Victoria Bike Trip
I had cycled to Victoria a couple of times last year and I absolutely loved it. Things had finally settled down in terms of weather, family and garden so it was time to make good on a plan to get over again and visit some friends at the same time.
On the morning of Monday, July 10, I set out from home. I cycled most of the way to the ferry but opted to ...read more
Ogden Point Freedive
It had been years since I last dove Victoria's Ogden Point breakwater. Growing up there, the breakwater was the default option when we couldn't think of any place better to go. Now that I'm living on the mainland, it has become a destination. The fringing kelp forest and attendant diversity of marine life is something that we just don't get on the other side of the strait.
Getting over to Victoria ...read more
I think I might be retired.
My last day of paid employment was April 21, 2017. I had been psyched up and preparing for that day for years, yet somehow now that it has happened, I suddenly feel unprepared.
Of course I don't have to be retired; I'm just unemployed. I could start looking for another job; I just don't have to, at least not for a number of years. And the ...read more
Wednesday, May 31 was Spot's last day with us. She had gone blind and deaf over the past year and in the past few months had become increasingly frail and disoriented. We made the decision on Tuesday and on Wednesday afternoon the vet and his assistant came over to our place for the final administration of care.
She had been in my life for just shy of 23 years. She was a stray originally ...read more
Boat Dive of Bowyer Island and the HMCS Annapolis
I got the call from Jaap only the day before this dive. Don was just getting his boat into the water for the season and wanted to do a shake-down cruise. Did I want to come? The plan was to take the boat from home base in Ladner all the way up to Howe Sound, dive Bowyer Island, have lunch and then dive the Annapolis before heading back to Ladner. It was a long trek ...read more
Shore dive at Furry Creek
Monday, March 13th was my second dive of the year but the Vanapneist hard core had been diving regularly for the past couple of months. A diver from Alberta named Nils was in town for a few days and wanted to get an opportunity to get into the water. Jaap suggested Furry Creek, which is just a bit north of Porteau Cove. I had never been to Furry Creek before so I was eager to ...read more
Shore Dive at Porteau Cove
On Tuesday, February 21, Don and I went for a shore dive at Porteau Cove. This was the first dive of the year for me and one of the first breaks in what had been a very harsh winter. It turned out that the weather that day was fabulous. The visibility was pretty spectacular as well.
Porteau Cove is a great place to dive in January, February and March if the weather is good. Besides ...read more
Northern Flicker Eating at the Bird Feeder
This is the first of hopefully many postings in the Garden category.
As it is an unusually snowy winter this season, there isn't much going on gardening-wise but there is lots of bird activity at the peanut feeders that we've set out. We get lots of action from bush tits, chickadees, junkos, house finches, downy woodpeckers and starlings. On the week before Christmas I shot some video of a northern flicker at the ...read more
XC Skiing Willingdon Heights Park
It snowed all day Monday and then froze over night. The weather sequence made for terrible conditions for driving but terrific conditions for XC skiing at the local park. I walked my old skis down to the park and found surprisingly good glide on the playing fields.
After a while I decided to come back home for my skate skis and camera and took the following video from the experience:read more
Playful Seal at Ansell Point
On Sunday, December 4, Jaime, Olli, Jaap and I went in for a dive at Ansell Point. The water was very cold and the visibility wasn't very good. What saved the dive was a very playful seal that hung out with us almost all of the time that we were in the water.
Here's a video clip from that day:read more
My First Multi-Day Bike Trip
For my first posting about cycling, I thought I'd go back to the Thanksgiving weekend of 2013 when I did my very first multi-day cycle trip from Nanaimo to Comox and back again
I had been meaning to try cycle touring for years. I started cycle commuting in 2003 and had done lots of day trips but had yet to try a multi-day trip to a specific destination. I had also heard that Vancouver ...read more
2016 Mayne Island Eelgrass Survey
On the weekend of July 23-24, the Vancouver Apneist Freediving Club helped to survey the eelgrass beds of Gallagher Bay, Mayne Island. This is the eighth year that the club has been helping the Mayne Island Conservancy to map the island's eelgrass beds.
Eelgrass is an important habitat for many fish and invertebrate species. It also is an important carbon sink and also works to reduce ocean acidification.
The dive club's role in ...read more
I have been playing around with the themes for Pelican today and trying to find a look that I like. There is a good set of them at pelicanthemes.com. I have to admit that most of them don't look very good and don't have the features that I like. However, I did like tuxlite_tbs a bit better than the blueidea theme that I was using before. I'm using tuxlite_tbs on the ...read more
Saltery Bay Freedive/Cycle Trip
Early on in the diving season Jaap proposed a diving/camping trip to Saltery Bay, just south of Powell River. I wasn't too keen on this idea because I hadn't been camping in probably 20 years. Also, the chill, dampness and poor sleep that inevitably come with camping don't lend themselves very well to a good dive experience. I ended up committing to cycling up to Comox to visit the folks on ...read more
Freediving Portland Island
Back in August, my freediving friends Rick and Jaap hatched a plan: to take Rick's Zodiac from Swartz Bay to Portland Island, camp on the island and go out diving on the nearby GB Church during the day. Then they invited me and a few others to join them for a weekend in early September.
Camping isn't really my favorite activity but the overall weekend sounded like a lot of fun. We ended ...read more
The new website has been online for the past couple of days and I must say that I am pleased. The site doesn't have all the features that it used to such as random pictures and update via web browser but it is actually quite a bit easier to manage.
The main discovery here is that once the photos plug-in for Penguin is installed and set up, adding a photo gallery to a page ...read more
Freediving the HMCS Annapolis
I'm going to go back in time a bit here to cover the backlog of some of the more interesting dives over this past year.
The HMCS Annapolis is the most recent and most local of the artificial reefs put down by the Artificial Reef Society of BC. It was sunk in April of 2015 in Halkett Bay in the SE corner of Gambier Island.
New members of the freediving community Don and Penny ...read more
2016 Vanapneist Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest
Today the Vancouver Apneist Freediving Club had what may be the ninth annual underwater pumpkin carving contest. Jaime and Luca were my fellow carvers and Olli took my camera to take a few photos.
The term 'contest' is probably a bit of a mis-nomer. We didn't declare a winner. However, Luca had the biggest pumpkin, used the biggest, scariest knife and carved his pumpkin at the deepest depth. (almost 9m) It was fun to ...read more
2016 BC 55+ Games
My Freediving History
Freediving means different things to different people. The common denominator for all is that it involves going underwater while holding one's breath. Beyond that it can mean advanced snorkelling, breath-hold spearfishing, or trying for depth records.
The Early Days
As for myself, you could say that I have been practicing freediving for almost forty years, although I never thought of it that way. I just thought of it as snorkelling or skin diving, even ...read more
It has been a LONG time since I have updated my website. In fact, the underlying software that serves it, Drupal version 6, has gone to end of life. I had to attempt upgrading it to Drupal version 7 in order to keep it secure. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a non-trivial task. Many of the modules that I had been using did not make the transition from D6 to D7. As a result ...read more