Greetings to all from Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater
island in the world, located at the north end of Lake Huron, in Canada's
North Channel. Maria and I are both having a GREAT time and.AirWaves has
performed VERY well with only one minor electronics problem that we fixed
in Charlevoix; our depth gauge was NOT working more than it was and it was
an electrical connection that our engineer, Dan Griffioen, would have EASILY
Boat traffic and tourists in general are both significantly LESS than
last year at this time. The economy in the US and Canada, the SARS scare
in (mostly) Toronto, and the ever expanding fear of West Nile Virus (mosquito's
are the size of crows up here!) have ALL taken their toll so far this season.
Ow.don't forget Canada's "flirt" with Mad Cow Disease and a recent flare-up
of Legionnaire's Disease, Canada's FEAR of the monkeypox coming north
from our Midwest and the aggressive Carp coming up the Mississippi river,
and.get this.(and I'm not making this up I promise).sharks from Greenland
coming up the St Lawrence River into Quebec. Good God.throw in a locust
invasion and a little Black Plague and we can bring back Moses and name
the 21st century the Old Testament! I wouldn't go so far to say Canadians
are paranoid but yesterday I saw a guy in a white uniform stop at the marina
and a Canadian boater instantly coughed and dropped his pants; it turns
out the guy was the Good Humor ice cream guy.(just kidding!).
On top of everything else.Canada's health care system is on a respirator
(they may need you soon Carol!), their national airline is in bankruptcy
and the pilot's appear to want to get NO paycheck by rejecting salary reductions
rather than accept a lower pay scale, their biggest trading partner (that'd
be us as in the U.S.) hates them and the feeling's mutual at the moment,
and the Ducks reached Canada's Holy Grail, the Stanley Cup finals. Thank
God Hasik is coming out of retirement and wants to return to the Detroit
Red Wings, the "adopted" team of Canada; trust me.that's ALL EVERY Canadian's
talking about the past few days and is taking the sting out of all the
other "nasty" stuff on their minds.
The Canadian capital, Ottawa, is responding to all this with good
news."don't worry, be happy, smoke dope!" Canada's about to legalize
marijuana possession that's only a misdemeanor right now anyway.
What Canada needs right now is a Great marketing effort and it can
start with a little "spin" on SARS; those masks everyone's wearing in
Toronto? They're "extra's" in a re-make of Zorro! Or.they could call
the new film that our very own WKZO's Dave Jaconette would favorably review."Zorro
meets Jaws" which would explain all those "fake" sharks coming up the St
Then.we have the ubiquitous (smile Dennis and Steve!) "marketing"
campaign dreamed up by some ad agency that's the advertising equivalent
of that renowned Canadian sports cry."GO FOR BRONZE!" The ad line that
Canada's spending 7.5 (US) million bucks on radio (at least they're using
the right medium) and newspaper? "LET'S TRY CANADA!" I'm not making this
up, honestly.that's the slogan. The ad says."given the economy and worldwide
uncertainty maybe this is the year to try Canada." Now.I've been out of
the daily office routine for almost 4 weeks at this point but who in their
RIGHT mind would use a "let's try Canada" slogan? Oh.and while Canadian's
are not clubbing baby seals yet (Canada IS in hot water for the biggest
seal hunt in 30 years) some U.S. environmental group is actually running
a print campaign that says."Let's NOT try Canada."
Then Canada has the naked motor home driver that's attempting to drive
across all of Canada without being arrested as he's trying to promote nudism
as a way of life in the great white north.
I tell you.the excitement is TOO much to take; Maria and I are going
sailing! Seriously.we're having a GREAT time and enjoying our northern
The attached picture was
taken last evening looking across the bay here in Gore Bay after the late
afternoon rain storm. This IS paradise!
Bill & Maria
PS: we've met a retired (mid 50's) U.S. doctor here in Gore Bay (he's
now our "best bud") who looks EXACTLY like Jimmy Buffett.only in Canada!
Plus, his daughter, Tracy Murphy, is opening for the re-born 80's rock
band Blondie tonight in Washington DC so.music runs not only visually in
the family but in action as well.