Sunday, June 6, 2004

Today a lesson from Finn in how to release juvenile coho salmon into the wild.

Begin with a tank full of coho fry which have been raised at the Terminal Creek Hatchery and are ready to make their journey to the sea.

Place a dozen or so in a bucket and carry them through the forest to the creek.

Gently tilt your bucket into the creek so that the coho swim out into the cool water.

Repeat as necessary or until the 9000 or so fry are in the creek. Reward yourself with a handful of juicy salmonberries.