When Platy stowed away on Ellen and Seth’s sailboat Celeste he was hoping for a chance to see a polar bear, of course from a safe distance! Leaving Port Angeles on June 24, he enjoyed an easy putter down Juan de Fuca Strait in a rare flat calm. Then he sat in Neah Bay for two days, getting a little worried that his new people were clearly so exhausted from all their preparations. Fortunately they weighed anchor anyway, but into unsettled seas and overcast skies. Platy decided to stay in his bunk, not feeling so good after so long on land. . . .
Two and a half days later, things suddenly felt a lot more calm and quiet. Platy came inching up the companionway to see wooded mountains and a lighthouse off to port. No polar bears here, but what beautiful hills and forests! He could hear birds in the trees and spotted a sea otter not far away. Soon Ellen and Seth had the sails down and were pulling into what was clearly a Canadian government dock. Beyond lay a little boardwalk town in the middle of the wilderness. Platy nipped below to look at the chart and saw Celeste’s position last marked outside Winter Harbour on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. It wasn’t quite what he’d expected, but the adventure had begun! He couldn’t wait to leap ashore and explore!
The next morning Seth and Ellen moved Celeste to a nearby anchorage and went rowing up an inlet in the dinghy. And what did they find but bears! Not polar bears, of course, but seven black bears and two cute little cubs. Platy thought how silly he’d been focusing only on the polar bears and Arctic seascapes when there was so much to be seen in taking more time on the journey up north, and visiting the varied coasts of British Columbia and Alaska.