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Craving an Extremely BC Holiday? Read These Stories

Seven wild and wonderful Tyee tales of living big in British Columbia.

David Beers 26 Dec

David Beers is founding editor of The Tyee.

This year The Tyee invited British Columbians to share with us their Extremely B.C. stories. Treasures poured forth, tales of wildly and even weirdly testing the limits in this amazing province we call home. In case you’ve missed one or two, we’ve assembled them here for your end of the year review. (And in case you have one of your own to share, the note at the end tells how.)

Dad’s World Was My Refuge, Until the Wind Storm Hit

Sofia Osborne loved visiting her father on the far edge of Saturna Island where he’d made a home that felt perfectly aligned with nature. Until nature vent its fury on Dec. 20 of last year, uprooting trees and forcing the two of them to make a run for safety.

Hurling Our Marriage Down Crazy Mountain Roads

Mary Leah de Zwart recalls harrowing rides down steep logging roads, the favourite sport of her husband, who’d known only the flatness of the Netherlands growing up. Was he driving the two of them closer together or sending their love into the ditch?

I’m Trying to Catch a Kamloops Trout with a Hall of Fame Fly Fisher. No Pressure

“There’s loads of trout in here,” shouts Mo Bradley. “Loads!” So why can’t noted environmental journalist Mark Hume catch even one? Maybe because Mo Bradley is the master fly fisher who a half century ago helped develop new tactics for catching famed Kamloops trout.

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Knocked over by force 10 winds on Dec. 20, 2018, a tree blocks East Point Road about 100 yards from the Saturna Island ferry dock. Photo by Ingrid Gaines.

‘You Are Basically Naked in the Ocean’

What’s it like to swim from Sechelt to Nanaimo? Meet Jessi Harewicz, B.C.’s homegrown open-water swimming megastar. Did we mention she shuns a wetsuit? Who needs it, she decided, the time she decided to take on the English Channel.

A Beachcomber’s Love Story

Sam Lamont was a rugged version of a B.C. pirate — a log salvager back when the getting was good. Anne Clemence fell in love and together they plied the coast aboard their good boat Vulture. Relive the glory days of beachcombing through Anne’s colourfully recalled adventures.

Dive through Sharks to a Volcano 100 Feet Down? Sure, Watch This!

Deirdre Leowinata likes to swim as deep as she can go without an oxygen tank. So it’s a given she’s no shrinking violet. But the day she broke her record off Haida Gwaii by descending to a volcano top deep below the ocean surface, the blue sharks swarming all around made this dive particularly, ah, interesting.

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Deirdre Leowinata on a deep dive off Haida Gwaii without oxygen.

Picking Up the Mail: Life on the Wild West Coast

If, like Karen Charleson, you live in Hesquiat Harbour, getting your mail means a boat trip spanning Clayoquot Sound that can take hours. So what happens if you show up in Tofino without your mailbox key? The time she learned how tough are Tuff City’s postal workers.

Do you have an Extremely B.C. true story to share? It could be amazing, terrifying, sublime, hilarious, life changing. We publish interview-based pieces like the one above, or first-person memoirs. If your story is great, we might talk to you and convert the conversation to an ‘as told to’ written or audio piece. In that case send an email telling us the basics of your tale. If you prefer to share a video or audio piece, please do. We can’t guarantee we will publish every one, but we promise to get back to you. Send it to info (at) thetyee (dot) ca with the subject line ‘Extremely B.C.’ And yep, we pay!

Happy holidays, readers! Our comment threads will be closed until Jan. 2 to give our moderators a break. See you in 2020!  [Tyee]

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