Motion Monday: Swan, Dog, Duck, Goose!

This year Easter was early, and with it was my human mom’s birthday and our first cruise of the year. (Since she forgot my birthday we don’t really need to know about hers.) Destination Union Steamship Marina on Bowen Island is about a 2 hour journey for Minstrel from our marina in Port Moody. About halfway there we’d left the more sheltered and calmer waters of Burrard Inlet and became exposed to the Strait of Georgia when I suddenly didn’t feel so good.  My human was watching me for “the signs” and as soon as she saw them, in true mom style she whisked me up in a blanket and sat outside in the fresh air with me. After about an hour I felt so much better.

IMG_5016IMG_5030We were there for four weather perfect days. Although my human dad didn’t win the Crabmeister contest, he didn’t disappoint either with a decent catch of both crabs and prawns. He’s my Easter bunny hero. The boats on either side of us had dogs. Peaches was on our port side and Tank was on our starboard. Except for when the dogs left for walks, I mostly behaved and stayed on our boat and greeted all who walked by. My furiend Krypto the yellow (but white) lab was there and came over to say hi, and I also met a new furiend, a white husky whose name I can’t remember but was very interested in meeting me since apparently she’d never seen a cat before. She seemed nice and was a big hit with all the humans.

IMG_5049IMG_5019I spent much of my time on the anchor board, my favourite place at the bow of Minstrel, watching the shore or whatever flew or swam by in front of me. I saw several ducks swimming by who didn’t pay any attention to me,  but what did notice me was a big bird I had never seen before. My human call it a swan and his name is Oscar. He lives at the marina and is not shy around humans, probably because of all the treats they give him especially after they hear the sad story about his mate dying. He seems friendly enough but he does make me feel a little nervous.

Last but not least are those annoying geese. I was trying to take a nice little cat nap when a big ruckus started up outside. The honking of one goose I can handle, but when there’s four of them, I had to go out and let them know I wasn’t impressed. Geese can be very noisy especially during mating season. The worst part was the strange long drawn out ohms between honks. My human thought it was rather funny and took this video.

Our next cruise will be the long weekend in May and close to home. I hear there’s going to be a Gilligan’s Island costume theme with a 3 hour dinghy cruise scavenger hunt. In the meantime, I’m still hoping to get some more votes during the BC SPCA 2017 Calendar Contest, and there’s one more week left. A big thank you to those that donated and voted to support a very good cause including my friend and cat mom Ellen Pilch.

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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.


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Flags on the SS Nia

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Floating Wreaths

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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.

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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.

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PMPSS Penguin Plunge Raft-Up

 

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Green Boating

Photography 101 Day 11, Colors can stir emotions within us, tell stories, and transform our images. Today, use one color to add life or drama to your shot.


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Pop of Green Floor Sign, Vancouver Boat Show

 

For over fifty years, the Vancouver International Boat Show has been, and still is, one of the best ways to find the latest & most innovative boating products on the market. For a modest entrance fee, boaters have access to free seminars put on by boating experts including hands-on skills training, and free 30-minute power or sailboat rides to get a taste of the boating life. The Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons is there too teaching boaters about being safe on the water. 

What about keeping the water safe? In our boating play ground called the Strait of Georgia (or Salish Sea) on the Pacific West Coast, which provides us with some of the most pawsome cruising waters in the world, there are over 350,000 boats! Meowee, that’s a lot! And we need to make sure we minimize our impact on it especially in high use areas such as marinas, anchorages and marine parks. Boat shows are a great venue to learn more about sensitive areas, birds, fish and other critters that depend on our waters. The Strait of Georgia Alliance puts out a Guide to Green Boating. As a green boater, you pledge to:

  • Manage your sewage responsibly.
  • Take care when fueling.
  • Use bilge filters or bilge pads.
  • Maintain your boat.
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products & bottom paint.
  • Dispose of all wastes properly.
  • Keep learning.

The next Vancouver International Boat Show will be held January 21-25, 2015 at BC Place Stadium and Granville Island. Our squadron has added the boat show as a cruise destination to our cruise schedule.  The marina we dock at is nestled on the waterfront of the vibrant Yaletown neighborhood and is a daytime hub of activity in the southeastern part of downtown Vancouver. It’s surrounded by parks, patio restaurants, urban apartments and modern condos of residential towers with spectacular views. The Vancouver sea wall passes right along by the marina and is one of the docking places for both the Aquabus and False Creek Ferry routes to Granville Island. All the amenities of gracious urban living can be found nearby, from the gourmet markets, yoga establishments and public transit, to the busy nightlife and boutiques. Our members have a lot of fun there and I really look forward to going, and you can look forward to my report on anything to do with boats and furiends.

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Seamarks – Aids to Navigation

Photography 101 Day 7, Landmarks are everywhere: iconic places, meeting points, markers on a map. Today, consider a unique point of view as you photograph a landmark. These landmarks on a map can be famous and instantly recognizable, or sometimes they’re simple markers to help us navigate.

Monochromatic


 

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Sutil Point Starboard Light and Bell Buoy, Cortes Island, BC

A variant of a landmark is a seamark, a structure usually built intentionally to aid boaters navigating featureless coasts. These aids to navigation are very important for keeping furiends safe on the water. They are used to indicate channels, dangerous rocks or shoals, mooring positions, areas of speed limits, traffic separation schemes, submerged shipwrecks, and for a variety of other navigational purposes. Some are made to be visible in daylight only (daymarks), and others have some combination of lights, reflectors, bells, horns, whistles and radar reflectors to make them useful at night and in conditions of reduced visibility. Marks are shown on nautical charts, using symbols that indicate their colour, shape and light characteristic, and usually have a name or number identification.

Lateral buoys like the one pictured here are used to mark the edge of a channel or hazards. Until 1980 there had been 30 different buoyage systems. Meowee, how confusing that would have been.  Now, for historical reasons the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) combined them all into two different schemes used worldwide, differing primarily in their use of the colours red and green for two regions (A and B). Region B is the Americas (where I am), the Philippines, South Korea and Japan, and Region A is everywhere else (where Bailey Boat Cat is.)

In nautical terms,  humans call the left side of the boat “port”, and the right side “starboard”. The colours red and green also represent the sides of the boat. Red is starboard and green is port. When heading upstream (against the current) in Region B, green buoys must be passed on the left side of a boat and red buoys must be kept on the right side of a boat. In Region A, it is the opposite.

The Sutil Point light and bell buoy pictured here is almost a mile off shore near the extremity of the rocks and shoals that extend off the southwest end of Cortes Island. Getting up close to some of these buoys can prove interesting because many birds and other sea life like to rest or perch themselves on it.

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The Raft-up Connection

Photography 101, Day 6: In today’s world, we’re more connected than ever. How will you capture our theme, connect, through your lens? There are many ways to interpret this theme: from a gadget to a handshake, from a bridge to a gathering among friends. What’s yours?


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Prideaux Haven Raft-up, Desolation Sound, BC

These are typical of our squadron’s raft-ups, where the boats are connected to each other, and our members connect with each other, and nature. Other boaters have (jokingly) commented that we look like a small city, and all things considered, I guess perhaps we do especially at night with our underwater lights, music, BBQ smells, toys, and laughter.  We are the most fun group on-the-water. But make no mistake, we are very serious about safe boating. (Mom wants you to know that even though there are no sail boats in these pictures, we do have members with sail boats,… just not in these photos.) You can see our boat Minstrel, fifth boat from the left.

My humans had a disagreement about these two photos. Although they agree both represents the theme, the dad human hates the sun rays effect in the 2nd photo and mom thinks it’s really cool. It’s not an applied effect, it’s natural. Mom noticed that when using those online photo editors, some of them have a “ray” effect that can be applied so others must like it too… or maybe it “depends” when it works. What do you think?

The mom human played around with the exposure (brightness, contrast, shadows, and highlights) to try to make the photos “pop” a little more…at least that’s what she said she tried to do.

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Commander’s Sail Past Raft-up, Bedwell Bay, BC

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What Were They Thinking?

Writing 101 Day 19 Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.


I really liked the Point Of View assignment back on day 9 so I thought I’d to do it again. This photo was one of my choices I had considered using for that assignment and now I’ll use it for this one. I was even playing around with the idea of making this a recurring blog feature…is that too silly?

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The Derelict Vessel Mrs. Pauley

Writing 101 Day 18: Craft a story from the perspective of a twelve-year-old observing it all. For your twist, focus on specific character qualities, drawing from elements we’ve worked on in this course, like voice and dialogue.

Prompt: She had seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley had been grounded there since before anyone can remember. She’d fallen in disrepair and no one knew who her captain was. The Harbour Authority, accompanied by C-Tow, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the coast she’s served on for forty years.


They’d come for her. She’d been called a derelict, an environmental and safety hazard, and she had to go. The grownups were tired of her, “an eye soar unbecoming to a budding resort marina”, they said. With so much talk about her over the years, I felt like I knew her, yet I knew nothing about her except that I felt sorry for her. She had an unusual name for a boat. It was a couple of years before I realized she was a boat and not some neighbour my parents were bad-mouthing. Then all the comments suddenly made a lot more sense. I had always thought that Mrs. Pauley was some poor old lady who had been abandoned by her husband after fourty years, and having no where to live  she camped on the beach without power, or water taps, and had to wash up on the shore. Continue reading

All Is Naut Lost – Part III

Writing 101, Day 16 On day four, you wrote about losing something. On day thirteen, you then wrote about finding something. So, today’s twist: If you’d like to continue our serial challenge, also reflect on the theme of “lost and found” more generally in this post. (Part I, Part II)


It had been less than 24 hours after mom lost her wallet and she had it back in her hands, intact. Standing out in front of the Superstore in Campbell River, John started telling the humans how he made the connections that led to him to finding her. John was the volunteer Nautical Days Food Booth Coordinator, and had returned to the park that morning. The locals were there too with their metal detectors…the finders of metal stuff…and it was they who turned over the wallet to John. First off he checked the wallet for any identification cards. A driver’s license revealed who she was and that she lived on the mainland. Instantly he knew it was going to be next to impossible contacting her over here. Scanning through the rest of the cards he came across her Canadian Power & Sail Squadron membership card. On second thought, as he looked up and surveyed the marina directly in front of him, maybe it wouldn’t be that difficult . “Of course”, he said to himself and headed towards the crisscross maze of docks.

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All Is Naut Lost – Part II

Writing 101, Day 13: Earlier in the course, you wrote about losing something. Today, write about finding something. For your twist, view day four’s post and today’s post as installments in a series. (Part IPart III)


Can you believe that, about an hour after discovering that her wallet was lost, mom had the phone number in hand of the person who claimed to have found it. One of their fellow PMPSS members, whose boat was ironically named “No Worries”, had been contacted via VHF Radio and was given the name and phone number of someone named John Mang to pass along when they saw her. So then the humans just had to figure out when and where to arrange a meeting. Continue reading