Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dappled

I just like the attitude of this horse, bright, alert and ready to rumble.  Afternoon breeze, and freedom, life is good.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Zoe

This is a tribute to Zoe.  She has been a fixture in the Weeks family for a very long time and has gone on to meet her maker.  You just can't get away from those eyes...... the boon and bane of being a veterinarian is in those eyes.  It's an interesting thing about the end of life (as we know it) especially with animals, sometimes they can be so inspirational with their complete trust in the process and for whatever part you play, they communicate their thanks.   

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Garden Gate

Here is another plein air image painted a week or so ago (when there were shadows and sunshine) from Pat Johnson's wonderfully wild garden.  By the way, I didn't post yesterday because we were busy with a double header baseball game..... and we won the last game of the series!  Whooopeeee!  Our first win.  We have the honor of being the worst, but most fun team in the league.   Our name, "We Bat for Beer" says it all.  :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Plein Air Washington Style

This is what plein air painting is sometimes.... ok, frequently, like in Washington State.  An intrepid group of painters gathered at Trillium Creek Winery in Home, WA to experience the young vineyard and do a little wine tasting afterward.  It was a fun afternoon in spite of the downpour. :)  

Monday, August 25, 2008

Drummer Boy

Ok, not to change the subject..... but the vacation is over and it's back to painting.  This is a sketch for a subject that will be revisited in a larger format.  This kid was in his own world this sunny fall morning, making music out back away from the traffic of the weekend market in Portland, Oregon.  Artists among us everywhere!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sketches of Tanuu


I ran out of camera battery so you'll have to settle with my drawings of the village site at Tanuu.  Our guided tour of the village by Steve Yeltatzie was great.  Steve is obviously interested in and proud of his history and heritage.  It was fascinating to have him point out the decaying house posts and beams and explain the stories behind the scene.  This was a large, prosperous village until it was wiped out by smallpox.  It's a beautiful spot, gives me a real haunting feeling, like maybe some of those folks never left.  The ravens and eagles haven't.  Our last night on Kunga Island was particularly spectacular with an almost full moon illuminating the wispy clouds and one bright shining star (planet?) beaming right into my tent.  

Friday, August 22, 2008

Calm after the storm

Diane left a little Andy Goldsworthy sculpture for the ravens as we left Murchison Island for Windy Bay.  Had a little "yee haw" ride out in the waves but near shore it was smooth kayak'in. We stopped for lunch at Windy Bay, the spot on Lyell Island where the Haida made their stand about no more logging of these southern islands.  It was the beginning of Gwaii Haanas Park when Canada and the big logging companies (US and Canadian) finally paid attention to the movement to save this "place of wonder" for posterity....we are awfully glad they did!  Last stop is Kunga Island just across from Tanu village site.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

sketchbook entries for Murchison Island

The weather kicked up its heels a bit and we ended up staying on Murchison Island for an extra night.  The good news is that it gave me more time to play with my sketchbook.  I started out in the forest where I had protection from the wind and rain.  The yelling from the beach as crab races were being held drew me back to the shore before too long though.  With the tide out we could cross the tombolo and be out of the brunt of the wind.... it's like they say in real estate, "location, location, location".  A strategically placed bit of rock and timber can make a huge difference in how wet you get! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hotsprings Island

Blogger didn't like me last night so i'm posting 2 tonight.  We were all sooooo happy to have a hot water soak after how many days of cold, salt water bathing?  Well, some of us bathed anyway, those that didn't will remain unmentioned. :)  Hotsprings Island was surely a Haida vacation destination even long ago.   There are 3 pools of differing temperature and we tested them all.  Don't those 3 ducklings look like happy campers in their hot little pond? 

Juan Perez Sound and environs



After meandering among the islets and testing the boats in a strong afternoon wind our next camp will be across the sound on Murchison Island.  Although we started early the wind did build up by the time we reached the new campsite.  "The boys" came in later after collecting drinking water since the new camp is dry (well, maybe not exactly dry, but no drinking water source anyway) we were happy to see them!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The "Kitchen of Joy" and other Culinary Delites

Some people have asked how we manage to cook on our expeditions, do we have wine with dinner, etc.  Does the Pope..... well, never mind..... the answer is yes!  The Kitchen of Joy, staffed by Diane and John (aka cupcake and the muffin man) produced phenomenal baked goods, including pizza, scones, yeast rolls, brownies and other delectables.  You know fishermen, they just gotta fish, so black rock fish, lingcod and salmon supply ample protein for perky paddlers. Libations from the Duty Free can always be packed away by resourceful kayakers, for medicinal purposes only of course.  Yep, the BABC does it right when it comes to the kitchen!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Exploring islands in Juan Perez Sound

The official name for this (lower image) kayak position is "all hams on deck"..... just because you can.  :)   Ah, but the afternoon was blustry.... ok, windy.   Pretty much fun in the little Mist and the workout really primes you for that fresh salmon dinner!  Thanks Daichi!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sharing the wind

I do have to give the guys credit for sharing their sail with Diane though.  This was a great paddling day with a nice down wind push to our destination.  (Have I mentioned that I love my new boat?)

Sailing in to Marco Island

Here are the "Beastie Boys" taking advantage of a following wind.  We are making for a spectacular camp site tucked in behind Marco Island.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Burnaby Narrows and Bruin

The strong currents that whip through Burnaby Narrows twice a day feed the astounding proliferation of life that is found there.  This is a rare and fragile ecosystem that supports the highest numbers of marine invertebrates recorded anywhere in the world.  The perfect way to experience this incredible place is in a kayak at low tide.  Oh yes, bears like it here too.  The Gwaii Haanas black bear is the largest of its kind in the world.... fortunately they are happily occupied chasing crabs for breakfast and don't seem to mind our gawking presence.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Swan Island Camp (and oystercatcher)

Here's a sketchbook entry of our campsite and one of it's resident oystercatchers, affectionately known as the "shuddup birds".  Another resident of the human variety that was willing to share his space with us (and sacrifice his peace and quiet) was Daichi.  Daichi says "my life is my school" and we all think he is an A+ student!  Ohio, Daichi, if you're out there reading this from the wilds of Alaska, happy paddling.   

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Swan Bay


Swan Bay is the home base of a group called "Rediscovery" where Haida youth are introduced to their own wilderness heritage.  (note the traditional longhouse style buildings)  Thankfully, the  camp was not occupied so we had our own rediscovery on the next islet in a perfect location.... one of my very favorite sites with great areas for exploration on both the land and the water, not to mention the treat of 2 full days of sunshine joy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The northern tropics??

Leaving Collison Bay and some bumpy seas behind, the afternoon reveals a tropical looking crushed shell beach with just enough room for us to land for lunch.  Joy is a sunny day on Haida Gwaai!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Calm Waters

Moving camp the first time is always a challenge when you are just trying to find a place for all that group gear!  We had exceptionally calm seas to test our fully loaded boats.  This was the first time that I had loaded my new Atlantis, "Mist" kayak and she managed to absorb her share of gear and still was a dream to paddle. 

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Transition zone, where forest meets shoreline

Where the rain forest meets the shoreline is a magical place.  Gigantic spruce, cedar and hemlock are now protected from logging in Gwaii Haanas.  Deer were introduced to the islands in the 1920's or 30's and have had a significant impact on the forest understory.  They have made it much easier for us two leggeds to move around and explore but they have basically decimated the shrubs and bushes such as huckleberry and salal that would normally be thick right up to the beach.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

First campsite, Ross Island



The formline sea otter above is a modified version of the official logo for Gwaii Haanas (the islands of beauty) National Park and Haida heritage site.  (I slid in the kayaker to represent BABC)  Heron, from Moresby Explorers has brought us in his spiffy new zodiac to the south end of Moresby Island near the scimitar tip of this archipelago.  We will spend the next 11 or so days paddling back north.  As you can see, we are amply equipped as "Cupcake" and the "Muffin Man" set up the first of many "Kitchens of Joy".