We just got back from a two week trip to Vancouver Island where we spent most of our time at the Shivas fishing cabin.
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Janet and I really enjoyed being able to spend so much time hanging out with Eileen and Ewan and it seemed like they were really enjoying themselves too.
Eileen and Ewan only recently started walking but they had plenty of opportunity to hone this skill under the very challenging environment of Grandma and Grandpa Shivas’ boat while bobbing around in the waves, and also on the more stable float.
Grandma Shivas had recently put up a humming bird feeder and it was fun to watch the steady stream of humming birds coming and going. At one point I think we counted 5 humming birds at a time.
We got to see two mature bald eagles watching over five juvenile bald eagles practising their flying and soaring. I don’t think any of us have ever seen so many bald eagles at one time. We also captured some footage of a couple of bald eagles unsuccessfully trying to snatch a fish out of the water.
Aunty Di was able to join us at the fishing cabin for the first time in 4 years and she went straight to work slaying salmon. In the four short days that she was there Diana caught three nice Chinook salmon ranging from 18 to 24 pounds while I had barely any bites on my line.
On our second or third day we started to have some serious water supply issues so we went ashore and drove up the hill to the intake for the water line where Grandpa Shivas was able to remove some plastic that had worked it’s way up against the screen that protects the intake of the water line. While we were up there Janet and I offered to walk the water line from top to bottom in order to look for and repair any leaks. At first, the water line parallels the road and traverses some horrendous terrain with lots of very thick brush, steep terrain, and unstable footing. Once the water line started to descend towards Galiano Bay it didn’t take us long to start finding and repairing leaks in the water line. We fixed four in total, all the result of inquisitive black bears.
Around half way down we stumbled across this cozy looking moss bird’s nest.
As the water line approaches the shore the terrain really starts to drop away, thankfully, a rope ladder was installed in order to help navigate this treacherous section.
While clearing the intake screen and repairing leaks certainly helped the water pressure situation, it would eventually take two more trips up the hill and some more work around the intake before our water problems were completely resolved.
There is no bathtub on the float, and neither Ewan nor Eileen are big fans of showers so Janet improvised with a 5 gallon bucket for bath time.
Seeing as we were fishing for salmon, we figured it was high time for the twins try some smoked salmon which was prepared by family friend Denise. Eileen and Ewan absolutely loved it! I don’t think we have ever seen them have such a strong reaction to food.
We fished hard over our 11 days at the cabin, spending up to 10 hours on the boat on some days and getting up as early as 5am and eventually it started to pay off. In the end Janet and I pulled seven salmon out of the water and Janet netted 3 of my fish!
We had lots of luck with blue and silver lures behind black and gold flashers, and watermelon lures behind army truck flashers, and a little luck with anchovies in green and silver holders/red and silver holders behind a green flasher. At times each of these combinations seemed hot, and at other times, they were completely dead.
Of course, with any kind of fishing there is a certain amount of by-catch. Aside from the occasional rock fish we also picked up the following:
We also caught a lot of salmon smolt for the first time, perhaps that bodes well for future salmon runs. These little guys were hitting 3.5 inch lures that were almost as big as they were!
Spending that much time on a boat in stunning Nootka Sound provided the opportunity to capture some great pictures.
Janet and I also managed to squeeze in a dive in order to recover a piece of PVC that was accidentally knocked off the fish cleaning station, tie floats to the shore anchors in order to denote their exact location, and clean up any garbage we could find. While we were down there we also saw lots of thorny sea cucumbers, rock crab, sea anemones, colourful star fish, and a variety of fish and shellfish.
And of course, the view from the cabin was stunning as always and ever changing with the light and conditions.
Eventually our time at the cabin came to an end and we returned to Courtenay where we squeezed in some visits with friends and family before flying home.