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Here’s the full story of our little “bear encounter” story (as I now know it) from when we were kayaking in Desolation Sound from August 3 – 6th:

Friday and Saturday night we stayed on a little island. Sunday we packed up and paddled and were trying to go to Grace’s harbour. The day before we missed the lake we were looking for – on the accounts of an old map. So we missed Grace’s harbour too. We instead paddled into the next inlet (called Lancelot). It was pretty deserted. We finally found a place that had a beach line (the rest were rock face), and we put in. There was a small clearing on top, you can see the top of our tent in this photo: 

That we put our tents on. I was concerned from the beginning about animals because it was so remote and no one was around.

Around 9:30pm the one boat that was in the little bay, this one: 

came over to chat to my parents and told them that years previous they have seen bears in the area, but that was in September. They offered to put our food on their boat. But we had already stashed it along with anything smelly high in a tree). We kept everything out of our tent but ourselves and our sleeping stuff.

We all went to bed by about 10pm. I must have fallen asleep. Around midnight I woke up to a big yell (I thought it was in my dreams at first). I guess my Dad had heard something and yelled (to scare it off). A couple times my parents came out of their tent (which was only about a meter and a half away from ours). They told us it was just sea otters (though they had heard something more and did not want to let us know). The tide was coming up so then also heard the boats move/crash on the beach.

Then around 1:30am or so I heard crashing in the woods behind my parents tent (but more off to the left) quite a few times. I asked my parents what it was and they said I don’t know.

2am I gave up and snuggled up to my husband, who I was for once very delighted was snoring – because made me only hear him and not all the other noises.

3am I woke up to my parents chatting, and don’t remember drifting off again, but I must of.

3:30am I woke up to my husband yelling over and over at the top of his lungs, sitting up in the tent, and frantically pulling and grabbing at me to pull me towards him. I started to scream as well. The first thought I had was “the bear is upon us” and squeezed my eyes shut and grabbed onto my husband. We stopped yelling (my parents also started yelling at exactly the same time – they must have heard the same thing).

(My husband’s version – which he did not disclose to me until we were safely at home Monday night was: He woke up, I was sleeping. He looked at my side of the tent (across from his, and the side that was in between my parents tent and ours), and saw a large animal leaning against the tent (yup it was most likely a bear). He thought it was sniffing at something (it was not being violent or trying to get into our tent or anything nasty we think). My husband started to yell, grabbed at me (to get me away from the side of the tent), and the animal must have moved off (shaking our tent – which I sort of remember now when I thought the “bear was upon us”).

Then I said why were we yelling? And my husband asked what was that, and my Dad said THAT was a bear.

I wanted to get out of the tent and go to my parents. My husband said no, stay here (not knowing or actually haven seen the bear, thank GAWD!). Then Dad said ok lets all go light a fire. So we all got out of our tent to light a fire on the beach.

We waited until dawn, and at first light around 5am we went and grabbed our tents to pulled them down to the beach, where the tide was now way out. My husband and Dad had a snooze while Mom and I stayed up to stoke the fire:

Then Dad got up and Mom and I tried to nap.

We wanted to leave, but the tide was so far out, that we were not able to. As soon as you went past a certain point you’d sink in clay like sticky mud. We packed up and waited and were able to move out by 8:45am.

I had nightmares for a couple weeks about it! It really bothered me. I’m sure I will soon put it further away in my memory though 😉 I wanted to document this so I would remember and others going to Desolation Sound, try to stear clear of camping in Lancelot Inlet.

It has now been one month since I started work back in Human Resources. As in most jobs I have my challenges, but there are many pluses too. For the most part I am enjoying it. Sort of gotten used to waking up early. Lloyd is helping me a lot by trying to keep the same schedule. Makes it that much easier to get up at 6:30am.

I am taking my ‘flex’ day today and have joined my husband at Northern Voice Conference in Vancouver. I was not initially going to take a flex day, but I work the extra hours anyway I might as well get the benefit. And it is wonderful.

We are staying with friends on my husbands this weekend. Due to lack of my planning most of mine who live in Van are busy or ill. I will attend sessions tomorrow at the conference. It is about blogging. I wanted to attend so I could share some of what Lloyd is passionate about. Oh the techy world! Feel like I am back in a mini Silicon Valley, it is nice to see some old faces from SF.

One thing I find difficult about blogging is receiving criticism about what I write. People telling me I should or should not write about something. I write my opinion and how I feel. And perhaps I am too honest on my blog sometimes. However these interactions discourage me to write – so that is why you have not seen posts from me for a while (as because of new job and being busy with house hunting). Perhaps I will learn something about that in this conference 😉

I found the below “talking cat” video on a Krista and Sharla’s new site (in my blogroll), and being a cat lover, I laughed so hard that I had to share it with everyone else, so I have posted it here as well. Currently we are living with my parents who have managed to house 5 cats under their roof (cat sitting turned cats living with them)… a photo of three out of the five is below (the black one is Gusto, Daisy is in the middle, and Lucifer is our grey “mini lion” at the back of the photo):

I had all this time when I was down in California, now back home it is completely the opposite, I find myself wishing for more hours in the day. Particularly to visit with friends and family friends (I am living with my family so I see them all the time;). I was so excited to be home to have my friends around, and now that I am here I am swamped with school work, all of a sudden it is two and a half weeks into the semester! (how did this happen?) So I wanted to apologize to all my friends for not calling as often as I should since I am back in town. I am taking 4 classes, but two of which have are sciences with 3 hour labs so I feel like I might as well be taking 6 courses. I am also trying to fit in volunteering in at Saanichton elementary school!

Also living at home, we do not have the chance to entertain as we do having our own place. We had quite a few dinner parties in Mountain View that we really enjoyed, I wanted to do that here, but it has to be timed with my schoolwork and with my parents leaving the house, which is more than tricky, to not likely. On top of this Lloyd just started his new job and is busy getting up to speed so as I am swamped with school work, as usual he is swamped with work. I look forward to the future where we have our own place and can invite people over to dinner and maybe have marginally more time to enjoy my precious friends I haved miss so.

The first week of classes was interesting. It was more like a fashion show! All these girls walking around in their short mini skirts. It has cooled down a bit with people starting to get to work in classes, though I often hear people in my classes giggling about a cool party, or visiting each other in the dorms. I feel dated and old. Though with my baby face most professors think I too am a first year. I found out today that I am the same age as my Lab instructor who is working on his PhD. *sigh*

I have completed my correspondence course I was doing in California. I wrote my final exam the weekend after the first week of classes. I just got back my final assignment mark, and will probably have to wait for another 4 weeks for my final exam mark. I just checked the website and found out that my final grade has been posted, I managed to pull off an “A”, but I was one percent away from an A+, grr, oh well.  The final was a little unfair, some questions not on anything the course focused on. Oh well it’s over, and it means that I can know focus on my classes at UVic.

We finally received our stuff from the movers about a week ago. They called us when we came into town, and as most of you might remember from a previous post that I anticipated trouble because of what the customs lady told us when we entered through Blaine in the wee hours of the morning. We were told we only had $750 each for all goods that we aquired into the USA. We got to customs in Victoria (accompanied by our movers with our list of belongings) and the customs officer tells us that we have completely the incorrect form. We are given a new one, on the new one it said something to the effect “all goods that we are bringing in we’ve used for 6 months time”, and “this does not include bridal gifts”. It also has our departure and entrance dates on it, previously she told us it would not matter unless we have been away a year. It really could not have been more ideal (considering the first situation!). We signed the form, and were out of the office within 10 minutes. As we left the office we looked at ourselves pleasantly surprised (esp. with all the bureaucracy I have personally gone through at the border, this was the best yet!).

They delivered our goods that same day. We got a little slap on the wrist because the truck was way to big to be fitting down our street, we should have had to pay another $300 for them to load and deliver our stuff on a smaller truck, not wanting to incur the extra expense we took a chance. The movers were again quite pleasant. Here is a photo of the fancy driving they had to do to unload:

So far we have found nothing extremely damaged, but we are not unpacking most of our stuff until we have our own place.

I read the an article in the Globe & Mail this morning (click here for link to the article) , it was on the front page.

Daily dose of multivitamins cuts birth defects, study says

What I found interesting was that they recommend that ALL women of child bearing age taking vitamins as most pregnancies are unplanned, and the birth defects occur in the first trimester. I do not want to get pregnant now, but eventually (not for another couple years) I do and this would be a good per-cautionary measure. I find it shocking the rate it decreases birth defects by. I do however think this study pertains more to other parts of the world, but if it helps everyone why not, Canada still has 45.5 birth defects in 1000 births. Being a women who is already concerned about her fertility and birth defects (perhaps all women are), why not help out the odds?