S/V Hello World's Travel Log

finally - some pictures!

We have just arrived in Tofino, and have finally gotten to internet fast enough to upload a few pictures. Yay! So, here's a photoblog of the past few weeks north of Cape Caution:

Jason got a new toy - we're loving this thing!

We lept from Alaska to Canada from Foggy Bay, where we got to meet up with our friends Blue, whom we haven't seen since Mexico!

Neville was nice enough to tow our paddleboards and Maggie's kayak up the inlet so we only had a once way trip...

We were crabbing and prawning all the way down the coast, but sometimes I'd get skunked with hermits and seastars

How these things get in the trap, I will never know...

Ire Inlet was great - had a narrow entrance, which we're all about these days...

Is it good when you're this close to trees in your boat?

We've been doing lots of paddleboarding. Beales Lagoon just outside of Shearwater was by FAR our favorite, but I forgot the camera, sorry. Instead, you get pictures of me paddling a log in Codville Lagoon:

We made it to Ocean Falls - one of many semi-defunct towns along the coast that once had a thriving mill and community to go along with it

At least the store was open decent hours...

Ohhh, but the crabbing was OH SO GOOD there!

We caught 10 of those guys over 2 days. We're still eating on them, which is good, because we've been skunked ever since. The sea otters (as cute as they are) have pretty well eaten all of the crab in northern end of Vancouver Island - but now that I have internet, I'm finding ways to outsmart the sea otters. Updates on my success to come soon. :)

Border crossings

June 18, 2013

If you’ve ever crossed an international border, you know there are certain things you can bring with you, certain things you can’t.

I learned this the hard way one year in college when five of my college buddies and I piled into two cars and took a roadtrip from Pittsburgh to Niagra Falls, Canada. Why Niagra? Not for the waterfalls, or the scenery, or even the 18-year-old Canadian drinking age. No, we went because we heard about a strip club that had both men and women stripping in the same place. A place we just had to see for ourselves.

On our way back into the US from said strip club (we stayed a total of one night since we were all mostly broke), we stopped at the duty free store. Upon asking the clerk how much liquor we could take back into the US, she told us we could take as much back as we wanted and we’d just have to pay duty. We math-wizzes quickly calculated said duty and determined we needed to get as much as we could afford. So we filled the trunk. Literally.

Driving across the border, just minutes later, we were questioned about what and how much we bought while in Canada. My answer? “Liquor. A lot of liquor.” My poker face sucks. I proceeded to hand the customs agent a receipt as long as my arm of the tastiness that occupied my trunk. After nearly fainting at my stupidity, she proceeded to inform us that if she turned us in, we would have to pay a fine and our liquor would be confiscated. Our collective looks of panic must have indicated our thoughts: fine us all you want lady, but we’re poor college kids who just spent our lifesavings on a down payment on a hell of a party. She decided to let us go – no fine, and we kept the liquor.

Oh those college years teach you dear lessons, don’t they? Now when we cross a border, Jason and I pay particular attention to the legalities of it all, and don’t solicit advice from duty-free-store clerks. The reality is that prohibited items seem to change frequently and there’s no clear list, so we just try to get rid of everything fresh. We love fresh fruits and veggies on board and always tend to overbuy. We find ourselves going to dinner on other boats, catching fish or choosing a lazy meal of cereal instead of fresh stuff once in a while. It always ends in us scarfing down the leftover veggies just before facing the customs agent. On a delivery from the Bahamas to Virginia a few years ago, we found ourselves sadly heaving 12 coconuts off the stern as we approached landfall.

Some new boat friends boiled it down really nicely for us the other day:
• Don’t bring potatoes or cored/pitted fruits (like apples) into Canada.
• Don’t bring citrus into the US.

I guess we’re done with the pre-border crossing force feedings…until the rules change again, in about 4.7 hours.

Seafood exchange rates

June 27

Everyone has their little secrets when it comes to the bait they use to catch fish and shellfish around here. You can use official “prawn bait” – but I can only seem to find it in 5 gallon bucket quantities. And we don’t keep that much of anything on board unless it has alcohol in it. Besides that, this official prawn bait just seems to be repurposed dog food.

For crabbing, the most successful people seem to use fish carcasses, but despite the amount of fishing we do, we don’t ever seem to catch anything. So that’s out.

My solution to all of this, is to use cat food (tuna or salmon flavored, of course) to catch prawns. Just poke some holes in the top of one of those smelly cans and they seem to come running (or whatever it is that they do down there…scrunching?). Once we capture those spiky guys, we rip off their heads, feast on their tails and use the offal as crab bait. So far my scheme is working well, and I love that we can turn cat food into prawn and crab deliciousness!

$.69 = 1 can of cat food = 20 prawn
5 prawn heads + 3 chicken gizzards = 10 crab
So therefore 1 crab is about $.02 in food from the supermarket*

*This, of course, is not counting all of the time I failed to catch crab, prawns, fish or anything besides uneatable starfish. See last year's post about the cost of each fish if you really add everything up.

Non drinking month

June 16, 2013

Sometimes we have such brilliant ideas. It’s the execution that’s our issue.

We deemed June “no drinking month” aboard Hello World. A few years ago when we circumnavigated Vancouver Island, we drank hardly a drop (of liquor) – it is damn expensive in Canada and the beer is shite here. An unintended consequence of our tightwad tendencies though, was that we both dropped a bunch of weight without even trying.

After 8 months in the deep-fried south, we thought it would be worth another try to easily drop some pounds, and dry out a bit before we met up with some of the Shilshole Sailor Jerry Kids.

I’d call our experiment “successful” (how do you convey sarcastic air quotes in writing?). For the most part we didn’t drink. One beer each in Ketchikan because Wrangell was out of draught beer and the only thing they had in cans was Rainier; and one can’t inaugurate a month of sobriety with watered-down beer. And then there was Prince Rupert where we had to stock up on liquor in preparation for the rest of our summer. How can you buy a new variety of liquor and not try it? Kraken is yummy.

It was somewhat successful. Without the losing-weight part. Somehow we’ve both managed to gain a few pounds. So when we saw our anchorage buddies enjoying a tasty cocktail on their way to a fishing hole, we both looked at each other and agreed in silence that drinking seemed like a good idea.

And thus ended our “successful” “non-drinking” “month”.