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カテゴリ:4.Till Flores Island( 6 )
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (6)

by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-17 10:13 | 4.Till Flores Island
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (5)

I decided to go to the main village of Ahousat on the last staying day. Across the narrow cove going further on Ota's tiny boat, a larger wharf than in front of the hostel appeared. Despite a light rain, it was the jewel of the island. Going up the wooden steps which followed by a wooden walkway to the village, it began to dawn on me where I had seen this landscape before. It was the rural area in Japan as I was brought up. It was not certain if I saw in my mother's arms or standing myself.
Right hand side stood a withered church for which a missionary finally abandoned Christianity sympathising with the way of thinking of native people, which Ota told me beforehand. I searched for figures taking pictures, then not understandable words was thrown at me from a house. After that, the silence was back.
Unknown dogs were here and there; finding me, some barked and another approached. They reminded me of "Norainu" (wild dogs in towns in Japanese) that became extinct during the high economic growth. The narrow roads were unpaved and so complicated that I was worried about losing my way. Taking back to the harbour, at the very entrance of the village two guys were speaking with each other drinking maybe coffee at the veranda of a small upstairs house, where was written, "Welcome to Ahousat!"
With hesitation, I approached, "Hello," "Hello, good morning! How are you?" One was an Indian but the other looked like a White, "Good! Good! But I want to ask you something. Can I?" "Sure! What's that?" "I'm taking pictures of Canadian life. Please let me know about the life of this village." "Okay, okay, why don't you come on up here? Drink a coffee?"
Going up, there are a lot of kids behind them among whom a young Indian mother was cooking lunch or brunch in the small room which seemed the only room for the house. After introducing his wife in short, he brought me downstairs' workshop which was huge and unseen from outside. Inside was wooden long and slender canoes half made and engraved but they didn't look like great. He said he was engaging in this process and making such boats was their tradition.
When I asked for taking a picture of him, he began to say he would introduce another person and bring me to him with them. He said he was the teacher of him. We walked across the village, and then he rang a doorbell among new houses flocked into an area. Then, another Indian guy appeared. Although we shook hands, I didn't want to take such a well coordinated photo.
As I expected, the sculpture he showed were not so well, either. As I left, the teacher gave me several yellow cedar tips that was said to invite good fortunes traditionally. The yellow cedar were less than the red cedar actually.


I treated a cup of coffee at the only restaurant on this island nearby for the first guys favour. The Indian didn't show a happy smile. From the beginning to the end, the seemingly White guy were always enjoying chatting with the other. I wondered and couldn't understand who it was to the last.
Later, Ota explained that the first Indian guy moved to this island recently to get married his wife, who was however already divorced from another one. "They are repeating getting marry and divorced moving about among First Nations, since they tend to have family so young maybe in teens," he said. "As for the teacher, his proficiency should be average so you can easily find another around here," in short, they seemed to be killing time by engraving on woods. What a life!
It was really a small community, even so surprisingly they used cars and were enjoying drives as if they had nothing to do except it. Other people came by walk by twos and threes after appearing at distance to the shop district. Greeting them, "Hi," they replied in the same way with a bit embarrassed smile. I am becoming fond of this village. If only I could have a job I want, such as advertising and photographing, I would love to settle here, I thought.


Getting into a small cabin of the passenger liner to Tofino to return, a crew called me, "Oh! Good morning, fisherman." He must watch me fishing everyday. I met an old lady with whom I talked a lot on a street of the village. At this time, however, she never wanted to speak to me. Even though we caught eyes each other, she kept reading book sometimes speaking with her small company beside. The people in the village seemed to frequently go out the island. The atmosphere of the cabin known each other was very special. Without getting into it, I made me watch outside through small watered windows.
A young girl, I saw in the cabin, who rather hung down her head without expressions looked obviously mix-blooded between Indian and White, immediately getting off at Tofino walked away. I had to get a Greyhound there this time. Since there was no route both on the land and sea to go up for north along the Pacific, I decided to go north along Strait of Georgia after returning to Parksville.
There were no figures of Japanese descendants in Tofino. Someone said that before World War Two there resided Japanese immigrants but they didn't return after sent to an "Alien" concentration camp, because the neighbours knew they were to be deprived of all of their properties by the government well before but they didn't tell the Japanese and took the goods for their own sake with the government; whereas in Uclulet, a nearest community to Tofino, knowing the government's intention the people notified the Japanese so they had time to order things. It was said that is why Japanese descendants never returned to Tofino after World War Two and instead went to Uclulet and other places.
by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-16 09:30 | 4.Till Flores Island
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (4)

by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-15 12:50 | 4.Till Flores Island
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (3)
From Tofino, I needed to take a boat to Flores Island. But before down for the pier I had to purchase fishing tools and license. In a variety store with seemingly everything, there was a fishing gear corner. Almost all of them were unfamiliar to me, though I wanted to try Japanese way of fishing with a long-casting rod with live bates. I was at a loss without knowing what to choose.
The only shop person available was a huge over-weighted something wooden young guy. He looked like a half between White and Indian, and spoke English in an awkward way but helpful. He didn't have knowledge of fishing there either; however, somewhat knew the fishing license to be and I managed to get three days one for $20.33.
Going down a long slope to the pier, the air here was crystal and the lights of Sun gave the landscape a different appearance. If here is same Canada? It was so deep and beautiful that I couldn't help feeling sad such an extent as wondering why I was living at that moment. The blue was blue, green was green and the red was definitely red reflected in my eyes. Nothing was unclear in front of me; that was Tofino and that was the other side of Pacific Ocean from Japan.
Following the people by twos and threes on the wooden wharf to its end, I found a number of people like I followed are sitting and standing apparently without having nothing to do. There was a huge mass of disposed drink cans and plastic bottles. Beside it, the flocking people tanned significantly with black hairs appeared unapproachable. I hesitated to ask a boat for Flores Island among them, or I couldn't tell who the boats' persons.
With fear I accosted some of them, "Excuse me, I heard I can have a boat for Flores Island here. I want to go to the Humming Bird Hostel." Then unbelievable as it was, they actually welcomed me. "Humming Bird Hostel? OK, I will bring you in my boat," said a full beard man with thick muscularity arms seemingly was fisherman. There was no one like me asking a boat, and they didn't look like waiting for tourists for boats at all.
I didn't know what they were doing there, but the man and his company man immediately began preparing for sailing with a small boat. After that, the company somewhat got a same ride with me. Sitting beside the driver, the beard man, I felt again he was wild or tough. When I said I was taking pictures of Canadians life with my camera hung, he offered an trip for me to a good shooting spot on the way saying, "You have to pay extra fee! Ha, ha, ha!" "Oh no," said me, "No, it's a joke. It's on the way to Ahousat (Flores Island), so I'll bring you anyway, OK?"
Approaching a shore reefs several minutes later, he stopped and pointed at a tree on a reef, "Can you see it? There is a nest of eagles on the tree." "Where? I can't see it," in spite of wearing glasses on him (that might be a sunglasses though) he had very good eye-sights since the distance was a little far from the tree.
I was not interested in wild life in Canada so much, because my curiosity was attracted by people on nature. Finding my lens focused in a different direction, he became aware that and re-started engine to close to the reef and pointed at once more. I first realised it without figures of the birds. The absence seemed to have me feel the clear-cut atmosphere there, but it was impossible to capture it with camera.
The awful vibration and engine noise of the small boat making its way in full speed on the surface of rippled off-shore by complex ocean current deprived me of thought. Then, all of a sudden the boat stopped in the midst, and two of us except the driver slid front-side so hit our bodies. He smiled a naughty smile as if he had known the result before it.
Turning around several times, the landscape of full of cedar trees beside the sea seemed to be endless, when a small strip of pier appeared ahead. Dropping the speed off, the driver spoke to a radio, "Yuki! Yuki! I brought your customer!" Mr Yukio Ota, a Japanese, was the manager of the Humming Bird Hostel. Just behind the pier was the hostel.


Not because of my heavy baggage but because of the pure scenery for taking pictures, I couldn't leave the tiny wharf soon. Aged storages under the sunshine shouldn't be uncommon but the air there was so clear that even such things looked something in another space. I kept looking in my finder with never being bored.
Stepping up forward and I entered a half declined withered house that was the hostel. I wondered if Mr Ota was not a Japanese at first sight, but he was definitely a Japanese. I was the first and the only guest after winter-close and the whole hostel was as if reserved for me.
That place was called Ahousat, a First Nations. However, other than the premise there were another Ahousat places and across the cove seemed like the main village. Even though I met several Indians until then, it was the first time to visit so-called a "Reserve." Since every area of the First Nations was distinguished from Canadian soil with rights they used to have, some people called it "Reserve."
The next to the hostel was a historical general store - literally everything was available - and it was the only neighbour. People in the main village made it a rule to shop coming here by their boats. Mr Ota said the shop owner held the position of the mayor and the post office chief as well. Most importantly for Mr Ota, however, he also was Mr Ota's boss; in other words, he was the owner of the hostel. Actually, Ota was calling him "Ojisan" (an uncle in Japanese).
Every evening, he helped out Ojisan and his family to unload variety of goods from the liners. To my surprise he looked like White, but Ota said he was born and brought up here with former generations. "He does everything any professionals do himself so capably that anyone else shouldn't replace him for his management," Ota excitingly told me, "You know, this place has been sustained by him, and of course I myself owe to him a lot; without him I wouldn't exist here now."


Having found live bates fishing tools next door, I tried to dig out worm when low tide. At evening, at the very end of the wharf I casted a short rod. Soon the tip of the rod trembled; a Ling cod, over 20 cm, came. And then, just like the same one again. What a thing! This totally the same as at Lake Hamama in Japan. Bigger one, bigger one! I spoke to myself, however, the next one was also similar size of Red Cod. Since there were bites frequently during that time, the worm mightn't work on adult fish there. Passing by the store, the Ojisan accosted me and gave a look at my bucket. "Oh, small. But maybe good size for supper," he comforted me.


The Ling Cod fried by myself then and there tasted pretty good, but I felt little taste somewhat. Saying this to Ota, he said, "It was very good when a Japanese cook stayed and made me a cook in the authentic way, though." Offering the other Ling Cod I caught to him, he offered me a bin of Salmon which he fished and cooked last year. That was very tasty with adequate salt; I forgot to ask if he boiled or not in cooking, though it was such a huge King Salmon as over 1 m that he couldn't eat up by the winter close last year so kept in the frige.
As is usual in travel, I wanted beer with the supper. But I learned by Ota it was impossible to get beer in the Reserve area. "Instead," he said, "you can enjoy the full ecological environment; as a matter of fact, living here you don't need any money to live on as long as fishing!" Sure, the green of the cedar trees endlessly grown thick actually coloured more bright than ever seen. There was no Internet, no phones, but there was Nature and people.
The next day or another, an Indian fisherman friend of Ota radioed that he caught so much Herrings that he would give to him. "You can count on it for your meals," he assured. But I wanted to fish big ones by myself, and Ota repeated again and again anybody without knowledge of fishing can get big ones so easily with a lure without any bate which are used here, even in front of the hostel regardless of the season and tide.
Finally, I rented a lure with rod from Ota. Still I kept not trying on a boat, though. I have long been insisted on off-shore fishing because I think the boat fishing should be rather fishery (commercial fishing) naturally getting aimed fish easily with modern devices.
I have never tried the lure fishing so far, though I started fishing in my elementary school. What Ota told me how to use was just like "Bulakuri" fishing in Japan. Standing on a pier I should drop off the lure that is also the weight into the sea; when reached bottom wind the spinning reel a little to know the depth; then pull it up abruptly so that a lure makes action when drops.
That was not like fishing but like playing for kids. The problem was lures were easily caught by the bottom and never came out of it. Ota explained that when they prepared for starting the hostel two years ago or so, Ojisan's son, his previous business partner, threw away a lot of old stuff carried out of the hostel building. So, those stuff could always hook up fishing hooks.
Whenever I could not pull it out, after long trying I finally asked Ota for it; Ota had become aware how to pull it out with his special tool. This experience on top of no catch compelled me fatigue. "Funny thing no catches shouldn't happen," he said, "If you pay extra money, I or my Indian friend will guide you on a boat to the points you are sure to get big ones." "Okay, thank you. But is that good points for Halibut or Flat Fishes? You know, what I want to fish at least here is a larger Flat Fish than I fished at Lake Hamana in Japan. I got two of over 41 cm "Makogarei there, so I want 50 cm class!"
Since I had used up all of the lures Ota had, I called the general store to buy in the evening. The door was closed ,and having knocked loudly, nobody appeared. I remembered Ota had said the Ojisan family make it a rule to have supper around 5 pm for one hour or so and until finished they would never pay attention to visitors whoever. Probably those things never happen in Japan, thinking so I picked out a Canadian cigarette, du MAURIER Light, and lit it by a disposable lighter. Surrounded with the lingering sunlight in the evening sky, silence was falling over the place.
"As a matter of fact, I wanted to fish Halibut and in the Japanese way. See this is the biggest ones I caught in Japan," I showed the photos of my trophy size, around 42 cm, "Makogarei" to Ojisan. "Oh, is it? It's small, eh? I'll let you see my picture, come on, come on," said he and brought me to a next building to the store. Inside was several black and white pictures for him to show his trophy fish. In a picture, he stood with almost the same size of a Halibut. He said he fished this on a boat and the Indian guide know such good points. I asked if there was good points from shore, including the Pacific Ocean beach far backside of our place. When it comed to explaining the surf-long-cast fishing that is popular along the beach line in Japan, he admitted some possibility to catch reasonable sizes on the beach side. However, nobody had tried in such a way and actually I didn't have the long rod and large spinning reel with the tackle then and there.
Maybe it is true of fishermen to have to compromise to get results in unknown water. I had no choice than following Ota on his boat, which was less expensive than his friend Indian's. Fishing is a primitive pleasure, I was thinking, why do we have to pay a lot of money for it. "You should take a boat from the beginning," Ota sighed, "on the way to the offing point there is a raft place which they used to use for fish-farming, and that is a good spot for Halibut or Flat fish. You can try to there, too."
The distance as far as looked from the tiny boat of Ota was the best clear I had ever seen. The light Sun was giving us on this northern sea was far beyond description and I could do nothing other than watching at. I remembered Ota at the hostel said, "I felt here I really came to Canada for the first time."
He didn't anchored at the point seemingly an intersection for boats on the water bending widely ahead of a cape. The tide maybe quite fast here, I guessed. The way of fishing was just the same as at the pier, but it was far deep here. He advised, "Please take care not for being taken the lure by the roots of the bottom," but no need to say so. Before reaching the bottom, the fish sent us definite signal of hit: the rod soon became heavy swinging downwards. Next to next, it came; it was the Japanese saying "Iregui" (a continuous hits in English maybe).
Adult Ling Cod, one or two size bigger than the previous ones, adult Red Cod came up to the surface. Also, Rock Fish came; looks tasty! There were endless hits so we released smaller ones immediately. Red Cod or Rock Fish were not so much interesting because they were merely heavy in fighting not to be fished up and suddenly became light approaching the surface for their air bladder expanded for the difference of water-pressure.
Among those, Ota caught a beautiful blueish Ring Cod. "This is better taste than the ordinary Ling Cod," said he, "Is that a different kind?" I asked. Anyway, he kept it. It's so easy only dropping and winding a line that we shouldn't be able to call it a fishing, I thought. When Ota said it was about time to leave, my rod froze with absolute heavy weight. I thought it was taken by a root of bottom. "Wait, wait," I claimed, "hum, but I can wind the reel." The rod tried to stick into the rippled surface, but I continued. The appeared was a fairly big Rock Fish to my a little bit disappointment. Nevertheless, I was glad to have caught a minimum big size anyway.


Well, the rafts Ota dropped me off was a Flat Fish point, and Ota testified he got many huge fish here so over 50 cm size should be possible. The offing 50〜100 m was the boats route to Ahousat. Okay, I tried the bate fishing in a different way in that I put the worm at the lure hook and after casting away I reeled up in as many ways as I could.
Since the place was occupied by me, changing points I shook the short rod countlessly. However, no bites were felt. Meanwhile, several Indian boats crossed by in front of me. Some people, such as on the passenger liner, gazed at me interestingly for my uncommon attempt. I was kind of embarrassed with no results.
I had no choice except following the method Ota taught; I merely dropped straight the lure without bate by a raft, and sometimes shook the rod vertically. I was so bored that I put the rod on with the lure near the bottom. Then the tip of the rod surly moved restlessly all of a sudden. Wow! But you know, you must wait for a while in Flat Fish fishing for it to eat properly. After seconds, I hooked it up firmly and winding the line soon an orange-colour-liked Flat Fish appeared, since the depth was no more than a tall man's height.
The fish showed me his resistance but not so much strong; pulling on the raft I found this is smaller than the one I caught in Japan. Well, this is definitely a Flat Fish and similar to Japan's Makogarei, but somewhat looks rough at its skin. I expected to have a lot more results after that once I found the point, because Flat Fish tend to flock together in living. However, by the time Ota pick me up, there were no hits at all not only that point but others.


When I prepared the fish for the dishes watering at the wharf, Ojisan spoke to me and observed interestingly, "What kind of ways do the Japanese cook fish?" "Well, that's a lot! In raw, bake, boil, fry, and everyway. How about you?" "We fry, fish and chips, you know." "What is this fish? Is this different from ordinary Ring Cod?" I pointed at the blueish one Ota caught. "Well, that fish used to be caught so much around here for canning so very common, but not now. It was over-fished. It is also Ring Cod," he replied.
by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-14 10:40 | 4.Till Flores Island
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (2)

by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-13 13:49 | 4.Till Flores Island
Meeting nicest people in BC with GREYHOUND (1)
Until entering UBC ELI I determined to travel around the province of British Columbia. With a huge backpack with wheels my trip started at Vancouver getting on a local bus to Tsawwassen, the ferry port to Swartz Bay, Vancouver Island. Although a bus service from Vancouver to Victoria, Vancouver Island via ferry was available, I wanted to avoid a kind of package tour and was thinking it should be a local line for Victoria after getting at Swartz Bay.
Actually, however, there seemed to be no such things looking for information on the ferry. A man seemingly in his 50s was selling bus tickets from Swartz Bay. Soon I realised the bus was the one I passed in Vancouver and costed rather expensive than the whole route rate, but I had no choice than buying it. The ferry personnel helped me with getting my luggage out of the very bottom hold. What flexible they are! These things should never occur in the systematic Japan. The tickets selling man was later known that he was the driver itself. I thought Canadian companies are very good at earning money.
The bus went Highway 17 south towards Victoria. There were a lot of green vacant lots along the road, which seemed pastures. When approaching the centre of Victoria, passengers were getting off by famous hotels by twos and threes. The town looked up-to-date, despite of described as old and very English since many English retired people have been residing.
The bus driver didn't know the place of the Hostels International of Victoria. After getting off the bus at the terminal, I walked about searching for the hostel lugging my heavy luggage. People in Vancouver said Victoria is very beautiful with its water front, but I didn't feel that much; instead, I was surprised with enormous cherry blossoms in nearly end of full bloom. It overwhelmed in not only numbers of the trees but also bunches that of Vancouver. It was middle March, and it proved Victoria is surely located in souther than Vancouver.
According to guide books, Victoria was said to keep the streets and houses which remind of London. At a visitor information centre in the centre district I asked a girl, "I heard there is an area much like London. Though I've never visited London, I couldn't figure it out so far. Tell me where it is." "Oh," she smiled a little bitterly, "just here it is. It used to be, but that description might be old." I turned her a mischievous smile, too.
The centre of Victoria was small and quiet. Even though I had heard the majority of the residents were retired people, there were considerable young people. Other than the government and some institutes, there seemed no significant industries despite the fact that Victoria was the capital of BC. The young chatting in cafes didn't look like active. I wondered what pleasure they live for in this time machine town.


One of my enthusiasms during this travel was to fish around, and in Vancouver Island I had already found an idealistic sea fishing place, Flores Island, on Pacific Ocean side. Around 8:00 am I got on a TOFINO BUS, a coach, in front of the hostel and it arrived in Tofino early afternoon. On the way at the ferry port of Nanaimo, a White young guy with a bike joined. I greeted him but he wearing sunglasses didn't reply, furthermore whenever I accosted him on the drive on curious things outside he ignored me, even though he was happy to talk with the other White girls on the car. Interesting enough, hearing him he had less knowledge of the nature than me.


by tetsu95jp | 2007-11-12 08:55 | 4.Till Flores Island