Friday, July 5, 2013

RESTORATION-Inside Passage part 3

We learned about the David B. Through the internet.

 The wooden boat was built in 1929 and spent her early years working in the fish industry in Alaska. She passed through several hands and ended up rotting behind a breakwater on Lopez Island.

 In 2006 Jeffrey and Christine Smith bought her. Their plan was to own and operate a small expedition boat that would tour between Alaska and the Puget Sound of Washington State. 

 It took them eight years of hard labor to restore her and make their maiden voyage to Juneau.  The story is told in Christine’s award winning book, “More Faster Backwards,”

 The David D is powered by a huge antique three cylinder diesel engine that kicks in with a BANG and shoots smoke rings out of its stack until it warms up. 

 Right after the engine starts, Captain Jeffrey engages the gears of the windlass to haul up the huge anchor.

The whole place rattles as Christine monitors the big, big chain as it is cranked up out of the water.

 Under way, the sound of the engine is not unlike that of a fetal heart monitor and is known to mellow out passengers and put them into a comatose siesta. Of course a deck chair in the sun and a tummy full of Christine’s cooking can intensify the effect.

 The spic and span boat with its shining paint and varnished decks travels at a steady speed of around seven mph.  The deep hull gives an even, stable ride which cuts way back on motion sickness and makes photography a delight.

We rejoined the Smiths with two other passengers for our second trip, a nine day tour of Desolation Sound, in June.  The experience was beyond fun.

A two minute video of the inside and the deck of the David B while underway.
p.s. The one time I was on deck ready with my video camera to capture the action of the anchor going down,  a big bald eagle with his fish dinner upstaged the whole process. More on that in part 8.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

DESOLATION--Inside Passage part 2

Desolation Sound is a deep water sound in British Columbia, Canada. It’s a favorite destination for boaters because of its spectacular fjords, mountains, and wildlife.

Prior to the arrival of Europeans the sound was inhabited for thousands of years by tribes of Native Americans.

The inside passage of what is now British Columbia, Canada was first charted in 1792.  Two expeditions led by Captains George Vancouver of England,  and Dionisio Galiano and Valdes y Flores from Spain arrived the same summer and cooperated in the mapping of the area.

Vancouver named Desolation Sound saying, “There was not a single prospect that was pleasing to the eye.” 

I think he was having a bad day. He’d been sent there to find a water passage across Canada—which didn’t exist, and had just discovered the Spanish had already been there months ahead of him.

Of course his living conditions probably weren’t as pleasant as ours.  Even though our cabins were “cozy;” the company was friendly, the ride on the restored boat was an adventure and a joy, and the food was the definition of delicious.

 Ballenas Light in the Strait of Georgia

After leaving Bellingham, Washington, and cruising through the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, we stopped for provisions in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and then continued on across the Strait of Georgia.

Schooner being passed by a “Super Ferry” in the San Juan Islands

Though we got caught in a downpour in Nanaimo
most of the weather had been sunny or overcast with only a breeze to fill the sails of pleasure craft.

Monday, July 1, 2013


 It’s so hot, that my “hot flashes” are becoming the only times I feel “cool!!”

You discover it takes only two fingers to drive your car.

Cows are giving evaporated milk.

Chickens are laying boiled eggs.

It’s so hot, I wore my wrinkled clothes outside, and got them steam pressed

It so hot the fish in my pond are sweating!

It's so learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.

The potatoes cook underground, and all you have to do to have lunch is to pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.

It's so hot you experience condensation on your tush from the hot water in the toilet bowl.

What's the weather like where you are?