Saturday, June 26, 2010


The lupines here in the park at Cluxewe campsite

The Salt Marsh is an interesting spot across the river from here in our camp

Is this a large lizard or?

Looking north west up the coast up past the Salt Marsh area

Along the Salt Marsh trail, the trees are all Western Hemlock, second or third growth

My picture of the Coral Princess taken with my big camera and wide angle lens
so I had to crop it to get the boat larger

Aileen's picture of the Coral Princess taken with Kodak point and shoot digital with long zoom so she was able to fill the frame

I noticed the foxgloves looking great Friday morning while walking Mitzy before breakfast, so I took my camera and played awhile. Downloaded them after breakfast and did three HDR processes while doing my morning reads online. Aileen cut my hair later in the morning. We’ve definitely paid for that clipper set already.

Aileen had just crawled into bed after lunch on Friday and I was packing my gear for a walk when our realtor phoned needing more papers signed. We decided to go right into Anne’s and take care of it, which we did. He said there are five or six of us involved this time. My understanding is that the first domino is a piece of bare land. The first three, starting with our buyer, are all really eager to buy, he says. We’ll see, I guess. We have allowed our buyer’s to move their stuff into the garage ahead of the closing which the realtor said was quite important to make the whole thing work as their buyer’s want to move in the same day our buyer’s move out and take over ours. The closing date is set for July 29 if everything holds together.

Aileen slept 3 til 5 Friday afternoon. I walked up the mainline and took the first road/trail down to the salt marsh then wandered all the way through to the north. I had to take to the bush a few times to get around ugly spots then worked my way through the bush, sometimes following rudimentary trails until I finally came on the good trail which went out to the road. I followed it out to the beach. I only stayed there about 5 minutes since the time was getting on. When I jumped up on a log to head back, I spotted a cruise ship way up the coast coming my way. It would have made me way too late to stay so I headed home at 4:44 arriving at 5:52. Aileen wasn’t around and when I looked toward the beach, there was a big white cruise ship bearing down on us. I grabbed my camera and ran to the beach and started shooting. That’s when I noticed Aileen and Mitzy along from me taking pictures with her Kodak.

We met John and Anne at the Northern Lights restaurant for 6:30 supper. We had a good meal which John insisted on paying for. Thank you very much! Anne had a seafood medley, Aileen and John had steak and oysters while I had ribs. We had coconut prawns and stuffed mushrooms for appy’s and they were excellent.

Back at camp, Aileen got the fire going then we all sat around it for awhile. Finally we got up enough energy to take our walk out to the point followed by more time around the fire.

We went ATVing this afternoon and found three more caves. We were going to have supper on the mountain but it started raining so we packed it in and came back to the trailers. It hadn’t rained here. Dennis and April came out with the kids and visited awhile.

Tomorrow we are moving out to one of the remoter lakes so will be off the grid for a week. I guess we’ll get to use the generator again. There may not be any blogs posted for the next week or more unless I am able to get a strong enough signal by driving up the mountain.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Approaching Sointula on Malcolm Island

Taken to the right of the above photo

Old boat houses

Rowboats drawn up out of the way

Matching cycles at the wharf

Sointula public wharf

A view back at the old float and boat houses

From the lighthouse beach on Malcolm Island looking across to our Cluxewe campsite on Vancouver Island. We are on the left behind the red roofs

Pultenay Point lighthouse reached by a trail along the beach

Two more images of the lighthouse created by merging three separate exposures


These ferns are very abundant

Big Lake reflections

Salal is the dominant ground cover, there is a wild rose growing with it in this shot

Salal flowers

Mitchell Bay near the east end of Malcolm Island

This is a lively looking place, I loved the intensity of the blue

I thought this was a rather unique fence

The ferry coming to take us home. Port McNeill on Vancouver Island visible in the background

The ferry approaching the dock

We were up before 8 on Wednesday and on the road at 9:28 which was two minutes ahead of our schedule. We went by Anne’s to exchange our truck for her Jeep which she’d offered last night. It was reluctant to start as she hardly uses it then I hosed the dust off. We got in the ferry line early but there were only a few vehicles in the end.

We explored the town side of Malcolm Island then had lunch at a little cafĂ©. After lunch, we took the lighthouse road and walked to Pulteney Point lighthouse. We were the only set of tracks on the road out there. Aileen was pleased to have finally made it there as her girl friend Winona Quinney had lived there for a time in the 50s. We went to Bere Point campground next and it has some great water view sites. We drove the spine road past Big Lake down to Mitchell Bay, which is a quaint little area. Coming back to Sointula, we ran into rain then had showers off and on. We got in the ferry line early again but there were even less cars on board. It was a neat place to visit but don’t know if we will ever do it again.

We put some gas in the Jeep before going back to Anne’s where I then used my Turtle Wax soap to give it a good cleaning. It was raining well back at the campsite when we got here then a few minutes later it was really coming down. It was warm though, about 16 or 17C so we decided to eat outside. The table was soaked as we had retracted the awning in the morning so we moved it out of the way and sat in chairs. We barbequed hamburgers again but also a wiener each to go with the bacon, onions and mushrooms Aileen had prepared inside. Yummy!

For more information on the history of Sointula the following book would be of interest. I have copied the info from the internet.


An Island Utopia

by Paula Wild

The story of Canada's socialist-utopian community.

Sointula - it means "harmony" - is a tiny community on Malcolm Island, a short ferry ride from northern Vancouver Island. It was founded at the turn of the century by the Kalevan Kansa Society, a group of Finnish utopians, and Matti Kurikka, their charismatic but impractical leader. Despite serious setbacks, including a disastrous fire in 1903 that killed eleven people, the Finns built a thriving community. Even after the Kalevan Kansa ended, locals were blackballed all along the coast for their fervour in organizing loggers' and fishermen's unions. A fresh wave of utopians arrived in Sointula in the 1960s, and while they were shunned by many residents, some of the older generation recognized in the "hippies" the hopes and dreams of their forefathers.

Paula Wild lived in Sointula for many years. In researching her book, she talked to more than forty residents and translated innumerable Finnish documents and letters.

Our day ended on a down note as our realtor called with the news that the latest offer on our buyers’ property had collapsed at the last minute. They used something in the property inspection to bail out. Our buyers are still really interested in our house but just can’t seem to get theirs sold. We are again back to accepting other offers and our current buyers have 48 hours to come up with the dough or lose out. Apparently we have a showing of our house again today. We have to go to Anne’s today to print out the paperwork, sign it, scan it and email it back to the realtor. This is getting tedious!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Roosevelt Elk

Black Bear shot with Canon Rebel XT and i18-125 Sigma

Male Blue Grouse shot with Canon XTi and 18-125 Sigma

Where we had supper on the mountain overlooking the ocean

Looking into Resonance Cave

Looking out of Resonance Cave

Looking out of Glory'ole Cave

John looking into Glory'ole Cave

The cave and creek go off to the left at the bottom

One of the two bears we saw in the evening. Shot with Canon 5D at ISO 4000 using Canon 100-400 lens

Chainsaw carved wolf howling at the sunset

We both slept past 8 Sunday morning. It was a pretty laid back morning. I worked on my blog and finally got it posted with 24 pictures. It was fairly late when John and Anne made an appearance then Aileen went for a walk with them. Finally, the decision was made to go ATVing again. We took Anne with us to town along with our share of lunch. John had gone earlier to drain the hot tub and finish his lawn mowing. Before we left town, Dennis and April and the kids came by with their Father’s Day stuff, then we had to go to the store for some supper makings. Aileen said it was 3:30 when we unloaded the ATVs at the same place at Noomas.

We had a great trip again. First off, we went and found my sunglasses which were right where Aileen thought they would be (I was missing them when we got back to the trucks on Saturday). The next road we went up turned out to be a good one. First off, we saw a herd of elk (12-15) then John found us a male blue grouse. I started taking pictures of it then John called me back up to the road as there was a black bear about 150 feet in front of the ATVs. I took some shots of it then went back to working with the grouse. The bear was difficult to shoot because of the contrast. The grouse let me approach within about 10 feet so my shots are sharp and well exposed. When the grouse decided to wander away from me, he went toward the road. It turns out Mitzy had staked out a place in the shade and the grouse came nose to nose with her and then exploded back towards me, too fast for a picture. It was exciting though! We carried on further up the road to a good viewpoint where we had supper. Bean, pasta and potato salads from the grocery store tasted great. We had Danish pastry for dessert. The forecast cloud was beginning to roll in so we lost the light.

John took us up an unused road being user maintained, and after some rough stuff, ie. corduroy, rocks and brush we came to a dead end. John poked around and found an unmarked trail which led to a natural cave within 100 feet or so. It was not quite high enough to stand in and ramped gradually down and had several bends in the first 100 feet or so. We found out later it is called Resonance Cave and is 314 feet deep and 4224 feet long.

When we were having supper on the mountain, I picked up a message from Georgia wishing me happy Father’s Day. Bev had sent me an e-card this morning.

It was fridge defrost day Monday and Aileen did a complete wash with baking soda. She took darks over to the laundry as well. After spending too long on the internet, I took Mitzy out to the sand pit for a stroll. It had been a Scotch Mist morning, dampness in the air but not actually raining. Aileen called and made an appointment for Mitzy’s haircut on July 7 in Parksville.

While Aileen napped Monday afternoon, I went to Anne’s and washed our truck and theirs. Then I did the grocery shopping. I took Mitzy along the river trail before supper and trimmed more brush with the pruners. John was here with a full load of wood when we returned. I helped with the last of the unloading. He then went home for Anne and Nikki and Travyn as Dennis and April were playing ball.

After supper, John and I took his truck and roared out to the Noomas area. He’d done some research and talked to a co worker so we found another trail which led us to the Glory‘ole Cave. It’s one of those big holes in the ground where a creek goes down into it. This one would have been easy to walk right down in and apparently it goes 1030 feet down and 6716 feet in length. . It was pretty steep going down the trail at times with notches cut in sloping logs to aid access. It only took about 10 minutes to return to the truck.

We went back up the road we saw the elk on the day before but none were there. We did see two good sized black bears though and a button spike. It was 10:30 when we returned home.

Today we have my cousin Chris bringing her parents, Mac and Nancy, down from Port Hardy to join us for lunch. Nancy is my Dad’s youngest sister and is the same age as my Mom.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Estuary grass straight shot tidlied up in PhotoShop

Same scene combining three different exposures with Photomatix

The twins

Part of 22,000 baby Coho Salmon

Travyn with his pail of fish

Scooping up the fish

Dennis and Travyn releasing the baby fish

The group who participated in the fish release

Day care ladies

Passenger only ferry meets car ferry

Passenger ferry meets shrimp fishing boat. I watched them unload cases and cases on the dock.