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Archive for the ‘Cruise Ships’ Category

Sometimes you have to put work aside and have a little fun.  That’s exactly what we did on Saturday.  Got onboard a friend’s boat and headed east to Blind Channel Resort where our daughter is working for the summer.  The morning was grey & the chop nasty at times but that was completely forgotten when we spotted the first orca.  There were so many it was hard to decide where to look.  Most were in peaceful rest mode but some were coming up out of the water – it was magical.  It took us about 2 ½ hours and I thought we’d never get there but finally we rounded the last point and there was our girl on the dock jumping up and down impatient for us to dock.  We had a few surprises for Megan – we didn’t tell her that Grandpa was coming with us.  And when Megan was sent onboard to help unload she found her best friend Nicole hiding in the tiny head.  I’m sure people heard those screams for miles J

 

Blind Channel Resort www.blindchannel.com is a small resort run by 3 generations of the Richter family on West Thurlow Island.  There is a marina, restaurant, general store, post office, rental cottages, laundromat and throughout the property are incredibly beautiful mosaics and artwork created by Annemarie Richter the matriarch of the family who passed away in 2003.  Megan gave us the grand tour starting with her room in the staff house – very tidy and homey with family photos on the desk.  On to the bakery to see where Megan helps Jennifer create THE BEST EVER cinnamon buns.  We took a few of those home that’s for sure !! We sat on the sunny patio overlooking the marina where Laura serves up bbq for lunch everyday.  After lunch we had a quick tour of the huge vegetable & fruit gardens before ending up at the general store to buy some of those great salsito chips Laura serves with the burgers.

 

It was hard to say goodbye after such a short visit but the wind was picking up and we had a long ride home.  Sadly no orcas on the way back but we did pass by a cruise ship — one of my favourites the Norwegian Sun.   The perfect end to a perfect North Island summer day.  Blessings from the beach…

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What does it look like?  Remember this game?  Where you lie on your back and look up at the clouds trying to figure out what they remind you of.  Maybe that one is a  spaceship or a teddy bear with the stuffing falling out or a mountain of marshmallows.  The sky was mesmerizing yesterday and I spent a lot of time looking out the window as the clouds slowly changed shape.  

We have a 5-year-old guest named Ethan staying with us right now who is really enjoying the beach.  With his mom watching from a chair in the yard Ethan methodically scours the beach putting his treasures into 3 plastic pails.   It is interesting with all the tiny crab shells and rocks and bits of driftwood – I’d trade beachcombing for housework any day.

Yesterday morning we said goodbye to Les and Karen from Nanaimo and Les and Judy from Vancouver.  The four had never met before but after chatting at breakfast and then enjoying the same whale watching tour yesterday they departed (as Judy put it) as “new best friends who might never see each other again.” 

Our nephew Stewart stands in front of just one more cruise ship passing through, not something he’s likely to see in Cambridge, Ontario.   Things we don’t have that he does are malls, fast food restaurants & traffic lights.  If he misses any of that he hasn’t mentioned it.  Since we do have 2 video stores he seems okay in our little town.  In a few more days we’ll be waving goodbye at the bus terminal as Stewart makes his way down the island and back home. 

Blessings from the beach…Karen

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Cruising on By  Can you spot the floatplane in this picture??

We never get tired of watching the cruise ships on their way to and from Alaska.  We saw this one on Friday night from Cluxewe Beach (pronounced clucks-ee-wee).  I’m sure this is one of the biggest vessels that travels through here. 

Megan thought it was time we had a barbecue on the beach so despite a forecast for rain we packed up for a party.  Boy did we pack up.  Hotdogs, roasted potatoes, deli salads, cheeses & dips, crackers & chips, watermelon and it wouldn’t be a proper Canadian barbecue without s’mores.  We pretty much brought everything we could think of and then some.  It took both our vehicles to get it all out to Cluxewe which thankfully is only 10 minutes north of us.  Because it’s exposed to open seas the beach is much different than ours with lots of sand & shells.  There is an estuary that meets the ocean so fishermen love the fresh water/salt water fishing and birders appreciate all the species they can see in one small area.  http://www.cluxewe.com/

We invited the young Dutch couple staying with us at the b&b to join us as well as family and friends.  It was a very happy coincidence to find a campsite with a huge tarp big enough to cover the picnic table, firepit and lots of room for us to sit under cover but still see the ocean. 

The Dutch couple were game to try s’mores for the first time.  Megan’s secret ingredient is using Caramilk chocolate with the marshmallows and graham crackers.  They’re messy but delicious.  We only lost a few marshmallows and hotdogs in the fire and what’s a bbq without dirty hands and being short on cutlery.    

Just before dark we packed up the site for the very short trek home.  Our Dutch friends had to leave at 5:00 am Saturday morning for their ferry trip from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert.  Thanks to Megan for the wonderful idea – it was good fun.

Blessings from the beach…Karen

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What a lovely few days we’ve had on the beach.  Sun and warmer temperatures make it feel like spring is really here! 

Spring means new growth and baby animals.  We saw 2 cubs and mama bear on the beach this week.  It’s always reassuring to me to see the bears in the spring.  They survived the winter and have decided to stay here so we can enjoy watching them through until fall.  They spend time on the beach everyday and one of the yearlings is the one who’s been leaving his droppings on the road and sidewalk.  My Dad saw him walking through the bush on the side of the road. 

A few days ago I could hardly believe my eyes when the big ferry “Queen of Prince Rupert” came cruising into our harbour.   Why would it be coming into our tiny little dock?  Was it lost? I found out later it was heading up to do the Port Hardy – Prince Rupert ferry run while the new vessel “Northern Adventure” is repaired.  Definitely a bit of excitement for our UK guests during their breakfast.   They were thrilled to watch float planes taking off and all the boat activity.  Northern Adventure

Then yesterday a gray whale was feeding close by.  I watched and waited patiently for the blow of water but couldn’t see anything.  I did however follow the progress of a lone kayaker paddling quickly through a very busy shipping lane.  I’m grateful to have neighbours phone when there’s something happening outside…it’s the Beach Drive telegraph.

The same day we saw our first cruise ship of the season.  How dramatic to see the huge white vessels come through the channel.  Sometimes we can hear the murmur of announcements and can only imagine what they’re saying “bingo starts at 2:15 on the Lido deck.”  The cruise ships are making the Vancouver to Alaska voyage and in the busy season we can see 4-6 of them per day.   We’ve had friends on the cruise who said they could see our house from the ship – they’re a few kilometres away but would have a great view of Beach Drive.

Today will be a day of puttering in the yard.  Cutting the grass and washing all the decks to get ready for a full house this weekend. 

Blessings from the beach…Karen

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