Smoke on the Horizon

Image: Bloody sunrise in Johnstone Strait.

We are heading across Johnstone Strait to Kelsey Bay, and the day is just breaking. This is not your usual sunrise, however. The sun peers over the horizon like the bloodshot eye of some strange beast. Dark clouds form a horizontal band across the sun that resembles the slit pupil of a reptile. The smoke on the horizon is an eery reminder of one of the outcomes of a too hot summer – forest fires.

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The Grizzly

Image: The Grizzly.

Dusk is fast approaching, and we are winding down our day, now aboard the Awen, anchored just offshore from our home site. Ken sees something moving along the shore. This “something” resolves into a rather large, gangly-looking bear. We are not sure if it is a very large black bear or a small grizzly. As we debate, it disappears into the bush.

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Summer Solstice

Image: Summer solstice.

Today we celebrated summer solstice – the longest day of the year. Although a somewhat odd way to begin a solstice day, we started by washing a load of laundry. Recent rains had increased the flow of our spring so that we had enough excess water to wash our laundry, which we have not been able to do for a month. So we happily set our shirts and underwear to flapping in the warm summer breeze.

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Fetching the Blue Rocket

Image: The Blue Rocket.

My husband, Kennard, affectionately calls our old truck the Blue Rocket because it can go faster than 8 knots, the speed at which he is used to travelling on the Moody Blue. Today is our first trip across Johnstone Strait to Kelsey Bay, and the reason for our trip is to fetch the Blue Rocket from Port Hardy and bring it back to Kelsey Bay, our closest point to British Columbia’s highway system.

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Home

Image: Our new home.

A vibrant green triangle – that’s my first impression of our new home as we pass through the narrows near the head of Port Neville Inlet. A vibrant green triangle pointed uphill towards a background of mountains, with the broad base coming down to meet the shoreline. Two deer calmly graze seaweed at the edge of a creek.

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The Sign of the Awen

Image: Sunlight beaming down on our new home.

Finally the northwest gales had caught up to us. We had deeked into the Broughten Archipelago, avoiding the worst of the gale winds, but now we were trapped. Just around the point from where we were anchored was Port Neville. Between us and our final destination were a few scant miles of water, but Johnstone Strait was in a distinct snit, and we could have had a million miles to go for all the difference it was making.

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Out from Under

Image: Towing the Awen out from under the clouds

We’ve been preparing for this moment since December. Finally, we are underway. Everything has been packed. Our two boats, the Moody Blue and the Awen are ready to go. Our newest “vessel”, the Kipper’s Folly, a 21′ herring skiff (bought to be a landing craft at our new home), is loaded with plants and looks like a floating greenhouse.

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