Time on the Water

Hands up! Who has been on the M.V. Native, also known as the Paddlewheeler Riverboat that cruises the Fraser and Pitt Lake? This is one of my favourite New West things to do and it’s one of the things I’d put on my “New West Score Card” for visitors and locals alike to check off. If you haven’t been, you need to go. The owners, Doug and Helga Leaney, are two of the nicest people you’ll meet. 27 years ago, they started this local company with a single boat, and now they offer two boats – the M.V. Native, a 100 passenger replica sternwheeler built in 1988 and the smaller M.V. Beta Star, a 40 passenger catamaran better for cruising shallower waters such as in Pitt Lake.

They offer a lot of really great pre-programmed cruises, many of which are family-friendly, as well as custom designed private charters for family reunions, weddings, corporate team building, and community events. They’re flexible and open to new ideas, too, like this Pitt Lake Bike tour they’ve introduced this year. Continue reading “Time on the Water”

Monthly Theme: Joy


Last Christmas I bought cards to send to my family and friends in other places and they were emblazoned with a single word across the front – JOY – and adorned with gold gems and a healthy dose of glitter. They were very pretty, and I liked their simpleness. I wrote out all my cards, popped them in the mail, and didn’t give it another thought. Three months later, one of those cards was returned to me in the mail. Seems I’d addressed my friend’s card incorrectly, and for whatever reason it took three months for the card to find its way back to me. The Christmas moment having long passed, I decided to shred the card, but felt I should pull the plastic gems off the card to recycle separately. As I pulled the card out of the envelope, the big gold JOY hit me smack in the face and I stopped in my tracks and thought “What is joyful about today?” It was March then, a bit grey and drizzly, but I managed to list off a few things that were bringing me joy that particular day. It put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

Since then I have often found myself stopping for a moment, and asking myself, “What is joyful about today?” There are many days when I am really stretching it to find something joyful: “a hot cup of tea at just the right moment” isn’t exactly monumental stuff. But if that particular day has been filled with technical difficulties in your job, a cat that woke you up at 4:30am demanding to be fed, a lost permission slip, and a telemarketer who interrupts the dinner you are eating hurriedly despite burning it… well, that cup of tea IS joy. Continue reading “Monthly Theme: Joy”