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 overboard 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 lifestyle.

Alfresco, the catamaran that Tom built over 32 years ago, was a precursor to the sculptures Tom creates to this day. The floating 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 floating 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 lifestyle 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 dinghy 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 floating 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.

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Here We Come Canada

We left Willapa Bay in Washington State this morning at 7:30 and took the 101 North toward Port Angeles to board the Coho Ferry. We are now sitting in a reserved line-up to take us over to Vancouver Island and Victoria. How exciting! Callie is taking it all in with her usual Zen attitude.

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Willapa Bay

Willapa Bay is fairly shallow and the second largest estuary in the United States. It has 260 square miles of the 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 shoreline 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 houseboat, 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…

Gnomeland Security

Willapa Bay and the Bay Center RV KOA Park are a big hit for Callie and me. Callie and I were out on our morning walk when we rounded the corner and she was startled by a series of gnomes guarding a small corner of a vegetable garden. She stopped dead in her tracks and cautiously moved forward to check out these strange little creatures. When she was convinced that they wouldn’t harm her, we continued down the pathway to our campsite.

Michael and I went on a bike ride along the bay and discovered a prolific patch of wild blackberries growing by the roadside. I dumped the water out of my water bottle and filled it to the brim with blackberries. We are going to have a bowl of berries tonight with our Tillamook old-fashioned vanilla ice cream!

On the way back from our ride, we stopped off at the Bay Center Farms Seafood Store and bought fresh oysters, pickled salmon, canned, smoked albacore tuna and a fresh lemon with seafood sauce. Such abundance everywhere you look! I know it is summer and the sun is out! It can’t be as green as it is here without weeks and weeks of rain. But for now, we are enjoying the here and now!

On Wednesday we are going to head to Port Angeles and take the ferry over to Vancouver Island. I have a brother and sister in law that live there. Tom Faue is an artist, as is his wife, Frances. It will be nice to see both of them again.