How to Win Friendship Points in a Remote Community

Even living in the wild, amongst a community of 13, requires some unspoken regulations.  We don’t have a set of rules as to how many ornamental shrubs you have to plant in your landscaping, how tall a fence should be or when you can water your garden, nor do we care if someone has an ugly tarp lying around their property, a yard full of weeds blowing around or a driveway packed with rundown cars.  (well we don’t have cars out here… or roads for that matter) And you certainly won’t have a neighbor stopping by to encourage you to mow your lawn, but sending out a VHF radio call with a wildlife sighting, definitely increases your friendship points in my remote community.  I love hearing:

“Cadillac Fish, Cadillac Fish…this is Sea Rose.”

“Hey Yvonne, wanna go zero-eight?”


“Hi Nikki, I just wanted to let you know we’ve got dolphins out the front….”

“NICE!  You’re the best.  I’m on it.  See you out there!”

In a matter of seconds I’m flailing around looking for a camera, grabbing a coat and running down the walkway to my boat.  When you’re the first one on the scene it’s like paradise…just you and the splendor of the natural world.  Now there is a loop-hole in our wildlife sighting regulations in that it is totally legal for you to spend a few lengthy minutes alone without calling in the fleet.  And I will admit, when no one responds to my radio calls, I do spread my arms wide and give thanks for my beautiful moments alone with our wild friends.  Except of course when I see a cougar.  We have a blockwatch on cougars in my neighborhood and within minutes everyone knows one has been seen.  My “Sea Rose” neighbors had a big cat saunter through their front yard a couple of weeks ago.

Not all wildlife are required to be shared and I generally keep my late night phosphorescent boat trips to myself.  Zipping around at night with glowing dolphins leaping beside me and trails of bright green shots of liquid fireworks spraying all around is often just too magical and awe-inspiring to remember to follow wilderness protocols.  Even bears are like one big hairy neighbor, we may mention it a few days later in passing, but they don’t make the top 5 list for:

Wildlife you should VHF radio your Neighbors About

1.  Cougar

2.  Return of the Golden Crowned Sparrow (this little guy destroys our precious garden seedlings in early spring)

3.  Orca Whales

4.  Humpback Whales

5.  Dolphins

6.  Sasquatch (though the big guy has never been sighted in echo bay, if we had a local newspaper, this sighting would be front page for weeks… maybe months)

Now if I would just leave my radio on, which I rarely do, I wouldn’t have to experience my “Ahhh, no way, I”m so bummed…” response when I miss the call outs.