Posted by: tim ellis | August 28, 2005

Tuesday 26th August 1997 – Vancouver

An early start as we go back to Port McNeill to catch the ferry to Alert Bay, on Cormorant Island home to a native museum the U’Mista Centre, a fascinating collection of masks and other artefacts taken by the Canadian Government in 1922. Following this we have some free time to look around the village, but a combination of rain and hunger drives everyone to look for food! The Ferry back is delayed, but the weather starts to clear as it leaves, and we still manage to get back in time for our 2 PM whale watching trip.

The boat had been out in the morning and had seen a group of whales, so we were quite hopeful. A couple of very brief encounters with Dall’s Porpoise on the trip out left us at the boundary of the reserve with no sign of the Whales we skirted the edge of the reserve, and eventually were rewarded with a (quite distant) viewing of a male Orca – then the mists came down and the rain started! Fortunately these were both brief and very local, and heading back around the edge of the reserve we picked up another three Orca, including a young juvenile. We were able to keep a reasonably close rapport with them back much of the way to Telegraph Cove, where Lindsey and Sheila have managed to find a cassette – 8-track converter, allowing us to play music through the ancient music centre in our lounge!

While we were out on the boat, Denis (who had stayed behind) saw a cougar come very close to the houses. Digna warns us to go out in pairs as that is safer. Obviously, cougar won’t attack you if their are witnesses!

Back to Port McNeill (Again!) for dinner. A different restaurant tonight, and a split party, with Lindsey, Sheila, Bill, Ann and myself in Northern Lights, swapping stories and (mostly dirty) jokes, while Denis, Digna, Pat and Chan go to the Chinese

Q:”There are two teddy bears in the airing cupboard, which one is the commander?”

A:”The One on the Tank!”

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