Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Whale Watching ~ Telegraph Cove (Tons of Photos)

A little over a month ago I was presented with the opportunity to go on a complimentary whale watching excursion with Stubbs Island Whale Watching that operates out of Telegraph Cove and you can bet your bottom I was jumping for joy. Well the day finally arrived and on Sunday I made the trek north along with my dad :)

Killer Whale Cafe

We arrived an hour before our departure time of 1pm which gave us plenty of time to enjoy lunch at the Killer Whale Cafe which is located at the end of the boardwalk and overlooking the marina.


The food was amazing! With a hot plate of halibut and chips and great coffee we were set :)

Boarding Pass

Check out the boarding pass they give you. Great way to conserve on wasted paper to! The laminated card is about the size of your drivers license and has all of the specs on the boat they use for the tour. When you go to get on you hand it to the captain and everyone shares where they are from. It's a great way to find out where everyone is visiting from :)

Pacific Harbour Seals

There were tons of harbour seals sunning themselves on the rocks. Some of them had pups with them as well which was fun to see the babies :)

Minke Whale

Not to far out of Telegraph Cove we got to see a Minke Whale. They are the 2nd smallest baleen cetacean in the world, extremely fast and make long irregular dives so it was hard to keep track of him.

The MInke Whale

Above you can see what the Minke Whale would look like if we'd had a chance to see more of him out of the water, but we got to smell his horrible bad breath!! Nicknamed Stinky Minke, this one definitely lived up to his name and fouled the air around us *grin*.

Awesome Scenery

I took this photo after we left Telegraph Cove and headed towards Blackfish Sound. It is absolutely gorgeous through the Plumper Islands!! I get to see some of it from time to time when I go on Dh's tugboat or little excursions like this whale watching trip but I could be here every day!

Black Bear

On one of the rocky beaches some of the onlookers observed this great and well fed Black Bear. Just look at the size of his legs! The captain of the boat took us in closer and cut the engines so that we could drift quietly nearby and watch.

Black Bear

We get to see lots of black bears in our backyard at home all year long, but what was so interesting about this particular bear was the way it was rolling over huge bolders to get at the crabs and little fish left behind after the tide had gone out. You can see, he climbed right over top of it and then rolled it backwards! It was treating itself to a little seafood buffet :)

Killer Whales

Nest we came upon a group of 4 Killer Whales heading towards the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. They were identified as being part of the A Pod and it was so cute to see because there was a mother and her calf in the group!

Killer Whales

Again when we had caught up to them while keeping a safe distance from them, the captain cut the engines to the boat so that we could drift silently and revel in their magnificent beauty. We also got to listen to them talking with the use of a hydrophone which is an underwater microphone.

Killer whales

As a child we used to go fishing in a little 12 foot aluminum boat out of Kelsey Bay and we were always guaranteed to come across the orcas. I remember being terrified and thrilled at the same time as they would swim close to our boat so it was fantastic to be so close to them again :)

Killer Whales

The calf was quite rambunctious and did quite a bit of playing around with its mother :) After we watched them for while we turned around and started heading back again.

Orca Lab Research Station

This is one of the Orca Lab volunteer run research stations located on Cracroft Point where the Johnstone Strait and Blackney Passage merge. Orca Lab was founded by Dr. Paul Spong in 1970 and they monitor the killer whale (orca) movements and habits by microphone and visuals.

Blackfish Sound

It was absolutely gorgeous when the sun came out. At this point the blue sky was reflecting on the ocean surface turning it a beautiful blue :) I'm pretty sure when I took this photo we were in Blackfish Sound looking towards Blackney Passage.

Humpback Whale

Just as we were heading back to Telegraph Cove we spotted a Humpback whale over by Malcolm Island!!! Amazing giant creatures. It moved so slowly as it humped up and down through the water. We watched it for a bit and then it seemed to disapear. A couple of minutes later though we heard a loud whoosh of air and a spray of misted water blowing out of the ocean surface as it started to surface again :)

Humpback Whale Blowhole

As we followed along behind the Humpback Whale we were really hoping that it would raise its tail out of the water as they have massive tails! It never did but when I returned home and looked at my photos I realized that I had caught a photo of its blowhole. Look at it, isn't it amazing?!

Did you know that these behemoths can take in 20,000 litres of water into their mouths at one time when they are feeding? So cool!

More Great Scenery

More great scenery!

Bald Eagles

There were tons of Bald Eagles all over to, so of course I had to snap some photos of them to *grin*.

Telegraph Cove

Four hours later we were heading back to the Telegraph Cove marina. Our whale watching excursion was ending and it had been so much fun :) What a fantastic afternoon!! If you ever get a chance to visit Telegraph Cove I highly recommend taking a trip whale watching with Stubbs. It's something you definitely won't forget :)

Me, well I'm trying to talk hubby into buying a great little house I saw for sale out in Blackfish Sound. I would definitely pick up and move there if I had the chance!

~ Rosina

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Camping at Miracle Beach

miracle beach 2009

Monday morning we packed up our travel trailer and headed out for a little bit of camping fun :) My oldest son had to be down island for his last art class and we thought since we were going to be passing right by Miracle Beach Provincial Park and Campground we'd make an outing of it and swing in for the night!

This time of year it is still fairly quiet during the week since the school children are not quite out for the summer which pretty much gave us pick of the park *grin*. We opted for a spot right in front of the playground so that M who's 3 years old could run back and forth and I wouldn't have to worry about him :)

miracle beach 2009

We were pleasantly surprised that right behind us was another family with 3 children and wouldn't you know it, they were homeschoolers to! The kids hit it off right away and spent every spare minute together that wasn't consumed by eating or sleeping. LOL. Above is L heading out for a bike ride with her new friends :)

miracle beach 2009

In the morning before we had to head home again we thought we'd trek down to the beach....

miracle beach 2009

and catch a little bit of the ultra low tide that was happening. There was glorious sand as far as the eye could see :)

miracle beach 2009

The rainy weather held off just long enough for us to do a little tide pool exploring, sand castle building...

miracle beach 2009

and just general mucking about :)

I don't know what it is about Miracle Beach but I could spend weeks on end there camping and lazing on the beach!! Maybe it just reminds me a lot of home, in the bush, with all of the wonderful fir, hemlock, alder and cedar trees looming above me. I'm such a backwoods girl! Just get rid of all the mosquitoes and I would be happy as a clam. LOL.

Where are you going camping this year?

~ Rosina

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Work in Progress

Reduce & Reuse Stamp

I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with a fun way to share about recycling on my packages when I mail them so that when they reach their destination the person receiving them knows that they can reuse or upcycle the shipping envelope again so that it doesn't just get tossed into the trash.

It just happens that my son has this great little garbage truck that we picked up at the thrift shop and it's actually a green recycling truck with recycling symbols all over it and it hit me that I could make some sort of rubber stamp with the same sort of sign and then add on my 'reduce' and 'reuse' tag that I love to add into my item listings :) So I fiddled around with the arrows and lettering for a while until I got it just right and then added in a cutsie little heart into the center *grin*.

I've got it all ready to go on my tracing paper, reversed image and all, and tomorrow I'm going to transfer it onto a Speedy Cut rubber pad and carve it out. I can't wait to see how it turns out. I've never done lettering before so I'm not sure how tricky it will be but I'll share how it turns out :)

~ Rosina

Croquet Anyone?


We've got a croquet game up at my mom's house that she bought for her B&B guests and I don't think any of us actually know how to play it properly but that hasn't stopped the kids from whacking the balls around with the mallet! LOL. My youngest is crazy about it lately and is forever setting up the wire hoops in different patterns.


Here we go. All ready for a civilized game of croquet? That's it, nice and easy does it....


Hmm, maybe we need to work on the nice and easy part. *grin*
Oh well, practice makes perfect right?

~ Rosina

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seal Bay Nature Walk

Seal Bay 2009

Today we joined in with our nature woody friends and explored Seal Bay :) There was a great low tide and lots of tide pools to be discovered.

Seal Bay 2009

We'd never been there when the tide was out and we weren't the only ones taking advantage of it. There were TONS of Bald Eagles hanging about and picniking on all of the sea creatures that were now exposed. They didn't seem to be bothered at all either that there were a bunch of loud preschoolers running around *grin*.

Seal Bay 2009

We found crabs....

Seal Bay 2009


Seal Bay 2009

and one of the girls spotted this dead octopus floating in the water!

Seal Bay 2009

It may have been part of this Eagle's snack :)

We were there well over two hours and even though the tide was coming in and it was definitely time to head back up the beach to the trail no one was ready to leave. We're definitely going to have to check hubby's tide book and see when there is another super low tide so we can come and explore again!

~ Rosina

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Butterfly Stalker


My daughter is a very persistent butterfly stalker always waiting in the garden behind a pretty clump of flowers just waiting to try and catch the elusive butterfly *grin*. Be warned though that her mood turns sour very quickly if she has to run around the yard to many times with no catching success! LOL.

Butterfly Net

And there she goes!
She did make one really cool find of what we originally thought was a moth in the first photo. It appears though that it is actually a Swallowtail Butterfly and from what I could find in my nature guides it may be Clodius Parnassian (Parnassius clodius) which apparently is one of three Parnassians that are found here on Vancouver Island.

If you are reading this and can let me know if I'm correct or if you know what it really is I would love to know!

~ Rosina

Van Isle 360 Yacht Race

VanIsle 360

I had completely forgot that the annual Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race was happening right now, so we were pleasantly surprised when on our way home we came upon a large group of sailboats or racing yachts as they are being called heading north towards Campbell River :)

VanIsle 360

Apparently this year is their 10th anniversary of the beginning of the race and what makes it one of the most unique races anywhere is that during their journey between Campbell River and Telegraph Cove they actually have a layover near Hardwicke Island where all of the boats tie onto Marine Harvest Canada's fish farm pens! Now that must be an interesting sight to see!

VanIsle 360

They couldn't ask for better weather either with all of the sunshine and clear skies! Check out the first photo and you can actually see some of the crew members on the Time Bandit sitting with their legs dangling over the side of the boat :)

~ Rosina

Saturday, June 6, 2009

His Masterpiece is Complete!

K's tug painting

My son started this painting of his dad's tug boat and some of the other company tugs a little over a month ago and since then there has been an empty hook in our family room awaiting its arrival. Well the day has finally come and his dad is so proud of it :)

It just happened that today hubby was going to be stopping in at the wharf to refuel his tug and get supplies so K got to show him the completed painting :)

K's tug painting

Above is the original pencil drawing he made from a photo. In a couple of weeks our town is hosting its annual Garden Tour and quite often some of the homes will display quilts or artistic works done by locals and we are going to exhibit K's paintings in my mom's garden as she is part of the tour *grin*.

He has studied Frida Kahlo, Leonardo Da vinci, Henri Matisse, & Dr. Suess so far, copying some of their most famous paintings and learning about their lives. I think it will be fun for him since he's only 10 and to be able to share some of his new found knowledge about the arts will be great. Plus you know those older ladies will just love it! LOL.

~ Rosina

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nature Outing Fun

Mack Laing Park4 2009

We finally made it out to one of the weekly nature walks that we participate in and we couldn't have asked for better weather! Thoroughly coated in suntan lotion we headed down the wooded path of the Mack Laing nature park.

Mack Laing Park2 2009

The trail winds along a little stream and it was so cute to see my two boys holding hands as they made their way towards the beach :)

Mack Laing Park6 2009

As we came out of the woods we were greeted by the scorching 32 degree heat and the magnificent views of the mountains and ocean. There's a great little boardwalk in front of the original homestead where you can look out over the marshy area and do a little bird watching but today it was all about the beach *grin*.

Mack Laing Park7 2009

The group of children combed the rocky beach in search of crabs, shells and other signs of sea life....

Mack Laing Park14 2009

and what would a trip to the beach be without a little water play! I swear if there is even a trickle of water nearby they're all in it. LOL. I'll admit it was a perfect way though to keep cool in the heat and some of the children were more than slightly wet when we started to head back up the trail *grin*.

Mack Laing Park13 2009

L wanted to sport her new polka dot wellies even though I warned her they would probably get wet inside and I was right. She ended up filling them to the brims with sea water as she puddled around in the shallows ;) How come no one ever wants to take moms advice?!

Can't wait for next week as we head out to another great trail :)


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Very First Laptop

Hee hee, I told you I might share what my very first computer looked like and I actually found a photo that looks just like it! Boy does this date me LOL.

It was a real beauty to be sure and must have weighed at least 30 pounds! The keyboard snapped right onto the front of it where the mini monitor was with clips and essentially it was one giant box with a handle. Gee, now that I think of it, it was like a stone aged laptop! LOL.

I remember lugging it from school and back home and I nearly couldn't make it because it was so darn heavy, but I was so happy to have a computer. With my big floppy disks and dot matrix printer I was totally styling back in the day *grin*.

How about you? Were you lucky enough to have a gem like this one? *wink*