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 Using outdated 19th century military strategy, Allied generals believed that sending wave after wave of infantry would eventually overwhelm the enemy.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”


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!


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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Building Memories In Black & White

Photography 101, Day 12 Study architectural forms, and also train your eye to look for shots that will translate well in black and white. As we explored yesterday, color is a powerful element in photography. But let’s not forget black and white, or monochrome, which can be very dramatic! Black, white, gray, and shades in between interact in the frame in dynamic ways.

Boating around in False Creek one day (before I was born), mom took some photos of these two iconic buildings in downtown Vancouver, BC…Science World and BC Place Stadium. These places hold a few special memories for her. About 15 years ago, mom and her human sons, along with several hundred others human boys and adult leaders, slept in Science World overnight once as part of a Scouts Canada event. It got a little crazy she said, but was a lot of fun. A night she’ll never forget. Unfortunately none of the photos she took that night turned out.

BC Place stadium is home to the BC Lions football team, and in 2011 Vancouver hosted the 99th Grey Cup game. The humans cruised downtown in Minstrel and partied all weekend long during the festivities. It also got a little crazy, but was a lot of fun, and the Lions ended up winning the championship! With mom’s help, dad managed to get all the pawtographs of the Felion Cheerleader Dance Team featured in their calendar, which he gave to his nephew for Christmas. Meowee, they shore are purrdy fur humans! Vancouver is once again hosting the Grey Cup at the end of this month. Unfortunately the Lions aren’t in it.

I helped mom choose the black and white settings for today’s theme. We didn’t realize there were so many combinations of black, white, gray and monochrome! You can click on the photos for a larger view. We hope you like the results.


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.


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.


Caturday Art: To Cat a Mystery

Photography 101 Day 10 Show something uncertain, and manipulate light around you to enhance the mood of your image. To stretch yourself, manipulate the light available to you to create a particular effect — use it to cast shadows and highlights to create a moody image.

Painting with light. Dusk – the golden hour –  finally arrived and mom had us out on the deck . She tried a several shots, but it wasn’t until she turned to go back into the house that she spotted my shadow on the stucco wall. I decided I would sit still long enough for her to get her fill. She took a few with her iPhone too, but they look just like these. Can you spot the flaw(s)?



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