Sunday, February 24, 2008

How to make a Piling Disappear

The other morning I caught this Piliated Woodpecker digging a huge hole in one of our pilings.It's finally feeling like spring around here, the sun has been shining and the temperture is rising. I cant wait for summer.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Trip to the Aquarium

">Sorry I havent been about much this month. I got the flu and missed about 10 days of work. Needless to say I wasnt doing much so nothing to write about.David eventually caught it as well but a friend recommended a product call "Cold FX". Seemed to work good for him, he was fine within a few days, I suffered for two weeks and still have a cough and congestion.

On Wednesday we decided to get out and go to the Vancouver Aquarium. I havent been there in about 16 years so was looking forward to it. Here are some pictures that turned out. My favorites by far were the sea otters. They were extremely playful and affectionate with each other, so cute, I could have watched them for hours. I want some now as pets lol, just have to figure out how to keep them here :)

They used to have killer whales at the aquarium but as they died off they decided not to replace them. Its for the best, it made me feel so sad to see such a magestic creature trapped in a fishbowl, but at the same time, it was an awesome experiance for people who may never see a whale in the wild. They had a big viewing window below the pools surface. It was amazing to stand there and have a beast the size of a house glide past inches way from your face. They have split the whale tank into 2 pools and have spinnaker dolphins and beluga whales housed in them. I have to say there is something alien looking about those belugas, they dont quite look like they belong here. They would be downright creepy if they didnt have that sweet smile plastered on their face.

About 20 years ago, I became the keeper of a friends pirahana.It got to be quite large and eventually I donated it to the aquarium.They had a large school of them at the time. I was curious to see them again. Sadly they must have died off because the school and the fish were much smaller then before.

It was nice to go and remind myslf about all the life in the waters around us and our impact on them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Vancouver Boat Show

Today I attended my first boat show. Funny a year ago, I wouldnt have had any interest in going, but this year I couldnt wait for it. Now that I am a boat owner, I have a million questions about everything. I dont even know what I need to know as I knew very little about boats in general before this.

It was great, there were hundreds of info booths dealing with every aspect of boating. One of the first booths I ran across was for a wooden boat society that I didnt even know existed here down in Steveston. I had a good chat with one of the members that gave me some good contacts to call regarding redoing the woodwork on my boat. She had just finished redoing her 26 foot boat to the tune of 35,000$ OUCH!!
It looks like I will have to learn how to do it myself if I want mine redone. I want to retire in this lifetime!

I saw a nice refrigerator I would love to have , its a bit taller and deeper than mine and the freezer is separate from the fridge. Its also 1800$, so will be way down on the wish list for now, but good to know they make a larger model that would still fit on the boat.

Another thing we saw that interested me was a reverse osmosis water filter that can turn salt water into pure water. It makes 160 gallons of water a day, way more then I would ever use. The price tag was a hefty 4000$, but something to think about in the future.

We saw lots of different kind of docks, floatation systems and bumpers. Most were horrendously expensive. Its funny I never gave much thought to docks before, but after hearing about the prices people charge to build them and being outraged ( they really dont look like much for the price) I wasnt too suprised by the prices at the show. Im used to our wooden ones down here built over styrofoam blocks or 45 gallon steel drums, so was interested to see all the other options out there. One company makes ones out of plastic that snap together like a big mechano set. Very clean and durable looking but super expensive. Another company made bumpers on a machine that could be any length you wanted. It looked lot cleaner than our old tires tied to the dock. But our tires were free and do the job, thousand$ more saved in lieu of tidy looking docks.

Saw lot of kayaks made of every kind of material you can think of. My favorites were the wood strip ones tho. They were gorgeous, the wood inlaid in different colours to make beautiful designs. If I ever get this boat finished, I would love to try building one of my own.There just something about a wood boat....

(aside: I finally took my little kayak out the other day for the first time. I dont think the kayak I bought is really the one I need. It was very hard to control , often swinging around backwards for no apparent reason. After about 10 minutes of flailing about in which I only managed to get about 200 feet upstream, I gave up and did unintentional donuts all the way back to my dock. I think I will try to resell it and put the money towards a ocean kayak with a rudder. Live and learn!)

I had bought a used Garmin GPS recently, but it didnt come with the instruction book or any of the gizmos its supposed to. I had finally found a website for them, but its based in the USA. They had a booth at the show, so I got lots of useful info from them and found a few local shops that sell them. I didnt pay much for the unit, but it looks like I need about 500$ worth of stuff to make it useful for my needs. I also found the guys that sell navagational charts for use on a laptop that I can use with the GPS to see where I am when out on the water. I dont trust my non-existant navigational skills, so am not ashamed to use all the technology available to me.

After a few hours of checking out all the exibitors, we finally made it down to the main floor where all the boats were. Of course they were all shiny new plastic boats which didnt do much for me, other than stagger me with their huge price tags. All that money, just to bomb around a lake for the day, I dont think I could ever justify it. They had a huge houseboat worth 1/4 million that was the only thing that interested me. Mostly I was envious of all the space on it and the huge top deck with a hottub. My outdoor space is very limited on my boat,and a real kitchen would be nice, but I still wouldn't trade it for that one. It was just too plastic and void of character to suit me. Saw a few nice boats that would have been awesome for the salvage business and a few that were just over the top in every way( too big, too fancy a paint job, way to big of a sound system.....the kind of boat that would just piss everyone off but cool to look at. Think batmobile type of get the picture).

All in all , an informative day for me. I have to say of all the boats I saw today, I still like mine the best. I have alot of work to do on it yet, but cant wait for the day when I can go and cruise the Georgia Strait. We live in such an awesome place for boating, tons of Islands and inlets to explore, I can't wait.