Friday, July 11, 2014

Flashback: A week in the Broughtons

As we float in various beautiful places this summer we will be writing a few updates on what we've been up to over the past couple of months.  We'll also sort through pictures and post them when we get to faster internet.  Here is a blurb on our last week with Malcolm and Dina on board and first week with Karina and Charlotte on our new home.

June 28th to July 4th
The instant Karina finished work (I think she even snuck out early) she was racing for the ferry on a long weekend.  All of those who travel to the island will know the joy in that.  No stress on her part though because she knew she wouldn't see her office for a long time.  After picking up Charlotte, fantastic cookies and cushions from Don and Winnie she made the long drive up to Port McNeill.  Malcolm, Dina and I were in Port McNeill madly trying to make the boat presentable for their arrival.  Unfortunately she arrived 1 hour early so I was in the midst of an oil change, laundry hadn't been started yet and provisions not yet purchased.  No complaints, we were finally together again on our new home.

Mortuary Poles at Alert Bay
U'mista Cultural Center
The next morning we awoke at the crack of 10 and made our way over to Alert Bay, a wonderful native village on Cormorant island.  We pawned Charlotte off on Malcolm and Dina and headed to the U'mista cultural center.  This awe-inspiring place should be a mandatory visit for all Canadians.  We had time to check out an exhibit on the residential school located just behind the museum and the main display showing the potlach regalia confiscated in 1922 and slowly returned when us Canadians came to our senses.  No pictures were allowed but there was a digital archivist there shooting the display in 3d so I'm sure it will be available online by next year.  You can find out more about U'mista here.
Hanson island was our next stop on the hunt for the elusive killer whale.  Failing as usual in this endeavour we tucked ourselves into a beautiful bay off the northeast corner of Hanson and sat waiting.  Surprisingly we were rewarded with a parade of at least 1000 pacific white sided dolphins heading up Knight inlet.  The guides in the area haven't seen anything like these numbers all together before so we all felt privileged to be included in their gathering.  Quite a sight to be seen.
Sea Rover at rest, Hanson Island
Fallen Totem At Village Island
Over the next couple of days we floated over to Village island and checked out the abandoned native village (where some of the potlach regalia was taken).  We now know how quickly nature will take over if all humans get wiped off the planet.  I think this site is best viewed by helicopter as the blackberry and salal have hidden most of the clearings where homes were.  There are still a couple of "modern" houses left standing and its easy to imagine what a great site this was less than 30 years ago.    
Next we headed over to Sointula on Malcolm island.  On the way there we were treated to a nice display of humpbacks playing.  We shut the engine down and drifted with the sails up while they fed around us.  Still the killer whales eluded us, with reports of sightings much too far for us to follow at our max speed of 6 knots.
Fresh garden stand, Sointula
Sointula's  moniker should be labeled "The Friendliest Place On Earth".  Our arms got tired from waving to everyone driving by on this small island.  It would have taken my mom about 20 minutes to find out everything about everyone here.  Other Mom would have been equally impressed by the garden stands that lined the driveways.  That evening Malcolm and I tried to convince Karina and Dina to put their Euchre champion title on the line, but they refused to risk it and we tortured Karina with Hearts instead.  The next morning we left Malcolm and Dina to catch the ferry back to Port McNeill and juggled cars and boats up to Port Hardy.  We had one last wonderful evening with them as they caught the ferry the next morning to head over to Haida Gwaii for a different adventure.
Having spent the last month and a half with them it was surprisingly sad to see them go.  Those of you that have stayed with us know we usually stand fast to our 4 day rule.  We have now changed that to you are welcome to stay as long as you like...  we'll just put you to work on the boat.  Thanks cant be said enough for the good company let alone the vast number of projects that were completed with their help.

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