KUNAMOKST - West Coast Mural Mosaic

Helena Ball


Three for the Show

Panel before
Artist Comments:On one of our many trips to the west coast to visit family and the spectacular scenery my husband and I happened upon an outlook point about 20 miles north of Ucluelet. There were coin operated binoculars and you could look at sea lion on a small rock island. We were very excited but realized that we couldn't take any photos from that distance. I was very excited and said if I could get closer maybe I could use them in a painting at some point. My husband, ever the problem solver, quietly drove to Ucluelet and rented a 14 foot aluminum boat with a 25 horsepower motor and two tanks of gas, and we headed for the open sea. He had spent a lot of time at the lake so he felt confident he could make a bee line straight for the sea lion island. The 10 food swells didn't present a problem for him. The swells got progressively larger 20 feet and then 30. Soon we were climbing them with all our might, navigating what seemed like moguls on top and then surfing all the way down the other side. We would see a ship at the top of the swell and than not see it again for 10-15 minutes. We also noticed there was and airplane circling over head. My husband seemed to be enjoying the challenge – I was hanging on for dear life. Just when I really thought we should turn back we found the sea lions on the island. My husband focused on riding the swells on the leeward side of the rocks and made several passes close enough to smell and hear them well. I was thrilled. I have no idea how I managed it but I finished a roll of film and re loaded and took another roll. The picture used in this mural was from that series. Some of the sea lions had slid off the rocks and were in the water with us. All of a sudden the big bull dove into the water with a tremendous splash and landing close to our tiny boat. It was time to head for home. Upon our arrival at the boat rental place we were severely >reprimanded for going outside the protected cove and told that the plane was the Coast Guard! No harm done except I think I my have cracked the seat from repeatedly hitting it with my butt.