Our Days with Erica: PLI, Egmont, Whales and Powell River

Our dear friend Erica Raynor-Horn flew in to see the beauty of PLI for the first time and enjoy the cruise back out through the fjords of Jervis Inlet.

Her pilot took an unusually high and scenic route into the falls, so I was able to catch a photo of her seaplane over the waterfall where we are anchored. When Erica arrived on board she gave us gifts of kale and arugula. While checking in for the seaplane in Kenmore they asked her if she was bringing any gifts, she told them kale. He looked at her like she was crazy. Not wine? Not chocolate? But as most boaters know you can’t provision long-term for fresh vegetables and fruit. That big beautiful bunch of summer kale was the best gift ever!

Erica is our Mindfullness friend and guru. She leads a very special retreat at Whidbey Institute that we were lucky enough to participate in 4 years ago when Jim’s physicians thought he had spinal cancer (long story, but his condition has gotten better, not worse, so that diagnosis was clearly wrong). When you get that kind of diagnosis it’s easy to stop and take the time to do what you need to do to get your life and business in order and focus on what’s most important. The week in Erica’s healing circle was a life changing gift, and we’ve been good friends ever since. Erica also loves boating but had never been far enough north before to visit Princess Louisa. So we loved sharing with her our most calming, mindful, beautiful place. FYI, Erica has a beautiful Mindfulness CD, Finding Tranquility This is the Amazon link, it is also on I-tunes. Download it if you are interested.

We love this photo of Erica taken just after we finished one of our morning meditations.

As is usual with our guests, Erica immediately understood why we like this place so much and continue to spend more time here every year. As she said, “two days is great, but more is better.” The weather changed a bit and we did have an intermittently rainy afternoon and evening. But the changing light brings a whole new dimension to PLI.

Of course, we kayaked and walked to the falls and explored the rainforest. We also enjoyed morning meditations and yoga and ate yummy meals surrounded by the waterfalls and mountains while absorbing the magic energy. We even got a fun game of scrabble in.

The morning of our cruise back into the “real” world, the sun came out and we all got to see the spectacular glaciers above PLI as we headed out on our cruise back to Egmont. Leaving PLI and cruising back up beautiful Jervis Inlet (better described as a fjord as the article in the Seattle Times said yesterday) the scenery is truly majestic.

In Egmont we enjoyed a yummy dinner at the fancier West coast Wilderness Lodge next to the more rustic Backeddy Resort where we dock. This place has a stunning view, very good food and enormous lillies. In the morning after meditating we did the usual and always fun walk to the “bakery in the woods.” When we left the dock a little later our timing was perfect to see the Skookumchuck in a large wave stage. It is hard to describe until you see it, but I think I got some good photos with the zoom lens. This kayaking is the antithesis to PLI kayaking, but super fun to watch.

Erica was flying out of Powell River Airport, so that was our next stop. Many times this part of the cruise heading north between Texada Island and the mainland can be very very windy and choppy, but today it was remarkably calm. The Captain had to do some business calls and Erica and I enjoyed great conversation, brainstorming and watched for whales and other creatures. Erica was struck by the pleasant slow pace of our cruising. We don’t travel very fast unless we have to. The journey is as important as the destination unless we have to escape icky weather.

Coming around Grief Point we spotted a big colony of Sea Lions on a rock. Then we were rewarded with a spout in the distance. Jim was done with his call. So began our next enchanting hour cruising with a pair of whales, timing their graceful swim through the water, while we munched on snacks. The sound of the whales breathing as they surface is so relaxing and enchanting. We even got close enough to get some good photos.

Although we have moored at the Beach Garden Marina before we have never actually gone into the town of Powell River. But this time we decided to have dinner in town. Powell River, who new? It’s actually a charming, foodie place with a hippie vibe. It used to be a big mill town but after they lost almost all of the 2,000 jobs at the mill, it transitioned to a retirement community as people left Vancouver for a more peaceful and much less expensive place to live. Now it is attracting younger people who are also looking for a more peaceful and less expensive place to raise a family. One restauranteur runs three different places. The first night we ate at Country Crockery, last night we planned to go to the Greek restaurant (but they were too busy) then we tried the Japaneese place, Genki, but they were closed on Mondays. Instead, we enjoyed Costa del Sol Latin, sitting out on the deck surrounded by flowers and looking west at the view as the sun set over Vancouver Island on the other side of the Strait of Georgia. Yummy food, creative drinks and great people watching as the locals and visitors walk by.

We were lucky enough to visit here right after the Powell River wood carving competition and see the results of these amazing artists. They carve these in 2 days. The glowing sunset perfectly lit the sculptures for ideal viewing. As we strolled among the art we chatted with locals who had such a sweet, proud nature for this town and a wonderful sense of humor.

After Erica left for her flight home, we did a bit more housekeeping and check-in phone calls with friends and family. Then we headed into town in search of a large deck umbrella. I saw it on another boat shading their stern in PLI during a hot afternoon and thought it was a great idea. There is actually a small Walmart in town so we took a cab there after dinner and found and umbrella, did another stop at the local Save-On-Foods (a really nice grocery store) to get some more provisions and then cabbed back to the True Love.

We enjoy the Beach Gardens Marina, vs the larger Westview Marina “downtown” because it’s much quieter (it’s not next to the ferry terminal), and we see lots of wildlife right here. A young Eagle with his bright white plumage still speckled with brown entertained us yesterday and even procured a fish. It’s amazing how similar he was to teenagers growing into their bodies. We could almost feel the proud, yet confused energy. Yesterday afternoon a small creature was swimming in front of boat yipping. At first I thought it was a little dog in distress, but it was an otter swimming towards a group of other otters in the rocks. I have never heard otters yip like that before.

Today we head farther north to Desolation Sound and beyond, eventually landing at Toba Inlet where we leave the True Love for a week. We’re taking the seaplane back to do some business and visit with Jim’s sister and aunt who are visiting Seattle.

Here is a heart in the cloud I took while looking up at the sky in PLI. The True Love Adventure continues!

The Captain and First Mate of the True Love

4 thoughts on “Our Days with Erica: PLI, Egmont, Whales and Powell River

  1. Glimpsing this year’s True Love vacation gives me so much pleasure. Thank you for sharing and reviving memories. Connie Albrecht

  2. Greetings from the east coast from Josh and Betty. Your True Love sailing (cruising) adventures and stunning photos are always anticipated and enjoyed. This you have continued the tradition. This year, with Google maps, I have looked up your various anchorage sites. You do get around.
    We look forward to the details of the to the trip back to Seattle.

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