Bowers Away In Ballet Bay

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Meow at anchor in scenic Ballet Bay.

Ballet Bay at Nelson Island was our last anchorage of the cruise before we headed homeward. The shores are inhabited by human housing and our 5 vessel fleet was hard-pressed to find a good spot to raft-up that didn’t have an underwater (submarine) cable running through it. Last thing you want to have happen is the anchor getting caught on it. If you can’t free your anchor, then you might have to cut it loose. A bower is another name for an anchor carried on the bow of a boat.

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Anchor snagged on an underwater cable.

Actually 3 vessels in our fleet including Minstrel snagged an underwater cable while trying to retrieve our anchors. Even with beach signage or chart symbols displaying the international symbol of wavy line colored magenta or black trying to advise the location of cables, they can get out of position for many reasons. Luckily it was a thin television type of cable and fairly easy to bring to the surface to get un-snagged. However, boaters must be extremely careful  to not to break or cut cables, avoiding serious or even fatal injury if it whips free. Cables that carry very high voltage can prove lethal if they are cut. The tension weight of some cables can also affects the stability of smaller vessels with the risk  of sinking when attempting to raise them from the seabed. Damage to cables can cause serious disruption to communications affecting trade, international affairs, and safety at sea, or to some human’s favourite TV show.

IMG_3274Approximately 2.5kms north across Blind Channel on Musket Island was another geocache. Human mom didn’t have anymore pinback buttons to trade so she decided to use a youth sized t-shirt she had designed for a squadron initiative that said “I Got Caught Wearing My Lifejacket”. The geocache description said that the container had swag that was meant for boaters, and this seemed very fitting.  Both humans hopped into Jester the dinghy because this time human dad wanted to help find it. The location was breathtaking. At the top of a broad rock face was the marine park sign and the cache was easily found near it. Mom traded the t-shirt for a brand new fishing hook, but didn’t have a pen to sign the log book. Meowee, that makes 3 geocaches my trackable fish tag has visited on this cruise.

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Contents of “Musket Island Marine Cache” geocache.

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Good Sport in Squirrel Cove

IMG_3006IMG_3010They say the early bird catches the worm, well the early fisherman catches the fish, and my human dad caught three today! Pink salmon that is and I couldn’t be more tickled. Coming over to Squirrel Cove shore paid off. After he cleaned and  cut them into freezer size portions for us to enjoy later this year, he saved a big piece for tonight’s dinner. I told him not to put his fishing gear away because I wasn’t sure we had enough and he’d need to go fishing again, and he quite agreed with me.

IMG_2987Our next adventure was the little island that human mom wanted to take me back to that I had been on 2 years ago as a kitten. A small, no tree mound of rock and moss that every boater with a dog takes their dog too. It didn’t really bother me as a kitten, so why would the humans think it would bother me now. We got into Jester and left Minstrel, which was a little unnerving to say the least, and then circled the island to find the best spot to disembark. As soon as the bow touched, they lifted me up and over onto the island. Before I could determine if  I really wanted to be there or not, human mom sent dad back to Minstrel to get her special boat shoes which she forgot to bring, so there was no getting off the island any time soon.

IMG_3025I IMG_3023set about to explore, and climbed to the top of the island. I could see Minstrel anchored a short distance away. I think it would be safe to say that not many other, if any, kitties have been on this island before. Therefore, if you recall my prior post that involved a fire hydrant, it seemed just and sporting that I left my mark, on doggy-doo island as I’m now calling it, before I left it.

Tomorrow we are heading back to Prideaux Haven to join up with the squadron for the weekend. Unfortunately the clouds are pressing in again and the forecast is not looking good…more rain is a coming.

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Bumpy Ride to Garden Bay

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Comfortable in my carrier on a bumpy Salish Sea.

July 31st we left on our 2 week “Northern Sea Cruise” with the Port Moody Power & Sail Squadron. Our first stop over was in Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast, one of our traditional stops on the way out, and back again on the way home.

It was a beautiful day but the Salish Sea was bumpy and the ride was rough. I don`t fare so well in those conditions and I tend to drool  and have other bodily reactions that are not befitting to mention of a cool seafaring cat such as myself….and it`s a 6 hour cruise. My human mom scooped me up in a blanket and took me outside to the upper helm deck. Even though the motion is more noticeable there, at least there is fresh air. I sat quietly with her for a couple of hours and then they brought up my carrier for me to lie in. Once we passed through Welcome Pass, the waves had started to subside which helped immensely. I was slowly feeling better and getting my sea legs back.

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Entering Pender Harbour, BC

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Waiting for the rest of the fleet to arrive at Garden Bay Marina in Pender Harbour, BC

To state the obvious, I was quite relieved once we were tied up to the dock at Garden Bay Marina. A few chews on my oat grass and I was feeling back to normal. We are here for a couple of days before heading out to our next stop. If you`d like to see where we are or have been, check out My Geocat Map. Mom will also be looking for any nearby geocaches and taking my trackable travel fish tag along to visit them. =^,,^=

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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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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.


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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.

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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.

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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!

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Two of Me-ow

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

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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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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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All Is Naut Lost – Part I

Writing 101, Day 4 – Today, write about a loss. The twist: make this the first post in a three-post series. (Part II, Part III)


Meow my furiends. The topic of this assignment couldn’t be more purrfect. It’s so amazing how the catzmos works at times.  I was trying to figure out how to start telling this true story about something remarkable that happened to my mom but it’s a bit long so  breaking it up into parts solves that problem. Continue reading

Sea of Blue

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On the way home I was feeling a little blue that our sea-cruise was over. I loved the extra attention bestowed upon me by the humans, not to mention all the treats I received. I will miss my new furiends Tank, Skipper and Cloe, and my humans when at their jobs away from home and me, who were once just a tail-swish away.  The freedom of boating has allowed me to become a lot more accustomed to being outdoors, and it’ll be a pain to go back to window sitting….(MOL, silly cat humour!)  Continue reading