Friday, June 27, 2008

The Big Blue

The past few weeks have been busy ones, with lots of visits with family and friends in the Canadian Gulf Islands and the US San Juan Islands. We've been haunting farmer's markets and bookstores, hiking up mountains and through forests, and cooking up a storm. But when I think back, what I remember most clearly is how much great sailing we have had between all the visiting. We have spent many good hours under big skies and in big water. The photo above sums it all up - the Georgia Strait, with a huge sky part gray and part blue, and water stretching forever. We will try to add a little more detail to future blog entries, but this one will have to do - it's all a big blue blur.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Kwakiutl Country

We have been tied up to the dock on Quadra Island for a few days, taking advantage of a secure and pleasant moorage to do some work on the boat and catch up with business. The Captain has been up to the top of the mast and down into the engine room and bilge; I have been editing photos and music files - not as useful, but good for the soul.

We took advantage of an opportunity to visit a museum run by the band of the Kwakiutl living on the southern end of Quadra Island near Cape Mudge. This is a sleeper of a museum, open only intermittently over the past few years. They have a rich collection of the masks and costumes that were used in the potlatch ceremonies.
While at the museum, we watched a short dramatic film called "In the Land of the Head Hunters" that was made by the photographer Edward Curtis in 1914. He filmed the Kwakiutl around one of their villages a little north of here, using their native canoes and costumes. The Kwakiutl, of course, only used these things for ceremony by then, but Edward Curtis was always all about inventing a romantic past for the Indians. It is a remarkable piece of film footage, best of all are the scenes in the canoes; the black and white still here is from the film. If you search online, you can view scenes from the film.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Lowest of the Low

The low tide today was the lowest of the year, and the high tide the highest. That translates into sixteen feet of difference between the tide at noon and that at nine in the evening. We are anchored in Prideaux Haven, one of the rock-ringed coves in Desolation Sound. When we kayaked here at low tide today, we learned that the slabs of rock continue deep into the water, and are home to a host of sea creatures. The change in the landscape when the water drops sixteen feet is dramatic. Theses sketches
are of the rock that marks the entrance to this cove, at both high and low tide