Category Archives: General

Getting Close!

So the big day came! The COLUMBIA III came out of the shed, one step closer to being ready for our up coming season. The kayaks that hung out of the way all winter in the rafters of the shed get lowered on to the mothership.IMGP5925

A little gymnastics . . . IMGP5929

The emergency towline was reloaded into the clean and freshly painted lazarette. . . .IMGP5930

The life raft loaded back into is rack after a 3 week visit to Victoria for its annual inspection . . . IMGP5931

The gate was opened . . . IMGP5933

and out she went!IMGP5935

After all the dust and sticky wet paint and varnish, grandson, Theo, is finally allowed back aboard.IMGP5936 IMGP5941

Auntie/skipper/cook, Farlyn and papa/skipper/lead kayak guide/son-in-law, Luke  assist the “exit strategy”, with Theo directing.tavishcampbell-3882


” Boy oh boy! These are big ropes!”tavishcampbell-3900

I am told by previous guests that I don’t have enough photos of Theo on this post . . . so here is my obligatory grandson shot.tavishcampbell-3902

And a new stage of labours begins. The bedding and books and lifejackets and mattresses and towels all make the journey down form the house to the dock.IMGP5950

And the masts are winched back upright.IMGP5952

And the rigging re-connected.  IMGP5953

Here is a “boaty” little detail. We had 1″ diameter steel rods as “stairs” up the midship shrouds. These silly bars dripped rust on the decks despite being sanded and painted every year. I finally “bit the bullet” and bought some 1″ solid brass bar to replace them with. I think I should have bought them years ago! Even at $2.50/inch, the 16 feet of brass could have paid for itself over the years. Tavish lashed these on very tightly to prevent them from slipping down.IMGP5955


and a shot from the water of “home”.IMGP5961

and one from the kitchen window.IMGP5966

Then we were off to Campbell River for inspections! The ship gets its propane system inspected, and its engine, and its fire extinguishers, and its engine room fire suppression system, and its emergency radio system is inspected by the Canadian Coast Guard.IMGP5967


We also had the new radar installation completed by the technician and powered up. “Oh goodie! A new complex addition in the wheel house to learn about”  : Heads-up, north-up, AIS and GPS enabled.


And all of Fern’s recipe testing and menu building and food ordering results in LOTS of food stuffs arriving by truck to be loaded onto the boat and stowed in crazy corners of the ship.IMGP5972  IMGP5979 IMGP5982

And finally our big day, the Transport Canada Ship Safety inspection. I bring out all the safety gear, have the fire hoses unrolled and the nozzles lashed to the stanchions so I can demonstrate the pumps without showering the yachts in the next slip with salt water. I have out the flares and pumps, and emergency tiller and first aid gear. I even have all our required paperwork displayed.

And we did get passed. Whew! That was a close call.IMGP6019 IMGP6020 IMGP6021 IMGP6022 IMGP6023

And now the last night at home for the COLUMBIA III for the next 41/2 months and I have a million details to attend to.

Save the Heart of Quadra Parks

There are two small marine parks on Quadra Island near our home but they have been separated for years by a parcel of private land owned by a logging company. The local community has been wanting to preserve this entire area to no avail. Finally, the logging company said enough. If the community didn’t raise the cash SOON! the trees were getting cut. So a movement began and somehow in all the fundraising, the idea was spawned that if a person donated $1000.00 they would join the “Thousand Dollar Club” an honour that included a free one day tour of the area aboard . . .  you guessed it, the COLUMBIA III. The idea worked so well, people were calling and asking how they could sign up for  their “free tour” on the COLUMBIA III.

Thus, shortly after we finally got home from our summer season we were back  out with 44 guests for two days running seeing the sights, including the hopefully soon to be protected Octopus Islands/Waiatt Bay corridor to Small Inlet Marine Park. There was even a short TV news piece on the tours

The indefatigable Jeanette Taylor helped to organize the 44 donors for the park purchase and all we had to do was show up at the right time at the right place and start serving tea and coffee. Now that is something I know how to do!

I labeled this as “skipper  in training” but a good skipper has to learn how to be at home working in the galley sink. Here, grandson Theo, is already learning the fine art of galley duty whilst catering to the local philanthropist group

Coastal kids

Ok, ok, they are now in their twenties and even close to 30 years old AND Miray has started a family AND I am now a grandfather, but they are still “kids” right. Anyhow, as I have been going over some of the summer photos I came across a few of the “kids” and thought I would toss some in here.

Our kids, Tavish, Farlyn and Miray, have grown up on this coast and their connection to it keeps evolving and expanding. Collectively they have worked as crew for Raincoast Conservation, Pacific Wild, and Alexandra Morton and at any one time someone is doing something to assist in a conservation effort on the coast. This summer, Miray and our new grandson, Theo, flew up to spend time in the Great Bear. Simultaneously, Tavish had a week off from Mothership Adventures and spent the time helping Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild set up some remote hydrophones for listening to whales in the Great Bear area around Bella Bella. And, just for good measure, Farlyn and her partner, Jody, where staying with Ian and Karen, as they were in the area doing research for Alexandra Morton . It became a sibling reunion, ( as if a family this close really needs a reunion!) in the Great Bear.

Ian, Miray and Theo

Farlyn and Jody doing ground truthing with wild salmon

Farlyn takes careful notes.


Last spring, Tavish, Farlyn and Jody sailed Ian’s new 47′ sailboat (“Habitat”) from Costa Rica to Hawaii to British Columbia as a ‘delivery” for Ian. Here, skipper Tavish plays with nephew, Theo on the Habitat in the Great Bear.

Jody and wild Pacific Salmon are never far apart!!

Ian was installing a network of remote hydrophones in the Great Bear and these are powered by solar panels. The project provided lots of opportunity for travel and exploration.

Tavish has a commercial dive ticket and  is always really willing to have an excuse to dive. Working for Pacific Wild is Tavish time off from the Columbia III.

Family friend, Max, helps with the solar panel installation.

Its a long ways for the sailboat, Habitat, to sail from Costa Rica to Ian’s back yard!!

Tavish climbed a tree to get this great shot of some spawning wild Pacific Salmon. These are THE KEYSTONE species for this coast. And the cause of great concern and effort to protect.