This 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.
So 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!
Hope it’s nice and cool where you are and that all is well. Paw paw for now =^,,^=
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 =^,,^=
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 =^,,^=
First it was geese, then ducks and a swan, and now I have to safeguard all our freshly caught seafood from these intelligent but pesky birds. They float idly around the boat for hours just waiting for an oppurrtunity to grab and go. Not on my watch they don’t.
One interesting fact my human told me was that “Seagulls can drink both fresh and salt water. Most animals are unable to do this, but seagulls have a special pair of glands right above their eyes which is specifically designed to flush the salt from their systems through openings in the bill.”
I had a checkup by a cat doctor 2 weeks ago and my blood work didn’t indicate a lack or abundance of salt in my system, so I guess I’m normal. However, I have been having a bit of a salt craving and discovered that anything around the anchor chain to be a tasty source. Upon further research by my ever curious human mom, it is actually safe for us kitties to routinely drink salt water since we can tolerate a higher salt intake than humans. While humans have to watch their salt intake, it appears that we don’t have to do the same. Our kidneys are able to excrete sodium at a much greater efficiency than humans.
Today we are in Campbell River visiting the human’s friends. Their house is actually riverfront with a dock and we are tied up to it. After we pulled up over 200 prawns and left Cassel Falls in Teakearne Arm (the humans were right again about Teakearne Arm) we headed west to Cortes Bay which is a bit south of Squirrel Cove. There human’s friends showed up in their fishing boat to take them fishing. It was a little bouncy out in the wide open water so I volunteered to stay and take care of Minstrel until they came back. Yesterday the humans fished their way across the strait while waiting for the tide to be high enough to get up the river. Again the humans have gone fishing and the wind is still really gusty so this time both me and my human mom volunteered to stay on Minstrel.
Next post I will have some fishy tails to tells you. Paw paw for now! =^,,^=
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 =^,,^=
Last year I was either too busy eating prawns and sleeping, or out of internet range to post about our adventures and if I don’t post about it soon, then the moment is lost. The humans say I have the attention span of a squirrel! Well, I have something to say about that….
It was this time last year that we were in Squirrel Cove and we are again today. I don’t know why it’s called Squirrel Cove, but it is. This photo is from 2017 when there were a lot of fires burning in BC and the skies were full of smoke.
So far we’ve been to Pender Harbour and stayed at the dock for the long weekend, then to Prideaux Haven in Desolation Sound with 6 other boats for a couple of days. The weather was purrfect for the humans to swim and float around in water they say is the warmest north of Mexico.
My human dad has been trying his hardest to catch me a lot of prawns but so far this time he hasn’t been as successful as usual. Oh well, it might be for the best. I had a vet checkup a couple of weeks ago and I’m on a bit of a restricted diet and we don’t know yet if prawns are ok or not. More on that in another post.
Yesterday the weather was almost too hot but then became a tad unsettled at night and it rained. It’s sunny today but windy and supposed to rain again tomorrow. Then get nice again. Tomorrow we will break away from the group and go to Campbell River to meet some other humans. I’m just along for the ride, and the prawns.
Paw paw for now =^,,^=
The destination of day 10 on our cruise was originally unplanned. My human dad is the cruise co-ordinator for this cruise which means he plans where and what the fleet goes and does, to a point. The humans can go wherever and do whatever they like, but generally the close knit fellowship likes to cruise together, and newer members like the safety of cruising with a group. My human had only pre-planned our first week, and then called a meeting of the humans (which is referred to as a “Skipper’s Meeting”) to drink some silly juice (Scotch) and suck on some smelly sticks (cigars) while they discuss where to go next. I got out a map and wanted to make sure they knew I had a few ideas of my own.
Before we leave, My human mom decided we needed to come up with a squadron geocache in Melanie Cove and hide it. She hid it on the rock cliff behind our boats; pawesome view of our raftup from there. Minstrel is second from the left. She was a bit disappointed that we didn’t have a “first to find” token to put in it, but instead thought after we get home, she’d set out another geocache in Bedwell Bay, our favourite weekend anchorage. In that one, she’ll put a trackable and give it a mission to go to the Melanie Cove cache, and maybe even another squadron cache in Ontario. We’ll see. It may take a few years, or it may never get there. Claws crossed. We’ll be listing them on Geocaching.com soon.
So the humans choose Gorge Harbour on Cortes Island. We had been there a couple of times before so I approved. But because we didn’t have the week planned, we didn’t make reservations at the marina, like a couple of the other vessels in our fleet did “just in case”, so unless there are any cancellations by the time we get there, we will be anchoring again. Maybe this time we’ll find the geocache that my human mom tried unsuccessfully to find the last time. Paw paw for now.
Good day furiends. My humans finally caught me some prawns. Meowee, they are just delish when they are so fresh and raw. Cooked ones are purrty good too. That’s how the humans eat them. I’m starting to learn that I can purrform my tricks without being asked and it’s working well to get treats.
Here in BC we have prawns called Spot Prawns because they have white spots on their shell. They are the largest of 7 commercial species of shrimp found in Canada’s west coast waters. According to SeaChoice (a watch dog organization concerned with the health of our fisheries and oceans), wild, trap-caught, B.C. spot prawns are a “Best Choice” option based on four sustainability criteria used for assessment:
1. Impacts on the species under assessment
2. Impacts on other species
3. Effectiveness of management
4. Habitat and ecosystem impacts
My humans use 4 baited traps on long lines attached to buoys that are lowered about 400 feet into the water. Meowee, that’s a long ways down. Thank goodness they have an electric puller to bring them back up to the surface otherwise it would be really hard on their arms and they might not want to try prawn catching as often. That would be bad.
This evening was the dinghy concert. An American country singer named Robin Landry, and her band the Chicksie Dixs, flew into Prideaux Haven and purrformed for a couple hours on the swim deck at the stern of a huge 80 foot boat called Pres du Soleil. A sea of dinghies all raft together behind the boat with all the humans eating, drinking and generally being silly. It’s getting bigger every year. Again I stayed behind and boat sat while all the humans left to go to it. It was the 5th annual concert, and my humans have attended 3 of them now. Two years ago it was the rain concert, last year the sun concert, and this year the smoke concert. What will next year’s be weather-wise I wonder.
If you like seafood and music, what kind do you like? Paw paw for now.
Day 7 of our cruise was a travel day to one of our favourite anchorages in Desolation Sound: Melanie Cove. The two hour trip was about as smooth as my fur, and as the video shows, I spent a few moments on deck enjoying it before I headed inside for a quick and comfortable cat nap.
Meowee, the forest fires here in BC are very serious and as we got closer to our destination the sky was full of smoke, almost hiding the majestic mountains that surround us. It wasn’t affecting our breathing but it wasn’t quite as bright as it was. I heard the humans mention that in some parts of the coast, visibility on the water was less than a mile, and back at home it’s even worse.
The humans have been talking a lot about a dinghy concert that’s happening tomorrow and many boats have filled the anchorage which now resembles a parking lot. Luckily our favourite spot was empty and we easily rafted our 5 vessels there. Once again, out came the inflatable air bags and once again the humans took to the water for fun, and to keep cool. I really don’t understand it.
I have to go. I see a few dragonflies buzzing around and they are terribly distracting. Paw paw for now.
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.
We 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.
I 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.