Monthly Archives: December 2009

Christmas Tea & Cruise 09

We decided to run our annual “Christmas Tea and Cruise” again this year, our fourth. What we didn’t anticipate was the response. Due to a Transport Canada limitation, we are allowed to carry 22 passengers and we thought 2 cruises would be enough to satisfy demand. So we let a couple of local radio stations and newspapers know about the event and we waited. But not very long! The first two tours sold out very quickly and so we thought we might run a third tour .. . . but then that one filled too and then we filled a fourth tour! But the phone didn’t stop ringing. In one day we had 18 requests for groups from 2 to 10 . . . we eventually had a hundred people on the waiting list.

We had all kinds of people join us, young and old, local and new to Campbell River, and some who remember, as children, the Columbia coming into their bay carrying Christmas gifts 50 and 70 years ago. Fern made tons of homemade short breads, ginger snaps in the shapes of holly and cookies decorated for Christmas. We had liters of cream on hand and caldrons of tea and coffee . . . . well, maybe not CALDRONS but you get the idea. The weather stayed dry and the wind calm and we even had White-sided dolphins join one group.

The response was so great we will have to think hard what we will do next year . . . how does a “Sing-a-long Caroling Cruise sound??

And everyone wanted a photo of the mast head Christmas tree and its lights as they left.

Columbia III relaunched . . .in Holland!

Several years ago a couple from the Netherlands chartered us for a wedding shower for their daughter. (Somewhere back in this blog is a gal dressed in traditional Dutch attire!). Well, Dad actually operates tour boats on the canals of Holland and Rene fell in love with the Columbia III. . . . which seems perfectly natural to me. But over the last year or so, Rene has been working hard! He utilized the plans on our website supplied by Robert Allan Limited and began his project. Over the months we have had updates and the new, new version of the Columbia III now sails in Europe! Rene seems to have not only good taste in vessels but great wood working skills as well! Thanks for the photos, Rene & Carla!

Holy!! Look at the bright work!

Now we need some miniature remote controlled killer whales!

Finally home again!!! Fall 09

We love the Columbia III, we love the BC Coast and we thrive on all the great people we meet during the summer, but after the boat has been gone from home for 41/2 to 5 months is does feel wonderful to be home again. Home, and all our guests happy, the season safely over. There are ALOT of pieces to this mothership puzzle, ordering food, preparing the boat, caring for guests and safely husbanding visitors from around the world through an adventure that many say in life-altering. When we finally tie to our home dock I can sleep all night! and not get up 2-3 times to check the anchor, to check the battery bank, to check the weather . . . Home again safely, and with thanks.

We strip the boat each fall, all the books and mattresses and bedding comes off and are stored in our home. It takes a while! The kayaks come off the roof and are stored under cover.

Lifejackets placed in dry storage, the cupboards cleared, cleaned and supplies inventoried.

the galley is scrubbed top to bottom,

The mattresses removed,

and the boat gets tidier and the house messier!

And once we got the Columbia III settled to bed, we started on preparing for our 2010 season. Even a couple of friends who happened by for dinner got pressed into service as we prepared our fall mailout to our guest list.