Last weekend Straitwatch North set up an outreach booth at Port Hardy’s annual community event, Filomi Days. The name “Filomi” is a union of Fishing, Logging and Mining, the three main resource-based occupations of many Port Hardians.
With a little help from our friends Jake and Yvonne at Living Oceans Society, I was able to set up our skookum tent to keep our display materials safe from Saturday’s downpour. Despite the dreary north Island weather, there was a great turnout. The parade was a highlight, featuring local groups such as the diehard North Island Canucks Fan Club and the Super Mario Brother’s Kids Club. DFO’s Fisheries Patrol zodiac made an appearance on dry land as well.
On Sunday, we were blessed with what seemed like our first day of summer. This worked out swimmingly for contestants in the build-your-own-boat race. My favorite vessel was the dolphin catamaran, which made good speed.
Unfortunately, there were a few sinkers, including (not surprisingly) the boat built on cardboard pontoons.
The sunshine also made for an enjoyable day at the outreach table. Our educational games were a hit with the kids. We had non-stop visits from locals and visitors alike who had myriad whale stories and questions. It was a great opportunity to get the word out on the Be Whale Wise Guidelines, as well as to get a taste of the Port Hardy party life.
By Elke van Breemen, Straitwatch North Outreach Coordinator