During the summer of 2003 Dad and I spent a week together a small skiff with an outboard motor fishing the archipelago on the North tip of Vancouver Island near Port Hardy. We had our good fishing days and we had our bad fishing days, however, the most memorable experience from that trip started one foggy morning. We departed the floating lodge just as we had the preceding, considerably sunnier mornings. The land faded quickly as we sped out into the cold, drenching fog. Learned from a series of previous fog-fishing calamities just back across the border on the Olympic Peninsula years before, Dad cleverly brought a GPS unit, a relatively new arrival to the commercial market.
As we disappeared into the grey, monotonous fog Dad’s attention immediately turned downward to his GPS that would guide us to our destination. The intent was to travel a significant distance to the outer rim of Islands, passing through a series of island chains, in the Canadian Archipelago. I sat contently in the front seat watching Captain Dad, one hand on the outboard, other firmly on the GPS (along with the full extent of his attention) take us further and further into the grey soup. After 45minutes to an hour, almost all of which Dad had spent glued to the GPS, faithfully guiding 10-15 miles. Rarely did his attention stray from the small, yellow electronic to quickly scan the horizon. Attentive at the bow of the small skiff, I served as our trusty lookout watching for logs, land, or most importantly, fish.
After 60 minutes of the outboard motor droning along finally a glimpse of land began to emerge from the fog. As we came closer a structure became distinguishable…and then…as Dad remained glued to his newfangled GPS guiding us to our destination we got a clear look… at the SAME FLOATING LODGEwe had departed from an hour earlier. At that moment, after a second of confusion be both burst into laughter as it became painfully clear that Dad had zero idea how to work his new GPS and we had spent an hour making a big circle rather than honing in on the outer ring of islands that were our destination.