We seem to have started a new tradition in Campbell River BC, the town nearest our island home. Originally we ran the tours at Christmas to allow the many old timers in the area that know and love the Columbia III but realistically aren’t going to join one of our tours. For some it is admittedly too expensive or outside their mobility. Many are quite elderly. But still they do love the boat and the chance at a ride aboard “the old girl”is not to be missed. We started out running 2 tours on a Saturday 5 years ago, but we had to expand to Saturday and Sunday. And still we turn down the reservations by the dozens! You have to be quick to get a spot on the much coveted cruise. We charge $10 per per person by donation. If you don’t have the money, we don’t ask, and everyone seems to appreciate the Christmas thought. Fern and the kids make a MOUNTAIN of homemade cookies for the weekend. I wanted to make a giant batch of chocolate chip cookies for simplicity, but no, there were some very fancy and time consuming Christmas treats made. The candy canes were two types of dough rolled together. I know this is a classic wooden heritage vessel and she is high maintenance, but even the cookies are a lot of work!
Brian and Ann are coastal mariners but they drove the 3 1/2 hours up island to join the 2 hour cruise.
And here is Rick of Rick and Carolyn. They drove 4 1/2 hours(!) just to travel with us again. They had been with us in September in the BC Great Bear Rainforest but they wanted to be on the Columbia III again. It was great to see them. It was a present for us.
I am going to submit this shot below to Transport Canada. They keep a close eye on our operations to ensure everything and everyone is “up to snuff’. So I thought I would reassure them that I am “Training for the future”. This little guy was glued to the wheel! His eyes were as big a saucers, even if Tavish had to nudge the wheel a little left or right. He wasn’t quite strong enough to steer unassisted but he could sure hang on.