Monday, December 22, 2008

Shut down!

Sunrise this morning, looking toward Annicis Island, from our galley window.

We're officially having a winter here on the south coast AND a white Christmas. As is the thing when snow hits, it throws the whole place into a tizzy. This is the view from the kitchen window this morning. Check out our icebergs! We didn't get slammed again as it has warmed up to a balmy -3C this morning.

We ventured out into the neighbourhood yesterday. Tried to pick up some LED christmas lights at the Walmart but they were sold out. Reports on those trying to get around on transit were dismal. Some had to wait over 2 hours for a bus that never came. We saw one lone snowplow around Queensborough but I bet it was a private outfit.

So, Dillon and I made Butter Tarts (hey, I am Canadian after all) and shortbread cookies. We had much fun as this is the first time in many years since I've ever had any time to make Christmas cookies. Dillon rolled and decorated the cookies, which is the part I like the least.

Tobi supervised...

The water didn't freeze overnight either...

The news is urging people to just stay home if at all possible. We made it through the night without frozen pipes too and we figure we must have at least eight inches on the docks here.

Here are some more pics.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Playing icebreaker in Wee Orange Skiffy.

We froze up again last night and so we set about to get that all thawed and moving again first thing. The whole line didn't completely freeze this time so it was a bit easier to get it all up and inline again. Once again, rather than putting on pants he just doubled-up on the bathrobes and helped me start the wee portable genset so I could get heaters on the hoses thawing in the garbage can.

I dutifully called my mother to report in on our status here for she is freaking out and worried sick. I've gotten used to this with her for she ascertains its her job. They've got -18C in the interior and were sitting at -12C.

Of course she's is doubly-freaked out and worried because the news is saying that the Fraser River is currently completely unmanageable and won't it slice through our lines and have us drifting out into the river. Well, were a bit frozen in place, Ma.

Anyhow, it really never get that cold in this part of the world that we have a bunch of icebreakers about or on standby.

I reiterated that newsy bit to Greig and he said, "HOOEY, I can get out there and break up that ice with the wee skiffy!"

I said, "No you can't!"

"Watch me! Get the camera!"

So here goes him. Too bad you can't see his the big fat smug look on his oh-so-self-satisfied face. Crazy Viking!

All he needed was a ice-skier to pull behind him and don't think he wouldn't do it either.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ice, ice baby

So as I have been posting for the last week or so, it's kinda cold. How cold is it? Well, take a look. I am lucky I had had the forethought to grab my camera. Keep in mind this is a slower incoming tide. We'll be on yellow to red alert on the outflowing tide.

Oh, and please excuse my Captain's
(actually our) salty tongues. It was a dramatic moment! And it was a bit like from the movie, Day after Tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday's full of...ICE!

Yup, we left a tap running as is our habit all these winters of living on a boat. Still at -16C the darn thing still froze up on us. The whole works froze all the way up to the shut off valve up on the road. Greig brought in the hoses, stuffed them in a garbage can and brought the whole works inside. We took one of the little electric heaters and threw that in the can to thaw the hoses out. Greig went to check on the connection there and it burst apart on him. All in all it was a wee chore.

The connecting valve here on the float house was all frozen too. I took my hair dryer, layed it beside the valve and draped a bucket over the works for a few minutes to get that thawed out. All in all we had water again by 3:30pm. It is still freakin cold and has started to snow again. This cold front is to remain with us until after Christmas I expect.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Minor Sunday morning disasters

We are working hard trying to stay warm for another winter. Our first blast arrived on Saturday night with snow throwing the lower mainland into a complete tizzy. It turned cold by Sunday morning (-6 Celsius) and I woke up to the sound of gushing water again. This time a hose connection entering into the floathouse came apart. Inside damage amounted to the bulk of my clean towels on the shelves above the toilet getting wet.

Exterior only giving the outside of the house a good and thorough soaking and covering the bike and the breezeway there in a fairly solid layer of ice. Motivations to take the wet towels to the laundromat quickly fizzled due to other chores so I just hung the whole mess of wetness over the upstairs railing in the loft. I've still some drying out.

It is so cold we have been running the genset steady. At 3am, it stopped and Greig got up to check it. Dressed again only in his bathrobe,* he decided it need an oil change on the spot.

Forecast is for the temp to go down to -16 C tonight and we are slated for snow on Wednesday and this chill is suppose to last another week or so.

*Many a emergency has occured where Greig is often found to bolt out of bed, donning only a his bathrobe and slippers to spend two to three hours tending to said emergency. After, and only after when things finally get "under control" he realizes that perhaps it is finally safe enough for him to put on pants.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rumour has it

The shore power may finally be coming! Could it be that I actually get my Christmas wish? Please, oh Shore Power God, say it so please!

We have a family staying on the Sea Ferring for the time being and they are adjusting to living on the water. The father is quite a land lubber and his wife is loving it. He's going through the adjustments and quite undecided about it all. The kids, well, their two oldest are quite used to this as they are best friends with Greig's kids and so we actually feel more comfortable with the kids in charge as they've been in training for a couple of years. They have stronger sea legs, not that serious sea legs as much as a different mindset than on land.

We've been on that diesel genset for about a month and it suddenly started leaking oil. Greig picked up a cheap (*$850) gas genset from Walmart and promptly had to return that for another as it crapped out within the first 48 hours. He's taken the King back to KMS tools to see the what/where/why of this oil leak. (And Tim, you're probably right as it may be a piece if crap genset too for it works but poo's out oil.) Alas, Big Cheese had asked our guests on the Sea Ferring to plug his two sport fishers in occasionally as those bilges need pumping too but he didn't tell them HOW MUCH pumping would be required (nor did he chip in for fuel) and so guess what happened? Well, it didn't entirely sink, just all the new mechanical. Sigh. Well, if he wasn't so stubborn and cheap about getting that shore power in that would have been less likely to have happened 'cos his boat would have been plugged in!

Our man about shore, Len, says he over heard the Big Cheese on the phone the other day finally doing the deal and ordering the power. Yes, we know he's been blowing us off for months on this issue. Back in June we even told Big Cheese that we would pay for the shore power mast etc and since then we've paid that in bulk diesel in generators and so it seems like a waste of resources but such as it is in this boating life.

The Malacite has gone back down the river today as it does have a few charters for the meager amount of Carol Ships that are booked until Christmas. These are totally down over last year and I am so glad Greig has the new job. Phew. It will be back up again in the new year until the spring or depending how bookings go.

Here is hoping I can solely rely on electricity to heat the boats - enough so they are all relatively warm. There will be much more hydro available to us here than there ever was on Mitchell Island.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Life and good times with the Goblin

We sold another boat! Yipee. The Green Goblin, is a 22' Fibreform and we called it that 'cos it was green and gobbled up the gas. We had many lovely times on the Goblin. Enjoy Andrew!

Greig's daughter Dosha, aged 9, Aug 2005, coming back from an afternoon on Wreck Beach.

And his son Bui, 12 here and in this picture I could see the
handsome young man he was becoming.

I know I have more pictures of us playing on the Goblin, but most of them were pre-digital camera. Fun times.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tips for new paupers

Occasionally, Matt in Portsmouth, NH, kindly sends me an email or a link to something interesting. It was completely depressing given the current state of my health* at the moment but I've read it several times and felt the need to share. Apparently some elements in this article, reminded him of some of the things I have written about in this blog. That said, both Greig and I had to nod our heads in agreement with the writer, John Dolan. Yes, there is a mention of boats in the article too.

Favorite bits:
  • "They’re flinchy people, mainly, who spend a lot of time waiting for things. When you’re waiting, you get very frustrated but you don’t want to shake things up. So they’re tense, bitter, sociable, gossipy and treacherous—a fine cross-section of the population."

  • "They’re not going to mug you. They are going to try to get any cash you have, and God did they get a huge chunk of our last resources, but it was friendly, schmooze-based extortion, just like in the middle-class world."

  • "Tom Cruise can go fuck himself. Prozac saved our lives. I won’t go into the sordid details but really, I don’t think we’d be here now if Saint Prozac hadn’t extended a sacred hand to us.

  • "If you want a break from the relentless olfactory fact of being around unwashed large mammals, sidle up to somebody who smokes. That’s the one good thing about cigarettes, and it may be why losers all smoke. Don’t smoke just for that, though. Cigarettes are insanely expensive and turn lots of poor people into cringing beggars."

  • "The old world is very much alive, and has it in for you. Do anything to keep it from killing you."
Thanks Matt!

*(I am recuperating from 2.5 months of various and sundry antibotics for a strep/bladder infections which has turned out to be Mononucleosis. I had been taking Cipro but had a terrible reaction and handed the pills back to my doctor. It has really thrown my liver out of whack, given me killer migranes, nausea and the lymph nodes in my neck, particularly the left side are swollen out the wazoo.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Wake up!"

"You're sinking," he said. It was 5am.

"Oh crap," I bolted up out of bed, my fevered brain bouncing inside my skull with a solid thunk.

Gawd. It just doesn't bleedin' end! One thing after another. Well, I wasn't
really sinking but I was taking on water. And this is a weird one.

I have two black tanks for this boat. I have no where to pump these black tanks to so they are bypassed. This black tank on the port side was dribbling out a steady stream of water from the 4" drain pipe and into the hold. It isn't connected to any of the interior plumbing and there is no where it could fill from the out drain. So where was the water coming from?

"Let's just get a pump in it and then just go back to bed and sleep and we'll finish this off when I get home later," Greig said, as he was off to drive for the new Granville Island Water Taxi.

What happened was the 1" vent pipe that leads from the top of the tank through the hull must have got below the waterline enough to and siphon enough back into the black tank, causing it to over flow even though it sits above the water line.

I literally didn't have the boots for this but I needed a pair of gummies anyway. And I needed Tylenol and ginger ale. When you are sick, as I have been for this past week, you don't always have the luxury of just ignoring things. Especially when the other half is working on another boat across town. Besides, he is too big to try and contort himself into that hole, bend over that cross brace and stuff a shoulder up under that rafter and twist around to get at that pipe clamp behind the black tank. Ya, baby, fun times with old poopy water dripping on you. (Some men find that hot apparently). Ah well, plumbing is one of those blue chores I don't mind tackling normally but when I am sick it makes me a big weepy crybaby.

I pulled the spare bilge pump out of the port side engine hatch and stuck it in the forward leaky one and kept up with pumping it most of the day until I got the validation to fix what I thought had to be fixed.

I cut off that vent pipe and stuffed a cork in it and clamped it up. I'll shop vac out that hold when I am feeling better and figure out a way to get all that water out of that tank. I don't need the extra weight in my bow.

That all said, old poopy water isn't as bad or toxic as old gasoline gone bad. I will take the former over the latter in a heartbeat!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

All I want for Christmas is shore power.

Much to our chagrin and desperation, we bought a diesel genset. And a schwack of fuel from Mini-Tankers.

The first one (6000KW) ran fine (after we got it home and lugged it down the dock and into boathouse) but it produced no juice. We lugged it back over the dock and up the ramp again, and came home with a used 5000KW King.

The whole shore power issue is indeed tied up in property development and Big Cheese is trying to get plans for the electrical from his architect who is apparently not so johnny-on-the-spot with returning calls. But now at least it has met the approval stage from the City so it is in process.

All I want for Christmas is shore power.

Alas, I fell into a fevered sleep thanks to the onset of the latest bug I've caught and so I let the Nagata run out of fuel the other day. BIG MISTAKE. Greig has not been able to get that restarted and will take it in to KMS for a stroke and a tickle to get that back going.

Now our new (used) King, has a "silent" sticker on it but it is anything but. Greig was only able to get it half power up the floatie. We had to run an extension cord for the fridge into bathroom to run it. Hopefully if they build a generator shack on the dock those gensets can go in there and maybe we can shut a door on that racket.

In the meantime, the November misery has begun. I fell into another fevered reverie whilst he puttered about to get everything hooked up.

There is no way I could do all this without him. Well, maybe in a non-run-down-marina-with-real-infrastructure-and real-systems in place.

Maybe, but I live in
lower Dogpatch.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

One genny, two genny, three genny more.

Last fall the Big Cheese had removed all the hydro service at the marina we're in presently, as he'd had so many tenants in arrears in moorage and hydro that he pulled it out. It eventually lead for most of them to leave and so thus, room for us. All summer he kept promising that it is going back in and the "six weeks" is now becoming six months.

For years he'd been between a bit of a rock and a hard place for the city had deemed the property and old barns historical and thus have been really restrictive on development. It had one time been a big boat building yard and they wouldn't let him renovate the barns. One of the barns burned down a couple of years ago and now only one remains, such as it is and so he has been waiting on approvals from various and sundry municipal and provincial officials to proceed with future development.

All summer I've used this big coffin of a cooler for a fridge. It is a pain as the lid is broken and it doesn't stay open properly and the fridge runs on electricity. I would LOVE a three-way unit (batt/electric/propane), and it is on the round-tuit list to look into the RV places and see if I can get one. My folks had to replace the fridge in their RV and found buying a used/reconditioned unit came with a better warranty than with new. That darn cooler has proven to become quite tedious for the constant need to keep ice in it and perishables perish quickly.

We made do for the summer for a little bit as we have a 4 kw gas generator that I can run lights and my computer. However you can't have too many heaters on the system as it just doesn't have the jam and it blows its breaker. The
Malacite, which the Big Cheese recently sold to one of his captains, pulled into the marina for the next month or so. The Malacite, got a thorough going over as it had been damaged in this storm back in July. It was out for most of the summer getting a major makeover. Captain Mort bought it a month or so ago. It has a 18kw marine genset and with all the renovations to the vessel, Greig urged Mort that he should keep the Malacite heated or all that new wood work would soon go to crap - especially with the onset of a rainy winter. However, Mort didn't know that there was no shore power at Sather so Greig agreed to keep an eye on it and heated if we could tie into the genset on the Malacite and contribute for diesel. We're feeling frustrated that the Big Cheese keeps blowing us off where Hydro is concerned (but we aren't the only ones) as if he isn't or wasn't really going to get a new mast put in then it would be really nice if he'd just say so. We even offered to put the service in our own name just so he wasn't liable for the bottom line. I guess maybe because he owns the property that is a no-no.

Just additonal frustration on top of EVERYTHING else as we've been trying to clean up post-Bowie debacle and all the parasitical behavior therein. That said, there are things I can make do and live without, electricity being far more expendable than water and that was fine. FOR THE SUMMER. The saving grace is that at least I have water and a propane hot water tank and my stove is propane too. If those were all electric I'd have gone off the deep end. Camping has only so much cachet, for only so long in this miserable wet coast climate.

We've been looking at purchasing a genset to keep the three boats here heated. I told Greig to tell Big Cheese that I'd rather pay him moorage than have to go the the extra wasted expense of a genset just because he can't be bothered to put in a new mast. So Greig paid him this months in advance and he brought another back up genset down from the office for us to use.

We are already hauling down three kinds of fuel - propane for my stove and hot water tank; gas for that genset and kerosene for a big heater we're using in place of the wood stove. I am not using the wood stove for we just don't have a place to store wood nor do we have the same kind of access to firewood that we did on Mitchell. Besides, with all the firewood that we split over the past five years, we're both a bit grateful for the break. I do miss the fire though for it sucks up the humidity in the air like nothing else and I have noticed far more condensation on my boat that I've not had in the previous two winters on the Partnership. Everything in my cupboards has some condensation as well as the windows. I guess kerosene is a damp heat like propane. Still in all, none of it is all that efficient and I hate having to depend on those different fossil fuels. Though the kerosene heater is not like the hippie killers of old, it still sends out a puff when you light it and extinguish it and it, well, stinks! Belize is calling to me...

Greig spent yesterday setting up a bypass that we can run the boat off both the two gensets when we need to. I am not entirely clear on where the third one is going and how that will all pan out but I know he has a plan and it specifically entails getting the two-person hot tub on the Float house going We never used it really for we had the big one on the Bowie and I felt maintaining two was just silly. But Greig fell down a hatch last week and has been missing soaking especially now and so his priorities have shifted somewhat.

I just look forward to not having to listen to a bunch of generators going and only having to haul down ONE kind of fuel down icy ramps - propane for my floatie.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A three minute fairy tale.

I read Swiss Miss daily. It is a pretty popular design blog and there is usually something clever to me there. She posted this link by the poet Rives from TED, another site that I love.

Most of the emoticons are a bit of a mystery to me and so I thought this is a pretty clever love story that had to be shared.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just a little bit so my butt doesn't hurt tomorrow

These familiar babies have been hiding in the back of my closet now for some 20 years. Yup. 20+ actually as I think Mum bought these during my last year of skating in 1985. Small town Canada has ice rinks out the Wazoo so most kids are pretty much born with these babies on their feet. Mum put me in skating to keep me out of trouble and teach me how to fail. Yes. That may seem like some twisted logic but she felt that we learn far more from our failures than our successes in this world and one must not be discouraged by failure.

My size nine Wifas with the then spectacular MK Phantom Blades cost my parents a pretty penny back in 1985. I think the boots must have been $350 and the blades almost that, then. I'll have to look and see what it would cost me to replace them today. I skated for 14 years and by the time I was 19, I'd had enough of skating. I felt there was so much more to do, like, say tennis, and that I should play it instead. I think that I've had these on my feet about three times since, the last time about six years ago when Greig and I first started dating. I still have a second pair back home with different blades that were for doing patch or figures (tracing figure 8s on ice). Do they even do figures in skating anymore? I was on of the strange girls that actually liked my patch sessions as I found them meditative and therapeutic. And after all these years, I've yet to take any real tennis lessons. Sigh...

I've a collegue who works in the Payroll Department at the College who's been trying to get me onto her Precision team for I've commitment issues. Last year they made it to Westerns. Probably not that big of a deal really when there may only be a handful teams in Western Canada (BC to the Manitoba border). It sounds impressive don't you think, being a part of a team that went that far holds some cashet for me.

Lorna on the Serenity (aka Peter) had me thinking I should try roller skates and do that Roller gurl thing with those Terminal City chicks but I've actually never roller skated in my life. Small towns don't have nearly the amount of sidewalks that cities do if any at all. Plus I as much as I'd enjoy bashing those bitches about, I've had enough of injuries and really, don't like hurting that much anymore.

So the skates are IN the closet and
are waiting and it was always such great exercise for my butt and legs that regardless of Precision or bitch-bashing, skating is still skating and I better remember how. Tonight, I went to the tail end of the public skating session at the Moody Park Arena.

Arena's have that smell, like boats do; mildew and diesel. Guess that is why the boat smell didn't bother me - it was a familiar kind of comfort. All that residual Zamboni exhaust, the smell of the ice, sweaty skates and hockey bags.I can't smell pine cleaner without thinking of mildewy, guy-stinky- sweaty, uriney- hockey lockers. Nope, it is not a smell that makes me think, "Ooh so clean and sanitized!"

No sheet of ice that I have skated on is the same. They all feel different. Some sheets are faster than others. I always felt I skated fastest on the Nelson Rink. Some stick to your blades where others make you feel like you can skate faster. There was a technique in tying my skates so they wouldn't come undone too. I always skated bare foot and had a perpetual callus around the ankles where the top of the leather met my calves. I guess I never thought that after twenty years the foam tongue would eventually break down and turn gooey. It left blue bits on my ankles!

Still, I think I am motivated to deek out at lunch time from work and hit the rink for a nooner workout. Gosh, maybe there is hope I can get that skater's backside back again.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Vanity complete

No, I am Joe the plumber. Of course it took far too long finish this project but now I am close to having a functioning vanity. It sure LOOKS purdy.

Instead of coming out from the wall, the drain and water comes up from the floor. I found the right double joint fittings and then realized I had to make another trip to the hardware for the right kind of ABS pipe to fit the actual drain from the sink. It all came together and then...

It leaked...from the sink drain...

Sigh. Perhaps it was the cheap plastic/nylon drain assembly? I have put a drain in a sink before and that came together easy peasy...what gives?

I picked up a metal one from Canadian Tire and it went in quick as you please.

No leaks. Yea me!

Friday, October 17, 2008


One of the first people I met having a website for the Bowie and also via the blog is my friend Rene from the Netherlands. He is a YMS (yard minesweeper) buff and for sometime had a web site dedicated to them for several years. (Until one day he forgot to renew the URL and it got scooped up by a granny porn site.) He just sent me a link to the Calisto, a YMS that charters out of Thailand. While the Bowie was a PCS (Patrol Craft Sweeper) class and there were only 57 built, the YMS or BYMS (British Yard Minesweeper) had some 500+ about. Over the years, I have stumbled across several YMS, but never any PCS. It seems the Bowie is the last of them and would LOVE to know if there are any others out there but chances are there aren't.

The Calisto is bleeding gorgeous! Oh and now with this dreary winter upon me and gazing through the site for it AND its location has me drooling...slurp. Alas all the white interiors is EXACTLY what I would have done to the Bowie had we ever really been able to do anything right about it. Of course, painting all that woodwork white is viewed as a crime to most of the sodding men out there but dark interiors are so depressing - especially in below deck spaces. If ever there was a prime example of WHY you should paint it white, well, the Calisto does it grand justice. Drool.

And it only charters for $84K a week. Sweet.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My cat is a Conehead

I should have realized something was amiss before I left for Savannah. So, when I came home I realized poor Tobi was really ill.

He usually insists upon sleeping up by my head at night. So much so that I tend to leave a spot for him though he usually likes to stick his butt in my face when I'm sleeping. But on my first night back he stayed downstairs and didn't come up. He usually tries to body slam me regularly and he just wasn't his usual kitten-y self. I mean he is a bruiser at 15lbs but the usual Tobi-ness just wasn't there.

I noticed a scab on his side and that it was quite a bit swollen there and tender. He wasn't eating, not using his litter box as well as trying to constantly go in and out.

A nasty abscess was removed and he spent two nights at the "spa". Its is a vast improvement over the Tobi of two days ago. Now, I just don't know how I'll keep him inside. We're already arguing that point.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Crab cakes, shrimp and buttah

I just got home from a conference in Savannah, Georgia. As luck would have it, our room at the Hyatt looked right over onto the Savannah River. Did you know it is the fourth busiest port in the US of A. I don't know who claims spots 1 to three but four seems a bit of an anti climatic posi to be in.

The first thing I saw when we looked out the sliding doors onto the river below was this big charter yacht,
Magic. I never planned a life with boats...they just sorta happened and keep showin' up. Savannah is a beautiful city and I could live there quite easily there is this thing called "immigration." The weather was warm and lovely. So I don't shovel much snow up here on the coast but the climate here has grown quite tedious.

I need more heat. I am tired of trying to keep warm.
Of course, I am a sucker for architecture and gardens as it was more of what I was "into" in life "B-G" (life before Greig). I could spend many, many hours walking up the side streets and looking at the gardens and buildings and gorging myself on crab cakes and shrimp.

Ya, that would suck wouldn't it?

Here are more pics!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Just how livid am i?

So completely lived in fact that I just may go into an apoplectic rage.

For sometime I've not heard from our friend and former roommate Evil Mark. Out of the blue I got an email (Happy dance, he IS still alive) inquiring about the sale of the Bowie and things we not going well for him. He is unable to prove to the satisfaction of ICBC (Iky-Bicky aka, Insurance Corp. of British Columbia) and WCB (aka Worker's Compensation or now known as Work Safe BC) that he really truly did work for Dave. Some of you recall my post of the accident back in August 2007 that seriously rattled all of us down at Mitchell Island.

To bad Dave's dead and can't validate that salient fact either. But there are a bunch of us WHO CAN. Apparently pulling both their bodies from the wreckage of going off a bridge isn't evidence enough?

BAH! "Working to make a difference" my ass WCB.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oh Splendide...I covet thee

Your company's use of black letter in your branding platform aside, it's that wench on the Katherine Jane I choose to blame. Now I have something new to covet and the damn vanity isn't even installed yet.
GEEZ! I'll get no "new vanity high" from this at all now. Darn you Jamie!

You see as much as I dig on the Underwear Origami from the fair Moon Sic at Cheers Laundry, I tire of sloggin' bags of laundry hither and fro. I'd gladly ditch the service for something as cool as this.

I gotta find me one of these.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Greig's gantry and other improvements

In order for us to bring the Pacific Express up to the new digs, we had to wait for a few things to happen. Glenna and her boat the Shorebird were in the little boathouse for most of the summer. She's a carpenter from Ladysmith and was working on the set of the new science fiction series called Sanctuary. A god-send she was as sometimes we'd come home from an evening slog and she'd have a bite to eat or a glass of wine for us .

She left last Monday and Greig was able to build a gantry inside it, hook up and hoist out that diesel engine out of the Westmark. He then dropped the engine into the Green Goblin, our 26 footer. Once he was able to do that, he pulled the Hari Mai back into the boathouse.

We've had some really, really low tides in the last few days and the big boathouse, aka Mt. Kleeman was sitting twisted on the mud, as was the Sea Ferring inside of it. Boats going aground all up and down the river is in the news again, and why aren't "they" doing anything about it.

Here is the hoist and the engine sitting all wonky here in the boathouse as the Westmark was aground in the boathouse here too.

So some more organizing and re-jigging of docks has to take place still for the Express to arrive. Location of that here seems to change daily

My next improvement will be to finally get the sink working in my bathroom. I had bought an antique dresser thinking I could re-configure it with a sink and all that but in the past year that just hasn't happened.
I've splurged on this pretty thing and Greig and I got the legs on it last night and moved it into place to check for the fit. OOOH it is so very sexy! I do have to cut a hole in the bottom shelf to make allowances for the plumbing but it otherwise fits in just fine into the spot.

Everyone say, "Yea! Storage!"

The floathouse has now been here for three months and three months with no hydro is wearing very thin. I thank god I have a propane hot water tank and stove. As it stands we've been running a gas generator for short periods at night and that is when I can use the computer and internet. It is funny to tell this to people that my landline only works when my genny is running and they look at me, somewhat confused. I assure them it is OK 'cos if Hurricane Katrina would hit me, I'm mostly off-grid already and they'd be screwed. Well, it makes me feel better at least. That all aside, I am getting really tired of the big fat cooler that has been my fridge for the past four months. As small as my fridge is, I really, really miss it and that good working triangle between the fridge, sink and stove. I think I was able to sufficently bitch at the Big Cheese today, to facilitate the action of a temporary hydro mast at the very least.

Still, it is very pretty at night up here and I don't miss the dust a whit.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Really, I am still in shock. We sold two boats this week. The Dos Amores on Wednesday and the Bowie yesterday.

I am glad to be free of the responsibility of it. But I have always struggled with that as far as the Bowie was concerned. There was just something about that boat that left me so restless. I couldn't sit still. I never found it restful living on it. I always saw some fresh mess that would distract me from whatever chore I was already trying to finish. Only when we bought the Partnership did I really comprehend how sleep deprived I had been for so long.

Yes there were some tears and the kids loved the boat so much. Especially Dosha and Payton as I think they have missed it the most. We put a lot of work into it that didn't always yeild the results I had hoped for but that came through in other places. Sometimes you plant a seed and something comes up you didn't expect. Well, that was life on the Bowie in a nutshell. Maybe that is just life on the river.

The two things biggest things about Mitchell Island that I don't miss are the driftwood and dust. We just don't get the volume of wood over here that we got there. Really, that was quite phenomenal.

All in all, its a good thing. Guess I have to loose the mvbowie URL now eh?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bear attack on a boat

Though bear attacks always make the news it is actually a rare thing and this story out of Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island in the Vancouver Province today tells of a man mauled on his boat. The bear, of course didn't make it and was apparently in poor health. The victim is recovering in hospital.

When wildlife like that, be it a cougar or a bear, attacks humans that you find out that the animal is sick. And it is that time of year when the pickings for food up in the hills grows more scarce. There is no doubt a dearth of berries for them as it has been a lousy summer and so, opportunities that bears are will go where the easiest source of food is as we humans are so piggish.

And speaking of bears,
Peaches, is still hanging around at my folks too. Dad has put up an electric fence around the garden to keep him from the peach and apple trees. Really, it may not be the same Peaches who raided the tree last year but that's what we're callin' him anyway.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Log boat

This one is for you Will!

It was anchored out in English Bay the other day. I had assumed this was one of Seaspan's but when I looked up those vessels on Seaspan's site here, that it is a different ship all together.

Seaspan's tip over and dump out the logs which I have never seen done but just told about it and you can see that in the roll-over pics on their site.

Not often that I see ships out at anchor with the raw logs on deck however, though we send so much of our raw log exports to foreign shores.

A challenge for the lads

Greig decided to give Bui and Denis a big bone to chew on. That of pulling the engine out of the Westmark. The Westmark is an old fishboat thathas been abandoned, so the Big Boss man offered it to Greig. It so happens to be the exact same engine, a Chrysler Nissan, that is in the Dos Amores. And not to look a gift diesel in the mouth...

One day last week, Greig spent the day in it detaching all the bits from it. (Bui is on the right and his buddy Denis, our other "son" is on the left here). We left for work Saturday afternoon and he put the boys on to the challenge of hoisting it out of there. Innumerable phone calls that evening from them and dozens of excuses to NOT finish the job only made Greig encourage them more to finish it.

And they did it! All their griping aside, how many fifteen year old city kids can go back to school on Monday and when asked about what they did this weekend would answer, "Oh I pulled a diesel engine out of an old fish boat." Well they can! Really, they were quite proud of themselves after the fact. Now we just have to get it off the boat...Hmmm

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

To that I say "HA!"

It has been a busy weekend to be sure. We are in the process of scrapping the Bowie. Sad but we've not many choices at this point. Greig moved the Pacific Express alongside the Bowie a few days ago and we had to pull it off the water lease by the first of the month. Well they did that yesterday.

That all said, some may recall how I've often expressed how the Bowie has been THE ANCHOR for the marina for all these years. Now, it is detached from the works and as a result the marina is wanting to drift downstream.

Gee, what did you expect when you have docks all willy nilly not actually attached to anything? I just feel so bad for the other tenets moored there having to put up with all that crap. At 4am they were out there lashing the dock finger to Bill's boat down with a fire hose as there was no rope handy that was at all long enough.

Gee, maybe if they hadn't slashed our stern line anchors they could have actually attached to them and kept the whole works stable. Nope, that would have been the smart and easy way of doing things. Of course they would have had to ask nicely. Oh well. SEP I say - someone else's problem.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jacked again

On Sunday our old pickup truck got jacked from the street. It isn't the first time this has happened. Perhaps it is cursed. The first time was about 15 minutes after we bought it and that happened right smack in the Canadian Tire parking lot a couple of years ago. Greig found it about an hour later as it wasn't running really well and we were at the store getting stuff to tweak it.

On Sunday we came home just past 5pm and I noticed it was gone. So I called it in to the police and off to work for the evening we went.

Yesterday, I decided that on my way home from the day job that I would do a cruise around my neighbourhood. We found it the last time by driving around the neighbourhood so what would be the chances I'd find it again?

Apparently pretty darn good. Within minutes truth be told. I couldn't believe it! I just happened to look up this one street and saw its distinctive back end with the red reflector bit of the G in the GMC missing.

I scooted around the block to get to the street just to double check but hey, I KNOW my beastie old truck when I see it. I called the police and waited about 15 minutes for George from the New Westminster Police to give it the once over. He was fantastic! He even tried to help me get it started and we surmised that the battery was completely dead. Turns out actually they took the good battery we had in it and switched it out for a crappy one.

So we have to replace all that steering column again and get a new battery. That should be a $400 touch.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Sorry, for this is post is not boat-y at all. It's for my dear old Dad. Well, other than the fact in this picture he is posing inside the big coal bin/hopper thingy on the SS Moyie. Payton took this picture back in June and he's happily sporting the Mardi-Gras tee that we got him in N'awlins last February.

Tomorrow, he turns the big 7-5. It was at the end of August of last year that he got sick with that damn strangulated hernia, two bouts of bowel surgery to fix him up, had us close to losing him. Did I say it was hell on a stick?

A PAIR of hockey sticks actually. H-E-DOUBLE hockey sticks!

But he's a tuff old duffer with a true heart of gold and I just don't get to see him nearly enough. His recovery wasn't that easy as he became diabetic after all of that and it took forever for his wounds to heal. He lost about 30 pounds and puttering around in his garden has helped him get his strength back. I think his biggest complaint is that he gets cold easier than he ever did and now has a really "boney" butt!

I am struck when I hug him how he feels different for his shoulders aren't as expansive and the bhudda belly has gone. The quality of the hugs are still top drawer though!

At anyrate, they are off campin' in their fifth wheel trailer with my brother Gavin and his family. Its stinkin' hot, they are all camped by a lake some where in the Shuswap, swimmin', un-laxin', grillin' on the barby.

And it is all I can do to NOT blow my shifts this weekend and hop in Leni, my old car and make the six hour drive and present him with another stupid t-shirt to mark #75.

Happy birthday Dad. Oh how I wish I were there.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Oh I need me one of these

From one of my favorite design blogs, swissmiss, a link to this item.

Feet First has it right I think.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Halkett Bay Marine Park

Last Sunday night with the full realization that Greig had Monday off, the kids were actually AROUND, I was the only on slated to work. Thankfully, I work a flex-schedule at my real job so I was able to switch the days. The sun was shining brightly and just getting these three things together is magic. So over to Halkett Bay on Gambier Island we booted. Alas, pictures are few, as the girls ate up my battery time on my camera but I managed a couple before it gasped its last hurrah.

Its very pretty over there. I could live there in a heartbeat. Tucked just in behind Bowen Island, it is quite big and only private water taxi service goes there. Lots of off-grid cottages too and really only a 1/2 boat ride to Horseshoe Bay. At the government dock the kids got some diving in and had a lovely time. I wish we'd had more time to be there though.

En route home we saw Mr. Pattison's boat the Nova Spirit and out anchored in English Bay is Suleyman Kerimov's megayacht ICE. It makes the #20 spot on Power and Motor Yacht's top 100 list for 2008. It's not that fast apparently and top cruising speed is only 16 knots. I think I'd be totally fine with that however.

One of these things is not like the other

I looked up from cleaning and moving stuff to see this flock of Canada Geese, cavorting inside the docks, with this oddball in the mix.

I couldn't see where its eyes were pink but it surely looks albino to me. I forget if the pink eyes mean it is a true albino or not. Regardless it is a bit of a paleface.

There are also more in the way of songbirds out in our new local. I really have to get myself a bird book.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Sorry for the crappy quality of these pics. I only just discovered my night setting on the camera which rocks, by the way. (I am no Steve who can make simple images look like absolute works of art. Which is why HE is a professional photographer and I am a hack.)

It is taking forever to move stuff. A more horrible timing of all this couldn't be had with our ever busy summer work schedules. Ah well, I've biked to work once and I know there will be more of that to come. We're living without hydro as the application is still in process and we knew it was going to take a while but that is OK. The stove is propane as is my hot water tank so I can take a shower or cook something if I need to. Not that I have any time to cook these days I can whip up a grill cheese sandwich if the grumblies take over. I am hardly at home at the moment anyway so I think I am about three weeks into the six-eight week wait for the application process. We won't be so short of hydro here either.

Toby is happy cat as there are no d.o.g.s about. He is out and about exploring more and is sporting a lovely grease smear from somewhere. The Sea Ferring is in place in the boathouse (Mt. Kleeman) and I am hoping to get at some deck work on it whilst we have it in that shed.

We're getting there. Greig thought it would take longer to get to work from New Westminster. In fact it is faster for Greig to get to work from Sather though we are a bit further east. By taking the freeway to the Oak Street bridge we bypass all that cross town traffic. It would take a half hour to Granville Island from Mitchell Island and now it is only 15 minutes from Sather to Granville Island.