Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Our frame of reference has changed ……..

…. with regard to travel. 

When I was a kid we lived 27 miles west of Prince Albert which still isn’t a very big city but certainly was no hell of city then.  Nevertheless a trip to P.A. was a seriously big deal.  We didn’t go very often, likely less than once a month.  Trips to Saskatoon were at best bi-annual events.  Today 27 miles is nothing. 

We woke up Monday morning in Buchanan.  Tuesday night we went to sleep on Gray Hawk with just over 2000 km showing on the Exploder’s trip odometer.  And it didn’t seem like an arduous trip.  We didn’t leave Buchanan until well after 8:00 Monday.  We fiddle farted around in Saskatoon with meetings and shopping and picking up the idiot cat from storage.  We didn’t sleep in the truck which we have been known to do – we actually sprang for a motel room in Canmore.  Then we stopped to do some shopping in Abbotsford and again in Langley.  And finally we caught the 5:45 ferry to Nanaimo out of Tsawassen.  We were actually in the line for the 5:00 ferry to Swartz Bay but missed it by 4 vehicles so rather than waiting 2 hours we pulled around and traded our ticket for the Nanaimo sailing.  All in all it was a thoroughly pleasant couple of days but we did cross 3 provinces in less than 48 hours.

Today was a provisioning day and tomorrow we will cross to the mainland.  The weather is glorious so we will take advantage of it while it lasts.  Our old friend Bruce is at Plumper Cove right now with the canvas I bought for him to make a cover for the underside of the solar panels.  I don’t suppose he has got started on that project so we’ll try to get that happening and we want to get him to re-sew all the seams in the rest of the canvas where the thread has started to rot.  I’ve made enough changes to the bimini that some of the canvas doesn’t fit very well anymore so we’ll get him to fix that at the same time.   Once we get him set up with all that sewing I think we’ll likely go back up to Princess Louisa.  We both loved it up there and didn’t feel that we spent enough time the last time we made the trip.  That time we were worried about the boat systems so far away from civilization but that isn’t a concern anymore so we’ll likely go up and stay close to a week at the head of the inlet.  I expect there will be more tourists up there now than there were at the end of January, which is when we went the first time.

I’ve been fighting with a computer all afternoon and I have finally conceded defeat.  I bought a Dell Optiplex which is an ultra small form factor computer – ie. very bloody small – and loaded all our DVDs onto it.  That part went really well but getting it to communicate with the TV has turned out to be more challenging than it needs to be.  I can display the movies on the TV (when Media Player chooses to work which is a whole ‘nuther story) but so far I haven’t been able to get sound to come out of the TV.  That’s not a deal breaker because I can play the sound through external speakers off the computer but that’s not very convenient because we can’t control that sound with the TV remote.  The Windoze Media Player has been another level of frustration beyond anything I have ever experienced but I’ll save that explanation until I get all those problems sorted out.  If that ever happens. 

(later)  I gave up on digital video, Marilyn picked up a VGA cable in Duncan and all is well now.  For some reason I simply couldn’t get sound out of the TV using the computer as a video source.  The instructions said it should work but it clearly doesn’t.  All is well now & I doubt we will ever see any difference in picture quality using VGA c/w DVI input.  Next challenge – making Windoze Media Player work reliably.

We have an early departure planned for tomorrow.  In order to make Porlier Pass at somewhere near slack we’ll need to be moving at 6:00 AM.  I think that will give us lots of time but I’d rather be early than late, particularly so because if we get there early we’ll catch the end of a favourable current.  If we arrive late we’ll have to fight the current through the pass.

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