Genoa Bay- Vancouver Island

Dear Reader,

I have discovered how you can turn your photographs into mini slide shows with music. I have the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. If you are an avid photographer like I am, just go to your photographs, pick an album, turn the group file into memories and select music to edit your photos. It is super easy and much more fun to look at than a plain old photograph! This is a movie short on our visit to Vancouver Island and a glimpse of my brother and sister in laws life on their houseboat and catamaran. We had such a wonderful time and were hosted by friends of theirs- David and Jo.

They Wash Windows in Canada

Callie got to witness first hand a window-shield washer in a gas station at Tofino, BC. It was just a tad bit disturbing for her when he wielded his tool for cleaning. She braved it out though and it became a Kodak moment. The Canadians have been so friendly and welcoming to us, even in spite of Trump and his alt-right agenda spewing hatred and racists nationalism. And to think that they still wash window shields! Amazing.

We had a lovely drive from Tofino to Genoa Bay and will be heading to Victoria today and leaving on the BC ferry tomorrow morning for Port Angeles. I will miss Canada, especially when the politics in America are so disturbing and embarrassing to me. I can only hope that the GOP comes to its senses and puts country before political agenda.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

With a heavy heart, we must pack up today and head back to the RV. We still have a couple more days or so on the island, but sailing with Tom and Frances has come to and end. What an extraordinary time we have had with my brother and sister in law. Tom designed and built Alfresco 41 years ago, and it is an incredible sailing vessel. She is 18 ft wide and 38 ft long. Because it is a catamaran, they don't pitch side to side, but only speeds up when the wind increases. Both of the hulls are sleeping quarters, as is the cabin area. It is a magnificent creation and the first of many sculptures Tom has created.

Frances played the ukulele for us in the evening and sang beautiful, old Nova Scotia songs with her soft, innocent voice ringing out across the calm waters. Callie behaved herself while she enjoyed the sailing experience, and her curiosity didn't get the best of her. She wanted to jump over to the dinghy that is tied up to the side of Alfresco but had to be reminded with a slap on Alfresco's side, that it wasn't a good idea…

Burgoyne Bay & Saltspring Island

It is another smoke filled day on Vancouver Island. There are 126 fires burning last time I checked- down from 200 earlier in the week. The temperature is warm and muggy and there is very little breeze blowing. Callie is doing exceptionally well and has taken to the catamaran as if she has done it all her life. I was somewhat worried about her going over board last night, but she stayed close to my side and was here in the morning to tell the tale….

A Float House in Genoa Bay

Michel and I spent another fabulous evening with Tom, Frances and their precocious cat Gypsy last night. I am once again full of admiration for their artistic life style.

Alfresco, the catamaran that Tom built over 32 years ago, was a precursor to the sculptures Tom creates to this day. The float house, which he also built with the help of Frances, is something out of a New Orleans bayou. Genoa Bay was exceptionally quiet yesterday evening, all except for the prehistoric squawk of a blue heron that flapped its wings overhead as it tried to take flight off the shoreline. The waters were calm and reflective and the overall mood, tranquil. We are visiting during a record breaking heat spell, so it is difficult to imagine the horrific winter storms that blow through the bay with astounding force. Tom and Frances usually leave for Mexico in the winter months, but this winter they are planning to stay put and work on their beloved float house…

Genoa Bay Marina

My brother Tom and his wife Frances, live in a float house on the outskirts of Genoa Bay Marina. They are buffeted by winter storms and live with the help of solar panels and all supplies, including water, must be hauled in by boat. It is quite the adventuresome life style and because they are both artists, conducive to creative expression.

In the winters months, they have flown to Mexico and continue creating beautiful sculptures and paintings while the weather is harsh and rainy on the island. Being an artist myself, I am impressed with how they have chosen to live.

Michael, Callie and I are parked on the shore next to the marina with a view of his catamaran- Alfresco and their adorable float house. British Columbia is experiencing unusually warm weather this week and the waters in the bay are calm and reflective.

We will be staying on Vancouver Island at least until Monday and maybe longer. Callie loves it here and has met our host's two cats, one of which is a calico just like her. Callie doesn't like cats though and hissed at them through the window. What a bratty guest she is!

Where to Begin

The Coho Ferry ride over to Victoria from Port Angeles, Washington was a Disney ride of fun and adventure. Callie handled it with calm curiosity and seemed to enjoy all of the excitement! She rode on the dash as we checked into U.S. Customs and all the way to Tom Faue and Frances's float house in Genoa Bay. My brother and his beautiful, soft spoken wife, are both artists too. They also have an outrageously cute cat named Gypsy that fills in the gaps and makes for quite the family!

We took a dingy ride over to their float house for dinner and we motored past Tom's catamaran – Alfresco as we headed toward their home on the waters of Genoa Bay – Tom built Alfresco over 42 years ago and it is still a working, sea vessel. The float house they have lived on for several years and it too was built by Tom with the help of Frances. We are going to sail and motor to Bouchard Gardens in Victoria some time on this trip.

Callie loves being in the RV and has no trouble sleeping during the day while we sightsee and play. She is doing very well and has yet to cough. We think she has finally recovered from her bronchitis.

The skies are filled with smoke from the fires on mainland Canada- I believe there are over 140 fires raging and out of control at the moment. It is a difficult time for our forests.

Beautiful morning though and Tom has parked us and the RV at a friends house that overlooks the marina. David and JoAnn are gracious enough to plug us into shore power and an offer of water. We couldn't be happier.

Willapa Bay

Willapa Bay is fairly shallow and the second largest estuary in the United States. It has 260 square miles of water surface in the intertidal range. In fact, half of the water enters and leaves the bay every day. Michael and I walked along the shore line several times and two days ago we watched the tide creep back in at a very slow pace. The water glitters with reflective light and gently fills the bay back in, like molten mercury, one small puddle at a time.

We are staying at the Bay Center KOA until tomorrow morning and then we are going to drive to Port Angeles and take the ferry over to Vancouver Island. Callie is going to Canada! We have her paperwork in order and her health has returned and her cough is gone. My brother and sister in law live on a house boat, so I am not sure what the living arrangements will be when we get to their place outside Duncan Bay. It will certainly be an adventure though! Maybe Callie will even go sailing on my brother's catamaran. We shall see!

Callie had a lovely day of practicing her hunting skills chasing after bugs. The temperature is a fabulous 75 and the sun is out and there isn't a cloud in the sky….