Sweltering At Salt Spring Island

crossing straitThis  last week of June the humans felt the need to go on a boating vacation now that they’ve had their shots and the travel restriction are lifting, so away we went over to the Gulf Islands. We knew there was going to be this weather phenomenon called a heat dome, but figured the best place to keep cool would be on the water. However, it’s just plain hot. Record breaking hot! Not a good time to be covered in a thick fur coat I tell you!

The crossing of the strait from the mainland can be rather bumpy, but luckily our crossing was just so flat calm that I didn’t have to worry about getting my sea legs. Our boat Minstrel purred easily along at about 8 knots and it took us about 6 hours to get to our destination. We even saw a few dolphins along the way.

gangesmarinaSo we are here on Salt Spring Island at Ganges Marina. We hadn’t been here before. The climate of the Gulf Islands is more Mediterranean like which makes them very popular. The island is big on tourism and the locals are very furiendly. We have some cousins who live here and since we came without any of our Port Moody Squadron boater furiends, it was a purrfect opportunity to have a good long visit them. The humans went to their house for dinner the first evening, and they came to have dinner on the boat with us the next.

The nights aren’t cooling down as usual either and last night the humans took me out for a dinghy ride to see if that would help. I hadn’t been out in the dinghy for a while and at first I wasn’t too comfortable about the idea. However, after a slow and gentle ride, I chilled out and seemed to enjoy it. The humans forgot my life jacket at home but it doesn’t really fit anyways. As long as they wear theirs!

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Hope it’s nice and cool where you are and that all is well. Paw paw for now =^,,^=

Slo-Mo Monday – Catcation Recap

Happy Monday furiends. We are home now, my catcation is over. It’s currently quite a bit hotter on land than on the ocean and I’m thinking I want to go back! We will go back but only on the weekends now. The humans are hoping the nice weather will continue, but this weekend looks like rain. It rains here a lot. Good thing we have lots of sunny photos of me to look at.

One thing my human mom hasn’t done much of is taking photos of me in slow motion. One of my Instagram furiends, Peanut from “ImABoatCat” has been purractising high jump for the catolympics and her slo-mo video shows her in good form. I meowed that I wanted to see what I looked like in slow motion too. My human needs more purractise of being ready to take Slo-Mo videos of me when I am, but she did get a couple of starters.

The humans had a two week cruise guide set out by the Port Moody Power & Sail Squadron Cruisemaster, and so far, as I’ve posted in the first week, we went to:

  • Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast,
  • Prideaux Haven in Desolation Sound,
  • Squirrel Cove & Cortes Bay on Cortes Island and
  • Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

The second week we left the group and were out on our own which meant we didn’t go to Gorge Harbour, Rebecca Spit, Tribune Bay, or Gibsons Marina. Instead we went back to Prideaux Haven, Pender Harbour, and lastly Bedwell Bay which is an hour away from home.

All the furesh fish and purrawns are store away and I have to understand that my diet will no longer include them, at least for the next couple of months. More on the results of my cat doctor visit coming soon. Don’t worry it’s not that bad, I hope.

Paw paw for now =^,,^=

 

Fishy Friday Kisses in Campbell River

Meowee furiends, look what my human caught! Meow very own fish! A Spring or Chinook salmon. Sometimes it takes a long time to catch one. Hours and hours even. So understandably I was resting below deck when the big event happened so I missed being there to get my photo with it before it was packed away on ice to keep it fresh. However, after we got to the human’s friends dock, I got to meet it.

Have you ever kissed a fish before? Apparently it’s a thing and I just did it too. It’s an old tradition although sparse on the details. The why’s and wherefurs of the purractise diffurs from one to another but here are a few reasons:

            • To bring good luck
            • To attract more fish
            • A thank you for getting caught
            • Apologize for catching
            • Out of respect
            • Speed up healing from hook (only for catch and release fish)
            • To become a true Newfoundlander
            • Selfie opportunity
            • A dare

Is it safe to kiss a fish? Due to fish being known to host to a variety of microscopic parasites, you could run the risk of getting a viral infection when kissing it. That can be further amplified if the water it was caught in was contaminated with any toxic waste and bacteria, either resulting in an upset tummy and severe diarrhea for several days.

I supurrvised the human as he cut up the fish, and the one he caught the day before, into smaller dinner sized pieces, but when he got out the machine to shrink wrap them to put in the freezer, I headed out to my usual purrch to relax and keep a watch out for any flying thieves. Now we will have fish all year round.

 

Next we are heading for warmer water and less windy areas back in one of our faourite places, Prideaux Haven, for a couple days. Paw paw for now =^,,^=

Friday Furiends – Meet Oliver

Each time we go cruising I get to meet some new furiends. Mostly dogs but on the odd occasion I hear about other cats lurking below the decks of their boat who rarely make it out on deck so we can get introduced. Today I’d like to introduce Oliver.

Oliver is a 10 month old Yorkshire Terrier. He is very vocal and protective of his boat so even when you look at him he starts yapping away incessantly. His redeeming quality is that he is so darn cute. Oliver’s humans have setup a pee pad on their back deck for him. To me that makes more sense than trying to find somewhere on shore several times a day, that isn’t covered in razor sharp oyster shells, and/or in the pouring rain. Instead the grass-like mat is simply rinsed off in the ocean and ready to use again. Easy peesy.

Oliver likes to chew things. He has a chicken chew toy named Henrietta but he’d rather chew on things that he shouldn’t like the ropes of the fenders or the lines to tie the boat to a dock, or the strap on the fire extinguisher or any of loose piece wood he can find inside the boat. Once he has managed to get a forbidden prize of some sort, off he runs around the deck of his 50 foot Grand Banks boat, with his human mom chasing after him. He is such a little dickens. My human mom chases me around the deck sometimes too but just for fun and a bit of exercise.

We are leaving Squirrel Cove and heading East over to Teakerne Arm this morning. My humans say that’s the best place for prawns… so hurry up and let’s get going!

Paw paw for now =^,,^=

 

 

Motion Monday: Swan, Dog, Duck, Goose!

This year Easter was early, and with it was my human mom’s birthday and our first cruise of the year. (Since she forgot my birthday we don’t really need to know about hers.) Destination Union Steamship Marina on Bowen Island is about a 2 hour journey for Minstrel from our marina in Port Moody. About halfway there we’d left the more sheltered and calmer waters of Burrard Inlet and became exposed to the Strait of Georgia when I suddenly didn’t feel so good.  My human was watching me for “the signs” and as soon as she saw them, in true mom style she whisked me up in a blanket and sat outside in the fresh air with me. After about an hour I felt so much better.

IMG_5016IMG_5030We were there for four weather perfect days. Although my human dad didn’t win the Crabmeister contest, he didn’t disappoint either with a decent catch of both crabs and prawns. He’s my Easter bunny hero. The boats on either side of us had dogs. Peaches was on our port side and Tank was on our starboard. Except for when the dogs left for walks, I mostly behaved and stayed on our boat and greeted all who walked by. My furiend Krypto the yellow (but white) lab was there and came over to say hi, and I also met a new furiend, a white husky whose name I can’t remember but was very interested in meeting me since apparently she’d never seen a cat before. She seemed nice and was a big hit with all the humans.

IMG_5049IMG_5019I spent much of my time on the anchor board, my favourite place at the bow of Minstrel, watching the shore or whatever flew or swam by in front of me. I saw several ducks swimming by who didn’t pay any attention to me,  but what did notice me was a big bird I had never seen before. My human call it a swan and his name is Oscar. He lives at the marina and is not shy around humans, probably because of all the treats they give him especially after they hear the sad story about his mate dying. He seems friendly enough but he does make me feel a little nervous.

Last but not least are those annoying geese. I was trying to take a nice little cat nap when a big ruckus started up outside. The honking of one goose I can handle, but when there’s four of them, I had to go out and let them know I wasn’t impressed. Geese can be very noisy especially during mating season. The worst part was the strange long drawn out ohms between honks. My human thought it was rather funny and took this video.

Our next cruise will be the long weekend in May and close to home. I hear there’s going to be a Gilligan’s Island costume theme with a 3 hour dinghy cruise scavenger hunt. In the meantime, I’m still hoping to get some more votes during the BC SPCA 2017 Calendar Contest, and there’s one more week left. A big thank you to those that donated and voted to support a very good cause including my friend and cat mom Ellen Pilch.

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Motion Monday: Not Your Average Rescue Kitty

Meowee furiends, it’s been a few months since my last post. I had my 3rd birthday a couple of months ago in February and my humans forgot. To those who left a few good suggestions on my Facebook page about what I should do (to my humans) about that, I thank you, they helped me feel better.

Just before I show you a video of my new furiend Nacho, let me first say that he is one lucky little kitty. Not only was he rescued from under a truck in Mexico half dead, but his humans, who happen to be friends with my humans, will be bringing him back to their home here on the BC west coast where he will become a boat cat like me. And I just found out he’ll be flying in next week! I can hardly wait to show him the ropes…wait, I mean lines.

It’s not easy for street cats to survive, anywhere, even harder for kittens, and by the sounds of it, Nacho probably wouldn’t have survived if not for the quick action and kind heart of a compassionate human who made the effort to prevent that from happening. Apparently it was touch and go. But as you will see, look just how well Nacho recovered. He’s a fighter.

Bringing pets from one country to another is not simple either. Once I find out the story of Nacho’s journey from Mexico to Canada, including vet certificates, airline requirements and other paperwork, I will report back.

I really hope we’ll get along when we finally get to meet. He’s already good buds with his furiend Toby the Chihuahua as you will see in this video. I’m sure they will miss each other but don’t be sad because Nacho will be going back to Mexico for the winter and they will be together again. So without further ado, I present Nacho…

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Meow On A Sailboat

Look at meow! I’m on a sailboat! No we didn’t buy a new boat. I just borrowed this one for an impromptu photo opp. Whenever we’re at the marina to clean Minstrel or to socialize with their friends, my humans  let me outside somewhat by myself. So what did they expect I’d do? Sit around on the deck of our boat and be content to just look at my surroundings? Ha, silly humans. So when I spied this little sailboat with the green canvas I thought to myself, “how fun would it be to send my good buddy, Bailey Boat Cat, a photo of me on a boat like his!” …and here I am.

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When my absence was finally realized, which didn’t take long, over she strode all mother-hen like to shush me back to our boat. But when our eyes met and she realized where I was, in that instance I knew she thought the exact same thing I had. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out the camera and the photo session began. Of course I went with it. My plan was working.

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And there you have it. I came, I saw, I conquered….and I was ready to get off. I hope you like my photos Bailey. Now, what ploy can I come up with to get on that boat over there….

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Writing 101 Day 14: Write a post that takes place during one single day. Recreating a single day doesn’t automatically mean describing every detail. This assignment is very much about editing — and focusing on the right details. Zoom in even further, limiting yourself to just one hour of your chosen day.

Oh Those Sneaky Geese

“Ahoy?” During my deck patrol I heard a suspicious sound and went to investigate. There was definitely something swimming around in the water at the back of the boat.

No answer, but there it was again!

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Maneuvering closer I repeated: “Ahoy?!”

Still no answer. My curiosity got the better of me and I just had to look….

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Oh it’s just those marina geese sneaking by on their sunset tour. Maybe they think I’m one of them and want me to join them, or maybe they’re trying to taunt me into chasing them. Either way, I’m not getting in that water!

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Writing 101 Day 13: Play with word count. For those who’d like to aim for a specific word count, take a look at some 100-word stories at 100 Word Story, or Reader’s Digest list of winning 100-Word True Stories, then take a stab at your own.

I’m So Gull-ible

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The weather, forecasted to be gray and rainy, unexpectedly turned out to be sunny and dry. After our Remembrance Day Service at Belcarra Regional Park yesterday, we returned to our Marina for a bit of an afternoon dock party. The humans set out their deck chairs, furnished a few deck tables with appetizers, and enjoyed the glorious afternoon together.

I was almost allowed to roam at will, but the humans were a little further away from our boat Minstrel than I was comfortable with and instead I started trespassing on a few boats in between. That ended with me getting closed up inside Minstrel for the rest of the day, which was okay because it was my nap time anyways.

But what really caught my attention just before then was the dock leading the other way, along the marina’s breakwater, that was standing room only for a flock of seagulls. My oh my, if I could only join that party! I did try. I lowered my body as low as it would go and almost floated across the dock as I skulked towards them. Unfortunately they have really keen eyesight, and as if on cue a large section of them closest to me just flew up in the air, only to land a little further down the dock. They weren’t ever going to let me get too close. Mom didn’t like the look of the big mess of fresh runny poop they left behind and shushed meow back to boat before meow, or her, could step in any of it. But what a rush though.

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Here on the west coast of North America we have the western gull (Larus occidentalis). Did you know that an older name for gulls is mew? In German it’s Möwe, Danish måge, Dutch meeuw, and French mouette. These gulls typically live for 15-25 years. One of a gulls favourite food are mussels which are readily available to them at this time of year along the docks at the waterline. They carry the shelled morsels up into the air and drop them onto hard surfaces, a method used to crack them open. We are constantly finding empty black shells, and sometimes crab shells, all over Minstrel’s decks. Clever, but messy birds.

My human said she had read a rather humorous news article about a lady in Paignton, Devon (a small town in England) who reported having about 50 golf balls dropped on her house one summer by seagulls. They probably saw the balls as potential food, but then gulls see most things as potential food. Clever yes, but not so smart.

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Writing 101 Day 10: So far, we’ve found inspiration from our own experiences, images, words, and more. Today, let’s quietly observe the world around us and write about what we see. Find a spot where you can sit and observe for at least 20 minutes: a bench at a park, shopping mall, or museum; from inside your car in a parking lot; or even a place close to home, like your front porch. Ideally, it’s a location where you can watch action and interaction in a setting (between people, wildlife, weather, etc.) Don’t be afraid to take risks! Your response can be purely nonfiction and be an exact report of what you see, or a piece of creative nonfiction that uses storytelling elements (like point of view, pacing, and dialogue) to shape a more dramatic narrative.