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Old 17-03-2013, 20:10   #1
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British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

There's about 19 remote forests throughout West Vancouver Island and East Queen Charlotte Sound I'd prefer to sail to, engineless, whenever safely practicable. If the boat's 30' or less, I will get the resources to go (if that means buying the boat and maintaining it), will spend at least 1500 more hours of such passage making practice aboard, and all other working time preparing for it, somewhere in Puget Sound, over the first year, then I'll try to go, if there are enough sailors or skippers and their boats interested in any of the trips.

I'll consider those of any sailing experience level if they'll make time. My schedule has a high priority to practice and assess each other's competencies if they want to go. Sail crew may find something else to do during bush trots.

A variety of deals may work out if I'm the skipper, and as a starting position, I'd be fine with one who can cover their own personal expenses, but don't expect to cover any of my boat, or living expenses.

Much more about all of this is on the 3/15/13 post of poppdbubb. Thanks!
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Old 30-04-2013, 16:14   #2
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

Some other things about this, now updated with more details on the blog:

If someone is thinking of any variation of a route or destinations to take out or add to the trip itineraries, suggestions are appreciated.

Local water taxis can swap crew out in many places all over the island and by Queen Charlotte Strait (which is what I meant instead of Queen Charlotte Sound).

At the very least, a quarter of such passage making time on the boat will involve waiting for conditions to allow getting to the next reliable anchorage. This may be very well over half the passage making time. This could be time to work on many sorts of things, especially if it's in a usual mobile or wifi network (not likely). Crew could collectively get a satellite phone off ebay or something and use that sometimes. It could then be sold if the batteries and mobile network will still be working and compatible with it, unlike a rental. I may get one myself, or some high-powered VHF system, whatever would enable myself, in a forested valley, to, by chance, talk to someone in an emergency.
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Old 16-05-2013, 10:23   #3
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

I might be interested in sailing some of the short stints around Vancouver Island where I live. I've done off shore sailing from Maui to Victoria. Good luck with your search for crew!
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Old 16-05-2013, 10:50   #4
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

I guess things have changed a lot since I worked in that area, limpyweta... water taxis??... we used the occasional float plane for a dire medical emergency but that was about it. Used to be a one lane logging road from Tahsis but only passable about 6 months out of the year. Cape Scott lighthouse was supplied by boat about 8 months out of the year and planned for their supplies to last through the bad winter months.
There are many stories of sailing vessels foundering around the Brooks Peninsula area on north western Vancouver Island as they made their way from San Francisco to Alaska. Those lucky enough to make it ashore hung on the rocks until they froze to death and fell off in to the ocean. I recall one of the loggers losing a few fingers when I had a barge delivery up that way and he was told to suck it up on the R/T, stop the bleeding, put the fingers on ice and try and catch a ride on the mail plane at the end of the week with his fingers.
Anyone attempting this passage should read a book called Shipwrecks of the Pacific Northwest . Well researched and interesting reading. One of the more interesting tales related the story of a ship that was wrecked up there that included a traveling clown troup headed for Alaska to entertain the gold rush miners. The crew and passengers were slaughtered by the indigenous natives and the tragedy only came to light because the Kuatylutyls (who were tough mother's) traded some clown suits to an inland tribe who were caught wearing the clown suits by the Northwest Mounted Poice, forerunner to the RCMP. They followed the traders and put the whole mass murder together arresting many of the perpetrators.
Besides working that area as a commercial fisherman and towboat operator back in the 60's, I became good friends with Dr Borden who established the Museum of annthropolgy at UBC that contains many artifacts of early indian life on the west coast. The romantic stories that lefty revisionist history buffs like to read and write is mainly ********. Be careful out there... cheers, Phil
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Old 16-05-2013, 12:20   #5
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

I have spent many years travelling and working with First Nations on the BC coast. There are many stunning places and the history of the people and places are incredibly interesting. For actual documented history I highly recommend the Umista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay. The Kwakiutl (pronounced Kwag-gulth or as ignorant people sometimes pronounce Kwak-ee-ute-al) are excellent artists and were in deed fearsome warriors more than a century ago, before the white man swindled their land and gave them small pox infested blankets, banned their traditional cultural and political practices like the potlatch, burned their homes and villages, and forcibly confined their children in residential schools subjecting them to generations of physical, sexual and psychological abuse by the churches who ran the schools. These are all documented facts and human rights abuses inflicted over decades; there is nothing political or revisionist about it. I would suggest checking out the UBC Museum of Anthropology for more facts and stories about Canada's aboriginal history that are far more interesting than the one shared by Capt Phil.

Anyway you didn't ask for political narratives on the area but I felt compelled to offer something useful after Capt Phil's bit of ridiculousness way off topic there. It appears from your post you have done/ are doing your research on the area though and are simply looking for crew. Lots of material out there on folks who have circumnavigated the Island, sailed Haida Gwaii and all the awesome spots on the coast in between. Good luck with the crew search.
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Old 16-05-2013, 18:27   #6
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

You may have the small pox blanket story confused with the US indigenous peoples abuse, terminalcitygirl, but your observation about stunning places to visit is bang on. The extent of my cutural experience in Alert Bay was pretty much confined to the old Nimkish Hotel pub at the top of the government dock which I suspect was a little before your time (58'-65'). No cultural centers around that I recall but a lot of old rotting totem poles. Having lived on Village Island with the band there and spending many years fishing with the natives inside and outside, I'm not sure we are on the same page as each other. Not certain what kind of work you did with them but back when I was in their country, not much else but fishing, hunting and logging. I certainly agree with you that their interaction with the whites was such that they came out on the short end of the stick. One of the reasons that the Haida's in the Queen Charlottes were successful in keeping the white man out was to preserve their culture as I recall. You needed permission from the band elders to even go the their villages, I think. Don't know if that is still the case. I left long before they changed the name of the islands to Haida Gwaii and there wasn't anything called the Salish Sea.
There is one hell of a lot of revisionist history up there because the elders I knew told about it and it was backed up by Dr Borden from UBC but what the hell did he know?
i'll leave the political narratives to the younger college set who seem to have a passion for it. The facts that I related came from the old folks in Friendly Cove back in the 60's before they were contaminated by the younger, do-gooders fresh out of college with no practical experience. You might research why the natives from the inside were subject to such abuse yet those from the west coast of the Island and the Charlottes were much less affected. PM if you want the scoop as related to me by Dr Borden.
I'll stick with my advice about a VI circumnavigation with limited experience, under sail or paddle power. IMO you are asking for trouble if you attempt it with limited safety and backup equipment. Although there is probably a Holiday Inn on Brooks Peninsula now for all I know... cheers, Phil
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Old 16-05-2013, 19:55   #7
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

@ Phil, Have you ever thought about writing a book about your adventures? You have many stories to tell. How is your sail up the west coast going? Did you make it to Nanaimo on the 15th? Where are you at present?
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Old 16-05-2013, 19:58   #8
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

I know well a number of Elders from different communities all along the coast and have heard their history straight from them, have read historical accounts written by people of the time and actual Government letters that represent a rather narrow ethno-centric understanding of Canadian history. I can only imagine what you must think if you spent all your time at the Old Nimpkish hotel! That was a rough place I expect. I think much of our understanding of history is not so different but the context in which we place surely is, and the stories we focus on as important as well.

I have learned there is no point trying to talk facts with people who are stuck in their world view and think folks who have differing views must be lefty, stupid, do-gooders. Your views are based on your experience in the world, of course. I mean you only need to talk to one professor 50 years ago right? He's THE guy? There have been ethnographies done that build on and challenge Borden, certainly his work was important but is not the sum total. As healing slowly happens and First Nations people get a chance to tell their stories and have them recorded in the historical record, our thinking evolves (thankfully) and so do we as people and communities and cultures and nations. Many initiatives over the years, you can google if you're at all interested. I know what people believed and felt safe talking about 50 years ago is quite different than it is today.

But on a personal note, my friend Chief Bev Sellars, a survivor of the residential school system has recently published her memoirs on 3 generations of her family and the impact of the residential schools. Its #6 on the BC best sellers list currently and is called "They Called Me Number One" - because at her school the kids were numbers not names. I highly recommend the book.

We're way off topic, my apologies to the OP.
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Old 16-05-2013, 20:06   #9
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

Also, the small pox story happened all up and down the BC Coast, no confusion there Phil. The historical records exists, easy to read up about.

http://metronews.ca/news/canada/3256...x-anniversary/
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Old 17-05-2013, 07:58   #10
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

Well said, terminalcitygirl... At the time, Dr Borden was just about the only archeologist who was interested in researching and memorializing any of the old native artifacts that were turning up at the time. One of my first jobs at the age of 11 with Dr Bordens' son, Harvey, was pushing a wheelbarrow around Marpole Midden when the construction crew was digging the foundation for the old Fraser Arms hotel which had turned up the remains of an old native indian village. The term 'First Nation' became popular and politically correct long after I left Canada.
I'm sure you are correct that our '...understanding of history is not so different but the context in which we place surely is...' . I believe you are right and that is the why I reacted as I did. To place my experience in a historical contex, it would have been unheard of for a woman to be a band or tribal leader (I'm assuming that the Bev Sellars you refer to is female). To clear up the historical reference, I worked for Nelson Bros Fisheries, long since gone and the Silvey family, mostly long dead, summer and spring (herring and salmon season) from 1957 through the early 70's and towed logs, bundle booms, float camps and barges from Alaska to Washington State when I wasn't commercial fishing. Set chokers in logging camps and beachcombed in my spare time through the years so had a pretty balanced experienced, mostly with my native buddies because the work was tough and locations were ones that the white man didn't want to work.
Your accusation that you can't talk facts to people who have a different mind set is probably true to a large extent, at least in my case. I've been around too long and formed my opinions over nearly 80 years so to say I'm stuck in a time warp is probably true! Hell, I even remember VJ in downtown Vancouver in 1945!
Don't apologize for the thread drift, it has been fun, for me anyway. Declining health has forced me away from the water I lived and worked on for nearly 70 years, only the first 25 or so in the PNW, and discussing/debating the old days is one of the real enjoyments left for me. Sometimes, I can even answer some newbies questions.
Your comment about how the old Nimkish Hotel might have impacted my perceptions is a very accurate observation! Many good times, brawls, love affairs gone good or bad and interesting memories flow from that old place. The wall between the 'Mens' side and the 'Women and Escorts' side was only about 4 feet high, but there were separate entrance doors... go figure!
Duaphinee's suggestion that I write a book has been a project that my grandkids keep bugging me about. I tell them stories of the 'old days' which entertains them no end. It was a different world, different values, different politics and different morals. The old ways weren't necessarily better or worse, just different but one hell of a lot rougher than today. Unfortunately, my recollections aren't politically correct but accurate so probably wouldn't be a big seller!
I must also ask you if this 'healing' and 'evolving' that is happening within their culture is a process introduced to my indian friends by the lefty do-gooders fresh out of college or something that developed in the bands up coast all on their own? Not that there were not some really bad human rights transgressions but my perspective is quite different than yours. Many of the problems that afflicted those bands who lived on the 'inside' were a result of the villages being plundered, beat up, the healthy, young men killed and women taken leaving the old and sick to fend for themselves by the tougher,more aggressive bands who lived on the 'outside' like the Haida's and Kuat's who went out hunting whales in war canoes while those on the inside subsisted on trapping, fishing and berry harvesting... quite different lives. Over the centuries, genetic selection wore down the bands from the inside and built up those from the outside. This was already evident in both Capt Cook's journals and Capt Vancouvers observations when they visited the coast a few hundred years ago. Cook's original logs are available for viewing in the Sydney, Australia museum and his observations are supportive of this theory.
Great discussion, albeit a big thread drift, but those who plan on PNW coastal cruising and bumping up against these cultures can benefit from perceptions like yours and mine even though they differ.
Thanks, terminalcitygirl... by the way were you named after the hotel or the railroad terminus in Vancouver? Cheers, Phil
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Old 17-05-2013, 23:27   #11
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

And my thanks to you too Capt Phil! I really enjoyed your response and I think it is wonderful and important to hear stories from those who have gone before and remember/ imagine things in a different time. What an interesting life you've lived! I bet your grand kids find you a hoot!
My experience is that many First Nation communities realized they were on the brink of extinction in terms of language and cultural practices and knowledge of their own history and there have been efforts internally, aided by lefty do-gooders when requested, to utilize both traditional and contemporary healing practices and to educate everyone, aboriginal and non about how the sad state of our reserves came about. its true that the warring between tribes that was happening isn't being looked at but rather the systemic, colonial damage of treaties promised and not kept, outlawing of cultural practices and language, confinement of children in residential schools, introduction of alcohol and drugs, etc... I know the Kwakwala tribes and Haida especially celebrate their warrior pasts with one Hereditary Chief who even speaks about the cannibalism his tribe was known for so there is definitely some fearsome history there! I think travellers passing through those parts today though are pretty safe from murder and pillage, but sailing especially the outer of Van Isle will always require skills and attention.

I'm sorry to hear about your health declining, I'm half your age but dealing with a deteriorating condition which for me means trying to speed up our cruising dreams and get out there while I still am able with some time to enjoy it all. We'll get there. But we all need to find joy and distraction where we can and our convo has definitely been great for that so thanks again.

And the railway terminus was my inspiration, I hadn't even thought of the club until you mentioned it. Not my scene ;-)
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Old 17-05-2013, 23:43   #12
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

Quote:
my friend Chief Bev Sellars
of the Xat'sull First Nation?
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Old 18-05-2013, 00:15   #13
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Re: British Columbia wilderness trips, sometime over next 3 years, any exp

Yes! Do you know her too Astrid?
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Old 18-05-2013, 01:02   #14
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I know of her, but I do not think we have met, although I am acquainted with a number of her people and other First Nation peoples.
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