Padre Island: peace, tranquility and fabulous fishing

In shoulder season on the Gulf of Mexico coast in Texas, you can catch your fill of fish, enjoy the locals – or you can just sit back and relax

Padre Island: peace, tranquility and fabulous fishingPadre Island is a long spit of sand dunes guarding mainland Texas from the destructive tornadoes and winter storms that pound in from the Gulf of Mexico. Between this narrow barrier island and the mainland lies Laguna Madre, a shallow hyper-saline sea renowned for sensitive sea grass – and world-class kite surfing, birding and fishing.…

Taking a broader, ecological view of Venice

How many of us think of the Venetian lagoon and its imperilled circumstances when we imagine a trip to Piazza San Marco?

Taking a broader, ecological view of VeniceVenice has been a feast of art, archaeology and escape for tourists since it began to attract them in the 15th and 16th centuries. But it is under attack. One of the world’s first cities to be founded almost exclusively on the conduct of financial transactions, its promotion of mercantile capitalism led the way to…

Travelling with Greta Thunberg in mind

Living with your environmental choices and the ones others make for you while on the road

Travelling with Greta Thunberg in mindWe must reckon with the environmental impacts of our personal travel decisions in this time of climate crisis. For us, it was our current trip – to hike in northern Italy with friends, just after my wife’s retirement and, coincidentally, climate activist Greta Thunberg’s trip to New York from Sweden on a sailboat – that…

On the edge at otherworldly Mount Assiniboine

The wonder of Assiniboine’s infinite blanket of brilliant white snow is like a dream you can’t wait to return to

On the edge at otherworldly Mount AssiniboineMT. ASSINIBOINE, B.C. – We have always been told that silence is golden. It turns out, it is not. Silence is pure, blinding white. It surrounds you with countless tiny crystals of powder-dry snow, trillions and trillions of little sound baffles that snuff out any sound other than the crunch of your own footsteps, the…

Discovering an island of mummucknees in Nuchatlitz

When Capt. James Cook first arrived in this region, the Mowachaht were also surprised that the white men lived without women. “How was that, people wondered?”

Discovering an island of mummucknees in NuchatlitzIn early March of 1778, Capt. James Cook sailed the Royal Navy sloops Resolution and Discovery into Nootka Sound looking for water, solid timber to replace some broken masts and spars, and new lands to claim for King George III. At this point during his celebrated third expedition of discovery, the ships and crews had…

Paddling along B.C’s outer edge

Nuchatlitz offers a shallow lagoon system, dotted with islands, encircled by rocks and pinnacles with names like Danger Rock, Nuchatlitz Reef and Blind Reef

Paddling along B.C’s outer edgeThe route to Nuchatlitz Provincial Park is as involved as the destination is rewarding. First you have to drive to Zeballos, a somewhat forgotten mining and logging village on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, home to about 300 well-defined West Coasters. Then you pay the Cedar Lodge boatman $200 each for a (return) tin…

Reliving our past, aboard kayaks

We're heading out on a lengthy kayaking expedition once again, 20 years after our paddles last broke water and we slept under canvas on a remote beach

Reliving our past, aboard kayaksChaos reigns in our front yard. Our two old kayaks have been pulled out from their slumber under the house and their hatch covers pulled off under a blinding summer sun. Spiders are creeping out of bow and stern lockers. The old Kevlar paddles have been found in the garden shed, along with ancient plastic…