Coal Harbour, B.C.
May 28, 1944
Dear Mom and Dad --
Glad to receive your letter. I was surprised to receive it in so short a time. You sent it on the 25th and it arrived here yesterday. The mails arrive in camp late Wed & Sat nights so we get them on Thurs. and Sunday mornings. I could probably answer you just as fast but this won't go out until Wednesday afternoon to meet the boat. Sorry to hear you were having such bad weather, right now it is a little dull here, too, but as a rule the sun is terrific. I am brown all over, I wish the ocean was a little warmer though, so we could swim. Three of us rented a gas boat yesterday afternoon for 75¢ an hours. We were out for a little over two hours so it was an inexpensive trip. We explored the bays and inlets for about 7 miles of the coast further inland. We got to a place called Marble Bay and were going to explore Marble Canyon, which is supposed to be something to see, caves and Indian burial grounds, etc. We had to turn back so as to be in time for supper and work so we didn't get to our goal. We had a hectic time for a while with the rocks, tide, & shallow water. We were afraid for the boat. We rented the boat from an old chap they call "Billy". He has a small dock & boat-house and several row-boats, canoes, and motor boats and he makes a living out of renting them. No matter what he charged, it would be cheap to us for the enjoyment we get out of it. He has one big fishing boat that he asks 1.50 an hour for. Six of us are going to get it some day and go to a place called Port Alice. To do so we have to go through a channel called the narrows and the tide is like a boiling river there so we should have some fun.
We don't need the Spectator to hear about the war. We have radios. Two chaps have them in this room. I heard about the Valleyfield, all right. Lucien Guilbault, a French chap in our crew lost a brother on it. I am glad to hear Tad Tapson is all right. He is younger than I am, isn't he?
I am sorry to hear about Aunt Clara.
Yes, we get shows here although some are pretty poor and some are ancient. No, Coal. Harbour is no town. There is just the cabins of the married personnel, a store, a telegraph & post office, and a little hotel. People going to Vancouver from the surrounding district dock here and go by an old bus to Port Hardy where the boats come in on the east side of the island.
The 24th of May was just another day out here.
That's too bad about the Moose Hall. A lot of companies used it for banquets, etc.
I am not surprised that you cannot find Coal Harbour on the map for is pretty well buried in the jagged west coast of Vancouver Island near the northern tip. You ask, have I been to the mainland yet. Pardon me while I laugh. I can't even get to the east side of the island and we don't get any 48's here. You have to have at least a 72 hr leave to get to Port Alice, a little pulp mill town about 17 miles toward the sea. We are 28 miles from the sea here.
From the sound of it everyone is pretty busy down at the lake now.
That's too bad about Carl. It seems to happen to a lot of couples though. Look at Audrey and Mickey.
I had a swell letter from Cliff last week and he sent mea clipping of Roy Miles marriage. I hope they don't bust up. I notice one thing up here and that is that every chap that goes out on leave seems to come back engaged or married. I guess being isolated for so long does something to them.
I still haven't gotten anywhere with my leave. I had a letter from Aunt's B. & E. last week and they sent me a cartoon about a fellow trying to get leave. He's just another joe-boy until he tries to get leave and then he becomes indispensable.
Well, I had better close now and answer some of these other letters I have. Hoping you are all well, so long for now,