#12 – Read at Least 6 Books

I am old fashioned. I love to hold a book and turn the pages. I particularly like to see how I progress by looking at the seam of my book for the amount of pages I’ve read. I have a favorite chair I like to sit in and usually with a cup of tea. I am turning into my Mother! Of late, I have been reading on our boat because we are in the middle of nowhere with no TV or radio. It’s been wonderful!

Library Rugosa

Library on Rugosa

I have quite a few favorite books but will limit to mentioning these:

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Book Thief by Mrkus Zusak
  • The Help by Kathyrn Stockett
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  • The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (I had a lot to say about this book in my note book)

I enjoy reading about athletes, artists, professionals and politicians. I am particularly interested in reading people’s biographies. My favorite was “The Friendly Dictatorship by Jeffrey Simpson about Jean Chrétien (former Canadian Prime Minister). By the time I ended that book, my mouth was crooked and the voice in my head sounded just like him as I read.

Reading has made me sit quietly and enjoy what others have to say. I really get into the characters, the story line, the history and try to figure out how the author thinks.

Books

Books read so far during our trip on Rugosa

In case you didn’t read #25 – Host a Book Club Meeting, I have a notebook that I keep with titles and authors of books I have read. I jot down interesting passages, new words, and whatever catches my eye worth remembering about the book. I’m particularly pleased that I have read 6+ additional books on top of those chosen in book club. It’s been a great year of reading so far and it’s not over yet!

#29 – Try to Catch a Fish. Hopefully a Salmon

Tuna

The big tuna caught in the Baie of Chaleur NB

I grew up in a fishing village. It was natural that I would learn how to fish. My Dad taught me. We learned to jig for cod and mackerel. And we went tuna fishing.

Although we didn’t get to use the rod for tuna fishing, we were too young and not strong enough, we had a job when we went and that was to chum the tuna with mackerel (like in the movie Jaws) and make sandwiches. Our neighbor owned a boat and he “jury-rigged” it with a barber’s chair so that they could follow the fish. One person would steer the chair while the other was strapped in with the rod. I can’t remember the size of the big one they caught but it made the front page in the “Le Voilier”, our local newspaper way back when as the biggest tuna ever caught in the Baie of Chaleur.

I’d like to mention that my father-in-law, all my brother-in-laws and my youngest sister are excellent fishers. My husband not. Being a biologist he prefers to study them rather then catch them. He also has no patience. Case in point, we drop the line and after a few casts he wants to move on to another spot. We repeat but you can’t catch fish when you are in a hurry. “Fishing = Patience”.

Catching fish for bait when at anchor is one thing and comes in handy for catching crab. But that is not my idea of fishing. No, I want to catch a big one, a salmon. One big enough for supper and leftovers for another.

Bait

Catching bait

Throughout our trip, we spotted sport fishermen close to walls and in 60 meters or so of water fishing. Slowing the boat down to a crawl, I tried repeatedly rod in hand doing the 3 light tugs, 1,2,3 followed by a quick hard tug like my Dad taught me. To no avail.

Until I met the Falconer brothers, who probably felt sorry of my missed attempts and took me fishing on their boat “Tintomara”. These guys know their stuff and are equipped with down riggers, flashers and good fishing gear. It took about 15 minutes to get to the fishing ground amongst a dozen or so other boats. Another 15 minutes to get the line organized and then we started to troll. First bite, within 5 minutes was lost. Their secret, anchovies attached to the line and hook. Reeled the line back in, attached another fish bait and back in business.

No sooner is the line back in the water, another bite. This time it’s hooked. Both brothers are coaching me as I reel it in. The weight is strong and line taut, rod bent to a 180° arc, drag set. The fish is fighting back, I can no longer reel it in.

“Let it go, the reel will do its job. When the fish stops struggling, start reeling again.”

I don’t know how long I kept doing this but all of a sudden I see a flash of silver. The fish comes to the surface, enough to see it’s a big one. And then all of a sudden, there is no pressure on the line.

“Damn, I lost it!”

“ No wait, keep rod tip up, it’s still on.”

Sure enough, it surfaced and then went down again. I’m reeling in faster now and then slowly as I bring the line beside the boat. The net is waiting.

The catch

In the net

Success! 13lb Chinook, definitely enough for supper and a few more after that. My biggest thanks and gratitude to the Falconer boys in helping me mark this off my list.

Chinook

13lb Chinook

Tintomara

The crew on “Tintomara”

 

 

 

 

All F’…ogged Up!

Our radar screen has Variable Range Markers (VRM), circles that show how far away a “Target” is, and Electronic Bearing Lines (EBL), that show what angle the Target is relative to us. In case you are wondering what we are talking about, it’s sailing in fog using radar. With this info, we can track an incoming target and whether we might come together, or indeed collide. Thank God for the technology.

During our trip, we have had to sail twice using radar as our guide, and both times the fog was so thick we could not see incoming traffic until they were within a quarter of a mile. One has to wonder how, with the extent of space available in these waterways, vessels can come so close to each other.

Both sets of eyes are on the water. No shift changes. “On-coming target at 30 degrees starboard”, “another 10 degrees port”, my husband tells me. With binoculars, I stare for the ghost ship to appear from the mist. Sure enough, there they are. A sound of the foghorn to indicate we are here, can you see us? “They’re passing. Lots of clearance”, my husband reports.

Until the one encounter with a powerboat coming at us on our port side. We change course to starboard to avoid. Then we see him and he changes course to port putting us back on a collision course. WTF!! All we could do was turn 180 degrees to (hopefully) parallel his course and pray he didn’t ride up our ass. We think this is when he first noticed we were there. He moved, we moved, and eventually we got back on our intended course. Luckily we didn’t end up in a boat yard!

That was all part of an 11 hour and 30 minute trek crossing Queen Charlotte Strait leaving the Central Coast heading back towards home in swells of 2 meters with 15 to 20 knot winds, in the fog! What were we thinking!

This sums it up, “Our trip to the Central Coast went in like a lamb and came out like a lion”!

PS no pictures, it was too foggy!

MapCC

Snap shot of the Central Coast

Beautiful Stranger

Have you ever gone for a car ride to explore a new place just for fun and follow a road you have never been on? As you drive, you don’t know what is lurking ahead and then the road gets narrower and narrower and all of a sudden you come to a dead end.

That is what it’s like cruising up the different Inlets we have been exploring. Roscoe Inlet in particular, offered something new at every turn; a stretched out meadow tucked in a corner, a rock wall that extended for miles, a creek bed flowing into the inlet, “Petroglyphs” on a rock face hidden behind branches. A look through the binoculars revealed a salmon and what looked like hands. Then you reach the end. It is sheer steepness from the waters edge to the sky. Most of the mountain range on both sides of the inlet rises 1,000 to 1,500 feet up. The inlet is only about a mile wide at its widest point.

Roscoe

Roscoe Inlet

My husband and I play games trying to find figures and shapes in the rock faces. Can you spot the old man?

Old Man Rock

Old Man in Rock

We choose our anchorages the same way we used to choose our camping sights. Get to the cove or bay and do a tour eyeballing the perfect spot. Where will the sun go down, what sun will we get in the morning. So far, all of the anchorages have been different, peaceful and protected. Most are great for catching crab. You can’t get enough, especially at the price you pay at the fish market.

We usually take off into a specific direction and explore the area over a period of 5 to 7 days, using the handy Douglas Guide Book. Shearwater, the thriving metropolis that it is, is our base to re-provision. Actually it’s the only one available in the area. Internet is slow and a test in patience just to post to the blog. That is why you are not getting replies from your great comments and support. Thank you.

We have been in such unique and distinct spots each offering something different. From the Ghost Town in Ocean Falls to the wind swept desolate “Bonsai Tree” surroundings in the McNaughton Group. One night, we truly felt we were in the middle of nowhere! This is when I looked at my husband and said, “better to try the unknown than being sedimentary”. He thought I was being very profound, and then burst out laughing knowing that I meant sedentary. His comment, “I rather be inactive than a fossil”. I looked at him puzzled, “What?”

As a type, I’m listening to Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger”. That is a pretty good description of what this place is.

Sunset

 

 

Whaled It!

We are always scanning the horizon for whales. If you see a plethora of birds on the surface scurrying about, it’s usually an indication that fish are in the area and whales are close behind. A blow amongst the birds will confirm they are around.

We have seen the whales most days but at a distance and not close enough to take pictures. I am not a photographer and my camera, well, it sucks. By the time I get it powered up, the shot is gone. I’ve tried to capture the surfacing, the feeding, the breaching but am faced with only being able to show you the following. It’s the best I can do.

At one point, my husband said, “enjoy the moment and try to remember what you see”. This is the best I can do to describe what I see. The water changes to a darker color and you can see ripples forming from the whales’ fin. If the whale is bubble feeding it will swim round and round to create a vortex of fish. Surface bubbles and a foam of white appear on the surface. Then wham! These are big creatures, with jaws wide open that stretch forever and look like the size of VW van. With one big gulp they swallow their prey. The clap of the jaw is powerful and resonates in the water. Down and then up again as they glide with a blow and move on.

Jaw

Missed the wide open mouth shot but did catch the clap of his jaw

For their size they are incredibly nimble in the water. It is soothing to hear the “Pppshh” from their blow, and watch them glide as they arch their back with fin appearing and then the tail as it swoops up and out with a force that propels it forward. As gently as it comes up, it goes down and under and disappears.

Fin

When they breach, they come up nose first, and then somehow do a roll, something like a “double sowcow”, over to their side and then swoop up and down with their tail flapping on the surface as the last encounter.

One minute they are there and you watch closely and then they are gone. You start scanning the horizon again and nothing as if it didn’t exist. It’s that quick, here and gone. Once you get a taste of it, you want more.

Tail

We have an excellent book on marine mammals in BC and would you believe we left it behind. My husband is very mindful and cautious in keeping a safe distance to not disturb the animals. “But if I could just get that one shot”, I say.