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Rough First Time

July 7th, 2008  · stk

A trip to California with the Oop, a new hot-tub project and the normal run of web work ... things have been pretty thin at Randsco for a while. We recently took a family boat trip to the floating cabin . Read about the adventurous ordeal in this floating cabin log entry.

First Solo Trip to the Floating Cabin

Our first solo trip to the floating cabin was very memorable. Some of the memories will actually be GOOD ONES!

A flat tire, a bloody nose, getting hung up on the dock while launching, a rough-as-cobb trip (during which, we almost turned the boat around and headed for home), a four-hour boat ride, locked out of the cabin and running out of gas ... are some of the not-so-good ones.

We're new to the floating cabin and also to our boat. As a bunch of newbies, we're learned a BUNCH of valuable lessons during our ill-fated trip! HA!

There were some positive events. Despite pouring rain all Friday night and Saturday morning, it did - eventually - clear up and we had a rain-free (and sometimes sunny) Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. We spotted a couple of sea otters (a baby one on the back deck, which we watched from about five feet away). We also saw loads of bald eagles and a few bear (one of which we watched all morning, as it meandered along the beach, flipping rocks and eating various sea creatures). We met a few of our cabin neighbors. We also learned where we can get gas, along the way to the cabin.

To read the cabin log entry from our first solo trip to the floating cabin ...

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Updated: 1-Mar-2009
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Twin Baby Boats!

May 3rd, 2008  · stk

Twin Kayaks! We're now the proud parent of two 9-foot, 6-inch kayaks that weigh in at 40-something pounds each. The amount of plastic in our lives continues to climb! ( On the plus side ... they'll be loads of fun for visitors at the Barkley Sound floating cabin .... "Topanga?" :D )

"Blue Yonder" Gives Birth to Twins!

Little did we know when we bought her, but "Blue Yonder 19-foot bayliner classic cuddy For those that don't know, "Blue Yonder" is our new-to-us 19-foot Bayliner Classic Cuddy boat that we acquired as means of getting to the floating cabin. Click for more about the floating cabin & boat " was pregnant! (No wonder we got her at such a good deal)!

Early this morning, when we went outside to fetch the morning eggs, we noticed that there were two brand new baby kayaks, sitting in the yard. Apparently, they had just been born and were resting, after their birth, the night before.

We didn't know that boats could even get pregnant, but we're pleased with the new arrivals and will care for them as if they were our own.

Mum appears to be doing just fine, but she's tuckered out from her labor and is resting under a waterproof tarp. The twins appear healthy and fine. They each measure 9-foot, 6-inches and weigh in at respectable 42 pounds (can you say "ouch"?)! They're healthy baby kayaks, for sure. There is some question about their lineage, however. (Mum has classic yachting lines and a white fiberglass hull, with blue canvas on top. The twins are both beige and made of plastic.) Hmmm ... it leaves us wondering who the father might be?!

Mum is mum on the matter. (Mum is mum? Of course, who else would she be? The English language, eh? :p ) We're concerned that she's been slumming it on the wrong side of the yacht club, had a late night rendezvous with a certain tugboat, or maybe a wild fling with a schooner? *GASP* Perhaps liaison with a *hold-your-breath* working skiff?! Who knows,eh?

Regardless of their heritage, we're now the proud surrogate parents of two brown baby kayaks! (Some people "invest" in trampolines for their back garden, we get a pair of his'n-hers matching kayaks!) :D Go figure.

For more about the new new twins, read on.

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Updated: 3-May-2008
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The Floating Cabin

April 1st, 2008  · stk

We thought we'd introduce you to our floating cabin, which is situated on the wild, rugged and wet western coast of Vancouver Island. It's located in Julia's Passage in the Barkley Sound and a stone's throw from the world-famous Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

The floating cabin is located off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Not far is the Broken Group Islands and the Pacific Rim National Park. It's a pristine, wild, wet and wonderful land; a kayaking mecca with many coves, beaches and small islands. The wildlife is amazing: black bear, bald eagles, killer whales, sea lions, seals and sea otters, among other creatures. If you like sea food, you'd love this place. Clams, oysters, prawns, crab, salmon, halibut and cod - it's all on the menu.

Over Easter weekend, we took the new boat down for a 4-day trip. It was our first trip to the floating cabin this year and quite an adventure, piloting our "new" boat, which was christened "Blue Yonder" - this happened inadvertently, when Scott radioed to our cabin friends, using the off-the-cuff call sign. It was an hour and forty minute journey down the long inlet, from Port Alberni, to the floating cabin. Traffic was light, but the seas were heavy and we bounced along, singing the theme song to Gilligan's Island.

We had a nice holiday with our friends, Candace and Richard. The weather was especially nice, even though it snowed a bit on the last night. Blue Yonder handled well, although she needs a few repairs and extra gizmos that we'll need to plunk into this particular 'hole in the water'. We're looking forward to sharing this special, wilderness floating cabin with some of our more adventurours guests that may come to visit.

To learn more about the floating cabin, see satellite images of the area, as well as photos ... read on. If you're coming up for a visit, you'll find this post a good primer about "what to expect". If you're likely not ever going to visit, then you'll gain a glimpse of this truly unique, wonderful and diverse area.

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Seattle Bicycle Tour

September 18th, 2007  · stk

Scott & Rachel took their 3 1/2 year-old daughter on her 3rd self-supported bicycle touring adventure. They cycled from Yellow Point to Seattle and back (350 miles or so). Read about their 10-day journey. (Completed through Day 4)

338 Miles, 5 Ferries & 10 Days of Sunshine

Early this month, we enjoyed a 10-day bicycle loop adventure. We started from our home in Yellow Point, just south of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island and rode to Seattle Washington (via Victoria) and then back, along the Washington coast. Along the way, we took a few ferry boats, which helped break up the riding for our 3-and-a-half year-old daughter.

It was Alex's third cycle-tour! (For a 3 year-old, that's pretty good!)

We experienced 10 days of glorious Indian Summer weather, we camped out, we visited with friends in Victoria, West Seattle, Redmond and Bellingham, we had an unlikely encounter with an old PCT friend, and we even managed to cycle a fair distance.

Join us for the tour! See photos, maps and read the daily log. Learn which routes made for good cycling, where we'd visit again, why Washington State is bicycle-friendly and more about the logistics of cycling with a kid, riding ferries and cycling western Washington, Vancouver Island and the Vancouver lower-mainland.

It's going to take a while to unfold this story, so I'll have to do it in pieces.

(This should aid the night cleaning crew, as it'll chop the diatribe into small enough chunks that they should have plenty of time to mop the floors and empty the trash cans). :p

Journal complete through: Day 4


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Updated: 13-Feb-2011
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Cycling the Cedar Loop

March 2nd, 2007  · stk

Cedar/Yellow-Point Bicycle Loop: We took this excellent, 15-mile ride, for the first time, since moving to Vancouver Island. We're lucky to have it right out our front door. See what makes it such a great ride, get a printable route map, and learn more about what the area has to offer ...

A Scenic Ride Past Forest & Farms

On Tuesday, the Oop was insistent on going for a bicycle ride. She's been wanting to go on one, for over a week, but the weather hasn't been very cooperative, with rain threatening nearly every day and busy work schedules interfering when it wasn't raining. Finally, everything came together on Tuesday.

This was the first bike ride we've taken since moving in to our new, Vancouver Island home and of course, it took a long time to find all of the cycling clothes, helmets, gloves and other gear. All the bicycle tires, including those on Alex's buggy, were flat. Scott had the added exercise of pumping up six tires!

We decided to do the loop trip, down Yellow Point Road, to Cedar Road and then back up to Yellow Point, where the two roads meet again. This is an excellent bicycle loop trip, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) in length and we're very lucky to have it right off our doorstep. The roads pass through scenic forests and sun-dappled pastures. Along the route are parks, beaches, Inns, restaurants, hiking trails, campgrounds, artist studios and family-run farms.

The Oop was excited to be "cycling" again, though just how much help can she be, sitting in a buggy that I have to tow? We've both put on weight, since we last cycled, but the Oop is the only one of us that's grown any taller. ;) While I was pumping up the tires, Alex strapped herself into her buggy, itching to get moving.

Finally, we headed down our street, a downhill run toward Yellow Point Road, at a fast, nippy, early-morning clip.

"Whee!" squealed the Oop, from inside her buggy.

Read about our trip and get information about the excellent Cedar/Yellow-Point Cycle Loop (including a map) ...

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Updated: 4-Aug-2008
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