Author Topic: Tugboat Adventure!  (Read 8668 times)

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Offline boonibarb

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2018, 12:19:15 PM »
i remember scrambling to keep up with Jackie & my bunkmate as we made our way back to the dock & the zodiac taking us back to the boat for our lunch.
Again, i was glad to sit & have a rest.

The rest of our trip was up in the air!
They were talking about using another boat to take us through the rest of our days.
Our boat was kinda dead in the water.
So we decided to go with the flow & spend the afternoon at Alert Bay while the boat was figured out.

It was decided that we would walk to Cormorant Island Ecological Park, just up the hill from the dock.
It was a marsh, with a wooden boardwalk, there were likely to be Birds!
A fire had gone through the place & most of the Trees were burned.
i was feeling a bit whooped, i debated staying back & just resting on the lovely boat, knitting or reading.
But i went.
It was a steep uphill climb & i was at the back of the group!
The lovely cabin boy had the job of keeping up the tail, so he spent a lot of time with me.
He is a twin!
& he & his twin live nearby to Hornby Island.
So we talked about that & his schooling & his work, & i tried to hide how out of breath i was.
It was pouring & pouring, i had all my layers on for warmth & keeping dry, i was hot & tired & my glasses were wet & fogged up.
i wished i*d stayed behind.
But i will always remember the beautiful walk that day.

When we got back to the dock, the C3/Polar Prince was there, & everyone but me was thrilled that we were offered a tour.
i just wanted to go home.
i*d never heard of this venture, but this boat had left the east coast & gone north around the continent & then south to Victoria, stopping along the way to visit & pick up people & share/hear stories about reconciliation with the First Nations people.
You can look it up to get more info.
A lot of sad stories had been heard on this boat.
i hope it did some good on its journey.
i guess they*d been posting on facebook & people were following.
It was a huge red & white ice breaker, there was a lot of going up & down stairs & into rooms.
i was glad when it was done & we could go back to our boat.
i was tired & hot & cranky & my leg had been hurting me all day.
It was so good to sit in our dining room & just zone out & knit until supper.

We cruised back to where we*d started, Port McNeil, in the hope that an older fella who knew a lot about repairing engines who lived there would be able to help us.
Once again we anchored offshore.
We saw the fella peering in the windows at one point, as they went to have a look.
But he wasn*t able to solve our problem.
It was decided that we would carry on as we were!
We had a good group of people, we all just went with the flow.
It was good to know our voyage would continue.
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Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2018, 08:10:32 PM »
These are wonderful stories, booni!  Please keep 'em coming!  Your Raven and the Thunderbird are very nice.  Mishi will "luv, luv, luv" them!   :heart

I remember having some adventures in Sitka, Alaska, that were special, too.  The Tinglit People were our hosts.
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Offline boonibarb

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2018, 11:57:44 AM »
Our last full day!
& we are off early from our off-shore evening in Port McNeil, limping boat going strong.
There was a beautiful Moon rise in the foggy dark when we gathered for breakfast.
Today we are off to Echo Bay & to meet with the wonderful Billy Proctor!  :heart
& we have a ways to go for our appointment with him.
october 17 & 18 2017

On our map/itinerary, Jackie says we had stunning light & blows everywhere!
Well, i caught some of the stunning light at least.

october 17 2017 09:05 - morning view

We actually had some Sun this morning & i think it was even warm when you were out in it out of the Wind.

But there is also very low & very DARK cloud we are heading into!
& you can see how rough the Seas are.


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Offline boonibarb

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2018, 12:03:46 PM »
october 17 2017 09:27 - morning view




This is my first view of one of these!
There is a protest sign hanging on the fence.

october 17 2017 09:52 - fish farm - boooo-hissssss

Beautiful Long House.
Not sure i am calling this the correct words.
Those look like Humpback Whales!

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Offline boonibarb

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2018, 12:12:29 PM »
There is a break after those last fotos because we motored through a huge hail storm!
i sat out in it for a bit but then had to put my camera away to dry it out.

We made our 11:00am appointment with Billy Proctor!
He comes down out of his warm house to host us in his full-of-wonders museum!
What a lovely fella!
My heart goes right out to him.
Read his & Alexandra Morton*s book about his life, Heart of the Rainforest.
He is a true hero, as is she.
People are in there yibber-yabbering & looking around but i feel like being outside!
& here i am, back in my comfort zone, photographing Birds!
No one else has noticed this Red-tailed Hawk, but for me, seeing one is a thrill!
They are air drying after the fog & rain we had.
When Jackie, who is good buddies with Billy, pointed this Bird out, Billy figured they were after the chickens!

This is the off season, & Billy has opened up just for us!
He also has a book/gift shop, & accepts donations towards studying/enhancing the Salmon Rivers, so i stuff a few twenties in his box when he isn*t looking.
october 17 2017 11:15 - Red-tailed Hawk

i am very close to this Bird, & of course i am spotted.

Nictitating membrane here.



& this beautiful Sparrow, against the fabulous green of the Cedar.

october 17 2017 11:52 - Sparrow

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Offline Donnae

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #50 on: February 04, 2018, 09:00:06 PM »
What a wonderful adventure.. something great at every turn. I am green with envy but feel like I am right there because of your wonderful descriptions!!! Thanks so much for posting this story.

Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #51 on: February 04, 2018, 09:20:55 PM »
It feels as if you are here with us, describing your adventures.   :nod2

I just got the Kindle (on version of the book, Heart of the Rainforest, based on your recommendation, booni.     :eclove
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Offline jeavverhey

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #52 on: February 05, 2018, 04:42:11 AM »
Although I would have loved the opportunity to go on that excursion, I got far more out of it because of your detailed descriptions a d observations, along with you marvellous photos. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.  :eclove

Offline boonibarb

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #53 on: February 06, 2018, 10:42:28 AM »
Tiger, i hope you enjoy that book as much as i did!
i learned a LOT.

& here he is!
Isn*t he a cutie-pie?
i just love him.
You can see many of the kinds of things he has in his museum behind & around him in this picture.
You could spend hours in there looking & not see them all.
Everything is tidily arranged & somehow, magically, not even dusty!
& of course he has a story for every one!
& then he shows you his favourite one.
Now, darn, i can*t remember what that was.
It was something little, some kind of stone i think.
He has tons of First Nations artifacts & fossils.
i think you*re even allowed to touch stuff, but i keep my hands behind my back & just look.
He has some old magazines on a table in the back, & he tells the story of a fella seeing an article in there that is about a member of his family & how it made him cry.

Jackie has been telling us how we have to get him talking, & my bunk mate is very good at engaging & enjoying him, as is Jackie.
It doesn*t take much to get him going.

You can see one of the crew brought him some Salmon in a zip lock bag.

This picture of all the ones i got, captures him the best.
i am trying to sneak pictures of him, but good luck with that.

To his left is a drone he found on the beach, he thought that was really something indicative of the day & age, & the guest sign in book.

october 17 2017 12:09 -  Billy Proctor! ♥

He had a cold, & wasn*t feeling well, but came down to visit with us anyway.
He likes the company in the off season.
He*s wearing jeans that are hanging off him, held up by suspenders, & rubber boots.
He is kinda shy, he looks at his lap a lot, but he doesn*t miss anything with those sharp eyes & mind of his!
He is a good susser of people.
Jackie loves him, & tries to get him telling stories.

He has his own boat, & there it is tied to the rickety dock just down the hill.
He is known for heading out in his boat to get supplies in Port McNeil, & he gets supplies for anyone else at the same time.
He says he never goes in someone else*s boat!
Only his own.
& he still does his own work on his boat to maintain it.
He was born in 1934, so he is 83 years old!
There is a lovely black & white foto of him as a child with his Mum, heart-wrenching when you read the book.

Just out to the left from his property on the point is Pierre*s at Echo Bay, Lodge & Marina, pig roast every saturday night (in the summer i assume).
It attracts rich yachties, who *have more money than sense*, they follow each other around the area in their expensive boats & this is the place that collects them.
Billy tells the story of a fella who came to his museum & asked if he could look at Billy*s property.
Of course you can, he said, go ahead.
After his look around, the fella says he wants to buy the place, what is Billy*s price.
Billy*s not liking this fella*s attitude.
The place isn*t for sale! he says.
The rich fella says - everything is for sale, name your price.
Billy tells him there is not a price the place is not for sale.
i will give you lots of money for this place! the fella says.
Billy gives him the what for - i don*t want money, i don*t have money, i never had money & i don*t want your money now get the heck out of here!
Ha ha ha, i can just see it.

i*m sneaking pictures of him using Jackie as a blind & a frame.  :mhihi
He*s not fooled.


There is a mock up of the cabin he used to live in, or maybe it actually was his cabin, a very basic small room with a woodstove.
He lives in a more comfy warm place now, & there are people there who work with him, keeping an eye on him & the place.
But he still splits his own wood!
He is 83!
He LOVES splitting wood, it is his favourite thing to do.
& his woodshed is full.

We are heading out this afternoon to a Salmon spawning river, hoping to see Eagles & Bears.
But he shakes his head sadly.
There are very few Salmon spawning in the Rivers now.
He doesn*t like these fish farms everywhere, & for good reason.
(Read the book!)

As we are leaving i thank him & pat his arm & he turns to accept a hug but i am not ready, that isn*t what i was planning, but now i wish i*d hugged him!
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Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #54 on: February 06, 2018, 09:22:16 PM »
booni, your description of Billy brings tears to my eyes...good tears.    :heart

I'm looking forward to reading the book soon...after I finish the current one.   :nod2
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Offline boonibarb

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2018, 10:42:33 AM »
We were taken back to our boat where we had a late lunch while we headed to our next destination, Viner Sound.
If we were lucky, there would be spawned Salmon, attracting Eagles & Bears.
There is a bit of Sun, or at least light, & the scenery is gorgeous.
i think this is looking back from where we came, & we must be anchored already.
It is already late in the afternoon, yet there is still lots of light.
i guess this was before the clocks went back an hour.
october 17 2017 16:47 - Viner Sound

Here*s what this area looks like from the air.
We came from the left & our destination is that marshy/swampy/muddy area to the right.
i remember the water being orangey-brown, from all the silt washed down the River with all the rain we had.
We aren*t wanting to get the tug boat in there too close, as it gets shallow of course, & the tide is going out.
So we are headed to the muddy area in the two zodiacs.

Straight ahead is where we are heading.
Not seeing any Bears or even Eagles, but i remember seeing little Gulls, were they Bonaparte*s?

i must be getting tired, i remember feeling scared about going ashore & meeting Bears.
They have Bear spray, & we are instructed on how to behave if we see one.
i also dread getting in & out of the zodiacs, having to step in & down on the water with everyone watching, but the crew are super helpful & they learn quickly who would like helping arms getting in & out.

There*s a red zodiac & a white zodiac, & it feels like the cool/agile people go in one & the old fogies go in the other
i am disappointed to see Jackie heading off with the cool agile people.
But thanks to that we get to know our mate a bit better!
He is a super photographer & you can find his webpage here.
Or go to his facebook page, where you can spend hours going through his albums of fotos, many from these Maple Leaf Adventures trips here.
You never know what the weather will be, so i have on my big down coat & my rain poncho, the life jacket overtop of all, with my hoodie up.
i have my camera, but am somehow reluctant to get it out.
i just enjoy the view.
We see the other zodiac beached, & watch the cool people trucking through mud up to their knees, & i am glad i am not with them.
i, with all my layers of clothing on, would have wanted to just stay in the zodiac & watch, & the Bear would have come for me there for sure.
If there is a Bear, i will be happy with seeing one from my boat out on the water here.
The tide is falling, the bottom is very muddy, we are trying to get as close to the shore where the River comes out as possible.
We are still not seeing much except the Gulls.
i am enjoying their sounds, & many are bathing in the fresh water coming off the River.
i think they were also nabbing Salmon roe, if i recall correctly.
Suddenly the engine is spinning & we are going nowhere.
You can hear the prop churning the mud.
We are stuck in the mud with the tide going out!
The mate hops out in his rubber boots & instantly the water is overtop of them & into his boots.
He is manually shoving us around & off the mud, not one bit bothered that we are stuck & he is half under water/mud.
He climbs back in but we are still stuck in the mud.
Eventually we get free & move farther out.
We see the muddy others getting back into their zodiac from the shore.
One of the women has fallen into the mud & is covered from head to toe.
& i forgot to mention the smell, the mud has a very strong smell.
Finally we are seeing Eagles.
i believe spawned Salmon are appearing as the tide goes out, they are sitting on the muddy bottom.
We see Eagles of all ages on the ground in the mud, & in the Trees far off towards land where we can*t go.
i don*t get my camera out.
There is one adult Eagle, standing in the mud.
We watch them walking, mud up to their belly, feet big clods of mud.
This is far away but i am wishing i could get fotos of that.
i am holding the boat with one hand & just enjoying the view.
i spot a few interesting Birds & point them out to Phil - a Kingfisher, a spawing Salmon, swimming close to the shore, a Merlin who goes after one of the Gulls!
i leave it to him to get fotos of all these.
i finally pull out my camera when there is an Eagle nearby on the shore eating a huge spawned Salmon, but i only use the auto settings & it is dark & i only get blurry fotos.
That is a big Salmon!
Other Eagles compete for anything that is found.
One Eagle is eating their find in a Tree.
Others fly by with chunks.
There are more Eagles the lower the tide gets.

It is getting late, & dark, & it is time to get back to the Tugboat.
Home sweet home, & i am glad to get back there alive, ha ha ha.
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Offline boonibarb

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2018, 11:34:20 AM »

Supper is late that night.
We are all hanging out in the dining room, relaxing.
The five crew appear & they are all in their best clothes!
An iron is brought out, & it is looking like tablecloths will be ironed!
It is our last night, & they are pulling out all the stops.
It is hinted that we are in the way so we all scurry back to our rooms.
Me, i have nothing to change into.
i only brought the one outfit.
i chose my tie die leggings & hoodie, ha ha ha, but it was a good choice.
We get into our bunks & just relax.
i am paging through the fotos on my camera, passing the camera down to my bunk mate to see.
Suddenly... BOOM!
THAT*s not good, i say!
We have hit something!
We are gonna be like the Titanic & sink!
i am looking out our square window & suddenly the boat tips to starboard & i am looking straight down at the water getting closer & closer to our window!
There is this loud booming scraping sound the whole time.
i*m going whoa! whoa! whoa! & clinging to the short frame of the bunk bed.
i*m not sure why i wasn*t tipped right out, we are over that far.
Suddenly we are free & the boat tips just as far to the port side, then back again, finally settling.
There is dead silence.
We all have intercoms in our rooms.
Last time i heard something coming out of there it was Jackie calling my bunk mate & i to breakfast the first day, we were late.
Now we hear - everyone to muster station please.
This was one of the first things we were instructed on in our first hour on the boat.
We look at each other.
What do you grab?
We are going down!
So i take money & my i.d. cards like i should?
i put on all my warm clothes & stuff my camera down the front of my coat & zip it up.
i do NOT want to lose my fotos.
We are one of the last ones to arrive.
My heart is pounding & my eyes are wide.
We are all putting our life jackets back on.
The crew are very calm.
They already have figured out that the propeller in undamaged.
They are unscrewing the wooden lid to go down into the engine room.
i am sure we are filling up with water, remembering the Titanic.
They are getting ready to load us into the life boats.
i mean the zodiacs.
After what seems like a long time, we are given the all clear.
We*re not sinking.
i walk around looking down at the water & sides of the boat.
There is water shooting out the side, near the bottom, the bilge pump?
i don*t remember so much water coming out before.
Are we taking on water?

While we wait for dinner, people head out in the zodiacs to fish, like nothing has happened.
It is already dark!
But on this boat if there is something we want to do, they provide it.

We hear the kitchen is a shambles, stuff all over the floor.
So much for our nice dinner!
But we are called down finally, late, & the tables look wonderful as usual.
We are given our napkins in our napkin rings.
The cool people with Jackie are at one table, we, the quieter ones, are at the other.
The Captain is sitting beside me.
He tries to look there but he is not.
He is just staring into space, a zombie.
i would not want to be in his shoes.
He is trying to be polite, trying to be there, but he is not.
i forget if i told you that there are special wines & beers pulled out at every dinner & out they come tonight & we do a toast.
It is explained that we hit a rock.
The rock is on the charts!
But the Captain had the scanner/monitor thing set wrong, & the rock was not in sight.
It was totally his fault & he is hugely chagrined.
He explains that they would have taken us to the shore in the zodiacs, started a fire, brought us snacks & blankets.
But that wasn*t necessary.
Here we are having our last nice dinner.
i forget what it was, there were FOUR courses on this night, all amazing.
The wine & the beer flow & the cool table gets loud & to me annoying.
It is late, i am tired, i want to go to bed.
Then my greatest nightmare next to sinking.
The Talking Feather is pulled out & we all have to say what we thought of the trip!
& the Feather starts close to me & i don*t have time to think.
i think i said something about feeling well cared for, & that i saw everything i could have wanted to see, & then i folded forward & put the feather on my head.
Jackie came from behind to take the feather & give my head a hug.
i am still shaking while the rest say their part.
We were thanked for being such an easy going group.
Things came up & we just rolled with it, no one was demanding or complaining.
We thank our crew for treating us with such pampering care.
Finally we get to go to bed.
i look our down the side of the boat & water is still pumping like crazy out of that outlet.
Are they telling us the truth?
Are we really okay?
It is a rough stormy night.
We have learned how to keep the room cool to help us to sleep.
The porthole is open in the bathroom & we can prop our door open & keep it open with a brass hook.
The wind is buffeting the ship & the rain is pouring down as i lie there sleepless, hoping someone is paying attention & that we are not sinking.

Offline boonibarb

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2018, 11:54:30 AM »

Our last day on the boat, & it is a short one.
We have our lovely breakfast, Eggs Benedict!, then return to our bunk room to pack our stuff up.
We only need to leave it ready, it will all be brought to shore for us by the crew.
i think Porpoises & Humpbacks were spotted, but not by my eyes.

We are back to Port McNeil at 10 or 11, as planned.
We meet our bags back at the top of the dock near the parking lot where we first met Jackie & the rest of our group.
i try to hide from all the hugging & e-mail address exchanging going on, but the crew all seek me out & i get a hug from all of them.
A bottle is found & held up & i recognize it as my hair conditioner.
i look down at my pack & realize there is a hole in it big enough for the conditioner to slip out of.

The car is brought close by my bunk mate & off we go for the drive home.
At a gas stop on the way home i check that pocket of my pack, remembering that all my keys were in there!
The pocket is empty!
Did all my keys fall out & now i have no keys for my house when i get home?
Oh, boy, was i ever relieved to find them in the OTHER pocket.

i get dropped off in Courtenay at a pub to have lunch/dinner while my bunk mate continues on in the pouring rain.
i am dying to get home but it is a lovely meal & i get driven all the way to my door & can just relax, dry & warm.

i can*t WAIT to get home & start my fire!, have a hot shower & comb the knots out of my hair & sleep in MY OWN BED!, which feels like heaven when i climb in there & fall right asleep.

Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2018, 08:39:33 PM »
Quite eggciting on your last day, booni!  I'm so glad you shared your adventures with us and that you are home and safe.

I wish there would be more stories, but the trip has ended.  Looking forward to your photos    :nod2

Thank you for 'taking' us with you.  

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Offline Cawatcher

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Re: Tugboat Adventure!
« Reply #59 on: February 08, 2018, 09:45:47 AM »
Booni Thank you SO much for sharing your adventure with us I was in awe. I laughed got scared to near death  wonderful!!!