Three Bucks and a Doe 'Ho'

Trip Start Jul 29, 2010
Trip End Aug 15, 2010

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Friday, August 13, 2010

“Three Bucks And A Doe Ho”… sung to the tune of Three Coins In A Fountain.

Help, I’m stuck in the car with a singing Colleen!! This singing streak started with our visit to the Canner at Port Edward (what we’ve been calling ‘Count Kevin’ for some obscure reason). Arriving at the canner site Colleen started off with “Cannereee, Canneraah, Canneree, Canneraah…with a flat fish on my back”.

It just gets better after that. Arghhhhh!

Think it comes from the overnight ferry ride sharing a four bunk room and waking up in Prince Rupert. A little like a strange dream with an actual outcome.

The ferry arrived on the mainland at 7:30 which is why we got to ‘Count Kevin’ before the cannery opened. Got a mini tour by the young manager who, for a small donation, took pity on us. He opened the old office and the store for us as well as taking us for a walk down the boardwalk. He showed us the houses and explained how the labour force was segregated. Native, Japanese, Chinese and Caucasian, guess who got the best housing?

The office and store displayed many things that we all recognized! Wringer washing machines aren’t that old Or how about the mechanical typewriter or the hand crank adding machine?

Later, in Prince Rupert city, we began our tour in the area called Cow Bay at a place called Cowpaccino Coffee Bar. This place is over the top ‘cow’razy! Even the big garbage bins are painted like jersey cows!

Colleen and I did a little wandering through the shops (surprise surprise) before we all ate fish and chips at Smiles Café (an institution here since 1920).

Toured the waterfront area which was pretty quaint and enjoyed watching the town spruce up (and stock up) for what they refer to as Cruise Ship Day. The Norwegian something or other pulled in later in the day.

The museum was very interesting with many different (and many similar) native artifacts. Everywhere I go I learn something different. Here I learned just how hard the Hudson Bay Company worked to put local trappers out of business. Some things never change…..big fish chewing up the little guys.

Later, after a rest and filling in my blog for the last week and a bit, we wandered down to the Cow Bay Café for a delicious dinner. It was like a different city with all the cruise ship people doubling the population of downtown .

I’m not sure why people complain about the weather here. After the morning fog wers off the skies seem to always be cloudless blue.

Just for the record Dorth… the Green Apple Café has shut down. Ocals were prett upset because they did, indeed, have the best fish and chips in Prince Rupert.

As Colleen and I wandered through the park on our walk back from dinner she was still singing Three Bucks and a Doe Ho…. Will it never stop?

Inside Passage: Rainbow Halo And An Orca Escort

I’d love to begin the entr for this day with a lovely story about rainbows and orcas but that just wouldn’t be honest.

The day, honestly, began with three cranky people stumbling to check out of the hotel at 4:45 AM after being kept awake most of the night by rowdy party people. I said only three of us because Don didn’t hear anything.

I woke up at 12:30 to the sound of drunks breaking the elevator which set of the alarm which brought the manager and then the repairman (and his hammers) and it just went on and on until about 3:30. Our alarm went off at 4:30 and we were at the ferry just after 5AM. |Zzzzzzzzzzz

Now, with that bit off my chest I’ll tell you the rest of the story.

Again (yes again) it is clear blue sky above the morning fog. By the time the ferry left at 7:30 we were fed and the fog was starting to lift.

The ferry we are on is new with comfy leather like recliner chairs and lots of windows. We, however, found the damp metal deck chairs on Deck 6 to be more to our liking. Actually, with no fog and blue sky we were not going to be sitting around much.

Shortly after we left Rupert we came upon three Orca right beside the ferry. They showed off a bit and their spray could be seen for a long time after we passed. I will never tire of watching their sleek black and white bodies rising up out of the water and sinking back down with only their spray as a memory.

Of course I jumped up and down like a six year old calling everyone on deck 6 to come and see… in fact I’m pretty sure they heard me on deck 5 and 7!! Don got a video this time.

Not long after the orca display came along a couple of hump backed whales putting on a show. Not sure how many were in that group but we could see at least two tails The usual seals, eagles and (apparently) porpoises were all that came along until the afternoon.

What did hit us was a low fog bank. As the ship entered the fog there was an uncanny circle rainbow with a person’s shadow smack in the middle. I don’t know how to describe this any differently. We all took turns at the center of this phenomenon so, in spite of her insisting it’s true, Colleen isn’t always the center of attention! As we looked down towards the water the circle of colour surrounded us and the arch of a partial rainbow came up to the height of the fog on either side. Eventually, as the fog got thicker, the rainbow circle faded a bit and the rainbow arch joined to become a half circle. Ok, so I hear voices at Skang Gwaii as well as lights then I tell you about this one. Sure hope the pictures turn out or you will think I am truly headed to the far side.

We managed to stay on deck until around 4PM when we had to head for a cold beer and air conditioning. We are hoping to get a nap today but there is so much to see. The terrain is so unique. Steep rocky cliffs line the narrow Granville Channel (in some places it is only 14oo feet wide). The tidal currants look like rapids in some places especially near side channels and islands. We’ve seen an abandoned cannery, a not so abandoned lighthouse complete with a happily waving lighthouse keeper,
Throughout the passage we passed islands small and large while the bulky ship meandered it's way past yet more light houses and through the rushing rivers of tidal waters.
Down near Bella Bella the land appears much flatter. Boy there are areas all along this trip where I would love to get off and do some exploring The ferry slowed down as we edged closeer to Bella Bella the largest native community in BC and a thriving fishing village.  On the opposite shore is the village of Shearwater.  A whale greeted us here as well but just south of that we had, excuse the pun, a whale of a show.  A young humpback whale began his show by breaching (in the end he had breached at least 5 times). He took his dorsal fin and slapped it back and forth for a while then, just before his last breach, he decided to wave goodbye.  With his nose in the water he slapped his tail back and fort 27 times, took a breath then back nose in for another 12 'waves'.  It was like a movie..."cue the whale" or Walt Disney whale on a chain.  Shane thought perhaps the ferry put high voltage in the water causing the waving to go on and on.  There must be some reason however the general consensus was that the guy was showing off!
Whatever the reason it certainly was an amazing show.
After that ...what can I say...we watched the world fade to black as we neared Port Hardy.  At 10:30 (exactly) we docked.  I say exactly because that's what we were assured by the Tourist Information guy whos presentation was so exciting that both Shane and Don fell asleep.  Shane woke from his snoring stupor to clumsily clap along with the crowd... prett funny look on his face!)
Don asked a crew member if we might get in early.  He was told that it was no problem to cut time off the journey but people complain they're getting ripped off.  They paid for the 15 hour cruise and they're going to get it.  I for one enjoyed every minute (with the possible exception of the cafeteria food)!
Port Hardy...stars fill the sky, our room is indeed there and we flop in to bed...lights out!
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Colleen on

Correction: I was the only one to sleep through the drunks breaking the elevator. Sleep of the innocent?

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