Remembering Triumph

Photography 101 Day 20 Today, let’s bump up the contrast for a bold take on triumph. Triumph usually denotes drama of some sort, no matter whether it’s big or small. Playing with contrast is a great way to enhance your photos for a more dramatic effect.


Flags on the SS Nia


Floating Wreaths


Spectators at the PMPSS Dockside Remembrance Day Service (Panorama Mode)

 Using outdated 19th century military strategy, Allied generals believed that sending wave after wave of infantry would eventually overwhelm the enemy. Soaring casualty rates proved that soldiers attacking with rifles and bayonets were no match for German machine guns. Each side dug in and soon the Western Front became a patchwork of trenches in France and Belgium stretching from Switzerland to the North Sea.

In April 1917, Canadians helped turn the tide of battle when they won a major victory at Vimy Ridge. This triumph came at high cost: more than ten thousand casualties in six days. Even with this victory, the war continued for more than a year. Finally, on November 11, 1918, the Armistice was signed and the Canadians took part in the triumphant entry into Mons, Belgium. Throughout this conflict, Canadians proved that they could pull their weight, and by their effort earned for Canada a new place among the nations of the world.

Veteran Affairs Canada Website

Every year on November 11th, our squadron puts on a very moving tribute at Belcarra Park dock to remember our veterans who fought for our freedom. Historical war-time recordings including a Winston Churchill’s speech, bagpipes, and prayers are played over a loud speaker system setup on one of our member’s boat. Another of our members is a pilot with the Snow*Flake aerial formation team, and they flyover our gathering in the “missing man” configuration. After the ceremonies, all attendees are invited back into the covered picnic areas for a chili and hot dog lunch.


Double Takes

Photography 101 Day 19 Today, you and your camera are seeing double. Double can be interpreted in many ways. Your twin sisters. Your neighbor’s two poodles. Your vision during a dizzy spell. Your doppelgänger.


Two of My Boat Furiends: Shylo and Shyan (Mother & Daughter Border Collies)

It’s not too often we see Shylo and Shyan sitting still. Being border collies, they are usually quite active and the docks are usually quite crowded with humans and other furiends. This moment in time, mom caught them on camera and they became part of our squadron’s 2014 Pets & Wildlife calender.


Two Inukshuks, Roscoe Bay, Cortes Island, BC

When the humans first visited Desolation Sound back in 2005, a couple of years before they joined PMPSS, they ventured into Roscoe Bay on Cortes Island for a couple of nights. On the way out, mom glanced to shore and saw these two Inukshuks perched on a large boulder… in the middle of nowhere it seemed! Rushing to find and then position her camera, she managed to use the zoom feature to take a quick snap before they had rounded the corner out of the bay.


Two Baha Lights On Our Dinghy “Jester”

The humans really like the Baha style lights on the roll bar of the dinghy they call Jester. None of the other squadron members have them, and it makes Jester look really sporty. One early evening the humans went gunkholing in Squirrel Cove (also on Cortes Island) and entered a mysterious looking lagoon. The entrance to that was really quite shallow and they even scraped bottom a little going through. Now this was what the silly humans found out later were called “reversing rapids” where the water always rushes into the lagoon on the high tide, so trying to leave the lagoon against the rapids at that time proves very difficult, which it was, and as the evening darkened into night, the humans were really glad to have those lights!


Two of Me-ow

Just a meowror mirror image of myself…there’s a play on word poem in there somewhere!


Out on a Ledge

Photography 101 Day 18 Today is all about straight edges, and tweaking your image to ensure your lines are perfectly positioned. Today, show us an edge — a straight line, a narrow ridge, a precipice.

Minstrel has many ledges and edges that I love to explore. My territory is contained within them. From the bow to the stern, the brow to the dash, I find where the best advantage points are to survey my surroundings, or to take a nap.  I love looking down the sides of Minstrel. The lines of her narrow side walkways reach back and forth to the edges of the world, and beyond.


Wordless Wednesday: Time to Reflect

Photography 101, Day 17 Incorporate a form of glass into your image to add a layer of complexity. We’ve practiced shooting at different angles and from unique POVs. How can you interact with glass to create an interesting photo?



Inside or Out?



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Photography 101 Day 16 Show us something (or someone) you cherish, and get up close. Get close to your subject — either use the zoom function in your camera, if it has one, or physically move closer to it.


Fish Travel Tag and TFTF SWAG Buttons

I can meow without a doubt that my humans cherish me more than anything. They even want to hang ornamental pictures of me on the Christmas tree this year. I have a few things I cherish too like my stuffed mouse and tweety bird, but mom got me into geocaching this summer and I really treasure my OceantagZ fish travel tag. Being born in late February makes me a Pisces, so the fish tag is a purrfect match for me.

What makes this fish tag so special is that it’s trackable. That means that all the places it’s been to can be marked on a map with a little icon called a waypoint. There is a website called that records the GPS coordinates of millions of hidden treasures around the world and each time mom finds me a geocache, she logs that my fish tag was there too. Mom could put my fish tag in any geocache and let other geocachers move it around the world, logging each location it get’s moved to…but she’s afraid of it getting lost. That happens sometimes. Instead it’s setup as a “collectible” and stays with her.

Mom started organizing geocaching treasure hunts for our members to play on our boat cruises this year.  You never know what treasure you will find in a geocache. Toys mostly: Match-box cars, lego bits, plastic animals, coupons, Kinder Surprise toys, feathers, bottle openers, key chains. Mom once found a band-aid which really came in handy because clumsy her got an owie and needed one. Some are too small to hold anything, but they always have a log book or sheet you can sign. If you find a trackable with a mission, you can take it out and move it to another geocache. If you’re lucky and are the first to find a new geocache, the owner may have put a “first to find” geocoin of some type in it. There are hundreds of different geocoins which are highly collectible, and trackable too. Some geocaches are part a series and when you find them all, you can send in a form to receive a custom geocoin reward.


Ocean Suncatcher Geocoin

One rule of etiquette is that if you take some treasure from a geocache, you must trade it with something of equal value. To help spread the word of safe boating, mom had some “Thanks For The Find” (TFTF) pin-back buttons made up with our PMPSS logo on them as starter SWAG for our members to trade. Mom had heard the term SWAG before but didn’t realize it was an acronym for “Stuff We All Get”. She’s now in love with designing her own pin-back buttons and is in the process of buying her own button making machine. At our next Change of Watch awards night, mom will award the member(s) who finds the most geocaches with a beautiful “Ocean Suncatcher” geocoin.

Of course where there is treasure, there is also trash. To help keep the trash out of the oceans and our beautiful parks, consciencious geocachers take it upon themselves to remove any trash they find while treasure hunting.  It’s an ongoing environmental initiative aptly named “Cache In, Trash Out” (CITO) that is supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Mom has a geocoin to award for that too.

What’s the best treasure you’ve ever found?




Finding a Geocache “Treasure Chest”


Motion Monday: My Agility Course


Fence Jump: 8 T’s, 3 x 2 ft PVC, and 10 x 4inch PVC pieces

My agility course is finally taking shape. I now have two tunnels, weave poles, and a fence jump. The new jump and weave pole obstacles were supurr easy to assemble. Mom bought three, ten foot lengths of one-inch diameter PVC tubing which were about $5.00 each from the hardware store. You could ask the store to cut them up for you if you don’t have an electric saw. Then fourteen one-inch PVC T’s at about $1.50 each were required to join the pieces of tubing together. Fourty dollars including tax and 10 minutes later, that was it! Done!

For now we have to work around the rolled up carpet in the middle of the room. It’s for our second 26 foot power boat we have named WOFTAM. I haven’t ridden in that boat yet because it’s my human dad’s work boat for his business, and now it’s getting a little much needed TLC.


Fence Jump: Adjustable Height, 1, 2 or 3 rails

This was my first course run through. You can see in the video that I’m going to need a lot more practice. Mom is going remove one more of the jump rails and make it lower. I don’t usually have feathers on my target stick, but there was a hockey game on in the TV room where my dad was, and it was very loud and distracting. So mom stuck the feathers on to get my attention and it worked….maybe a little too much. This week we’ll focus on the weave poles to show you next Monday.  Have a great week and paw paw for now!





Ornamental Selfies

Yesterday we starting decorating Minstrel for our annual Santa’s Christmas Ships cruise. More on that in the coming weeks. I told mom she should use the circle gallery type this time because they make my selfies look like Christmas tree ornaments. She likes the way they look so much that she’s actually going to print a few and hang them on the tree! Hope your Sunday is an easy one too.


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Strait Up Black & White Seascapes

Photography 101 Day 15 It’s a big world out there! Show us what you see in a landscape. We’ve spent time practicing our establishing shots, capturing street scenes, and observing the natural world. Today, let’s walk in the footsteps of masters like Ansel Adams and focus on landscape photography.

Desolation Sound, BC

Bedwell Bay, Indian Arm, BC

Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer and environmentalist. His black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park, have been widely reproduced on calendars, posters, and books.


Some pawsome seascape views of the Pacific West Coast. The coastal mountains and majestic fjords of the Pacific West Coast can reach up to 7,000 feet from sea level, creating some very layered and stunning backgrounds. While I consider these serene shots to be in direct contrast to the hard and dramatic scenes typically captured by Ansel Adams, hopefully they still follow the “straight photography” style that he pursued.

SPOILER ALERT!…Today furiends, the second photo was taken my human dad…meowee! He likes taking pictures too, and his Bedwell Bay, Indian Arm, BC photo (the colour version) will be featured in our PMPSS 2015 Seascapes calendar that my human mom published with the help of the membership who supplied their photos.

Happy Caturday!


A Swarm of Swimmers

Photography 101 Day 14, It’s a swarm! Show us something that overruns your scene, but observe and compose carefully before you click the shutter. Don’t just point and shoot. Observe your scene closely before pressing the shutter. Spend time watching and planning your frame, so that you can take a photo that captures a unique moment in the larger scene.

More than 400 participants of all ages (many of them sporting crazy costumes and some wearing almost nothing at all) signed up for the annual New Year’s Day Penguin Plunge in Burrard Inlet under dry skies and a balmy 8ºC temperature.

“It was a great day,” said event organizer Nicki Forster. Forster believes the plunge has become a huge event in the community.

“It’s the community getting together to celebrate the start of the new year,” she said, noting it wouldn’t be possible without help from the City of Port Moody.

Nancy Scott of the Pleasantside Community Association, which hosts the annual tradition off the Rocky Point Park pier, said about $1,000 was raised for the organization through registrations and refreshment sales. Pleasantside Community Association is a fundraiser for the Old Orchard Hall.

2 of our PMPSS members also took the plunge this year and jumped into the frigid waters from the 5 vessel raftup halfway down the pier. If you missed your chance to get wet, the association intends to hold another Penguin Plunge to start 2015.


PMPSS Penguin Plunge Raft-Up



Me-ow in Motion

Photography 101 Day 13 Capture a fleeting moment and experiment with blur and movement. Slow down your shutter speed: set your camera to “shutter priority mode,” so you can set your shutter speed, but let the camera auto-select other settings, like the aperture, to ensure proper exposure.

Fleeting moments of eternity

Seen in motion all around us

Quickly fade and disappear

Soon passing out of sight

Without some focus

Image becomes

A blended



Clearly, we need some more practise purrfecting this technique! We put the camera into TV (shutter speed priority) mode, and set it to 1/13th and changed the ISO to 80. The camera will automatically select the aperture. Then mom physically “panned” the camera with my movement to try to keep me in focus while the rest of the frame blurs when the shutter button is pressed. We will probably still delete ones that are all burry (just plain bad focus), but now understand better what purpose some blur serves and how to control it better. We do have a tripod and will make more use of that too, although we didn’t use it for these shots. Next time. Here is my favourite picture (not mine) of a cat in motion:

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