Sunday, December 9, 2012

O Canada!
By Michael

Reading this blog here, you likely missed the vitriol that erupted on the Cruising World site when I last wrote about Canada. Of course, the post was tongue-in-cheek, but that escaped some. Check out the comments
The girls hanging with our resident swan.
There is also a resident harbor seal.
A single, simple holiday card: standard size, less than an ounce. Do you know what it costs to send that thing from Canada to the U.S.? C$1.05! Do you know what it costs for someone in the U.S. to send the same holiday card to a friend in the Great White North? $.85. That’s quite a discrepancy; now you know why you’ve never received a holiday card from a Canadian.
But forget international rates. In Canada, sending a letter domestically costs C$.61—and next year it’ll be C$.63. Yikes! You gotta love our U.S. first class domestic postage rate of $.44. These poor Canadians have it rough.   
But consider that the U.S. the postal service lost over five billion dollars ($5,000,000,000) last year (and they'd have lost more than $10 billion had Congress not allowed them to postpone an annual payment to a health benefits fund) and that they’re begging Congress to increase the postal rate and cancel Saturday delivery. (And as Rueters reported in August: “Lawmakers, who have said they are committed to helping the Postal Service become profitable, left last week for a month-long recess without reaching an agreement on postal legislation.”) In Canada, taxpayers are not going to have to bail out Canada Post because it earned a net income of over C$281 million in 2009 and it’s closed Saturdays. (And it’s not as though Canada Post has it easy. It delivers to a larger area than the postal service of any other nation, including Russia, where service in Siberia is limited largely to communities along the railway).
Sure, U.S. fiscal responsibility is waning nowhere to be found, but what’s a cruiser to do? Well, I stood out in the cold rain yesterday, soliciting passengers boarding the Coho for their ninety-minute trip to Port Angeles, WA. I clutched a Ziplock freezer bag stuffed with over a hundred Robertson holiday cards, each displaying the 44-cent forever stamp. After a few passengers made me feel like a terrorist or drug smuggler asking them to do something illegal, I finally found a sympathetic crewmember in the terminal to agree to drop them in a mailbox Stateside for me. That’s practically money in the bank—that someone’s going to have to pay back someday.
The girls went to watch the salmon run at a nearby creek.
Of course, the salmon die after spawning and there are
carcasses everywhere. Here a naturalist shows Eleanor
and Frances (between them are the Riki Tiki Tavi kids)
a salmon heart. She dissected the thing for them. 


  1. As Canadian sailors, we truly enjoyed your posts about us:)) My husband and I had a pretty good laugh:-) We live on the border of that french speaking province Atlantic side (you should come some day it is worth it ) Amazing and funny people! Of course we love our country and we think it is a wonderful place to live. Great people and great scenery. But, we also enjoy having Americans as neighbors, without you there wouldn't be any good movies to watch! keep writing about Canada you are putting us on the map:)))

  2. I started a comment back when you wrote those oh-so-terrible things ;-)... but decided I couldn't match your humour (that's "humor" but I guess you're figuring the spelling thing out. (Oh boy, that should really mess the kids up.))

    Have enjoyed your blog for a while - - still do. How does one know when you are being serious vs tongue-in-cheek? (How about: if you don't like it, it must be tongue-in-cheek?)

    SV Pelagia

  3. According to Caden (after reading your article together), if Mike is talking (or writing, in this case), it's pretty much assured he's kidding. "That's his thing, Mom. He says stuff like he means it, and you're never really sure. But really, he's just telling a joke. Like when he used to say he knew that Eleanor and I didn't like ice cream or that we wouldn't want to ride any rides at the fair." He has you pegged, my dear!


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