BC Coast #4

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It wasn’t all about the fishing, either. In fact, as fantastic as the fishing was, it was really just a small part of the whole experience. There were trips ashore to explore pristine beaches and pick berries in places without any visible evidence of human beings. A visit to the whale research station, where we listened to humpback whales talking through hydrophones. Huge, memorable meals made from the day’s harvest and the long stretches of time when we could just sit and read and talk as the scenery unspooled around us.

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One afternoon, as we cruised along at our usual seven knot speed, a small pod of Dall’s porpoises spotted (or heard) us and came all the way across the channel to investigate. As the kids leaned over the bow to watch them leap and spin and weave back and forth, the porpoises would slow to match our speed, then swim on their sides to peer up and make eye contact. I’m not kidding. As strange as it sounds, there were moments of, maybe not exactly communication, but clearly some kind of real contact taking place.

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Skyla and I spent a great afternoon snorkeling an inlet where a small river met the sea, and pink and sockeye salmon were stacking up before moving upstream. The fresh and salt water, both crystal clear, somehow stayed separate, swirling around like oil and water, creating an ethereal, dreamy view of the underwater world.

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But most important, I think, is that the kids and I had time to simply hang out and share the experience. We made memories–images, stories and feelings that will last a lifetime. And it was important to me, also, for Skyla and Weston to soak up the wisdom of my good friends and mentors–Bruce, Gerald and Steve–who’ve had such an impact on my life. I doubt any of us will forget sitting on the back of the boat in pitch black night, with a spooky fog rising from the water, as Gerald told bigfoot stories that had the kids (and me) literally on the edge of our seats. That’s something we’ll remember for a long, long time.

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