Category Archives: General

Childish Tugs . . .

Ok. Ok. Someone asked about my tug boat sketches . . .  these are the only ones that have survived the whirlpool of time . . .

I have been mucking about on boats for a few years . . .  and I have always doodled with pen and pencil. Nothing consistent. When our kids were small I kept myself amused by creating sketches in ink for them to colour in: my answer to a coastal colouring book. There were many scribble-scrabble tugs produced in wild purples and oranges and greens. I finally got smart and started to make multiple photo copies of the basic images, then they could scribble to their hearts content and even share with friends . . . But all the scribbling got on my nerves  . . .  Hey you guys, slow down. Here, let me grab a pencil (instead of a big fat crayon) and I will show you what you can do . . .

Here are four pen sketches I shaded-in with pencil to give the kids an idea of what was possible.

The first real boat I owned as the classic small tug, the Ella McKenzie . . .

The other three images are simply fabrications of a father desperately trying to amuse his children. I did always want to own a ship with a upper wheelhouse/skipper’s stateroom . . . so the next best thing was to draw myself one . . .

Pulling for the Hole in the Wall . . .

Summer 2019

Ok, ok. This is going to be embarrassingly quick and dirty.  My main workload is maintaining the ship and shepherding her through the byzantine worlds of Transport Canada regulations, First Nations negotiations, provincial Parks permits and training my staff.

So when the touring season begins and I get to putter around on a lovely classic wooden vessel, meeting wonderful guests, eating fabulous food and seeing amazing wildlife, I simply relax and enjoy myself . . .

…  and I forget to take photos or write my blog . . . . I can relax, … sometimes . . . Can’t I ???

There are lots of 2019 photos from our summer in the website photo gallery, and I don’t want to repeat them here. So the following photos are just to prove that we do have guests, many whom return, and we see cool things and have fun.

What more could a guy ask for???  Perhaps a few months without a blog?

Here is a shot gun smattering of summer photos. Standby for the really, really exciting next blog loaded with seriously boring ship’s maintenance details.

Super Ace guide, Sam Lam . . .


stupid blogger/skipper/owner/maintenance flunky/chief dishwasher/tardy email responder etc, etc.;;; Mothership adventure 2019, British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

;;; Mothership adventure 2019, British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

;;; Waterfalls in GBR., British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

;;; Mothership adventure 2019, British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

;;; Mothership adventure 2019, British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

Stretch Sam!!

Usually super Ace guide, Robin Humphreys, caught at a bad moment . . .  I went back into the records and made an appropriate pay-roll deduction.

Certainly, wildlife viewing is a wonderful part of our summer and here is a classic example. Really, how many ecotourisms operators can brag about having a Cowbird join the ship of a day. The little hitchhiker even flew into the wheel house . . .

and finally fell asleep on my binnacle as we chugged along . . .   


Bute Inlet!!

Grizzlies and the COLUMBIA III

These are spring time shots of 2 grizzlies . . . They haven’t fattened up yet, that’s later in the fall.

Now that’s a big red cedar.

Sam’s dad giving some professional advice.

Another ace guide, (all our guides are pretty darn swell), Luke Roman.

;;; Mothership adventure 2019, British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

;;; Mothership adventure 2019, British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

;;; Mothership adventure 2019, British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

;;; Mothership adventure 2019, British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

;;; Mothership adventure 2019, British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

;;; Kermode Bear (Ursus americanus kermodei), British Columbia, Canada, Isobel Springett

And all of a sudden the season was over and it was back to work for me. Here Tosh Harvey helped me with the end of season laundry . . .

and carrying everything BACK up to my house  for dry winter storage.

All kayaking gear washed, rinsed and stored away.

The kayaks washed and hoisted into the boat shed rafters to get them out of the way for the winter.

And now, after about 40 days of straight work with the last tours and the run home and the end of season laundry and cleaning . . . now I can take the boat back to Campbell River for a special winter maintenance project . . . Stay tuned.

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.