Archive for the ‘Alert Bay’ Category


Summer doesn’t officially end for a few days, but fall is quickly showing its muscle.  Shorter days, Canadian Geese flying in formation and finally after one of the driest summers — blessed rain !!  One of my favourite parts of autumn is the cool, crisp breeze that comes in off the ocean.  Wish I could bottle that fragrance up and sell it.

The summer months were jam packed and action filled.  Not as many motorcycle trips as we would have liked but it is hard to beat last year’s 2 1/2 month North American trek. We managed a few mini vacays traveling with friends and family and the bike will NOT go back into storage until the last day of September when the insurance expires for the season.  We live so far away from most of our family so it’s such an event when they come to visit us in Port McNeill.  My brother & cousin rode their Harleys across Canada and we were thrilled they carved out three nights to spend time with us.  Much laughing over a few cold drinks !!  With her new hip and so much more mobile than when I saw her in March, my Mom just flew home to Ontario after being here for 3 weeks.  We chatted.  We shopped.  We ate bad snacks.  And GG (great-grandma) got lots of quality time with Bowen.  My Mom’s cousin Judy and her friend John come up from Washington State for a mini family reunion while GG was here.  Their moms grew up in Saskatchewan and then one went east to Ontario and one went west to Vancouver and then on to Seattle.


1) Trip to Hornby & Denman Islands with fellow bikers  2) My brother Dan and cousin Brian posing in front of the Whale Interpretive Centre at Telegraph Cove 3) Our daughter Megan, her husband Justin and their adorable son Bowen were all in a wedding party 4) My Mom & Bowen at our regular Friday night Legion dinner

I’ve been dragging my feet for two days now trying to decide which pictures encapsulated our summer.  Then realized I’ve used most of the best ones in previous posts or on Facebook.  So I started thinking in overall themes: people, flowers & north island scenery.


1 & 2 taken at Shepherd’s Garden near Port McNeill.  3) Alert Bay Ecological Park and 4) The Community Garden at St. John Gualbert Church in Port McNeill

Thanks to Mackay Whale Watching for the unforgettable moments out in the Broughton Archipelago.  Twice in two weeks I was out on the Naiad jumping up and down with glee to see orca & humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises and sea lions.  Over almost 20 years I’m sure Chris and I have taken thousands of whale pictures.  The majority of them are little black dots or splashes of water on the surface.  Although enlarged and cropped this is by far the best shot of an orca in our collection.


1) Orca spyhopping taken onboard Mackay Whale Watching vessel the Naiad a few weeks ago 2) smoky sunrise the result of forest fires in the Interior of BC 3) after the smoke cleared we went back to our normal morning view 4) one of the beautiful giants at the Alert Bay Ecological Reserve

It’s time to start getting the garden and yard ready for winter.  Chris and I are happy to get back to the gym this morning and start back on a much healthier eating plan after slacking off most of the summer.  So long carbs…hello lean protein and salads 😇 Chips & dip I will miss you *sigh*

Here’s a challenge for you.  Do more of what makes you happy.  What does that look like for you this autumn?  I’ve got a stack of books to read.  Information to add to the family tree on ancestry.ca.  Umpteen crafting projects to finish.  An online photography course to get through.  Happy Autumn 🍂🍁

Hugs from the beach…


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As I mentioned a few blog posts ago, walks with my Dad are an important part of my life. The fresh air & exercise are important for physical health but catching up with my Dad and being involved in the world outside my own house are a helpful tonic when the winter weather is gloomy!!  A few weeks ago on a day we didn’t need full rain gear Dad suggested instead of our walk around town we should hop the ferry over to Alert Bay.  It’s been a few years since I was over there and it’s always good to wander around and see what’s happening with our neighbours two islands away.


These retired double decker buses have been sitting beside the ferry line-up for a few years.  They’re a cheerful addition to an incredibly colourful community.  I’ve always enjoyed Alert Bay.  Folks are welcoming and friendly.  Everyone waves when you’re walking down the street and wants to know where we’re from.  They laugh when we tell them we’re all the way from Port McNeill.  It’s too bad these buses aren’t operational for tours or being used as a fish & chip wagon.  And wouldn’t it be fun to drive around Cormorant Island in this old London cab?


Sadly U’Mista Cultural Centre was closed it being a Monday and winter so we wandered in behind to the “new” hospital which I’d never seen.  With huge logs holding up the portico in front it’s got a funky west coast look.  Right inside the doors heading into the lobby I took a few minutes to look at the glass display cases.  There are old patient registries and some slightly creepy looking medical instruments that look more like props in a horror movie.  For a town of only 1500 Alert Bay is well serviced.


I have no idea what the history of this cute little house is but obviously someone has a tie to the fishing boat Daisy Mae II.  And how clever to have two homes sharing one staircase to the road.  I’m guessing it was built long before official community plans and building by-laws came to be.

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The gazebos dotting the main road from the ferry to the cultural centre are incredible.  Each one showcases local artists work.  And I’d love to know the story behind the second photo.  A small clump of commerce obviously long unused with the ramps disconnected and an old plane just sitting there.  After hours of walking and an early lunch of tea and toast at the café we headed back to the big island.  A lovely little adventure on a winter’s day on Northern Vancouver Island.  Blessings from the beach…

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