Have You Seen Any of These?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Farewell to a Friend

Derk Schaupmeyer 1945 – 2010

Losing a long time dear and close friend is never easy. Saying our final goodbyes at “the center of the universe” as Derk called Stubbs Island, with family and a few friends was special and peaceful.

My boat, SaltWash was out of commission, so our trip from Telegraph Cove took place on the Stubbs Island Whale Watching vessel Gikumi, thanks to Jim and Mary Borrowman. An evening that had rain forecast was calm and dry.

Just as we entered Weynton Pass, a few Dalls porpoises took the lead by zipping back and forth at our bow as our escort. This was significant, for Derk had enjoyed Dalls porpoises bow riding so much in years before. Just as we came to mid passage, there was a blow from a Humpback whale locally nicknamed Freckles. Wouldn't you know it, Freckles was nicknamed the year Derk was visiting the area, and I believe is the one he managed to photograph. We stopped for a moment to watch.

Continuing towards Stubbs Island a Minke whale was spotted feeding in the tide rips. Then came the Sealions on and around “the center of the universe”. Considering how short of a distance we had covered, it was impressive to have this varied and number of animal sightings. We all felt Derk's presence.

With the tide and current just right, the engine was turned off and we drifted. Even the raucous Sealions became quiet as we said our goodbyes and raised a glass in a toast to Derk.

As we drove out of Telegraph Cove back to Port McNeill, we had the opportunity to view a couple of coastal black bears feeding on berries. There were still a few other animals we could have seen, but these were certainly significant in Derk's life.

Goodbye dear friend, may you rest in peace.