Hello again from the land of whales, Wallys & Wetness!
Let me fill you in on a little secret folks…nature does not care about you. Nature doesn’t care how far you travel, doesn’t care about your schedule, doesn’t care how much money you’ve spent, doesn’t care if it’s your birthday, doesn’t care about you period. Our love for nature will always be unrequited, accept that.
Now why would I tell you that? Well, you see I’m noticing an interesting trend in the
travel market – “Eco Tours”. In theory, eco tours are great. Get out there and have a good look at nature with someone who knows a little bit about it, maybe learn a few things on your vacation. The problem is the expectations of many of the people going on these tours.
At McFishing we have a 3 hour boat tour through the Broken Island Group called the
“Marine Eco Adventure Tour”. It used to be called a “Nature Cruise”.What’s changed? Nothing, just the name. I’m not sure what is so “eco” about a big, diesel spewing boat that gets washed down with bleach and Pinesol (which go running off into our harbour) or where exactly the “adventure” part comes in (well, if the deck is slippery you could fall and hurt yourself I guess). Well, on Sunday,one of the skippers told me he had a very irritated guest who was complaining because she did not see a bear and we had told her she would.
What?! I know for a fact that we never tell people that they will see anything .
We do tell people that there is a chance they might see whales, sea lions, eagles, otters, bears, and dolphins but noguarantee. So where did this woman get the idea that she would see a bear, as if the bears are all waiting for a phone call from us, “Hey
guys, yep we got a boat coming by at about 3:45 so be ready. If you snag a salmon out of the water when they go by there’s an extra fifty in it for you“?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this woman’s disappointment is not
an isolated incident. In Costa Rica I can remember talking to tourists who were really bummed out because they’d come all that way to go on a jungle tour and hadn’t seen hardly any wildlife, not even a monkey. And even the Prez and I have had some uncomfortable moments with guests out on our boat in Mexico looking at the quiet water then looking at us like, “So where the heck are the birds and the dolphins and the whales that you guys are always going on and on about?” I feel for them but the reality is that wildlife comes and goes. Sometimes nature puts on a show, and some things you can be guaranteed to see at certain times but a lot of the time nature is pretty quiet and calm.
The Prez and I have seen a lot of cool stuff simply by virtue of having spent loads of time
out on the water. I can tell you that many of those hours on the water we saw nothing but…well…water.
City and suburban folks, raised on zoos, aquariums and Discovery Chanel shows pick up
glossy brochures showing spectacular breaching whales, cuddly sea otters eating sea urchins, and magnificent black bears with their cubs strolling along the seashore then they load up the SUV and head out to Ukee with visions of wildlife dancing in their head. They head out on a McFishing Marine Eco Adventure Tour, the fog rolls in, they see nothing
except maybe a sea lion. Or–this actually happened during all of February–they read some travel magazine article about the new “storm watching” phenomena, complete with photos of 30 foot waves breaking on the shore, hop a plane and check into a $200 per night B&B only to find that it’s clear, sunny, and the ocean is flat calm…oops! And that’s just the way it is folks.
Nature has something to teach us: life is not predictable. Expectations and hopes are great but if you let them rule your life you are bound to be disappointed. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and enjoy everything in between. If you had told me 3 years ago that I would end up broke, renting a duplex, and working at a fishing resort in one of the wettest places in BC, I would have laughed in your face…but here I am. The hardest thing about the last two years of my life has been letting go of “what should have been” but now that I have, now that I am enjoying “what is”, life is wonderful. Last week I was walking to work, watching a majestic bald eagle make lazy circles over my head, the sky was a vivid blue and the air was clear and fresh. At that moment I was the luckiest person on the face of the earth. No I’m not where I expected to be but where I am is amazing.
So you didn’t see the whales jump out of the water this trip, maybe next time or maybe you’ll never see them…but if you’re lucky enough to be out on the water, you’re lucky enough.
“You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need.” – The Rolling Stones
Until next week, I hope this this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!