Driftwood

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It has been a quiet afternoon here at God’s Pocket. The sky is overcast and low, and we have the cozy feeling of being “socked in” by the fog and mist. Our hosts, Bill and Annie, who are the co-owners of this scuba and kayak resort, left mid-morning for what we have affectionately called “boat-a-palooza.” They are transporting a Grand Banks motor yacht belonging to friends who live in Bellingham, Washington from God’s Pocket to Bella Bella, BC, where their friends will pick up their boat. We are caretaking God’s Pocket until July 2nd.

It has been a bit of transition, with comings and goings, and now the quiet. I have had a sense of needing to relax and float a bit, and move with the tides like driftwood. We had a kayak charter for most of this week: 12 kayaking guests and two kayak guides. Bill, Annie, David and I shared the work in running God’s Pocket with help from the guides, both of whom had been here many times. The guests were all from Alberta, and relished their time in the area in spite of the frequent showers. They were a diverse and interesting group, and just very nice, warm people. We told them they fit perfectly into our general experience of Canadians (very nice); they asked if we were considering moving here given the political scene in the US…

I am enjoying being here in BC, and appreciated the daily routine of the charter and teamwork with Bill, Annie and David. Still the world news has (rightfully) intruded: I have been preoccupied with the Brexit vote. I did think the vote would be close but hoped that the “Remain” vote would prevail. As I have with the tone of the US presidential campaign, I have been stunned and dispirited by the xenophobic rhetoric that marked the British decision to leave the European Union. As much as I see and sympathize with the dislocations created by the global economy, and appreciate the terrible repercussions of income inequality, I can only think that facing inward and away from other nations and people will not result in the change that many are calling for. I fear that the same feelings are very much at play in the US.  Sigh…

So I am “low energy” this afternoon, not that there’s a call for my energy to be high! I’ll be washing the room sheets and remaking the beds over the next week (we can only run the drier when the generator is on, which puts laundry on a staggered scheduled).  A little bit of structure and focused activity works for me, enhancing the choices and experience of the downtime. While we have a few other chores to prepare the resort for the next kayak charter which starts on July 3rd, we are mostly at liberty to relax and explore.

We’ve had rich wildlife experiences lately. We have seen humpback whales out front in the pass most days, sometimes several times in a day. (I’ve attached below a link to my Instagram account post of a short video of a whale swimming past us as we sat in the skiff one evening). We’ve seen several individual otter, floating with their flippers out of the water, the telltale sign that they aren’t a log or driftwood. I saw two minks this morning, one ambling across the deck, and another a few minutes later, making her way from the water line at low tide with a crab in her mouth.

We headed into Port Hardy yesterday to get provisions for the week, leaving at low tide, and I said we should look for wolves who might be hunting at the shore during low tide. No sooner said, we saw a lone sea wolf on the rocky shore.  Stares were exchanged, deepening the thrill of the sighting, and then he turned and made his way up into the bushes and disappeared.

This afternoon as we stood on the lower dock, we heard a few short, high pitched wolf howls. On a lark, David howled back. The response was several longer, more pronounced howls, one which seemed to come from our island just across the cove, and one which seemed to come from across the pass from Balaklava Island. (The low cloud cover is excellent for transmitting sound.)  Wolf howls are magical: rare, haunting and beautiful.

I have been nurturing an idea for building shelves out of driftwood logs and planks for our condo, and want to explore the potential. As if on cue, the universe (and the ocean) delivered overnight to just under the deck an extraordinary, weather- and water-worn cedar log. It must be over 20 feet long and 20 inches in diameter. David tied it up to the dock and we’ll wait until high tide to pull it near the rocks on one side of the cove.  At low tide the log will settle, as if on rock sawhorses, for examination and some potential chainsaw activity.

Tomorrow we’ll take whatever the weather brings – a break in the rain might be nice – and head off in the skiff across the pass to Nigei Island. There’s an inlet there called Port Alexander, perfect for hiking and beach combing. It is a treasure trove of logs and driftwood, and the occasional wolf.

Love,
Susan

PS – Here is a link to my humpie (humpback whale) video (36 seconds long) on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BGvjriAqM6W/?taken-by=dancingonthewayhome

I post about once a week, usually on Wednesday or Thursday, but sometimes on Fridays, or like today, Saturdays… Get regular updates via email from DancingOnTheWayHome by clicking the “follow” button (on your tablet or pc screen – the mobile screens somehow don’t show it!). And thanks for reading!

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