Saturday, April 27, 2013

Snowed in ---- again

We’ve been everywhere man.

We left the boat on a Sunday afternoon – 2 weeks ago tomorrow I think.  We took our time coming back to Saskatoon, arriving in time to run a focus group there last weekend.  The focus group consisted of 10 seventh grade teachers.  We were asking them questions in support of a project that Marilyn has landed for Ag in the Classroom.  Ag in the Classroom is a non-profit organization that works to create curriculum resources for grade schools all across North America.  Marilyn’s project is to develop material that integrates with the Grade 7 Social Studies curriculum with a general theme of Saskatchewan’s role in global food security.

After our focus group we hung around Saskatoon until last Tuesday when we ran another focus group with a bunch of industry AITC supporters.  After that we split up – I went to Regina and then to Buchanan – Marilyn went to Prince Albert via Regina.  Yesterday we finally connected again at our snowed in bus in Buchanan.

Snowy Bus trimmed

Today I got a path cleared so we can leave the car in the garage and then got the car into the garage.  We also got all the stuff from Marilyn’s house sitting gig unloaded from the truck and some of the stuff that is going back to the boat reloaded.  Tomorrow or Monday we’ll head west again.  We have to stop in Saskatoon for a meeting and to pick up the damncat.  Then if we drive like fools we can likely be back on the boat by Wednesday at the latest, maybe Tuesday night if we’re lucky.  I won’t miss this snow and cold weather one little bit.

Big Icicle

Just in the interest of complete transparency, I didn’t take these pictures and they aren’t current.  Michael took them over the course of the winter.  Things look a little better right now but not as much better as they should look at this time of year.  And in fairness to Saskatchewan, it has started to warm up.  Despite the snow covering the yard, today is actually shirtsleeve weather. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Oh dear

I’ve heard people that claim to have seen this but I think this is the first time I have actually seen an awning out in a Wallyworld parking lot.  If this is your rig SHAME ON YOU.


Walmart is kind enough to welcome overnight parking in most of their parking lots.  A big part of the reason we like shopping at Walmart is precisely because they welcome us in their parking lots but shopping at Walmart is no excuse for freeloading like this picture demonstrates.  Bums like this reflect badly on everyone who takes advantage of Walmart’s generosity.  And eventually they cause the neighbourhood to enact zoning that prevents Walmart from allowing overnight parking.

Meanwhile on another matter ……….

I’m sick and tired of hearing what a stellar job the Boston police did in the aftermath of the Russkie bombing at the marathon.  Give me a break already.

The two klutzski brothers ran into each other with stolen vehicles and thereby initially attracted the attention of the cops.  Then one brother ran over the other one which I assume at least indirectly lead to his early demise.  Perhaps some cop also managed to randomly wound him but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Then they launched a massive manhunt which drew in every cop and rent-a-cop for miles around and likely led to a crime free zone for all in the rest of the community.  After pissing away a day looking next door to where the wounded dude was hiding under the boat tarp they finally announced that the curfew was raised.  What wasn’t explicitly stated but should be obvious was that they hadn’t a single clue about where this bleeding Russkie was so they figured everyone might as well get on with their life.  Then the boat owner walked out, noticed that his boat tarp had blood on it and called the cops.  With that kind of a lead it should come as no surprise to anyone that even cops could solve the crime but wait ……….

Today they told us that even after the volley of shots that we heard broadcast which we hope were broadcast in the general direction of the boat, the near fatal shot was self-inflicted.  So when Vic Toews goes on CBC to blather about the wonderful police work in Boston it’s all I can do to refrain from puking.

Especially so since he should be praising the RCMP who actually did some stellar police work which just happened to conclude at roughly the same time.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I’m astounded

I didn’t think there would be so many NDPQ members with a brain.  Evidently 7.7% of the delegates must have voted against Mulcair.

I note that he opened the speech in French.  That was wise given his almost complete lack of support outside of La Belle Province.

Tomorrow the Trudeaulet gets crowned.  I got a call from the Conservative fundraisers last week.  The girl said they needed the money to deal with the shiny pony.  I said I thought Justin’s coronation was the best news Canada has received in years.  She sounded worried until I explained vote splitting to her.

Friday, April 12, 2013

That’s a very long dong

……… I’m sorry ….. I know I shouldn’t have but I just couldn’t resist.



Some names just don’t translate all that well.

We came home from Tod Inlet in the rain and fog today.  Along the way we stopped for a visit with our blind dockmate Currie who was anchored in Mill Bay to catch some prawns.  Fortunately he had a seeing-eye Bo onboard or he would likely not have known who we were.  I blew the horn at him as soon as I recognized The Mermaid and I saw him call Bo up from below decks to identify who was honking at them. 

On the way out of Brentwood Bay we “admired” some of the floating derelicts.  They’re getting to be a major problem down there.  No matter what one of my other neighbours says, a derelict is a derelict. 






Its really quite remarkable that some of them stay more or less on top of the water.  We had one tug in The Bay last winter that appeared to be awash and in the process of sinking but on closer investigation was actually so full of  foam that it couldn’t sink.  I suppose that might be a preservation technique – buy the local Walmart out of cans of expanding foam and fill your hull.  The downside would be less space to store provisions but at least your boat would float, mas o menos. 

Tomorrow we have to start buttoning Gray Hawk up so we can go back to the deep freeze for a few weeks.  The forecast is crap for the weekend but on Sunday there is a high supposed to form off Juan de Fuca and move inland.  With a bit of luck it will follow us east across the mountains.  Today would be a really bad day to be up on the top of the Coquihalla and an even worse day to be on the Okanagan Connector.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Todd Inlet

We’re anchored behind Butchart Gardens, stern tied in more or less the same spot we were in a year ago during Don & Darlene’s visit.  Its a pretty good spot which is why we came back to it.  I’m surprised that this basin isn’t full of derelicts – there’s enough of them close by that I would have thought they would have this place filled up as well.  As it is there’s only two boats here that look unattended and I wouldn’t call either of them a derelict.  Brentwood Bay on the other hand is chock a block full of boats that should be on the bottom of the ocean and that’s just around the corner.  You enter Todd Inlet at the bottom of Brentwood Bay and even the channel into Todd Inlet has several boats that are long past their best before date.

We ended up spending an extra day in Coles Bay because Tuesday was just such a miserable day.  We would have had to lift the traps in wind and rain so it was easier to just stay put.  As it was we had to lift them in a fair amount of wind yesterday but it was manageable.  There are a lot of traps in the area where we dropped ours which meant a lot of floats to dodge while we pulled our traps.  There was one particular white ball with blue writing on it that Gray Hawk seemed to regard as a homing beacon no matter where we started out.

Todd Inlet is a very sheltered spot but even so the wind was whipping through it yesterday.  Its sheltered enough that there are never any waves but the superstructure of the boat acts like a sail so we got bossed around a lot.  We had both the anchor and the stern tie to hold us in place so we didn’t move much but the sound of the wind whistling through the rigging was fierce.  We haven’t had a chance to talk to our neighbour yet but we think he dragged his anchor at dusk.  All of a sudden we heard his engine start and saw him pulling his anchor.  It seemed like a goofy time to be leaving but in the end he reset his anchor and when he shut down appeared to be in approximately the same spot he was in when we arrived.


I don’t think it was us that was moving.  Aside from the fact that we are stern tied, we have two GPS anchor monitors.  One sits beside the bed so I can wake up in the middle of the night and worry about our position  Last time I checked it said we were about 60 feet from where we dropped the Sarca.  Since we’ve got about 150 feet of chain out that seems believable.  The other one is in the picture above – our nav software, OpenCPN.  Its way over-zoomed but it sure doesn’t look to me like we have moved.  We’ve roamed around a bit on the end of the anchor chain but we’re pretty well right back where we started out.

We’ve got just about enough cell coverage to get online and make phone calls.  Both our phones work sporadically but not necessarily simultaneously.  The onboard booster that I spent so much time and money installing two years ago is a dismal failure.  I should yank it out and install a Wilson booster like we have in the bus. If anyone is considering a MaxSignal cellular booster DON’T.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Isn’t that cute …………..

……… it looks almost exactly like an anchor.


I caught hell in the Bay a while ago because my anchor was too big and too dirty.  For a few days we travelled with seaweed hanging off it this week.  I don’t mind either of those circumstances – we actually use our anchor.  And I sleep soundly at night while we are anchored. 

I do get a lot of entertainment while walking the various docks where we tie up.  Some of the jewellery that hangs on the bow of boats would be more suited to a schoolgirl’s charm bracelet. 


This big bubble boat is a perfect example.  Those rinky-dink CQR's would be more suited to our boat.  Right next to it is a gorgeous Selene 58 with a couple of very serious Deltas hanging on its bow.  You can usually separate the cocktail cruisers from the travellers by their ground tackle.

We’re tied up at the yacht club for another night after spending close to a week with some friends.  That took us to Ganges Harbour on Saltspring Island and then to Genoa Bay which is actually within sight of our moorage at Cow Bay.  Despite that proximity we have never been into Genoa Bay so it was fun to see what we have close to home. 


One of the things we have close to home is the little collection of hippies living on this floating city in the back of Genoa Bay.  I didn’t think it would be polite to cruise right up for a close look and photo opps but I sure wanted to.  I suspect we could purchase several illicit substances without much difficulty. 

We’ve got another week out here before we need to head back into the deepfreeze.  For those of you currently on the prairies – TURN UP THE DAMN HEAT.  And turn it up NOW.  Once we get back we’ve got a couple of weeks of work to do but then I think we can come back out here and likely stay well into early summer, perhaps even into mid-July.