West Coast Trip Day 3: What's an adventure without a near death experience?!? Bruised knee, sore toe and elbow, a few scuffs and I now know what a swirly feels like. All is well, Mr. Ray saved me and we are currently tied at one life saved a piece.
Aside from the adrenaline induced Afib, the day was fairly tame. The morning's alarm was 2 Ravens and an owl arguing over some scrap or other. We explored Elk Falls Provincial Park and walked the new suspension bridge. Breakfast at a quaint diner called the Ideal Cafe in Campbell River certainly gave me strength needed later in the afternoon.
We strolled amongst the old growth forest of Cathedral Grove. Home to trees 1000 years old. Trees who were a few hundred years old when Columbus accidentally found himself in North America. Perspective right?
We also caught up with the guests of the Celebrity Cruise Ship we noticed moored in Campbell River. I wondered what they were going to do with the passengers.
Continuing on towards Tofino, we stopped at Long Beach, Pacific Rim National Park... $20 user fee to park and that is probably why I didn't stop here in 2004 or 2010. We have a Park Pass now. The weather has cooled and the surf is up. Mist rolling in at low tide makes this place seem surreal. Or it could just be me feeling thankful I have an angel or two watching out for me. Either way, we found an angle wing clam shell on the beach and said a word of thanks just in case.
Tofino, the trendy, hippy, surf town on the far west coast of Vancouver Island is home to the Roy Henry Vickers Art Gallery, which is excellent. We wandered around town and got a coffee and resumed our travels to Ucluelet. I think we will check out the lighthouse and wander a bit before bed... 4am wake up call comes quick.
Tomorrow is an all day fishing trip of salmon, halibut and cod. Wish us luck!!
West Coast Trip Day 4: Eagles, Salmon and Cod... Oh my! Holy crap 4am is BS. In stark contrast to waking to the relaxing chirps of birds, this morning was a sudden cacophony of iPhone U-boat submerge warnings, with accompanying strobes; loud and obnoxious. My heart is still weak from yesterday; I'm surprised I survived wake up call long enough to fish.
While yesterday ended with wine drank from the bottle on the deck and a cigar, to quash the lingering fear of an icy death, this morning we looked forward to fair weather and slightly more sound decisions.
We pulled away from the dock as part of an armada of Pukers. So aptly named by the vomit inducing action of the waves. This morning we only 2 passengers expel breakfast on the ride out. On the plus side I couldn't hear them over the engine. I settled in to an upright, open mouth, jello neck head bob nap, Jeff Foxworthy would be proud of for the 2 hour jaunt to the prime fishing locale... Big Bank
Seas were calm; though the fog never lifted, the drift was fast and the fish were on. Me: not so much. Mr. Ray however, was rip roaring off the mark with 2 beautiful Springs to the net. He also rocked 2 herring to hand with an exciting salmon follow. And yet all I managed was a few tangles with a slightly English impaired gentleman with no prior fishing experience. Here's hoping the afternoon excursion leaves the asshats and those challenged at following directions in the bar.
There is something cathartic about the hum and sway of an ocean going vessel. The afternoon bottom fish trip started with an overboard backpack and a kitchen fire, thanks to the same guy who could not follow directions this morning. Thankfully the vessel was ok and we got out of port without further incident. We did get to see a beautiful Bald Eagle swoop down and pick a fish off the top water not 20' off the starboard bow.
Mr. Ray, the fishing master, was in to an undersized Ling Cod on the first cast. He continued his angling mastery and landed a Copper Rock Cod, 2 Black Sea Bass and Bob the Blob. A super ugly bottom fish. I sure hope he tastes good.
It took me a little longer to catch up but I too soon had my very own undersized Ling Cod (I still say it was 26" and the Skipper was using men's measurements), 3 Black Bass and lost a few others.
The Sea Bass were crazy active, lots of follows and some serious battles were to be had by most of the anglers. We both limited out on our rock fish limit and had a rocking fun time. And no one blew chunks!!
We were treated to a few more Eagles buzzing the boat for handouts. Honestly, not much different than a certain doodle at dinner. It was a great day!! Here's to more wine and pizza on the deck!! Sad to see our fishing day come to an end but excited to set out on another adventure tomorrow.