A hour and a half boat ride on fairly rough water brought us to Oona River last week for a weekend party with friends. It was quiet when we arrived and we were only slightly worried when we didn’t see anyone on the road as we walked to find our friends and each house we passed was lacking smoke from the chimney. No worries, we thought. We knew there was going to be a fishing derby and that most would probably be out that morning. We also knew that with only one road through the village (population 20-30 people) we’d eventually come across our friend’s house which we’d at least seen pictures of.
We were greeted by the owner of the gorgeous house painted as a rainbow. Lutz welcomed us and offered us a ride down the road to our friend’s but we opted to walk since it wasn’t far and it was a beautiful cool, white day.
We did a lot of eating this weekend. There was plenty of salmon, halibut, crab and prawns and plenty of non seafood too. We spent time each day either decorating the house, putting finishing touches on masks and costumes, tidying up any mess so many people under one roof enviably makes, cooking, baking and eating (did I mention that part already?)… Cam was eager to visit the boat shed with the coveted saw mill.
The actual New Year’s party was a riot. The feast, the dancing, all the new friends, 120 fresh oyster shooters, many masks, delightfully adorable babies, bonfire and music.
The second annual polar bear swim was also a success. There was NO way I could have made myself go in that freezing cold water. Not even the beach side hot tub could entice me to strip. Lily, on the other hand, eagerly shed her clothes for a borrowed swimsuit just so she could get in the hot tub after. She gingerly tiptoed out to ankle deep and couldn’t go any further but was worried if she came back she wouldn’t be invited into the hot tub. We ran out to wrap her up with many assurances that she would.
I was so impressed with those that totally submerged in the water. It was damn cold!
After the (crazy) polar bear swimmers warmed up in the hot tub, we all enjoyed a hot soup and fresh bread lunch around the bon fire followed by marshmallow roasting. Awesome.
We had to do a bit more exploring before our trip was through so we walked to another beach not far from Oona where we watched whales swimming and feeding. They weren’t as close as they apparently can come but we enjoyed it nonetheless. The kids were impressed with the endless play the huge driftwood stumps and logs offered. I was beyond impressed by the most gorgeous cabin built just into the trees at the other end of the beach, accessible only by a narrow single track trail back to an empty road back to the village.
We were sad to leave and are already looking forward to the next time we come out. I was pleased that the ferry that side tracked from it’s route between Prince Rupert and a nearby native village to pick us up was bigger than other boats I’ve been on. The water was rougher than I enjoy and I only thought twice that we might sink and plunge into the freezing cold ocean depths meeting death along the way. Much better than I’ve felt in smaller boats in rough weather. The boat trips are always worth it wherever we go, if only I can get over my fear. Slowly, with trips like this one, I’m desensitising… I think.