Saturday, July 27, 2013

Houseboating on Shuswap Lake, British Columbia

Antonio Royal beached for the night
This time last year, my family had a reunion in British Columbia, Canada. We met up with our siblings and their families in Calgary, and a couple of days later, drove 5 hours to Sicamous, where we had rented a houseboat. My significant other didn't join us, and I don't blame him. We had taken a trip to Europe several months earlier, and he could not fathom being cooped up in a 60-ft houseboat with ten adults and 3 kids for four days.

We live on a boat after all, and one of our pet peeves is ignorance of boating safety. We have seen many boats overloaded with passengers, and not have enough life jackets for everyone. There have been many cases of carbon monoxide poisoning on houseboats in major lakes in  the U.S. Swimming or fishing near the fumes produced by gas-powered generators are deadly, and unfortunately, many novice boaters are unaware of these hazards. These issues were on my mind as I embarked on the Antonio Royal, our houseboat rental for four days.

Loading and shuttling our supplies to the boat
Houseboats tied up back to back at Sicamous Marina.
Enjoying the view of the lovely Shuswap Lake
Two and half men at work (securing the boat)
Please bless me with some fish for dinner

Checking out the environment
Fishing at the back of the boat

Testing their balances on a log
Frolicking in the water. Brrrr

Relaxing after a hard day's work of swimming and fishing
Shuswap Lake, Sicamous
Dinner around the campfire

Campfire, s'mores and music go together very well
After being confined to the small space on the houseboat for four days, everyone, I'm sure, was glad to be back on terra firma. Our next stop was Kelowna, two hours south of Lake Shuswap. The heart of British Columbia's wine country, Kelowna is also famous for orchards, u-pick farms and farmer's markets. Cherry was in season, so the next day found us picking cherries at a u-pick farm. We got carried away, and picked a $120 worth of Rainier cherries. A sweet ending to our get-together.

Sweet Rainier cherries
I like this. I could do this for a living.
Picking Rainier cherries at a u-pick farm in Kelowna

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