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Ollie the Octopus

December 31st, 2010  · stk

In July, we caught a juvenile North Pacific Giant Octopus in one of our prawn traps. We took it back to the floating cabin for Alex to see. She named him "Ollie" and kept him as her "pet" for the afternoon. Ollie's story, with video, pictures and interesting facts about octopuses.

ollie the octopus

6-year-old Alex Meets an Octopus

One of the stories worth telling from Alex's summertime fun is the story about an octopus Alex named "Ollie".

The story begins as many of our more interesting stories do - at the floating cabin The Floating Cabin floating cabin barkley sound bc canada Picture of the floating cabin in the Barkley Sound. Located off the west coast of Vancouver Island and not far from the Broken Group Islands and the West Coast Trail. It's a wild, pristine wilderness area and wildlife abounds. Black bear, killer whales, sea lions, bald eagles, seals, sea otters, mink, cougar are among the inhabitants. There's oodles of sea food here too. Clams, oysters, prawn, crab, salmon, halibut, ling cod and snapper. It's an amazing area and we're lucky to be part-owners of this unique floating cabin. Click to learn more about the floating cabin (map, photos, etc). . The cabin is situated in the Barkley Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, very close to the Pacific Rim National Park. It's a wet and wild place, accessible only by boat and we love sharing it with family and friends. It was late July and Scott's folks were at the cabin. It was their second visit and they too, love the solitude, the wild nature and rugged west coast scenery.

We had taken the boat out to pull up our prawn traps, though Alex elected to remain behind at the cabin, on this particular trip. It's about a 10-minute boat-ride from the cabin to the traps and we usually check them several times a day, when we're prawning.

Pulling up prawn traps from the depths of the ocean sometimes yields sea creatures other than prawns. The most common of these creatures is also the least desirable - the dreaded slime eel About Slime Eels (Hagfish) pacific hagfish A slime eel isn't an eel at all, rather a very primitive fish called a Hagfish. They've been around for 550 million years. Because of their unusual feeding habits and slime-producing capabilities, the hagfish is often referred to as the most "disgusting" of all sea creatures. Hagfish have a sluggish metabolism and can survive months between feedings. However, hagfish often enter and eat the bodies of dead, dying or injured sea creatures that are much larger than themselves. Lovely, eh? More of nuisance to us, however, is the slime one of these "eels" can generate if agitated inside of a prawn trap. This slime encases the eel, the trap and the prawn and can take an hour or more to remove. An adult slime eel can secrete enough slime to turn a 20 liter (5 gal) bucket of water into slime in a matter of minutes. Yuck! Click the red-underlined link to learn more about Hagfish (Wikipedia) . This time, however, as Scott manually hauled up two traps from a depth of 250 feet, we noticed a reddish octopus in one of the traps!

Since Alex wasn't with us, we thought it would be fun to show her the octopus, so we carefully lifted it out of the prawn trap, put it into a pail of seawater and took it for a boat ride, back to the cabin. We were curious to see how Alex would react to this soft, eight-armed Cepholapod.

What follows is the story about Alex's encounter with an octopus, along with some interesting facts, video and pictures of these amazing and intelligent sea creatures.

Meet Ollie the Octopus

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First Floating Cabin Visitors

July 31st, 2008  · stk

Yesterday, we returned from hosting our first visitors at the floating cabin. It was a success! The weather (for the most part) cooperated, the boat didn't break down and we even remembered to bring the cabin key this time! We did encounter a few SNAFU's however

Bruce & Michelle / Langley, B.C.

This summer season seems to be all about the floating cabin, as we're trying to find the best way to get there and work out some kinks and make sure that the boat, "Blue Yonder" is reliable and seaworthy. We were eager to share our love for the outdoors and the unique wilderness experience at the floating cabin, but we were a bit nervous about having our first visitors.

It's fitting that they were Bruce and Michelle, because they were also our first guests in Edmonton, showing up within a couple of weeks after we'd moved. They also like the out-of-doors and have recently gotten into kayaking. They were visiting Vancouver Island for an anniversary vacation and when we found out, we invited them to the floating cabin for a few days.

We had a great time, even though there were a few mishaps: an overloaded boat; a swarm of vicious, stinging bees; and the loss of eight crabs to determined seals. It seems that every trip to the cabin brings up 'interesting challenges' that turn into humorous and memorable events!

To read about the adventure of our first floating cabin guests .... carry on (the narrative is in their own words, as transcribed from the cabin guest journal) ...

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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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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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