So, today a pod of about fifteen porpoises came swimming and playing in front of our boat.
We initially saw them jumping off the side of the boat. Then we realized they were converging from all sides, and racing to catch up with each other. They leapt, they splashed, they raced, and they kept turning sideways to look at all the kooky creatures hanging off the front of the boat, frantically waving at them. The kids squealed and screamed and giggled and exclaimed, as did the adults. (Even so, Iz never once let go of Fairest, her most recent Gail Carson Levine book.)
Here are the girls looking at the dolphins:
We went shrimping and crabbing and fishing today, too. Sometimes we did not catch creatures we were hoping to catch. Sometimes we caught biology lessons instead:
But shrimp is still on tonight's menu. Especially if we draw the luck of the manager of Echo Bay resort, whose latest shrimp pot excursion yielded four hundred of Those Who Make My Bisque:
(I are holding it in front of the sun so you can see its BRAAAAAINS.)
We're still mostly doing a lot of this between our visits to various islands, bays, and coves:
Yesterday we went to Sullivan Bay on North Broughton Island. Every last house is on floats; there is nary a structure on land except a few water tanks. People there keep helicopters on their roofs, and float planes and yachts moored outside their front doors:
Earlier we went to Alert Bay on Comorant Island. Iz got to try poutine, we got to see some astounding art at the Namgis Recreation Centre and U'mista Cultural Centre, and we saw the world's tallest totem pole. We also got lost on an island the size of your thumb, but it was worth the wander to see the art adorning the exterior of so many homes on the island, and the the enormous murals covering the fronts of the local school and longhouse.
Carving on front of U'mista Centre
Base of world's tallest totem pole (173 feet) and Longhouse
Kicking myself for not verifying whether the building above is Alert Bay Elementary or the T'lisala'gilakw School. Kids in this area often do their schooling by correspondence in the uppermost grades.
At the moment we are in Echo Bay, but we're leaving in the morning for Blind Channel. All these small cove communities seem to have free and open wifi, which has been very cool, if not predictable. No cell coverage, though -- I spoke to Seymour for less than sixty seconds today; just enough time for him to reassure me that the horrible dream I had about Leelo had not had any repercussions in the real world.
We are all having the very best time ever. It has been emphasized to me that the girls deserve this, they need to have regular vacations, real family vacations without their brother. I still wish my son and husband could be here. It feels as though we're masquerading as a divorced family, really -- everyone keeps asking where my husband is. I doubt that my partner and I will ever get to break in this wonderful bed in our stateroom. Not together, anyhow.
But I am focusing much less on the bitter, and have almost completely succumbed to the sweet. This trip has been a treat and a delight, even if it is taking place in an alternate reality.