Remember the Boat Times (part 2 of 2)

One of the most important variables to the success of a good fishing trip is the people & characters you spend it with.  One such character is this one of a kind Davey Jones. He’s Chad’s dad and when that rolls off the tongue I can’t help think about my own parents and how dismissive I can be towards them simply because they’re the old boy and old gal. When you take away the fact that he’s someones parent and consider the man himself, David Jones, you find something far more substantial and pretty bad ass. Davey here is a big Harley enthusiast and reveled in sharing his old chopper pics and stories with me. he’s also a huge Monty Python fan and told me of Monty flicks I didn’t even know existed (fore shame on me!). He’s also a ‘helluva’ fisherman and knows how to sink Sailor Jerry like an old pirate whilst maintaining his composure better than yourself at Sunday church! When I think about Davey Jones here it reminds me that my parents aren’t just the folk I know them as, they’re people of depth who had interesting lives before they had wipe our sorry assess and for the most part they are still interesting. David Jones highly recommends you enrich your life and watch’ Jonathan Livingston Seagull’, therefore I recommend it too.

There was not a lot of crab to be found this year but one morning Davey Jones got me up early so I could take some pics of the crabs we finally pulled from the ocean floor. Dave is an old hand on the boat and had these crabs shucked, de-gilled and bathing in a boiling pot faster than I could but my underwear on. Maybe that’s a bad comparison to make considering I was still experiencing the effects of some rum induced haziness from the previous night but it was bloody quick all the same.

Getting up early has its benefits; more time for nature spotting. These majestic fellows are plentiful where we were and keep a steady eye on us while we disposed the remains of our fish trimmings to the deep blue.

Speaking of majestic fellows. Wade below is a man’s man. He doesn’t mince his words but has great sense of humor (crude and rude albeit). He can swing a hammer as good as any carpenter I’ve worked for & he welds like nobody’s business, in fact he fashioned a new aluminum ladder for the boat to Captain Jack’s specs after we lost the last one to the blue abyss at last years fishing trip. Wade’s hobby and passion is mixed martial arts and is doing well in local circuits, in fact he was just in Vancouver last weekend at Battlefield 18 where he defeated his opponent. When Wade’s not swinging hammers, wielding his welder and meat tenderizing people he can be found in the kitchen making an exceptional Hot Buttered Rum for the crew. If ever he sends you the recipe for buttered rum and gives you a 50/50 rum to liquid ratio, be forewarned to exercise caution or that may be your first and last drink of the night. On the upside you’ll be warm inside the whole night through and you’ll never have a deeper sleep.

For the first time this year I was introduced to fresh ocean shrimp. These little buggers are down right delicious and work for just about any meal be it breakfast right through to dinner and even better when washed down with a delicious pint (or baileys and coffee if it’s breakfast).

This here is Kym Jones and her pet shrimp. Kym has a kind heart and a soft spot for living creatures, hence it was quite comical at times (albeit a little sad too) to see the inner conflict she struggled with as we all pulled creatures out of the ocean for later consumption. Where she could she would ‘rescue’ sea creatures from nets, traps or fishing lines and save them in little aquariums that she fashioned out of plastic containers and buckets whilst adorning them with seaweed, shells and other ocean ornaments so it felt a little homely for them during the transition period. For fear of her friends being chopped up or hurt in the wake she would wait till the boat came to a full stop before parting ways with her salty friends.

One of Kym’s rescue friends taking in some R&R and sun on the Cantamara’s deck

After 5 nights on the boat we brought the sturdy Cantamara back to port so uncle Jack could make it in time to catch his favorite baseball team the Blue Jays. Whenever we’re in port I always like to look at the boats in the marina, their shapes and curves are always interesting to look at and when the light hits them in particular ways it casts lovely shadows. I love this pic, it might be my favorite to date.

Once back on dry land we headed buck to Kitwanga where everything was a ‘buzzin’, people working in the lumber yards, truckers haulin’ and worker bees workin’! Life as usual, except for us fishing folk. We took a few legs to let our sea legs wear off and did things like 4 wheeling and floating down the Skeena river which at points was more like scrambling for our lives than ‘floating’.

If ever you’re in Kitwanga there is one person in particular who would definitely enrich your life if only knowing him very briefly:  William, ‘Bill’, Elsworth. Bill is 96 and has been around for all sorts of changes from wars to building of cities. He saw his town of Kitwanga go through many changes during it’s various times of growth or otherwise depending on the success of the timber industry there. He has countless outdoors-man stories and is probably responsible for more than half of all the animal heads that are mounted on walls in hipster apartments all round Vancouver. Now that’s not to say that he’s not a man of conservation or nature, in his time they ate what they shot and nothing went to waste and from what I hear he was once a fair hand in the garden. At 96 he still rides his John Deere tractor round the acreage and over to the wood mill where Chad and I found him ‘whacking’ a huge piece of lumber with an axe to mark it where he wanted to chainsaw it into firewood sized pieces. The year before, I was suprised to see brand new laminate floor inside his humble cottage and was astonished to find out that he’d installed it himself. If I were to accomplish a third as much as Bill in my lifetime I swear I would have lived at least 2 full lives.

The old Kitwanga Jones’s residence built by Bill many years ago as seen from the new Kitwanga Jones’s residence and off to the left and out of picture is Bills humble cottage also built by him as most things on that land are.

So that ends the fishing journey. I have been fortunate enough to be invited on two (you think they’d have known better the first time they invited me) and once again it exceeded my expectations. Each time I venture to Kitwanga and the boat times I get to know the land & people better and each time I grow fonder of both, fostering friendships I hope to have for a long time and understanding a land and way of life that I would otherwise living in the city.

Thank you to all the Jones’es, Wade and Capp’n Jack for an unbelievable trip.

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