By Sea

The Girl Next Door

A popular movie theme in a certain era was “The Girl Next Door”. Think of “Judy” who grew up next to “Chip” (called Chipper, to his embarrassment, by Mom and Dad. “Aw, Mom!”). Judy was pretty, but not glamorous, and a little younger than Chip. It was obvious to the audience that Judy was a …

Watching the Walkers

After leaving Stuart Island, we paid an overnight visit to Garrison Bay at the northern end of San Juan Island. Much of the land surrounding the bay is private, so no shore access. But on one side is San Juan Island National Historic Park. We like to go ashore at English Camp and walk to …

Stuart Island

Faithful readers will remember Stuart Island from previous journeys of P.V. Impromptu. The Island has a few year-round residents, more in years past, but is now mostly a spot for second homes. There are two harbors on Stuart Island: Prevost Harbor on the north side, and Reid Harbor on the south. Both have a dock, …

Jones Island

Another week of projected good weather inspired more self-isolation on the high seas. Once again the challenge was to plan in itinerary that included only uninhabited (or very sparsely inhabited) places. We began our journey with a two-and-a-half hour cruise to little Jones Island. Jones, which lies just off the western coast of Orcas Island, …

Matia Island

Unlike Sucia Island, where the Spanish pronunciation is not commonly used, Matia is pronounced Mah-tee-ah more often than not. You will find some who say May-sha, but not many. Most of this 145 acre Island is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a National Wildlife Refuge. There is a small State Park …

Sucia Island

Arrrrrgh! Grab a chart me mateys and follow along as I tell ye a tale o’ social distancing on the high seas. Arrrrrgh (again)! Or, you can have a look at the route we took here. Let me begin with a short history lesson. These Islands were “discovered” (in the Eurocentric sense) and named by …

Bears!

We came to see bears. We saw bears. Mostly turning over large rocks with a casual flick of the paw looking for things to eat. After watching a bear swim from one small Island to another, I thought about the huge bag of garbage sitting on board Impromptu.

The Floating World

During Japan’s Edo period the phrase “the floating world” evoked an imagined universe of wit, stylishness, and extravagance—with overtones of naughtiness, hedonism, and transgression. But that’s not the floating world we’re here to talk about today. Like other places around the globe where folks make their living on the water, Northern British Columbia was once …