Finally our touring season began! All the rushing and planning and painting and purchasing and loading and fixing and maintaining and tweaking is over. We put away the paint-stained clothes and shake out the cleaner “crew duds”. We load the freezer and fridges with fresh groceries and have a toast, “Here’s to another safe, fun season!”
Our first official charter of the year was for a Dutch wedding party. The “guys” went fishing, and the “gals” went for a blissfully calm, sunny cruise out to Mitlenatch island. I thought I would have all the women to myself, but I had to share the Columbia III with several other male, classic-yacht enthusiasts who found the boat more interesting than a fishing trip.
Mark Hobson Artist Workshop June 5 – 10, 2007
Our first multi-day tour was something new for us; a water-colour artist’s tour with B.C. painter, Mark Hobson. (I know, I know! Painters paint houses, artists paint pictures, but I am just the Skipper!). The painters came armed with lots of gear: easels, paint driers, paper, and all sorts of things that surprised a non-painter! The boat seemed like a great platform for the workshop, and painters (read artists) are THE BEST guests! Every feature of the BC coast was PERFECT! Rocks, trees, clouds, sky, birds. Each detail is a chance to learn and a chance to demonstrate. It’s like Zen. “All the BC Coast is the best!” Even one complete novice had a great first painting.
Bill Merilees June 12-16, 2007
Bill joined us again this year for two popular tours. One in his home stomping grounds and one in the Broughton Archipelago. We received a very excited phone call in the fall from Bill exclaiming that he had discovery several new species of mollusks in 2007 and 3 were from his explorations with us!
The bird blind on Mitlenatch Island
A lush coastal estuary
Desolation Sound kayaking June 17 – 23, 2007
We started our kayak season with the best group. With young twins from New York to intrepid, sturdy and irascible Don and Chris in their low 80’S!! The group were all strong participants and it was wonderful to see everyone bonding and having fun.
First Nation Cultural Tour July 5-9, 2007
Another new tour for 2007 was this exciting collaboration between the U’mista Cultural Center with Lillian Hunt, and MSA. We had a great tour, literally feasting, exploring and learning about the culture of the Kwakwaka’wakw 1st Nation, both ancient and modern.
We will definitely be offering this tour again next year!
Broughton Kayaking July 15 – August 18, 2007
“Australian two-step” anyone?
Skipper (me) delivers fresh crab, complete with hot water for a special kayak lunch
Not too many of our guests fly themselves in their own airplane to join us! Meet Hialeah!
“To the bow! Head up front! There are dolphins playing in the bow wave!!”
“To the bow! Head up front! There are dolphins playing in the bow wave!!”
Now that’s a big cedar tree!
It was pretty special to have Robert Allan aboard this year! The history of the Columbia III weaves many threads throughout the coastal community of British Columbia, and having the grandson of the naval architect who designed the Columbia III join us was a wonderful addition. Robert combed his company’s archives and supplied us with the complete original drawings of the Columbia III and we have them posted on our history page.
Two daughters and a son-in-law. The “best” guides in the world! One father’s opinion anyhow!
Kevin is another repeat customer and this year he brought star guest and friend, Pam. The wildlife seemed to single Pam out for the very best the Broughton could offer: from an unbelievably spectacular humpback breaching, to orcas coming over for her own personal “hello”. There are some people that just deserve the best and mother nature seemed to agree.
….and what would be a tour of the Broughton Archipelago without stopping to see Billy Proctor. We stop quite often to see Billy’s museum and I couldn’t help but admire this posting on his door…
A father and two sons from Germany.
Three generations came from Sweden to join us on a tour that became very European: 2 from Switzerland, 3 from Germany, 5 from Sweden.
We don’t do a lot of fishing but this young fellow from Germany REALLY! REALLY! wanted to catch his first fish and Luke helped out with this nice Pink Salmon. Needless to say, the lad was “over the moon!”
The Great Bear area is such a wonderful place to visit. So wonderful in fact about 1/3 of our 2007 guests were repeat MSA customers.
Great Bear August 26 – Sept 25, 2007
Once again Robert Berdan joined us, this year in the Great Bear Rainforest, and as usual the area treated us all very well. Robert came on two tours as he seems to be such a popular guy, which only gave us an even better chance for more great photos. Check out the main photo galley for the more formal shots:
Robert and his permanent graft-on, his camera! I think he was up to 1500 shots in an hour when the grizzlies showed.
Maurice and Karin from the Netherlands.
A true surprise! We had two guests that joined us last year and returned again this year. On the second night they gathered the crew and presented us with a new bell for the boat. Not an ordinary bell, a PERSONALLY, HAND MADE, ONE OF A KIND, ENGRAVED, MONOGRAMMED, FANCY KNOTTED AND GLEAMING new bell! “Columbia III Celebrating 50 years” and a great image of the boat engraved. This is a real labour of love, and when queried the maker just said he wanted to contribute a small part to the on-going history of this coastal heritage vessel. Now, as the owner and operator of this company, how am I supposed to treat a guest who is definitely “out-treating” me!!!!
I stay on the Columbia III, so don’t ask me what our guide and guest were up to!?!
Geoff and Tracy returned!
Another Mothership Adventures’ favourite family. Two summers running.
Miray and Luke do the greatest duet, but I really have to hound them to perform! I call it the “wedding duet” and it always warps the minds of the observers!
Great Bear Natural History tour with Sabina Leader Mense Sept 9-15, 2007
Sabina’s legendary enthusiasm, zeal, knowledge, humour and … and … well lots of EVERYTHING positive and dynamic and fun and informed . . .led our tour through the central coast and we were even treated with a rare Spirit Bear sighting with the help of Gitga’at First Nation’s guide Marven Robinson.
The indefatigable Sabina on watch.
Great Bear Kayaking 10 day tour Sept 16 – 27, 2007
After several requests from our guests during our 2006 season we decided to try a longer tour. The 9 night tour had 7 repeat guests! Everyone wanted to see more of the area and the longer format worked really well. We were treated to another rare Spirit Bear sighting, great grizzly viewing, a peek into the Kitasoo 1st Nations magnificent Big House, plus all the usual spectacular paddling opportunities.
Look-out! A kayak-pump fight has broken out!
Renate, our “Dutch Bride” from the spring, joins us in the Great Bear.
The Kitasoo First Nation has THE MOST BEAUTIFUL big house! I get goose bumps each time I enter its great hall.
And lucky us! We got to see the fabled “Spirit Bear” on two tours in a row!
We liked this photo so much we have incorporated it into our new letterhead. Paddler, Scott, from Maryland will join us in 2008 for his third MSA tour.
Settler’s history & Campbell River Museum Collaboration with Jeanette Taylor
Sept 30 – Oct. 6, plus Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 14 -16, 2007
Once again, the spirit of the Columbia III shines out! On this historical tour we had a couple join us who used to own the company that published the ever popular (though out of print) book “The Columbia is Coming!” The front and back cover of the book are comprised of an oil painting and our guests presented us with the original oil painting as a donation to the living museum that is this heritage vessel . . . I don’t feel that the painting was given to us so much as given to the boat herself.
Here’s a copy of the painting as seen on the book.
One guest is a devoted fan of the remote coastal post offices and we did our best to oblige him! Once he returned home he received quite a few samples from the various stops on the tour: Echo Bay, Blind Channel, Surge Narrows, Minstrel Island, and viewed here, Whaletown.
Great customer service but don’t SLIP!
Late October: The Columbia III makes it home safe and sound. Viewed here from the kitchen window of our home.