Caching Out to Gorge Harbour

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.

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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.

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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.

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Prawns, Music and Dinghies, Oh My

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.

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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.

IMG_9819[1]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.

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Motion Monday: Moving to Melanie Cove

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.

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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.

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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.

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I have to go. I see a few dragonflies buzzing around and they are terribly distracting. Paw paw for now.

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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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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.

Wordless Wednesday: Remembrance

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Photo of meow and my humans, taken by my furiend Tank’s human, Sharee Bourke.


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Port Moody Power & Sail Squadron Remembrance Day 2014 – Belcarra Park Dock, Belcarra, BC


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Happy Halloween, Twenty Fifteen

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Halloween Boat Cat
Yup, Floating On A Ghost Ship
Has Risen Again

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This photo was of me sitting on top of the settee cushion at window level on our boat Minstrel as we were leaving our marina, but the background scene in the window was of an ugly oil refinery, so we were very pleased with how a little cropping and a couple of photo effect apps totally blotted that aspect out. First we uploaded the iphone photo into PHO.TO and selected the Realistic Photomontage-> Catoptromancy effect. It needed a bit of a frame finish so then we uploaded it Pixlr.com and applied the Wave effect and Tiny Frame.

And I couldn’t resist a quick Halloween Haiku to go with it. Happy Halloween 2015!!

A shout out in honour of Penelope, The Cat From Hell who designed this pumpkin for me last year!
Thanks again Nellie!

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