McCharles family, travel

We visited the NEW Malahat Skywalk

Day #8 since opening.

It’s a very impressive structure. A good experience.

We enjoyed ourselves — though the line-up for the slide was too long. If you want to do the slide, show up at opening.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

McCharles family, movies

My DAD in Hitchcock’s I CONFESS (1953)

Just last night Dad told us the story of how he was an extra in an Alfred Hitchcock film called I Confess.

It starred Montgomery Clift as Michael William Logan, a Catholic priest, Anne Baxter as Ruth Grandfort, and Karl Malden as Inspector Larrue.

Filming took place largely on location in Quebec City with numerous shots of the city landscape and interiors of its churches and other emblematic buildings, such as the Château Frontenac.

Dad was in the Canadian military. Ann Baxter entertained the troops as part of the gig.

Here’s the scene. He (must be) soldier #17. 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

cycling, ethics, food, McCharles family, travel

Murdering Salmon & Halibut

I really like Salmon. Try to avoid thinking about how they are killed for my pleasure. 😐

But my Dad and brother have always been keen fishermen. I’ve joined them on charters a few times in Canada and Mexico.

Many times found reasons to avoid those trips in the past. I really fear sea sickness. 🤮

Since my Dad sold his boat, they’ve done two charters a year, most recently out of Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island.

As Pacific salmon numbers decline, it’s gotten increasingly more difficult.

June 2021 they decided to try a new guide in a new area. An interesting and entertaining character.

Captain PETE with my Uncle

We stayed in Port McNeill for 2 nights as Pete lives there. He made the final decision whether to fish out of Port Hardy or Port Alice.

Fishing had been better out of Hardy, so that was the final decision.

It was about a 3.5 hour drive from Parksville to McNeill. Another half hour to Hardy.

We headed north at 6am on the hottest day in thousands of years (at least).

I’ve been to the north of Vancouver Island a few times — but feel I don’t really know the remote, unique area. I’m planning for a couple of weeks bicycle touring. Some day.

It was an hour at full throttle to get to the open fishing area. Seas at the north tip of the island are dangerous. Weather often horrific.

Our day was dead calm, compared to normal.

My family likes to fish for salmon first. Switch to halibut next. We had our limit of 8 Chinook (Spring) salmon (2 / licence) by about 12:30pm.

I even caught fish. It was fun.

4 year old salmon

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

Pete took us further out about 5 miles to a spot he calls his butthole. It’s a shallow, sandy bottom area.

We ended up catching 4 halibut. They were bigger and much more of a challenge to murder than salmon. The largest halibut required Pete to use his harpoon.

Cost for 4 was about $1600 including 2 nights hotel, charter, fuel.

We brought home well over $1600 worth of fish.

I’d go again. Did not get sea sick.

On return to town we found all restaurants closed. Power failure.

Happily our motel had a huge, noisy generator.

related – Canada has budgeted $647M over 5 years to try to save declining Pacific salmon.

McCharles family, travel

Sooke Road Trip

Rob and Yvonne invited me along on a road trip to Sooke.

First stop was Port Renfrew where they were able to (tentatively) book their annual fishing charter. Salmon and Halibut the goal.

I was able to book accommodation for myself and Brian the night before we start on the West Coast Trail — June 15th.

I’d forgotten how chilly and windy it can be on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It was cold here on the pub patio.

Floating dock had not yet been floated. It was already mid-May.

We continued the scenic drive towards Victoria where Rob and Yvonne had booked their favourite hotel — Sooke Harbour.

I’d stay there again. Two bedroom units for less than $200 / night.

Next day we had the typical morning fog.

I jumped on my bike for the long ride back to Parksville.

McCharles family, travel

My Year of Living Safely

I’ve been a year (mostly) sheltering in place on Vancouver Island.

Off the island only twice.

Three times if you count my first flight — to Calgary for my 1st jab: Thursday, March 18th.

I did have one helicopter ride last July.

In small town Parksville, most of the year we had zero COVID cases. In fact, right now is worst, so far. I’m double masking.

Highlights have been spending time with my parents. Mom and Dad get their first vaccine dose next week.

15 multi-day cycling trips along with plenty of local hiking. I’ll do more of that in 2021, for sure.

My main new hobby with all that COVID time is video editing.

I’m building up a new hiking YouTube channel. Subscribe.

Waterfront Walkway, Parksville