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Telegraph Cove, BC Canada
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Puyallup Elks Club RV parking
Wednesday, September 13, 2017: Last night we parked at the Puyallup, Washington Elks Lodge. This satellite view shows the lodge and RV parking area. We parked in the grass in the lower left of the photo. This was a travel day from Puyallup to Sutherlin, Oregon, our "home base". Driving time was about 6 hours. I consider this the end of our Telegraph Cove adventure, one we hope to repeat next year. We both enjoyed every part of the adventure.

Our ferry to Vancouver, BC

Tuesday, September 12, 2017: Another travel day from Nanaimo, BC back to the states. We had reserved our ferry space a month in advance. It is a two hour ferry ride from Duke Point (Nanaimo) to Tsawwassen (Vancouver), but on a big ferry like this one, it is comfortable. It also has a full service cafe where we had breakfast since we were on an early trip. Click the photo to see the excellent seating Gwen got for our breakfast view. Only about 30 minutes from docking in Vancouver, we crossed back into the USA. When we entered Canada, the Canadian customs wanted to search us. I believe because I told them we were visiting friends for 3 months. The US customs decided they wanted to search us too. I believe because, when asked "what food we had on board", I said, "an apple". They wanted to search all our food. As it turned out, they let us keep the apple but found a (one) tomato which THEY kept. We have decided, on our next trip to Canada, we will have GWEN answer all the questions. We ended up in Seattle at 2 pm, traffic was horrible, stop and go but we made it through without a scratch.

Free parking in Costco's back parking lot
Monday, September 11, 2017: Another travel day from Parksville to Nanaimo, BC where we parked behind Costco. Gwen visited the quilt stores in the area then I took here to Alberni Outfitters where we tested a Hobie Oasis Kayak with Mirage Drive. I knew of two Oasis boats in the Seattle area for a good price and thought this would be the boat for us. Click the photo to see us in the boat. Unfortunately, neither of us liked the boat. I had been researching the boat for a month and was convinced this would be good for us but the "proof is in the pudding". My first impression was, "It's ugly". It's a plastic boat but I thought the saving grace would be the Mirage Drive. You pedal this boat like you would a recumbent bicycle. I knew it wouldn't feel good to begin with since neither of us are use to supporting the weight of our legs while pedaling but I just didn't get the feeling we would adapt quickly. Also, I knew I would be in the boat alone much of the time and it felt cumbersome and clumsy ... and did I mention UGLY? So we cancelled seeing the boats in Seattle.

Camping at the Rathtrevia BC Park in Parksville

Sunday, September 10, 2017: This was a travel day from Telegraph Cove to Parksville, BC Canada along Highway 19, the only highway stretching from tip to tip of the Vancouver Island. Traveling from Telegraph Cove to Campbell River is two lane only. From Campbell River to Parksville is four lane with a speed limit of 120. I tried to do 120 in the motorhome but my speedometer only goes to 100. At about 80, things began to fall off the shelves and Gwen's screaming was annoying. Of course, I'm kidding. Speed limit WAS 120 but kilometers/hour which is about 75 mph, I drove at 65 mph. We spotted a sign for the Rathtrevor BC Park and decided to stay the night in the woods only 100 meters from the beach. Click the photo for a view of the beach at Rathtrevor. It's a popular beach with a trail along the shore for runners and walkers. Cost was $35 for NO hookups so the folks who complained in Telegraph Cove of our price of $47.25 including full hook-ups are out of line.

Learning to fish in the strait

Saturday, September 9, 2017: We are only a day away from leaving Telegraph Cove and I finally decided to buy a one day fishing license when Lynne and Chuck invited us to go fishing with them. This time we are fishing for "bottom fish" hoping to get a Ling Cod but we will be happy with Kelp Greenling Cod too. As it turned out, we caught exclusively the Greenling Cod. It was very tasty, we caught and at it in the same day. While fishing, we were passed by a cruise ship (click the left photo).

There were some smaller Bass we caught and didn't keep. When those were put back into the water, the Bald Eagles nearby were quick to react, grabbing the fish for a quick snack. I took time out from fishing to take a video of the Eagle action. Be sure to check Gwen's story of the day.

Sharing the fish with a Bald Eagle
The SeaMac departs Telegraph Cove
Friday, September 8, 2017: The motor cruiser SeaMac has been docked all summer in Telegraph Cove. This morning it is leaving for ports south. It is the largest cruiser to stay the entire summer. Because of it's size, I decided to take a video of its departure. It amazes me that someone buys a boat this nice then leaves it docked all summer. There is so much to explore on the west coast of BC.

Dawn over Johnstone Strait



Thursday, September 7, 2017: It is rare that I'm up early enough to catch the morning light, in fact, this is my first time this summer. This lone sailboat is working its way toward Port Canella from the entrance of Telegraph Cove.

A view of the cove through a cottage window
Wednesday, September 6, 2017: Today was a day we needed to visit Port CaNella again to get groceries and gifts for a couple of the folks we work with. Before leaving however, we took our regular walk through the cove. The sides of the cove are very steep so a boardwalk was built to reach the businesses at the mouth of the cove. Along the boardwalk, on both sides, are old cottages and historic homes which are rented to tourists. Some are built on the pilings over the waters of the cove. The photo above is through a window into the cove of one of the cottages. Driving on to Port CaNella we found the largest burl in the world, perhaps it has made Port CaNella special. Click the photo to see it.
Stubbs Island Whale Watch

Gwen getting ready for a cool seabreezeMy best sighting of the humpback whale

Tuesday, September 5, 2017: We are nearing the end of our summer in Telegraph Cove and finally get the chance to take a tour on the Stubbs Island Whale boat. By far the majority of daily visitors to Telegraph Cove are here to take a tour on the Stubbs Island Whale Watching boats. They will have as many as five sailings each day. The visitors are most interested in seeing the Orca whales in the wild setting. We were fortunate to meet the Orcas right out the inlet to Telegraph Cove.

Continued below .....
The Orca
Captain Wayne
We were also fortunate to have Captain Wayne at the helm. Captain Wayne is in the RV just next to us in the park so I've talked with him a lot about boating issues in the strait. He has a half century of experience. We learned there are three different Orcas, fish eating, transient and mammal eating. The Orcas we saw today are fish eating so the porpoise like to harass them. If they were mammal eating, the porpoise would NOT be nearby. All Orcas travel in family groups and all have been identified and labeled so their life history can be recorded and studied. They are identified by their dorsal fin and white saddle on their backs. The male Orca has the tall, straight dorsal fin while the female fin is shorter and curved. We also saw the Humpback whale as it rose to breath. Captain Wayne would always turn off the engines so we could hear the exhale. Everyone in the boat was silent, just listening to the sounds around us. We also experienced the tidal current while floating by (no engine noise) a rock full of Stellar Sea Lions. From my point of view, I enjoyed the Dall's Porpoise most. Several of them decided to race with the bow of our boat so they would shoot along either side and in front of the bow. They are incredibly fast. We see the back of the Dall's Porpoise most from the windshield of Miss Dory when viewing the strait with binoculars but this was our first time to see the whole body in the clear water below us. I made a short video which will give you an idea of what we saw during our three hour tour. Now I understand why our RV park visitors appear to have a "stunned look" on their faces when returning from a whale watch, it is so amazing! Click all the photos for another view. Here is a nice video of a family vacation at Telegraph Cove which I enjoyed, and you might too. Finally, here is a link to Gwen's story of our whale trip.
Fog over the RV Park
Monday, September 4, 2017: The last few mornings have been foggy which makes for good photographs. This is North Island Kayaks where I like to visit every time I pass it. We are parked up the hill in the fog. The buildings with the green roofs on the right are the restrooms and showers for the RV park. The showers take a "loonie" (one Canadian dollar coin) for 2.5 minutes of hot water. The park must charge for the showers because hundreds of kayakers use the showers after their paddle. Click this photo for another of the beach off Malcom Island where driftwood accumulates.
A foggy day on the strait
Sunday, September 3, 2017: This was a foggy day until noon when the fog cleared on land but remained another three hours on the strait. The fog may have slowed down the boat traffic but did not stop them. Click the photo for another view. I also made a short video of the marina, to watch it, click here.
Found at Bonanza Lake Saturday, September 2, 2017: I took Gwen for a ride to Bonanza Lake. It's about 15 km beyond Ida Lake and about 4x the size. Click the fire ring on the left to see a panorama of the lake. Since it's a gravel road, that mean lots of dust on the Forester. It's about 30 km of gravel road one way. Click the Forester for a map of the area. You'll get a pointer with a (+) in the center so click the map to enlarge to full size then scroll where needed to find Telegraph Cove, Beaver Cove and the black road to Ida and Bonanza Lakes. Lots of dust to get to Bonanza Lake
The Island Princess sails in front of camp
Friday, September 1, 2017: The Island Princess sailed in front of us in the Johnstone Strait. We average one cruise ship every three weeks in the Johnstone Strait. The majority of the cruise ships pass us on the other side of Hanson Island, the island we see from the Miss Dory windshield. I believe the cruise ships coming near us are killing time, they have time to burn because they will arrive in Vancouver too early. All the cruise ships in the Johnstone Strait are passing at only 7 - 9 knots. It's still exciting for us to see a cruise ship so close. Click the photo to see what the view was from our Miss Dory windshield.
Our view from "Mugs" coffee shop
Thursday, August 31, 2017: This was our view today from the Mugs Coffee Shop in Port McNeill. It's one of the largest yachts we've seen. I did find some more information about the Surfbird. The link will show you the details of the Surfbird including the layout of the three decks. It interested that the cruise speed of this yacht is only 8 knots, that's about half the speed of the ferry taking us to the islands away from Port McNeill. That seems pretty slow for a boat with 950 horsepower. We enjoyed our treats at the coffee shop and the view of the marina. I also found a bumper sticker I liked. Click the photo to see it.
Tyler's boat, Game Changer

The control console




, August 30, 2017: Our story of how we got to Telegraph Cove as camp hosts runs through Tyler, the man who purchased our one ton Dodge Pickup two years ago. Tyler called us earlier this year and asked if we would like to host the campground. That's how we got to Telegraph Cove. Tyler purchased our pickup to tow his boat, the Game Changer. Today, Tyler took Gwen and I with him on the Game Changer to pick up his son who has been working all summer as a fishing guide. The Game Changer is a very special boat obviously made to catch the fish that usually get away. Click the above photo to see Tyler with Gwen.

North end of Ida Lake

Tuesday, August 29, 2017: I took Gwen for a drive to Ida Lake for the first time. I'd been to the lake but she hasn't seen it. Ida Lake is exactly 20 minutes from Telegraph Cove with picturesque scenery, lakeside camping pads, pit toilets and a crude boat launch. I often get a sour face from campers when I tell them a night at the RV park with cost $47.25. When that happens, I have a pitch telling them their alternatives. "There is mosquito heaven also known as the Forest Campground only two kilometers which is $8/night cheaper, there is Alder Bay, even cheaper than the Forest Campground, 12 kilometers back up the road you came in and there is Ida Lake, 14 kilometers up a gravel road which is free camping (take your chances with the bugs). Only our park is walking distance to Telegraph Cove and Marina." (Also, we have no bugs.) I've had a few drive away looking for Ida Lake and more go to the Forest Campground. Most are here for a whale watching tour and what they don't realize, they will pay for parking to whale watch losing their $8 savings because our camp permit acts as a parking pass too. Click the photo for a panorama of Ida Lake.

Occasional tugboat traffic in the strait
Monday, August 28, 2017: We get at least one tugboat each day. Some are towing logs, some, a barge with logs stacked high, some, a huge barge with walls full of wood chips and others with machinery and equipment like this one. This is how large amounts of product get to processing plants and equipment gets to one of the many islands being developed. It only takes money to own and develop your own island around here.
Woss Lake
Friday, August 25, 2017: Gwen and I went looking for some fresh water. The island actually have many lakes. This one is about an hour from our camp. It's Woss Lake, just next to the community of Woss a timber industry town. There is a provincial park at the far end of the lake but no roads to the park, you must boat to the park. This looks like a good lake for kayak camping to the Provincial Park, maybe next year, we don't have our camping gear with us this year. Click the photo for panorama view.
Getting the ground ready for the construction of a new hotel
Thursday, August 24, 2017: Tourism at Telegraph Cove must be good, the Telegraph Cove Resort is expanding by building a hotel on the hill overlooking the cove. The construction began only a few weeks ago by preparing the ground for the hotel foundation. The backhoe is carefully placing each block as a retaining wall. There is a lot of rocks to use a retain wall blocks in the area. I have a short video of the backhoe working.
On the Quadra Queen II headed to Sointula.
The pebbles are the reason the Orcas visit this beachTroy is camped on the beach doing Orca research
Wednesday, August 23, 2017: We decided to visit Malcolm Island, the home of Sointula, BC, a small village with a long history. Our purpose was to visit the "rubbing beach" where the Orcas come ashore to rub their belly side on the beach. The rounded pebbles seem to be a favorite of the Orcas. Unfortunately, no Orcas today but we had a nice lunch on the beach. We met Troy who is camped on the beach doing Orca research. He has a hydro phone to listen to Orca sounds as well as video equipment and assistants to help. This side of the island is also the side where most of the cruise ships pass but we missed them too. I did make a short video as our ferry was leaving Sointula.

Telegraph Cove at sunset


Tuesday, August 22, 2017: I've been wanting to catch the cove at sunset and tonight was the night. The sky was orange, the water was orange and kayakers were outside the cove whale watching. The folks on the deck are watching the whales, kayakers and the sunset.

For another view, click this photo. The long building with all the lights is the Killer Whale Restaurant. The long red building behind the restaurant is the Whale Interpretive Center and the Stubbs Whale Watching gift shop and booking office. The 60 foot whale watch boat will return in ten minutes and park on this side of the restaurant.

My Mother and sister enjoying the eclipse

Monday, August 21, 2017: Today was the day of the total eclipse enjoyed by those in Oregon, Idaho and states east. My sister, Dorana, sent me this photo of herself and our Mother enjoying a partial eclipse in northern California. I asked my sister for the location of this photo since I didn't recognize the location. She told me it was at a winery where they were having an "eclipse" party. My mother doesn't drink wine but my sister is a wine fan so that makes sense. Mom will be 92 soon so I think this is a particularly good thrill for her. I won't say how old my sister is except that she is younger than me. She appears to be in her twenties in this photo, right? Meanwhile, 1,159 miles north of Mom and Dorana I enjoyed a different view of the eclipse. No one in Canada seemed to care and when I asked at two different drug stores for eclipse glasses, they didn't know what I was talking about. I had already learned that we would experience 86% coverage even as far north as we are. Unfortunately, we were under a cloud cover the whole time and only saw the area get a little darker around 10 am. You can click the photo for my view of the eclipse while I was enjoying a latte from the Seahorse Cafe and Coffee Shop (not wine).

Preparing for a kayak trip
Sunday, August 20, 2017: Today I passed the North Island Kayak launch ramp as I do everyday but this time a kayak adventure company other than North Island Kayak (NIK) was about to launch a tour. What caught my eye was all these novice paddlers were in their boats on dry land while the instructor went through paddling, steering and braking instructions. NIK does instruction too but NOT while paddlers are sitting in their boats. Doing paddling exercises on a concrete ramp while sitting in a fiberglass boat has a good chance of injuring the boat, in my humble opinion, perhaps that's why NIK doesn't put people into boat until the boats are in the water.
Just fooling around at Orcafest A real RCMP just like Sgt Preston of the Yukon Just like Quartzite, AZ except for the fishing lures
Saturday, August 19, 2017: Today was the 2017 Orcafest in Port McNeill, BC. Port McNeill is only 20 minutes from Telegraph Cove and our only close source for groceries, hardware and any other items we might need (like the Vet we needed for Morgan a few weeks ago). Orcafest happens once each year and includes a parade, activities for kids, a baseball tournament and vendor booths. We enjoyed all and bought only a few small items them bought lunch at the grocery store before driving to the beach on the strait for lunch. Click each of the photos for more views. I also took a short video of the parade.

Iian is dog watchingFriday, August 18, 2017: This was our first time as hosts for the RV Park where we had an "incident". It was a simple problem, a camper had left his dog inside the camper alone and the dog was howling, alone and afraid. All the surrounding campers were becoming concerned and wanted something done about the dog. So I called Iian (eee-un). Iian is the park's maintenance manager. He pretty much does everything to keep the park running. He manages the water system, electrical system, and sewage treatment system. He also helps with the marina and does our part of camper management when we aren't here. If anyone would know what to do with the dog, Iian would know. The camper wasn't locked so Iian opened the camper and the dog (later we learned the dog's name is "Skunk") was taken for a walk. We got a little more information about the owner and started putting ideas together about what had happened. The dog's owner and his grandson took a spontaneous, unplanned trip on the whale watch boat. They had to leave the dog and for some reason, the dog felt abandoned. However, all the howling stopped as long as Skunk could be with Iian. So we waited for the owner to return. Skunk was very well behaved around us and stayed right next to the camper. When the owner and grandson returned the dog was overjoyed and relieved and our job was done. So Iian has saved the day again.

If you are wondering about Iian's "Mr Busy" T-shirt, it was given to him this evening by another camper. The other camper's grandson always called Iian, "Mr Busy" and they happen to find a "Mr. Busy" T-shirt as a gift.

Sayward Harbor
Wednesday, August 16, 2017: This was a long driving day. We chose to drive to Courtenay which is 2.5 hours driving time south of Telegraph Cove. Gwen had a couple of quilt shops she wanted to visit and we had some items we wanted from both WalMart and Costco. So it was a long day with five hours of driving not including the driving around Courtenay. I DID visit the North Island College looking for a baseball cap with their college logo but no such luck. Perhaps I should have asked for a hockey cap if there is such a thing. On the way back, we drove off route to Sayward, which is a small fishing and logging village half way between Telegraph Cove and Campbell River. This is a photo of the tiny harbor. Click the photo for a panorama. The highway south of Campbell River is four lanes with a 120 km/hr speed limit (75 mph). That makes for some good time. North of Campbell River is two lanes with 100 km/hr speed limit. Sayward is on the Johnstone Strait as is Telegraph Cove but this night was very windy in Sayward. Telegraph Cove does not usually get the strong winds which makes for good kayaking.

The Cadenza at dock

Tuesday, August 15, 2017: I received a call this afternoon on the company cell phone. It was the captain of the Cadenza asking if we had space for a 76 foot motor cruiser. Our marina has very few spaces for a yacht that large and those spaces are already taken so I had to say, "no". I referred the captain to the Telegraph Cove resort which can accommodate boats up to 24 feet in length but often lets larger boats dock near their fuel pump. Gwen and I decided to walk to the marina to see the yacht since a 76 foot yacht would be the largest entering the cove since we've been here. The Cadenza turns out to be from the USA and very impressive. We have seen larger yachts but none this size in Telegraph Cove. I imagine they are here to enjoy the cove and restaurant dining. It seemed as if several families might be enjoying their time on the Cadenza. It looked large enough to have several staterooms. Here is a side-view photo while Gwen was inspecting the yacht. Click the photo for a stern view.

Canadian Chart

Monday, August 14, 2017: Before kayaking into the strait, I made sure to have a Canadian Chart with me. We have been into Beaver Cove and Bauza Cove on each side of Telegraph Cove. On the full day paddle, we paddled across the strait to Hanson Island then around to the other side. Click the photo to see a larger map. Later we met the tidal current in Weynton Passage. The arrows point toward Johnstone Strait indicate a flood tide, away from Johnstone Strait indicate an ebb tide. Fortunately, I found the online report of the tidal current for Weynton Passage. Of course, our guide already had reports of the tidal current. For a power boat, the tidal currents are a nuisance but for a kayak whose forward speed is only about 4 mph, a strong current can make a huge difference. I learned that the rip tide we crossed can make for very rough water and difficult paddling. This is when you must be paying attention and keep the paddles in the water for good balance. Look at the larger map closely to learn of the many interesting locations to visit if you have a boat of your own.

Ubiquity WiFi equipment

Sunday, August 13, 2013: This day turned out to be anything but easy. We lost our Internet yesterday because our WIFI source disappeared and I needed to switch to a different source. Normally I just point our Ubiquity antenna/radio at the source, login with the new password and our network is working again. But when I entered what I thought was my system password, it didn't work. I was using the wrong password. My record of the password was in my email but I couldn't access my email because I didn't have Internet access. By the time I realized it wasn't working because of the password error I had already pushed the "reset" button on the Ubiquity. That meant installing everything all over again. I needed the video instruction but couldn't get it because (again) it was on the Internet. After trying several solutions, I gave up and drove to Port McNeill for Internet access. I was able to download the video I needed then returned to Telegraph Cove to begin the setup process. Normally it takes only a second to reprogram the Ubiquity to a new WiFi source but this time, because I reset the equipment, I had to start from the beginning. It took me the rest of the afternoon to setup but by the time I was finished, the Ubiquity was working on the new WiFi source. Now I have everything recorded to a file on my computer so no Internet access is needed if this every happens again.

Cinnamon rolls ready to bakeSeaside Market in Port McNeill
Saturday, August 12, 2017: We drove to Port McNeill, a 20 minute drive one way if not log trucks on the road, to visit the Seaside Market, we assumed a "farmers market" style market. There were only half a dozen booths but we found eggs, vegetables of all kinds but all tomatoes sold out, darn. Some unusual items like Pea shoots and Brassica which Gwen purchased for her salads. We didn't see any First Nation crafts but one booth of jewelry. On the way back to Telegraph Cove we walked by the bakery at the cove with cinnamon rolls ready to bake. I also took this photo thinking of it's artistic value.

The Glenda, a yacht we can afford

Friday, August 11, 2017: Gwen and I found the yacht we can afford. It's a "fixer-upper" but with a few new boards and a little paint, it will be as good as new. Looks like it has a flying bridge upper deck too. Click the photo to get the full view. What do you think, Mom? Would you loan us the money to fix up the Glenda?

On the Ferry to Alert Bay Looking down on Alert Bay Totems found around the bay

The First Nations Tribal Areas


Thursday, August 10, 2017: We chose to return to Alert Bay this morning to visit the First Nations Museum. Alert Bay has a First Nation population with many totem poles and carved wood figures throughout the town. The museum is very well done with a great gift shop and authentic items dating at least 100+ years old. Photography was not allowed inside the museum. Of course, I always enjoy the ferry ride to the island so I took a video of the morning foggy ride. The video is just long enough to record the ship's fog horn. The map to the right shows what is now North Vancouver Island and the mainland to the east of the island. The First Nations tribal area are shown on the map. Click all photos for more views.

Gwen on Storey Beach looking for Moon Snails

The beach is covered with shells but NOT Moon SnailsGwen found ONE Moon Snail




Wednesday, August 9, 2017: For our day off, Gwen and I drove to Storey Beach near Port Hardy to look for Moon Snail shells. We made sure it was low tide expecting to find the Moon Snails all over the beach. As it turned out, there were lots of shells but Gwen was the one who found a Moon Snail but only ONE. I found none but I DID pick up trash while at the beach. Click each photo for more views. Behind the Moon Snail photo is a photo of some local art made of Moon Snails.

Our route takes us to the cove water supply Fresh water storage tank Exploring a new side of Bausa Cove
This bear didn't run away like the others we saw.Tuesday, August 8, 2017: We learned from Lynne a different route to Bausa Cove. This route would take us by the fresh water reservoir and holding tank for the entire cove. We arrived at high tide which cut off the loop hike we had planned. That made our hike an "out and back" hike. The cove has a very sophisticated water system with water stored from a natural spring, then treated and stored in a holding tank creating a gravity feed system for the entire cove. On our return hike we quietly walked next to a grazing bear who watched us. We didn't seem threatening so the bear continued to graze and watch us as we slowly walked on down the trail. Click the above photos for more views.
Much larger than Telegraph CoveBausa Cove near Telegraph Cove
Monday, August 7, 2017: Only 1.5 kilometers hiking distance from out Telegraph Cove is Bausa Cove. It's much larger than Telegraph Cove but not at deep and undeveloped. It's a relatively easy hike but took a couple hours with looking at the scenery and taking photos. Click both photos for more views. This is a nice cove for boats to anchor, protected from the weather overnight.
Sunday, August 6, 2017: The locals call this area of Vancouver Island "Fogust" (a combination of fog and August) and so far they are right. Like a switch, when August arrived, we have seen fog every morning which was very rare the month of July. This morning the kayaks were out as usual but this time they stayed to our shore until the fog lifted enough so they could see the other boats. Once that happened, I counted 13 kayaks crossing the strait at the same time, the most I've seen in one crossing. Click the above photo for a lone fisherman in the fog.
Craft Fair at Telegraph Cove
Searching for treasures in the craft booths Saturday, August 5, 2017: Today was the one day in a year that Telegraph Cove has a craft fair. We've been looking forward to the fair hoping for some local talent. We found some but most was beyond our price range. We DID find items for the grandkids and a few used items at North Island Kayak. The cove was foggy this morning so I took some photos where the fog helped the composition. Click these photos for more views. Flowers along the Telegraph Cove boardwalk
Always interested in all the activity at North Island Kayak
Friday, August 4, 2017: The above photo is like a "Where's Waldo" photo there is so much activity at North Island Kayak. I'm always interested in what North Island Kayak is doing and who is on their tours. The large double white boats are returning from a multi-day tour where NIK provides all gear, lodging and food. Miss Dory is parked a the top of the hill just behind NIK, the location is marked in the photo. Last night the camper in Site 35 offered me some fresh oysters which I gladly accepted then barbequed half of them. Gwen won't eat an oyster so they were all for me. They were the largest I've seen. Click the above photo to see one which was between 4 and 5 inches long.
Gwen and Chuck with their catch
Gwen watching her lineThursday, August 3, 2017: Chuck and Lynne invited us to join them on their boat today to tour the area. About ten minutes before departure I happen to listen to last nights voicemail messages and Lynne called asking if we wanted to go fishing. Gwen immediately got onto the computer, found the Canadian Fishing authority and printed herself a fishing license (for a fee of $13.65 for a one day license). As it turned out, it was worth it because Gwen had a great deal of fun learning fish with Chuck as her instructor. I was more interested in the electronics on board and the site seeing. I also had my eye on the kayaks we came across plus looking for beach sites for a kayak landing and potential camping. Chuck and Gwen were fishing for Salmon. They caught enough for several dinners. Click these photos for additional views. I also made a video of the day which you can see here.
Beaver Lake at the junction to Port Alice
The GREEN tunnel The Inlet at Port Alice Port Alice Marina
Our lunch location Wednesday, August 2, 2017: We take a scenic drive to Port Alice on our day off. It's only about 60 km, two lane road, well paved but many sharp turns and whoops in the road. Beaver Lake was our first stop. Looks to be a place to swim on a hot day. It is a very small town with a large pulp mill until two years ago. I see no industry now but suspect logging and truck driving may be the only jobs. Nice houses on the inlet. Port Alice advertises it's self as the "gateway to the west coast". The inlet at Port Alice will lead to the west coast of Vancouver Island and the open Pacific Ocean. We saw only one business, a grocery store. The hotel and restaurants seemed to be closed and we are told the Bank is open only on Tuesday and Thursday. We drove to Alice Lake on the return, a large lake with camping. Click all the photos for additional views. Lake Alice
Time Lapse of Telegraph Cove RV Park
Tuesday, August 1, 2017: I took the time today to do a time lapse video of the RV park. This time lapse was three hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. The video is less than four minutes so the activity is fast. Click the photo or click here for the video.

The whale museum in Telegraph CoveDall's Porpoise

Monday, July 31, 2017: We've been here for five weeks and finally took the time to tour the Whale Interpretive Centre also located in Telegraph Cove. This non-profit promotes the preservation of all whales, especially the Orca (Killer Whale). The building is filled with complete whale skeletons and partially assembled whale bones. I took the Dall's Porpoise photo because we see it more often than anything else in the strait. Click both photos for additional views.

Our lunch location

Sunday, July 30, 2017: We had a late lunch which also served as dinner for us today in the cove. The weather was perfect today. The temperature reached 21.5C or 70F which, for some reason, feels very warm here at sea level. We are looking forward to this next ten days of weather. It will likely be the warmest of the summer. Mean-while, back home in Oregon the temperatures are forecast to be 110F or more. We are still glad to be in Telegraph Cove. Click the photo for the ten day forecast. The warmest day is to be 29C (84F), a record for the temperatures we have experienced since arriving in June.

Approaching Alert Bay
The Silver Discoverer anchored in the bayArriving in Alert Bay
Lots of totums aroundAlert Bay is a First Nations island.
Saturday, July 29, 2017: Gwen and I took the Port McNeill ferry to Alert Bay thinking we would see local vendors for their Seafest celebration. However, we learned the festival changed to "musicfest" and there was a high entrance fee to see the vendors. We only had three hours to explore so we walked the town. We knew we would not have time to explore the cultural center but we walked there to learn if we should return. It was wonderful so we will return again before heading south. As we came into the Alert Bay harbor, the Silver Discoverer was anchored and shuttling passengers to a dock. This is a small cruise ship, only 120 passengers, which visit many unique locations between Vancouver and Alaska. While the huge passenger ships with thousands of passengers visit the large tourist cities, the SIlver Discoverer stops at small villages such at Alert Bay. Click all photos for more views.
Handmade double kayaks
Friday, July 28, 2017: These are handmade double kayaks requiring hundreds of hours of hand labor. They are being packed for a multi-day trip. Note they sit on swim noodles to keep the bottom of the boats from touching the concrete. They packed those into the boats to be able to keep the boats off the rocks at their landing site. These would be very light when empty but all hatches are fully loaded with camping gear so the boats are very heavy. Being heavy requires at least four to carry the boats to the water with straps under the bottom of the boats. Click the photo for a view of the loaded boats moving to the water.
Out for a "Full Day Kayak" tour.
Lunch stopThursday, July 27, 2017: Gwen wanted to stay home, probably to sew, but I wanted to do the "Full Day Kayak" tour with North Island Kayak (NIK). A single kayak gave me the chance to learn if my kayaking skills from ten years ago were still good enough for me to stay upright (double kayaks are far more stable). The kayak NIK provided to me was brand new and NOT manufactured for stability but for speed. You see, kayaks can be manufactured to be more stable but must sacrifice speed. So this turned out to be a tough test. Fortunately, the morning water was FLAT which gave me a chance to get use to the boat. We had two tour guides with eleven paddlers. The two tour guides and I were in single kayaks and the rest of the group were in double kayaks. Double kayaks are usually faster, two paddlers with not much more water resistance than a single kayak. But, I kept up. Everyone was hoping to see wildlife, especially whales. We did get to see and hear the humpback whale and I saw their tails three times. We also saw lots of seals and bald eagles. We also caught a glimpse of the Dall's Porpoise. Our route took us to the other side of Hanson Island, the island Gwen and I stare at 2.5 miles across Johnstone Strait. I was particularly interested in potential camping locations if Gwen and I return next year with our own boat. I learned these islands are very rocky with mostly steep walls and no access. As an example, our first "rest" stop was at a location with seaweed covered rocks making it impossible (for me) to walk. Click the top photo and you'll see that "rest" stop. The lunch stop wasn't much better but good enough to get on top of the rock to eat our lunch. The kayak back to Telegraph Cove in the afternoon was even more challenging with tidal currents and wind driven waves. Yes, I stayed upright but required all my attention. Click both these photos for more views. Click here to see the video I made of the tour. Our guides, Rob and Kerrin, did a great job keeping watch over everyone (most were first time kayakers) and explaining the nature of the area and of the animals we saw.
A "self loading" kayak rack

Easy load kayak rack



Wednesday, July 26, 2017: Sea Kayaks can be 15 to 20 feet or more in length and weigh 30 to 80 pounds which makes them particularly tricky to load and carry on a car. I happen to see these ladies loading their kayaks using a rack system I've not seen before. Part of the rack hangs on one side of the car with support arms to hold the kayak. That way, the kayak does not have to be lifted to the height of the car roof. The kayak is strapped to the rack which helps to support the weight of the kayak when it is lifted and locked in place on the car roof. Click the above photo for the start of the process. Pass the pointer in and out of the photo at left to see this woman lift the kayak alone with the help of the rack arms. Both these kayaks are beautiful Seaward brand kayaks, the brand I owned.

Paddlers Inn picking up customers
Tuesday, July 25, 2017: Paddlers Inn is a lodge located in the Broughton Archipelego about an hour by power boat from Telegraph Cove. They operate from Telegraph Cove by picking up customers from our docks. The in caters to kayaks or human powered boats. It will take about two days to paddle from Telegraph Cove to Paddlers Inn. Because of the distance, and for those who don't want to camp on their journey to the Inn, you can take a water taxi or Paddlers Inn will pick you up. You can also fly to Paddlers Inn by chartering a sea plane. Once at the Inn, a customer can rent a kayak or just bring your own kayak as three customers on doing on this trip. This looks like a fun way to enjoy remote kayaking without having to bring camping gear and food.

New visitors to Telegraph Cove

Sunday, July 23, 2017: For the first time since our arrival, sea planes landed just outside the cove and then "taxied" to a dock, apparently for lunch. On their approach to landing they both flew directly over us.

Click the photo for a view of the Orina from Deer Harbor, Washington. It sailed into the cove yesterday. It is unique in shape and age for the cove.

An HDT towing an Elite Suites into the park

Easy way to get in and out



Saturday, July 22, 2017: One of the regular visitors to Telegraph Cove came in today with a Volvo HDT (heavy duty truck) towing an Elite Suites, a premium fifth wheel. I had to admire both the fifth wheel and tow vehicle. No doubt the fifth wheel is very heavy requiring a substantial tow vehicle but this one is over kill. I suspect the HDT was purchased for some other reason. One of the positives about owning a fifth wheel that they are generally larger and more convenient than a motor home. But the huge negative is arriving at the camping location then forced to use the large tow vehicle as a tourist vehicle. In this case, the HDT is a wonderful, safe tow vehicle but would be next to impossible to use as tourist transportation.

Click the above photo for an interesting photo of the marina on Malcolm Island.

Finding the north end of Nimkish Lake
A flower for my friend Richard who takes photos of every flower and leaf he sees. The beach at the south end of Nimkish LakeFriday, July 21, 2017: There is a 23 km long lake near us but we've never seen it because of the heavy tree growth. I drove some gravel roads and found both ends of the lake. No one is camped at the north end but lots of folks at the south end. Those are all wind surfing enthusiasts waiting for the right amount of wind. Click the above photo for the sunset I experienced last night. The flower at left is for my friend Richard who always takes photos of flowers. Click that photo for a panorama of Nimkish Lake. For a panorama of the south end of the lake, click the right photo.
Campsite at Ida LakeIda Lake
Rough pit toilets at Ida lakeThursday, July 20, 2017: Gwen wanted to stay home and sew today so I took myself on an adventure to try to find Ida Lake. We had already tried to find it another time but gave up. This time, I had a good map which would help. It is only about twenty minutes from our campsite in Telegraph Cove. To find it, you must drive 12 km on a well graded gravel road into the nearby mountains. It is a nice size lake, perfect for a quiet kayak paddle or for fishing. The campsites are cleared and level with a picnic table. The one campsite in the photo has a small concrete pad for some reason. There are pit toilets at the entrance to the camping area. This would be our campsite of choice if we were not hosting and if we didn't have to drive Miss Dory 12 km on a dusty gravel road. There are no services, no water and no other campers. Some of the campers coming into Telegraph Cove are shocked at the $47.25/night price tag for camping here. Now I have something to tell them of where to go for FREE camping. I doubt that one in a hundred would be interested but it will likely make the price tag on this resort space look more affordable. Click all photos for another view.
Costco in Courtney, BC

Interesting sign in a Campbell River storeWalmart in Campbell River, BC







Wednesday, July 19, 2017: Today is our "day off" so we decided to drive to Campbell River to visit a quilt store, laundromat, Costco and Walmart. Campbell River is a long drive, two hours and ten minutes one way. Costco is located in Courtney, BC, another 45 minutes to the south of Campbell River, so it was a lot of driving today. We learned that food and gas is much cheaper in Campbell River. The weather is also about 10 degrees warmer, hence most tourists stop their northward travel in Campbell River. It is Campbell River where we stopped in 2004 to take the ferry to
Quadra Island, then another ferry to Cortez Island for our week long kayak trip into Desolation Sound. I was somewhat disappointed with Costco because, except for the hockey sticks, their inventory was the same as the states. Walmart was also the same except for the spelling of Supercenter (Supercentre). I DID find the orange sign in one Campbell River store to be funny, no firing of guns or playing with the toys in THAT store. The laundry was about $10 cheaper too.

Cruise ship, "The World" passing in the strait
Tuesday, July 18, 2017: I happen to be at the marina when the cruise ship, "The World" passed by in the strait. Most of the boats in our marina are here to fish. We often get large cruisers or sailboats who enter the cove to refuel. But those boats leave quickly to continue exploring the strait and beyond. Click the photo for a larger view of "The World". It is unusual for a cruise ship to be in the Johnstone Strait. 90% of the cruise ships sail on the other side of the islands in view of the cove. The islands hide the cruise ships.
Gwen and me in a double kayak

Hiking to Blinkhorn Beacon

Monday, July 17, 2017: This was a special day for us because we got to participate in a four hour paddle to Blinkhorn Beacon and return on the Johnstone Strait, BC Canada. We are only 150 meters from the North Island Kayak company. They take out many tours each day starting at 2 hour trips up to 8 day trips to beautiful locations on the islands surrounding us in Telegraph Cove. We did the half day trip after an invitation from NIK management. We love the perks of being a host at the Cove. While on our paddle, we saw Bald Eagles, Dalls Porpoise, Sea Urchins, schools of fish, and a deer only a few meters from us on an island. Our destination was the Blinkhorn Beacon toward the east. We reached it at the halfway point, beached our boats and took a short hike to the beacon. It was good to stretch the legs after being unexercised in the kayak. I used my action camera for both stills and a short video of the trip. You can see the video here. Click both photos for more views.

Gwen is shell hunting again
Sunday, July 16, 2017: We take a hike to a cove near our park which is not visited by others because the trail is not marked well. While there we saw kayakers returning to North Island Kayak, a Bald Eagle, a large fishing vessel and, Gwen did her usual search for shells. I did a 180 degree panorama, click the photo to see it. There is a small island just off the cove and another small island on the other side of it. We may get to kayak tomorrow so might get a look at the other side of these islands.
Filomi Days in Port Hardy
The bag pipe band Bucket Ride How high can we go?
Saturday, July 15, 2017: Filomi Days in Port Hardy, British Columbia, the northern most city on Vancouver Island is this weekend. Gwen and I went today and saw parts of the parade which included fire engines, timber cutting equipment, huge rolling cranes and school entries. We were anxious to see the native crafts and unique art work with all the booths set up for the occasion. We were disappointed with few "creative" booths and the ONE item I wanted to get, we couldn't figure out were we would put it so, passed it by. In fact, all we bought was for the grandkids. We enjoyed watching the people at the festival and all the kid activities. I took a short video of the Build-a-Car-Race. Watch it here. Click every photo for another view.
Another small boat in the marina
Friday, July 14, 2017: Another 50 foot boat in the marina today. This one came loaded with two kayaks to. It's unfortunate they can't afford a washer and dryer, note the laundry hanging along the side. Click the photo for a better view of the cockpit. I also took a photo of the yacht Gwen and I can afford.
Ferry to Sointula and to Alert Bay
Crew watching the ramp descend Quadra Queen leaving Sointula Visitor information for Sointula
Bikes to use on the island Pebble beach Sointula Bakery
Thursday, July 13, 2017: While Gwen stayed home to sew, I took the ferry from Port McNeill to Sointula on Malcolm Island. The Sointula community has an interesting history. A group of Finnish immagrants got a land grant from Canada to establish a "place of harmony" in Malcolm Island in 1901. It had a rough beginning with a tragic fire in the early years. But it slowly grew into a location of peace and harmony. The residents learned to survive by creating a lumber and fishing operation. Today, they have one co-op general store, a bakery (with a lazy baker according to the visitor information lady), two restaurants, co-op hardware and a hotel. I toured the museum and the thrift shop where I got 10 cds for $1.50 and a 50 puzzle. I plan to donate all the CDs back to them once I've ripped them to my laptop. I'm listening to a Deutsche Grammophon recording of Beethoven's Piano Concertos # 4 & 5. Deutsche Grammophon is a premium CD recording so my eyes popped when I saw it. I had a light lunch at the bakery before talking to the visitor information person who recommended Coho Joe's. I'll return there when Gwen is with me. I was hoping for something unique in the General Store but found nothing. They do have a serious fishing boat marina with a few pleasure craft too. My time was limited due to the ferry schedule so did not do any of the hiking trails. The visitor center has bicycles to loan, perhaps we will try that next time. Click all photos for more views.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017: This little yacht took the place of Wildest Dream today while we were shopping in Port McNeill. We also took our dog, Morgan to the vet today for a problem with her right rear leg. She will be 17 in November which is very old for a Golden Retriever so every little thing bothers her. We met a very nice Canadian vet, Laura, from Saskatchewan. She treated Morgan's leg and we all hope that is all it will take. Morgan is enjoying Telegraph Cove because we have some nice cool grass she can lay and watch people all day.
Wildest Dreams
Making marina arrangementsTuesday, July 11, 2017: Since our Verizon phones don't work here, the office cell phone was loaned to us. When the office is closed, the voicemail says to call this cell number. Today after the office closed, I got a call from a yacht waiting in the Telegraph Cove entry wondering where to park. I told them I'd have "Rod", the marina manager call them. Meanwhile, I began walking to the marina. I dialed Rod's super secret private number and it went straight to voicemail so I left a message. I then called, Lynne, the marina owner and it went straight to voicemail. By this time, I was walking onto the dock and waving at the yacht (Wildest Dream) to come over to my side of the dock. I told him to park on his starboard (right) side but as he maneuvered into the marina, he flipped the boat around to park on his port side. By this time I was on the phone again to Iian, who seems to take care of everything in Telegraph Cove. When I told Iian what I had done, he yelled, "No! A 50 foot yacht won't fit!", "Too late", I said, "I've already got him parked and tied up." "I'll be right there," replied Iian. In a couple of minutes, both Iian and Rod came walking down the dock. I was so excited at how good a job I'd done I could hardly talk with either of them. What a beautiful boat the Wildest Dream! This link is to the Marine Traffic site. I was able to upload a photo to the site, check back if it hasn't posted. Meanwhile, click both these photos for additional views. This was the most excitement all day.
Telegraph Cove General Store

Catamaran entering Telegraph Cove Marina


Monday, July 10, 2017: Just strolling around today enjoying the weather and watching the boats enter and leave the marina.

The General Store is looking good for the busy month ahead.

Click the catamaran to enlarge. It made me think of the Wynns who are about to sail around the world in their catamaran.
Many in the RV park wanted to see the Disney Wonder
The Disney Wonder as it cruises by
Sunday, July 9, 2017: After arriving here, I subscribed to to anticipate the ships we might see from our park. We like to watch for the large cruise ships as they pass going to Alaska or returning to Vancouver. The problem, nearly all these cruise ships take a route on the other side of the island just off shore from Telegraph Cove. I noticed the Disney ship, "Disney Wonder" coming our way with a destination of Vancouver. It seemed to be headed on our side of the island. Once I was sure, I walked around our campground to let the campers know it would be passing close by at 8:26 pm (I had made the calculation from the reported speed and the distance it was away from Telegraph Cove). I believe nearly everyone found a location to watch the ship as it went by. Click the waiting people photo above to see the Disney Wonder approaching us from the distance. Click the ship photo to enlarge.
Chuck is taking us to help pull up his crab traps
Pulling up the traps Hold them like this. Better bait mean better crab
Yes, it's a male and it's legalComing in to Telegraph Cove
Saturday, July 8, 2017: Our first trip on the water with Chuck and Lynne's boat. Chuck invited Gwen and me to accompany him while he checks his crab traps in Beaver Cove. Chuck has a really nice size boat. It's economical to run, has a nice size motor, a nice size cabin and is multi-use. We have never seen how crabs are trapped, so educational for us today. Chuck steadily pulls up the trap and carefully handles the crabs. Only males can be kept so we learned how to tell the difference. They also must be of a certain size. The first traps was all female except one and it was too small. The second trap had one male and it just fit the gauge. Chuck re-baited the traps with better bait hoping for bigger males to enter for lunch. Click all the photos for more views.
I'm not alone with night photography
Friday, July 7, 2017: I've been watching the moon rise over the RV park so decided the time would be right to catch a night time photo. I thought it a unique idea but as I climbed the hill behind our RV, another photographer was already mounted on a rock waiting for a sunset photo. After setting up my camera, pointing the opposite direction to catch the moon, I walked back to say "hello" to this photographer and let him know about the moon rise once the sunset disappeared. I quickly learned he didn't speak English other than, "nice view" so I didn't attempt further conversation. This last week we had 80% Germans in the park. Most spoke English but several spoke NO English but we managed. Click the photo to see the moon over the park and Miss Dory.

Spotted this coast guard ship headed east as it passed Telegraph Cove.


Thursday, July 6, 2017: We took a hike to the water east of Telegraph Cove to learn what we could see. Weather is clear so you can see for a long distance. Several kayak groups were returning to Telegraph Cove then we saw this ship passing. It's the color of Canadian Coast Guard boats so I'm making an assumption it was Coast Guard. I use to watch for ships and identify those we see. However, I could not find this one when I returned home.

Below right is the Malispina, a smaller passenger ship which carries only 499 passengers. We were lucky to see it, few of the passenger ships pass so closely to Telegraph Cove and we happened to be on the beach when this one passed. It went to Seattle and hopefully takes a different route than the larger passenger ships since it's much smaller.

The MALASPINA, a small cruise ship with home port, Skagway, AK. The Stubbs Island Whale watching boat returning to Telegraph Cove
Folks lined up for the next whale watch cruise on the Stubbs Island Whale WatchAt the above left is the Stubbs Island Whale Watching cruise returning to Telegraph Cove. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Telegraph Cove. Passengers pay $105 each for 3.5 hours of searching the channels for whales and other sea life. Everyone we've talked to has been happy with the cruise and has seen whales. At left, the next boat load of tourists is loading to search again. There are hydro phones onboard the boats so they aren't searching blindly, they can pin point where the sounds are coming from and head to that area for a sighting.

Two Canadian Coast Guard boatsGreeting us at Port Hardy



Wednesday, July 5, 2017: It was a 50 minute drive today to Port Hardy, the city furthest north on Vancouver Island. We were here to see the sights and do some grocery shopping. It is also a Canadian Coast Guard base so I took photos of the two ships at dock. We visited the North Island College, one of four campuses. I was looking for a baseball hat with the college logo. They had none so gave us stocking caps, a logo shopping bag and logo pens. It was a good visit.

The view below left is from the coast guard dock back toward town. What you see are apartments and residences.

The photo below right is of Storrey Beach near Port Hardy. It's a sandy beach the locals like to hike.

Driving this portion of Vancouver Island is like driving in a long green cave. There are solid green foliage walls on both sides with blue sky overhead. If there is anything around, we wouldn't know because it is behind the green walls.

The view toward Port Hardy from the Coast Guard dock.Storrey Beach at Port Hardy
Ham at a good price.View toward Johnstone Strait, click to compare
When grocery shopping you must think metric. The ham I purchased for sandwiches was priced per 100 grams, I ordered 300 grams of ham. Some was on sale for $1.99 per 100 grams. This last photo on the right above I took to illustrate an ordinary photo of the Johnstone Strait with snow capped mountains in the distance. Click the photo to learn what can be done with the right software. Click all the photos for additional views.
Alder Bay near Telegraph Cove

Hidden Cove Lodge and dockTuesday, July 4, 2017: There are other lodges, marinas and RV parks located near Telegraph Cove so we took a tour of a couple. The view up top is of the Alder Bay Resort Marina. It is directly across from Cormorant Island where our Internet comes from. The RV park was not as nice as ours but $10/night cheaper. We also noticed no protection from the wind.

At left is the Hidden Cove lodge. It appeared to be empty and I saw no guests. You must drive 3 km on gravel to arrive at the Hidden Cove. I'm not sure when their season starts but it better be soon. Click both photos for more views.

North Island Kayak, only a few meters from Miss Dory
"Garage Sale" at North Island KayakSunday, July 2, 2017: During the Canada Day holiday weekend, North Island Kayaks, only a few meters from Miss Dory, is having a "garage sale". I was thinking the right price might temp me to buy a kayak to use for the next three months, however, the prices were WAY too high (IMHO) so I was tempted. I didn't see anyone buying so apparently everyone thought as I did. There were plenty of people going on kayak tours or launching their own kayaks. Gwen and I once owned very nice kayaks and seeing these launch made us wish for our kayaks. However, after buying everything needed to carry our kayaks AND tow a fifth wheel, we decided we were just asking for TOO MUCH. It's not just the kayaks but all the gear that must go with the kayaks filling our storage bins. Still, it would be exciting to get on the water again with the kayaks. Click both photos for more views.
The beach on Johnstone Straight
Gwen is negotiating the rocks

Wildlife on the beach

Saturday, July 1, 2017: Happy Canada Day! It has been very quiet here at Telegraph Cove for a national holiday. The whale watching, bear watching and kayak tours are busy but the RV park is quiet. So Gwen and I took ourselves for a hike to the beach (about 200 meters from our coach). The tide was out so we saw most of the beach. Kayakers taking lessons, deer, beach sea plants and shells plus snow capped mountains on the mainland and Gwen took photos of everything. I took my share of photos so click each of these photos for another view.

Note: Since we are in Canada for three months, I plan to learn to speak "Canadian" so I will speak in kilometers, meters, liters, kilograms and the temperature on my weather station is in Celsius. Today it got to a very comfortable 17.8C with no wind. In a previous lifetime when I was a fifth grade teacher in California we were given the job of teaching our students the metric system because the USA was to join the rest of the world. Unfortunately, politics and rednecks stopped the change, a big mistake! I also must learn to add "eh" to the end of every sentence.

Our security camera viewl
Gwen and I visit the Port McNeill Visitor CenterFriday, June 30, 2017: We did our "chores" today as camp hosts then drove to Port McNeill, the nearest "city" for groceries, hardware and the ferry to the islands we can see from Telegraph Cove. The IGA grocery story was very busy because tomorrow is "Canada Day" which makes this a three day weekend for many Canadians. After returning to Telegraph Cove I got my weather station online with Wunderground. Then I set up our security camera to view the entrance to Miss Dory so we can actually see customers approaching with the curtains down. It will also record any movement or alert to a sound. Click the Port McNeill photo to see the Port Mcneill Marina. I'll take photos of the ferry once we take it to the islands around.
The older side of the marina. The red building has the Stubbs Whale Watching headquarters and gift shop plus a whale museum.
Thursday, June 29, 2017: We took ourselves for a short walk to the marina today while waiting for instructions for our assignment. It is a very picturesque cove with historic houses on the red-building side of the cove. Each of these historic cottages has been restored and can be rented, even those on the wharf. I spotted at least three coffee shops, all with comfortable seating so I will have to tryout all of them. We believe Heike is the new owner of the Stubbs Whale Watching tour company. We learned that, Jim, was the original owner. He has a wonder home on the point overlooking the Johnston Straight. He also has an aqua phone in the water to listen for the whales and calls the boats to let them know what kind of whales and where they are located in the straight. I hope to meet Jim and listen to the whale sounds myself. Click this photo for a panorama of the Telegraph Cove Marina.

Couldn't believe the crowd this morning waiting for Costco to open at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017: We promised to arrive at Telegraph Cove today. We have more than 300 km to drive but first, a stop at Costco. I can't believe how many people are waiting for Costco to open. By the time we walked out, the parking lot was full. The drive to Campbell River was on a four lane freeway with a speed limit of 120 km/hr, that's 75 mph. I took Miss Dory up to 65 mph, that's enough for her. From Campbell River to Telegraph Cove the road changed to two lanes, rougher and more sharp turns. Reminded us of several Oregon mountain roads. The photo below shows the whole RV park we will host. We are third from left in space #3 with the long windsock. Captain Wayne who drives the whale watching tour boat is in space #1, Heike is in space 2 and Mark is in space #4, all are friendly. My first impression is that the park and area are better than the photos we saw on their Website. This was a late day for us so we setup and to bed. Click the photo below for a better view of our camp location.

Our summer home, we are parked in space #3 with the long windsock
Gwen is pickup up free brochures at the BC visitor centerWaiting in line at the Canadian border
Waiting in line at the ferry terminal Loading the Ferry Onboard cafe
Ship's navigation and communication towerParking at Nanaimo Costco overnight

Tuesday, June 27, 2017: Traveling from Ferndale, Washington to Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Our ferry reservation was at 5:45 p.m. so we got a lazy start to the border. We arrived at the border about 11:00 a.m. Unfortunately, the Canadian Border guards didn't have enough to do so they parked us, searched us personally, then had us wait in the terminal while they searched through Miss Dory. About 45 minutes later, they gave us our passports, vehicle keys and told us to go on our way. I asked if it was some answer we gave to one of their many questions which caused the search and they replied that they do "random searches". We drove only about 100 yards to the visitor center and picked up brochures about Vancouver Island and exchanged US cash for Canadian cash. Our bingo winnings at the FMCA rally amounted to MORE in Canada. We learned Tsawwassen has a huge new mall so we killed time in the mall before heading to the ferry terminal. Our ferry sailed about 15 minutes late for the two hour journey to Nanaimo where we planned to stay the night in the Costco parking lot. We chose to have dinner onboard our ferry and Gwen got us a really good table with a view from the stern of the ferry. I took a short video at the beginning of our ferry ride which you can view here. The Nanaimo Costco was easy to find. We parked in front of the store while I walked around the building looking for a good location to spend the night. We decided on the backside of the building where we parked next to a high retaining wall. Click the Costco photo and you will see only the roof of Miss Dory against the retaining wall. That made for a nice quiet location. By the time we were settled it was 9:30 p.m. so we saw nothing of Nanaimo.

Lummi Tribal artOvernight parking in the Silver Reef Casino Parking lotMonday, June 26, 2017: This was a travel day from Puyallup to Ferndale, Washington. We chose this location because it is only 18 miles to the Canadian Border and we plan to cross into Canada tomorrow. We learned of the Silver Reef Casino using the Escapee Days End database. Parking is free and is in the quiet country side. We also learned that Monday is 1/2 off the buffet meal so we pay only $4.95. As it turned out, this meal was excellent and would be well worth the full price. Unfortunately, we will likely be disappointed with the Seven Feathers Buffet in Canyonville from now on. While at the casino we view some of the Lummi Tribal art on display. Click both photos for more views.

Elks RV park in Puyallup, Washington
Sunday, June 25, 2017: Today was a travel day from Longview to Puyallup, Washington. Since 400 rigs needed to leave Longview before noon we decided to get an early start. We were up by 5:20 and out by 6:00 a.m. That put us in Puyallup Elks RV park by 9 a.m. We have two nights to kill before our ferry reservation so we chose Puyallup for it's grassy RV park location and Bellingham, Washington tomorrow night. It's another hot day so we were looking forward to the power hook-up in Puyallup, however, I discovered they only had 99 volts due to the number of RVs using their air conditioning so we reluctantly turned off their power and started our generator with a nice clean 120 volts of power. There is a swimming pool but we shopped at Costco instead. Finally, I wanted to mention the good dinners we had at the rally. The dinners were catered but the servers were all volunteers. Click the above photo to see the serving line.
Mt. St. Helens
Entertainment two nights, Bernie and Red, then Brady Koss on Saturday night.

Johnson Observatory overlooking Mt. St. Helen
Saturday, June 24, 2017: This is the day we chose to leave the rally and visit Mt. St. Helens. It exploded in 1980, so 37 years ago. It's impressive seeing all the new growth as well as the devastation of an exploding volcano. This was a hot day so we enjoyed the cooler temperatures at the higher elevation. Click all photos for more views.

I also wanted to mention that we had professional entertainment both Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night was Bernie and Red, a rally favorite since they have their own FMCA chapter. I was most impressed by Brady Goss, our Saturday night entertainer. I would travel a distance to see him again. I've never seen this much musical talent from the front row before.

A rally is a time to use you generator After three days, this fellow needs a pump-out
Friday, June 23, 2017: I just wanted to make a little side note here about attending RV rallys. If you have followed us at all you know we often "dry-camp" without running a generator because we have solar and know how to use it. 95% of those attending a rally such as this one don't have solar or don't know how to use it. So a rally is a time for them to run their generators. That makes it uncomfortable for us because of the noise but in this case mostly because of the exhaust fumes. I've put red arrows in the above photo to show where the generator exhaust is located on the two motorhomes next to us. The motorhome on our third side also runs his generator but his exhaust is vented to the roof. We wouldn't be parking next to these folks in the desert (of course, they would be in the full-hook-up park down the road anyway). The photo to the right is of the pump-out truck. He is pumping out a fellow who arrive here on Tuesday. Something must be wrong with his water management.
Touring new motorhomes Giant bathroom in this one

Joanne sold me a new Blue Ox hitchJune 23 continued: We spent the morning wandering through the new motorhomes which are always on display at an RV rally. These ranged in price from $150,000 to $510,000. It's a good chance to see what new features the motorhomes have and get ideas for upgrades to our own. We enjoyed the tour but didn't find any we would trade Miss Dory for.

This is Joanne. She sold us a new Blue Ox tow bar for our Forester. We had the old tow bar serviced this morning and the technician showed us how much "play" there was in the rod extensions. He suggested they could fail. I went to see Joanne and tested the rod extensions on the new tow bars and figured the technician was right. We purchased the old tow bar used so we don't know how old it is or how many miles it has been used. We felt we couldn't take the chance while visiting Canada so replace the tow bar. Click the photo to see Jim installing the new tow bar. You can also click the new motorhome tour photos above for more photos.

Below is our first dinner at the rally. Tonight's menu was meatball stroganoff, vegetables and rice. It was good and we were hungry. Judy and William sat with us but when Judy sat down she wanted us to know the table she sits at is almost always chosen last. Indeed, our table was chosen last. We told her we wouldn't sit with her again.

Dinner in the event center

Opening Ceremony this morning
I promoted the Workhorse Chasisis Motorhome ClubThursday, June 22, 2017: This is the official opening day of the FMCA Northwest Area Rally in Longview, Washington. The photo above is of the Mayor of Longview welcoming us to the town and suggesting some things to do while visiting. After the opening ceremony I quickly visited the Blue Ox booth in the vendor area. For $35 they will send a technician to Miss Dory to service our hitch. I signed up for the program and hope to watch the technician while he works. Later in the day, I volunteered to promote the Workhorse Chassis Motorhome Club (an FMCA related club) at the "Chapter Fair". I have been a member of WCMC since owning Miss Dory who has a Workhorse Chassis. The club is a source of valuable information about this older motorhome. As a chapter exhibitor I was automatically entered into an exclusive raffle prize drawing and won the top prize ($50). After my Bingo win last night I'm beginning to think I should buy a lottery ticket. Unfortunately, no one stopping at my table was a Workhorse Chassis owner. So I took the newsletters I had printed and walked the entire parking area of the Cowlitz Expo looking for Workhorse motorhomes. I found ten of the three-hundred motorhomes parked at the expo. Workhorse is a Chevrolet product with a Chevy 8.1 liter Vortec engine. This chassis has not been available to manufacturers for a few years so that must be the reason few are at the rally. According to the club, Workhorse will return someday soon. Click both photos for more views.
Dale is working "Will Call" until noon Gwen finished her jigsaw puzzle
Dale never plays Bingo but when he does, he wins BIG!Wednesday, June 21, 2017: Today is my "work" day as a volunteer. I was assigned to "Will Call" from 8 to noon with Kathy and Gary. We sat, talked and watched the parking crew chit-chat until 11:10 when the first of several motorhomes arrived. I expect the afternoon crew was much more busy. Kathy was the expert but she wants me to apply to be on the Will Call crew at the rally next year. I made a time lapse video of the parking crew over a 50 minute time period (once the motorhomes began to arrive). Meanwhile, back at Miss Dory, Gwen finished the jigsaw puzzle she has been working on. I never play bingo because the game is so boring. But Gwen likes games so I went to the FMCA Bingo game. The last game (tenth game) was the blackout game which I won $147. That was enough to almost pay our rally fee. Douglas and his wife are from Nampa, Idaho. They won none of the ten games so I paid for their cards ($10) out of my winnings. Gwen always plays Bingo so she was more excited that I was about the winning game. She grabbed the $137 left of the winnings and put it in our Canada "fun" money.
Gwen is cleaning the wall where the mirrors where at one time. Looking to the west, new field in the distance
Tuesday, June 20, 2017: Yesterday, when Gwen brought in the living room slide, the edge of the slide caught one of the mirrors on the wall and moved it several inches. These two mirrors Gwen did not like anyway so we removed them the rest of the way today. They came off the wall in-tact so I've listed them several locations as FREE items to be picked up. I was expecting to have them gone immediately but I guess no one wants to look in a mirror because I still have them. Click Gwen's photo to see the mirrors leaning against the rear of Miss Dory. The other photo is of the event center, gray roof on the far right. On the left you'll see a field in the distance. Since our field is now full, I'll be working tomorrow morning to help fill this new field. Click this photo to compare our field with what I posted yesterday. You will see a panorama nearly 360 degrees. Be sure to enlarge the photo by clicking on it a second time. Toward the left of the panorama you will see a tiny blue arrow pointing at my WiFi antenna mounted on the front of Miss Dory. Keep scrolling to the right to find a tiny red arrow pointing at my weather station mounted to the ladder at the rear of Miss Dory. That gives you the idea of the range of this panorama. You can see all the motorhome parked to the sides, front and rear of Miss Dory. We are totally surrounded in an open field with no hookups. We chose no hookups because we don't need them with our solar. The disadvantage is only one motorhome near us has solar but he doesn't know how to use his so runs his generator all evening. Of course, all the others around us are running their generators since they have no solar. So much for a quiet campout. These folks are NOT the same kind of RVers as we find at Senator Wash! I did buy an air conditioning refrigerant kit today but learned that's not the problem so afraid I will have to pay a professional to fix Miss Dory's air conditioning.
At the FMCA rally, Cowlitz County Events Center, Longview, WA
Monday, June 19, 2017: This was a short travel day from Saint Helens, Oregon to Longview, Washington to the Cowlitz County Events Center to attend our first FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) rally. I have volunteered to be on staff so we are arriving 3 days early. This was a hot day and we have learned that the chassis air conditioning is not working. I've already watched a YouTube video of how to fix it so I'll take care of that tomorrow. Click the photo to see a roof top panorama of our location. Our view will change today as more motor coaches arrive. We will have a sea of motorhomes in front of us. At my orientation meeting this afternoon I learned I will have a four hour shift in the "Will Call" booth on Wednesday morning which will be my only duty. The rest of our stay is for pleasure. The only WiFi signal is in the convention center, about 200 yards from our parking location. I'm picking up a very weak signal using the Ubiquity antenna but it IS working so I'm pleasantly surprised. Vendors will begin setting up tomorrow and my goal is to find the Blue Ox vendor to learn if they will inspect my hitch. I have also volunteered to represent the Workhorse Chassis Chapter on Thursday. Finally, I've put up a spinner on a long pole above our motorhome. So far I'm the only one to do that which will make it easy for others to find our coach.
Farming of all sorts including flowers Floating home (houseboat) between the island and mainland Osprey
Gardenia Ace, vehicle transport Sauvie Island Map Columbia River beach
Sunday, June 18, 2017: Following Tim and Dana's suggestion, we drove to Sauvie Island today. This is a large island (about 10 miles long and 3 miles wide. It is only about 13 miles from Portland so a rural farming island very close to the largest urban city in Oregon. I can understand why those living in Portland would want to escape to this rural farmland. It is also popular with the cyclists, generally quiet roads and no hills to climb. We purchased a parking pass for $10 which is required to park at any of the wildlife areas. We saw an Osprey pair on their nest, a flower farm, a hundred floating homes, a beach on the Columbia and a vehicle transport called Gardenia Ace. Click all the photos for more views. The weather turned out to be perfect by afternoon, a slow start with sprinkles in the morning.

Saint Helens Elks Club, Oregon


Saturday, June 17, 2017: A travel day from Keizer, Oregon to Saint Helens, Oregon. We have parked at the Saint Helens Elks Lodge which has a deck overlooking the Columbia River. Our friends, Tim and Dana told us about Sauvie Island. It is only 20 miles from Saint Helens and we are told of the wildlife, hiking trails, bike riding and a couple of country stores. We plan to check it out tomorrow. Click the photo for a panorama of the Elks Club parking. Note the new Ubiquity WiFi antenna on top of Miss Dory. We have been able to get good enough WiFi to be able to watch NetFlix.

Rummage Sale nearbyFriday, June 16, 2017: Rain all day in Salem but enough time to walk around the corner to the Lion's Club rummage sale. You can spot a few Elks RVs in the top left corner. The Elks "garage sale" is tomorrow morning. So a rainy day is good for laundry day and the Elks RV park has a small laundry facility with new washers and dryers. Tomorrow we move to the Columbia River and the Saint Helens Elks Lodge RV parking. The weather forecast is for greatly improved weather and we are looking forward to it.
On the road to our summer adventure.
At the Kaiser Elks Club RV ParkThursday, June 15, 2017: Considering the winter we have had in Oregon it is understandable that we must begin our summer adventure in the rain. Both Miss Dory and the Forester have been washed for the trip but driving in the rain reverses all that. We began with breakfast at Rice Hill Dennys, only about 12 miles north of Sutherlin. We originally planned to drive north on the coast but learning the Reedsport bridge was closed by a hit/run driver damaging the Umpqua River bridge changed those plans. We drove north on Interstate 5 instead to the Kaiser Elks Club RV park and arrived in time to capture the last site. There are 41 sites so this is a busy park, partly because of the low rates and quality sites. It rained most of the 2.5 hour drive and rain is forecast for tomorrow too. We have friends, Tim and Dana in Salem so spent the afternoon and evening with them. They are planning a spectacular summer adventure beginning in August. Click this photo for a panorama of the Elks park. Today was my second time to set up the Miss Dory network. After watching part of the video for a "refresher course", I got it working as best it could work with this over used WiFi in the park.

Telegraph Cove, BC Canada
Tuesday, April 11, 2017: While visiting Dave and Brook at Harris Beach State Park I received a phone call from Tyler, the person who purchased our Dodge pickup truck nearly two years ago. Tyler said, "We own an RV park on the northeast shore of Vancouver Island and need a camp host, would you and Gwen like to spend the summer here?" What a surprise! For the next couple of days, Gwen and I telephoned Tyler and his mother who is also an owner and the RV park manager. The host position sounded like it would give us time to see the area and meet new people. We chose to accept the offer so beginning about July 1, we will be on the northeast shore of Vancouver Island as hosts of the Telegraph Cove RV Park. I've started this new page and will continue once we arrive at the park.
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