A Tweet For Volunteers

I was having a such a peaceful little cat nap when I was rudely woken by a little birdie tweeting loudly in my ear. Seems my human left the laptop open and I fell asleep on the keyboard after a little internet surfing that ended on Twitter. Glancing sideways at the screen unamused, my ears perked to attention when I recognized the above quote was tweeted by the Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons (CPS).

My humans are members of CPS; volunteers themselves for the past eight years now. They know full well the countless unpaid hours that they and the other dedicated volunteers have put into increasing awareness and knowledge of safe boating. Untold time and energy is invested into educating and training members and the general public, fostering fellowship among members, and establishing partnerships and alliances with organizations and agencies harbouring boating interests.

I rarely volunteer any of my tricks without receiving some kind of treat for doing them, but for humans, if not for the money, why do they do it? Apparently humans have deeper needs so they volunteer for an endless variety of reasons such as to:

  • gain experience,
  • acquire new skills,
  • meet new humans,
  • expand their network of contacts as a way to get a new job or start a career,
  • give back to their community,
  • help a friend,
  • promote a worthwhile activity,
  • feel good.

IMG_2771

Last week our squadron hosted a local shoreline cleanup event registered with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup which is one of the largest environmental activities in Canada, and third largest in the world. Leading by example, my humans along with many other CPS members making up the over 50,000 Canadian volunteers, removed in a combined effort approximately 140,000 kgs of shoreline litter before it could get into the water. Meowee, aquatic life everywhere thanks you!

Whether discarded accidentally or deliberately, all shoreline litter is the result of human activities. Have you ever visited a beach the day after a public event such as a fireworks show? It’s disgusting! The amount of garbage left behind is staggering, and some of it ends up in the water by wind or wave before any cleanup efforts can get underway. Shoreline litter can significantly alter the sensitive balance of ecosystems and is particularly dangerous for marine life by way of entanglement and ingestion, which can lead to restricted movement, injuries, and even death by drowning, suffocation or starvation. Marine debris is a problem for all of us. It affects everything from the environment to the economy; from fishing and navigation to human health and safety; from microscopic plankton to giant blue whales.

It’s seems quite strange to me that garbage is made up of items humans consider worthless. However, according to a survey from a litter study in 2009, it costs over 11 billion dollars in cleanup and abatements…every year! That’s just in the United States of America alone, and Canada can’t really be all that different, never mind all the other countries in the world wherever humans live. I’ve also learned that the oceans have toilet bowls the size of Texas containing confetti size plastic bits and other debris that just won’t flush. Yes plural because there are apparently about five or six of them around the globe. I really don’t think there’s enough money in the world to pay for it’s clean up let alone the cost of repairs the damage it’s presence is causing. Now more than ever, all humans need to voluntarily clean up their act, and that my furiends would truly be priceless.

=^,,^=


Writing 101 Day 5: One of the goals of Writing 101 is to tap into new and unexpected places for post ideas. Today, let’s look to Twitter for inspiration. Today, write a response to a tweet. Shape your post in any way you choose — agree or disagree with the tweet, or use it as a starting point for a story, personal essay, poem, or something else. Visit Twitter.com and enter #quotes in the search field, which will display tweets with this hashtag. Find a tweet that intrigues you.

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.


003

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.

=^,,^=

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?


IMG_4315

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.

301

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

=^,,^=

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.

Continue reading