We saw whales along the way

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.

Ferry will be here in a few minutesWe are arrivedWhat's a trip to Oona without a picture of the rainbow house?Making lunch

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.


Boat Shed~Side of the road

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.

DecorationsGetting the bon fire startedAmbush while decorating

Oh, just a big pile of fresh Halibut

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.

DwayneNicoleBeckyArianne and Tim

Sweet seriousness and LutzHappy Birthday, Marcy Lane!I love the way Richard's looking at FrancesMark

Shannon's amazing Croquembouche

Babies!~Babies!Finally awake and cooing on Frances.

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.

The water was cRaZy cold!The first wave, going for it!Dan and Nicole

She just couldn't go in any deeper

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.

Exploring the beachGetting warmed up in the hot tubLily squared

Looking away from Oona, toward the oceanSweetnessJasper

Ben. Always smiling.

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.

Arianne eager to see the whales come closerBrrr.... Lily's cold

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.

Oh thank gawd it's a bigger boat

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11 Responses to Oona River

  1. Erin says:

    I loved seeing Oona River through your lens, Annie it looked like a lovely getaway weekend to ring in a new year and with so many new friends. I loved that you were outdoors so much…just the things I would have loved doing. (Well….maybe not in the water!)

    All the best in 2011!

  2. dawnsuzette says:

    Looks like a wonderful trip Annie. Food, friends, nature, good times… all there!
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful images!
    Happy New Year!

  3. Jacinda says:

    Beautiful place to spend new years and good on Lily for getting in the water! Stunning whale. May it be safe.

  4. Lola says:

    I keep meaning to comment on this and say that this is pretty much my dream new years party. So amazing.

  5. Adelaide says:

    Wow, this is the first thing that made me miss BC in 3 years! I grew up on Vancouver Island and my husband in Kitmat :) We now live in NS…where we can have acreage close to the city for under a million bucks!

  6. Annie says:

    I loved looking at this post again. It was such a wonderful time with friends. I long to go back.

    Hello to Nova Scotia! I was looking at mls the other day for homes in NS. I’ve played with the idea of moving out that way one of these days. Perhaps a visit would be enough for now. So beautiful and affordable!

  7. Norah Gentiane says:

    Hello Annie. I came across your blog as I was doing some research on Oona for my current paper. My family lived there for a little over 4 years when I was a little girl. It still holds a dear spot in my heart. Thanks.

  8. Annie says:

    Hello, Norah! Thank you for letting me know. It’s been a lot of fun to connect with people with ties to Oona.

  9. dylan noel says:

    i love oone it my home miss it

  10. Nancy says:

    I spent as much time here as a child as possible. This was originally mainly Swedish settlement and homesteaded in the early 1900’s. Of course some English people and they were all so wonderful…. My grandmother and her young family moved there when young and one of my uncles was born at the River…I love the place so much. I must go back one of these days…it is such a wonderful place….

  11. Annie says:

    Thank you, Nancy for telling me. I’m so fascinated by local history. I wonder if I’ve seen your family’s images on the wall of the old school house where so many old family photos are displayed.

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