Alliford Bay, B.C.
Jan. 31, 1944.
Dear Mom and Dad --
Received your letter of Jan. 16th., glad to hear you are getting mine. How are you all? I am fine. By the way, how is Uncle Lin. I had to laugh at your query about my "long leaves". They simple do not exist. We get one day off a week on which we do the washing and straighten things up a bit, and a 48 every six weeks during which if we are lucky we might get a boat ride to one of the camps or villages on Graham island. It is even different for chaps on furlough or annual leave to make Rupert. The Hecate Straits are one of the rougest waters in the world. I have seen fellows start no less than a dozen times by aircraft & by boat and have to return and wait for clear weather here or over at Rupert, wherever the storms happen to be.
I am surprised to hear that Dick Blaney is in Rupert. I write now and then to the boys I know over there.
No doubt by now you have my letter I wrote when I received the tools. I had a letter from Jim too a short while ago.
Today, I received three letters. One from Aunt Doris, from Alex MacDonald at Sea Island, Van. and one from Mary Louise Anderson. By the way, that sure is a swell picture of Joyce. I will send it right back. That was not so good about Jim's parcels, was it?
I don't think it will matter about the state of your friendship with Fearnleys if I visit them. Anyway, I only intend to see them and scoot down to San Francisco if & when I get out. In Mary's letter she [?] if I get leave at all I should at least try to get home, but gee whiz, I have been waiting ever since I joined up to get the chance to see this coast. Now I am undecided as to what I shall do. Anyway, I can't get out until after April 1st, so I have a while yet to think about it.
Your letter does make me wish that I could be home again to go to the cottage with you & Dad. By the sound of it, Nature is still defying Mr. Krantz. I wish I could be skating on the bay with those crowds you saw, though Mary says it is too mild for skating now.
Yes, it is nice having my own little shop and it is quite a responsibility. I got 300 new plugs in yesterday as we are getting 3 more aircraft soon, that will bring us up to eleven patrol bombers. With 56 plugs to an aircraft, I think I shall need a helper soon. The one thing I don't fancy so much about it is working inside all the time. I think when I have another month or two in as "Sparky", I shall try to get back with the boys.
That was too bad about Audrey Duncan, wasn't it.
I always enjoy reading about the two Jimmies.
I guess that was a good thing for Mrs. Heath to get a companion.
Well, I have written Jim, and you now, but I have yet to write Aunt Doris, Mary, and Alex and then I will be caught up at last.
Hoping you are all well, so long for now -- Joe
P.S. If possible, could you send some underwear shorts like I always wear. Issue stuff not much good.