Oh my gosh! these blogs can get out of hand! I seem to barely turn around and the last entry is too long ago and I need to make another entry. Our summer is just a little bit busy with all the comings and goings of crew and provisions and guests such that the blog slips well down the “to-do” list.
Here is a smattering of photos from our 2011 season. Miray has loaded up the usual gallery with photos from this summer and as usual, the BC coast has been very generous with her wildlife! This was our family’s seventh season running the mothership and really, just between you and me, it is just such an amazing coast and the Columbia III is such a comfortable and beautiful boat to be on that I still pinch myself. How lucky I am, how lucky our family is. Great guests, great boat, great coast. As a friend pointed out, “Ross, you’ve got a poor excuse for a job!”.

Here our son-in-law, Luke is skippering . . . another tough day in the office.

Ace guide and family friend (and a total perfectionist when it comes to the perfect varnish finish!!) Steve

Not bad, Don, but you forgot to paint the Columbia III in the foreground.

Robert Genn workshop

Robert Genn is “heavy hitter” in the artist’s world, so its fun to have him paint straight into our guest log book.

Jeannette Taylor joins us every year as resident historian and story teller. Here she’s checking her notes.

You see a young woman posing on Mitlenatch Island in the middle of the Salish Sea. I see Farlyn, our daughter. the youngest woman on the coast to have her Limited Master’s skipper papers for the Columbia III.

A quiet moment running up Johnston Straits

Mom! there’s a bear on the beach. Here, look!!

Lillian Hunt joined us again for our First Nation’s cultural tour.

One of the most amazing sights of the summer and perhaps of my BC Coast life was a transient Orca kill of a Pacific Whitesided dolphin. We had a group of whitesides following us down Johnston Strait when all of a sudden they ALL lept clear of the water simultaneously and raced away at a truly unbelievable speed with every dolphin spending as little time as possible IN THE WATER!

It didn’t take long to figure out what was going on. Luke captured the Orca in very hot pursuit. There must be some advantage to being in the air when attacking because the orca kept leaping out of the water over and over and twisting and diving in pursuit! All the guests ( and crew!) were exclaiming loudly as the chase evolved. As this was the first day of this particular tour it took some explaining to the new guests that this was not a common occurrence and they were very, very fortunate to have witnesses such a moment. I have been on the coast 50+ years and it was my first close hand view of Orca kill.

We don’t get a lot of kids on the mothership but our family ( being a family!) love kids and the world viewed through fresh young eyes is such a wonderful reminder for us all.

I know it can’t be true but it sure seems like we have a birthday celebrated on every tour of the summer and sometimes 3! We are always up for another cake and we keep the ship’s stores well stocked with candles.

I know our regular gallery has lots of Spirit Bear photos, so I only threw one in here. But it was a really, really good year for bear viewing. As skipper I usually stay with the mothership and most guests have seem more Spirit Bears than I have . .. but this year I was in the right place at the right time (with a little help from our Gitga’at guides!!) and I saw 3 Spirit Bears and 3 black bears simultaneously!!!!

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