Monthly Archives: December 2012

7th Annual Christmas Tea and Cruise

We started the winter cruises to get connected with locals who knew and loved the Columbia III from her earlier mission/hospital ship days, but now just about everyone wants to join us for our annual Christmas Cruises. We provide the tea, coffee, cookies and the vessel, you just show up and pay $10 if you have the money, and come for free if you don’t.

I ended up with dozens and dozens of calls waiting on my voice mail, all requesting reservations for 2-10 guests . . .  I finally just couldn’t keep up with the flood of interest. Oops! Next year I will change my voice mail message when the boat is full and it will take some of the confusion out of the process. I am always taken aback by how many people want to join these humble cruises. We  took about 88 passengers over two days but I think I turned many more than that away!  . . . . .

It was a nice winter day when we pulled the Columbia III  out of the shed in preparation for this year’s Christmas cruises.IMGP5024

But it was snowing by the time we made it to Campbell River and overnighted. It certainly looked like a “Christmas Cruise” when the guests arrived in falling snow.IMGP5029



The docks were slippery but I kept a salt water pump running to keep the decks ice-free and safe.IMGP5069

Fern and Tavish spent several days baking literally buckets of cookies for the cruises.IMGP5068



The weather was snowy but calm enough to venture down to the Cape Mudge lighthouse.IMGP5038  IMGP5033


Pastor Tom has joined us several times. We seem to get a lot of repeat “Christmas Cruisers”IMGP5025

A nice Christmasy scene! Lots of snow for one of the two days.DSC_6669_2


Reassuring . . .

It is common for guests to join us for a second tour.  Or a third tour. Sometimes a fourth . .  . .  And even a fifth!

Today I received an email from a “four-timer”, Scott, from the eastern USA.

“I have been to some amazing places the past few years but my love of paddling the Great Bear Rainforest with you guys overshadows them all…so lets go ahead and get me signed up…my credit card number has changed so give me a call at some point and I’ll give you the new one…ten months away and I’m already excited!!”

I called Scott and chatted, news of his work, Hurricane Sandy and our new grandson.

I have travelled a lot over the last two years. I went to South America twice last year alone and I LOVE it there, but there is no place in the world like the Great Bear Rainforest.  Sign me up,” Scott said.

Now that’s a pretty nice way for me to start my weekend.