Where have the last 18 months gone?? I’m not sure if this blog will be a New Years salutation or one great, big, skipper whine.
Somehow I have been flat out busy for the last two years with little to show for it and certainly no blog activity. Rest assured, I know you were worried, I have been putting in long days and months keeping Mothership Adventures alive and the COLUMBIA III cared for. . . but so little of my efforts have been showy, or if they were I was too busy to think to take a picture or annotate the moment.
We did participate in 2 epic Marine Debris shore-line clean ups during 2020 and 2021. Each expedition had me skippering for about 50 days and our collective fleet gathered 330 metric tonnes of debris. But the actual expedition was the simple part of the equation. Prior to leaving in May 2021 for the second expedition I logged 286 hours in April 2021 getting ready. Much of this time was spent on Zoom calls helping to organize the back-end to the clean up: First Nations approval, helicopter contacts, sourcing a tug and barge, arranging jet fuel and down stream recycling . . . . So when the COLUMBIA III finally left harbour for the second expedition the relief was HUGE! and a blessing to be out of cell coverage.
And of course there was/is the pandemic. Certainly the quaint old days of a guest simply phoning me to reserve a spot for an up-coming tour seems like some distant Camelot days of yore. We have been refunding, and shuffling and rebooking and rescheduling and reprinting invoices and corresponding with guests at an unprecedented rate. Charter groups trying to reschedule can’t get future dates to work for all their participants, some guests want to rebook for 2023 hoping the pandemic will be long gone, some guests just give up and others remain ever optimistic. Some guests want a full refund and some waive their deposit to help us weather this storm.
But it all takes so much more time than it used to. So much more computer time.
We did manage to run a few kayaking tours in late August and September of 2021 and it was wonderful to have the mothership full of laughter, good food and camaraderie again. But the pandemic reached its long tendrils even into our remote tours making all aspects of travel to and from our operations more complex and wearing. The local airlines were just reopening and we struggled with coordinating crew changes and fresh food deliveries. On one tour our food arrived by charter float plane three days after the tour started . . .
But that is all distant history now. Our 2022 season is mostly full and I am steaming ahead with all aspects of a regular season. Our shipyard date is booked, spring sanding and painting crews are queuing up, and I’m puttering away on silly little details on the COLUMBIA III that were noted last season in my “To Do” list: a new micro wave in the galley, new GPS’s, re-built hot water furnace etc, etc, etc.
And I try to get some sleep. I try not to dwell on Omicron nor worst-case scenarios, and I try to remember to smile. This will all be behind us soon and our season will unfold in fun, safety and financial viability.
Skipper/owner/chief dishwasher/tardy blogger and Dr. of Marine Voodoo.