Yay! Heading to the house! Watering the plants

We were in Oona River again last month. It was rainy and rough on the water on the way out but we had really decent weather during our weekend stay. I don’t mind the rainy grey days, especially in beautiful Oona when I have my camera at hand but I’ve started running again and I prefer to stay dry while I do it. We didn’t know how long we’d be staying so brought food for a week. With no grocery stores, or any other kinds of stores for that matter on the island, one must come prepared.

L O V E Oona River Oona River

There was no shortage of mud to slog through and Kep was sure to lie in each and every muddy puddle he could find.


Lily and Leif were quick to assist with the chores needing to be done, bringing in firewood, starting and keeping the fires going, feeding the chickens and caring for a neighbour’s cats while they were out of town. They loved the freedom their bikes gave them to get here, there and everywhere on their own.

Gang Cricket and Goldilocks

The highlight of the weekend for the kids was the wood fired hot tub where they spent the majority of their time. It took a couple hours to fill and another half day to heat but it was well worth the wait. Shannon and I had a soak the first evening and it was absolutely delightful. (There are more photos of the tub, including empty and inside the firebox on my flickr stream.)

Wood Fired Hot Tub

Leif and Lily Maya and Lily

The food’s always good when we visit. I’d come prepared to make: Caramelised Onion and Sauted Spinach Pizza with Peanut Sauce, Miso Curry Delicata Squash, Green Salad with Tahini Garlic Lemon Dressing, Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Garlic and Lemon Aioli, Spanish Cauliflower Faux Rice, Sesame Lo Mein, Squash and Beans and Yam and Honey Biscuits, Chocolate Espresso Coconut Flour Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

Shannon made this blackened honey chicken and fresh made rolls one night for supper.

Blackened Honey Chicken Fresh made rolls

The main reason for our visit was to assist with getting our friend’s newly finished barge launched. I made a three minute slideshow with some images which you can watch below.

Workin' Leify and Cam

It’s hard to describe the time, effort and care that’s gone into building this beast over the last three years. It’s something that I don’t even fully understand but the tension, excitement and joy on my friend’s faces in these last few days give me a small inclining. I’m overwhelmed with happiness for them and their growing business!

The Barge

I wanted a photo of all the guys that could be hung next to the countless old back and white photos from the days of yesteryear hanging in the old Oona River schoolhouse.

The guys

I love the wildlife unique to river habitat. I watched a Kingfisher over a couple days come and go from two obviously favoured perches.


One afternoon, I snuck down to the water’s edge and then slowly from boulder to boulder to capture a few pictures of a river otter playfully eating bullheads. It’s such a gift to bear witness to the movement of wildlife in it’s natural environment.

River Otter with a Bullhead

I’ve written a lot about my fear of the water but something happened to me on this trip. I gained some perspective on the seaworthiness of most vessels. This realisation came about on the ferry ride over where we saw many boats making their routine trips in choppy water. I was able to feel the effects of the rough water and see that the other (smaller) vessels were experiencing no trouble. Let’s hope this perspective returns on my next trip through rough waters!

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We can’t wait for our next visit. Oona is one of our favourite places to visit.

Fresh Salmonberry

A boy and his dog

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8 Responses to Set Afloat

  1. sarah says:

    love the video. what an amazing thing to do…may lily pad enjoy a long life on the water!!!

  2. Joe Scott says:

    This was great! The blog and video captures a lot of what Oona River is and I can see that you have been enchanted in Oona. I first discovered Oona River 40 years ago and it changed my life. So many friends, so many good times and more friends and good times to come. I would have liked to be there for the launch and I am having good thoughts for Ben, Shannon, Maya and Lily. Fair Sailing, “Lily Pad”. The photos are excellent and my thanks go out to you for your presentation. I will be in Oona in July. Hoping that our paths will cross. Papa Joe

  3. Joe Scott says:

    I missed making a comment about the food. Sounds fantastic. I am hoping to get some fresh Dungeness Crab, fresh salmon so that I can whip up some crab cakes and barbecue salmon along with Jan and Mike. regards!

  4. k says:

    oona river seems such a magical spot – i’d love to visit someday.

  5. Annie says:

    Thank you! xx

    It would be wonderful to meet you, Joe. We’ve been talking about trying to make it back out to Oona in July or August. I so enjoy the quiet and of course the gorgeous scenery. It such a great community. When we were there for the launch there were so many important people missing, including Jan and Mike.

    It is, Kristy. If you ever come up this way, I’ll go with you!

  6. erin says:

    well, reading more in your blog, and then seeing all of the photos + the video really puts into perspective the magnitude of everything that transpired. it is such a journey your friends have been on and to have you guys at the end there, helping them to preserve the memories so beautifully must have felt like such a gift.

    i wanted to tell them personally how amazing it all looks and to wish them well with lily pad, and maybe you can pass on my well wishes from here?

    your documenting of this was awesome.


  7. jenny says:

    Wow, SUCH great photos, Annie. I can’t get over that hot tub. We’ve always dreamed of a wood-fired hot tub. I think it’s amazing to see your friends’ hard work. And how cool that you have captured the process for posterity. Nice work, my friend.

  8. shannon says:

    As always, we are so lucky to have you there! For the photos, the food (coconut flour espresso cupcakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and the help like slogging in the mud picking up bits of metal. This video is SO amazing. We will treasure it always! Thank you so much for being there!

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