Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Gorge Harbour, Cortes Island BC


Our Bayliner 2452 at the Gorge Harbour Resort Marina.
During the summer we keep our Bayliner 2452 in Powell River's Westview Harbour so we can go cruising. We live in a boating paradise known worldwide. We have the Gulf Island to the south and Desolation Sound to the north. To the west is Discovery Passage between Vancouver Island and the many smaller islands dotted along the Inside Passage leading to Alaska.

Last week we took our boat north to Cortes Island. Our destination was the Gorge Harbour Resort Marina.

Heading to the marina for fuel and docking.

We didn't know there was a Ranger Tug rendezvous in progress. Originally we were told they were full, but after we gassed up they found a spot for us. It was right next to the fuel dock so we could use our lines to move the boat and tie up for the night.

The resort is both land-based and marina-based.

Because the people in the Ranger rendezvous were having their own BBQ, it was easy to get dinner reservations at the resort's Floathouse Restaurant. Dinner outside on the deck was wonderful. We splurged with raw oysters and beer to start. Yum!

Dining in style at the Floathouse Restaruant.

Gorge Harbour Resort has something for everyone. There's a lodge and cottages, RV and camping spots, the marina, a small store for provisions, a swimming pool, fun activities for all ages and even entertainment during the summer months.

The resort is constantly updating and improving. Our first trip there was in 2006. We offloaded our bikes to ride to Whaletown where the car and passenger ferry from Quadra Island arrives.

Gorge Harbour Marina Resort back in 2006.

We exited back out through the Gorge that gives the protected bay it's name. Using the docks or anchoring here is good in all seasons and weather conditions.

Exiting through the narrow gorge.

Then we were on our way to another favourite spot, Heriot Bay. There are so many places to explore in Coastal BC. I invite you to come visit and see for yourself. No boat, no problem. Explore using BC Ferries routes.

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Friends in Need


The new blue picnic table on our front porch.
... are especially nice especially when you don't know you are in need. Wayne and I came home after a mini-vacation to Vancouver Island to discover a new picnic table on our front porch.

We talked through all the possibilities of how it could have gotten there but weren't sure until we found a note tucked under a solar light on our old table.

Last summer our good friends Dave and Marg stayed at our cabin on the way home from our barge camping and quad riding trip to the head of Powell Lake. They noticed that our old table was missing one leg and sitting on an old shake block found floating in the lake.

Dave built the table in town and delivered it right to our cabin on Powell Lake.

Dave built us a new table in his shop at home and Marg came with him in their boat to make the delivery when they knew we would be away. What a surprise that was. Doesn't it look great! I love the colour that matches our cabin roof. Thanks so much Dave and Marg. You are super special friends in many ways.

Using the repurposed old picnic table as a work bench.
And what about the old picnic table you ask? Never fear. It has been repurposed into a work bench at the back of the cabin.

I used it to make my painted rock ladybug and Wayne is using it to sand and paint the wooden floorboards for our sailboat Ste. Marie.

Have you ever received something special from friends? Tell us your story.


Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy

Friday, July 28, 2017

Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer


Mother Nature uses morning haze on the Strait of Georgia to paint a watercolour picture.


 We had plenty of time to enjoy the view while trolling for salmon on the calm seas.


Summer is such a wonderful time of year. What have you been doing for fun?

Today is Sky Watch Friday. Go to the Sky Watch Friday website and you'll see sky photos from all over the world! -- Margy

Monday, July 24, 2017

Painted Rock Ladybug


Many years ago my friend John pulled a large rock up from our Powell Lake natural swimming pool. He left it sitting on a partially submerged stump and there it sat for about a week.

As I looked at the rock it kept saying "turtle" to me, so that's what it became, a large rock painted into a turtle. His name is Kobe. Wayne said he looked more like Kobe Bryant's basketball shoe. What an art critic.

Last year I started looking for a smooth rock along the lake shore that said "ladybug" to me. I found it on Kinsmen Beach next to the Shinglemill Marina where we park our boat. I finally got around to painting it this summer.

Now that our good friends Dave and Marg gave us a new picnic table for the front porch, the old one has become a work bench at the back of the cabin. It was the perfect spot for rock painting.



I used acrylic paints to transform the rock into its new character. Then I used Krylon clear acrylic spray to preserve the colours in the outdoor setting.

Now both Kobe the Turtle and the new ladybug share a spot on the corner of our new float at the front of the cabin.

They have two functions. The first is to add colour and decoration year round. The second function is to weigh down this corner of the float. It was a bit higher than the other side. Now they look symmetrical as your approach by boat.




Now I need to figure out a name for her. Do you have any suggestions?


Hop on over to the Not So Modern Housewife and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

http://nancyonthehomefront.com/Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"Dead Lucky" by Lincoln Hall


In recent years, I’ve read several books and watched movies about mountain climbers who have challenged themselves to reach the top of Mount Everest. 

The most recent book was Dead Lucky by Lincoln Hall (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2009). Like many mountaineers, Hall had a long history climbing the highest mountains in the world. As his skills and accomplishments grew, he became one of Australia most renowned mountaineers.

His first attempt to climb Everest was in 1984, but he was forced to turn back when daylight was running out. Then in 2004 an old friend contacted him about serving as a high altitude documentary cameraman for a fourteen year old Australian boy who wanted to climb Everest. The opportunity was too tempting, and Lincoln had what he called “unfinished business.”

After more than a year of fundraising and physical preparation, the team left for Base Camp to join a guided expedition with the 7SUMMITS-CLUB. During acclimatization climbs it became evident that young Christopher could not continue. Despite that setback, Lincoln was still allowed to make his own summit attempt.

They say the hardest part of climbing Mount Everest isn’t going up, it’s coming back down. Even though Lincoln made it to the top, his body started to falter quickly on the descent. It became so bad that he was left for dead at the 28,000-foot level. Dead Lucky sets the stage for Lincoln’s successful climb and tragic yet miraculous descent. His successes include reaching the 29,035-foot summit and surviving the night without oxygen and supplies within the notorious “death zone.”

Dead Lucky is an amazing story about one man’s quest to reach a goal and surviving to return to his family. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys true stories about brave people who do remarkable things.

http://www.semicolonblog.com/For more exciting book reviews, head on over to Semicolon's Blog each weekend. -- Margy

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread


I like to make sweet nut breads because they can be used as a breakfast item, a lunch snack or an easy dessert after dinner. I make several sweet breads for this purpose. If I have ripe bananas, it's Banana Nut Bread. I also make a Cranberry Pineapple Nut Bread.  But my favourite is Cranberry Orange Nut Bread. Here's the recipe I used from allrecipes.com.

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

If you use dried cranberries, put one cup in a little water and bring them to a boil. Remove from heat and let them reconstitute while you prepare the other ingredients.

Mix together the egg, oil, orange juice, and orange zest. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, and stir until just blended. Mix in cranberries and nuts (I prefer pecans).

Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan (or two smaller ones) and sp
oon in the batter. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan(s) and cool completely.

I like to use the small pans because the bread cuts just the right size to make little sandwiches filled with pineapple cream cheese spread for lunch.

Hop on over to the Not So Modern Housewife and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

http://nancyonthehomefront.com/Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

“The Queen of the North Disaster” by Colin Henthorne


I got The Queen of the North Disaster: The Captain’s Story (Harbour Publishing, 2016) by Colin Henthorne as a Christmas present for Wayne.

I knew we both would be interested in the captain’s first-hand account of the sinking of the BC Ferries Queen of the North off Gil Island in the Inside Passage of British Columbia’s northern coast.

Our hometown of Powell River is ferry dependent. If you want to come to or leave Powell River there are only two choices, by sea or air.

Flying on Pacific Coastal Airlines from Vancouver is quick, but relatively expensive. For the majority of people, BC Ferries is the logical choice for public transportation.

The other reason we were greatly interested in this book was because we were awakened around midnight on March 22, 2006, to heavy rain and destructive winds slamming our float cabin back and forth on her steel cable shore anchors. There was no way to get back to sleep, so we turned on the radio to listen to CBC. Rather than calming our nerves, we listened to the unfolding disaster happening to 101 passengers and crew far to the north.

Our bedside rechargeable CC Radio.
It was a terrible night for passengers and crew. Without warning, the side of the ferry was ripped open. Within 32 minutes, the crew searched and evacuated the entire ship. Even though it was a dangerous night, people with fishing boats from the First Nations community at Hartley Bay came to their assistance before the Coast Guard arrived. While it appeared everyone was evacuated, it was later determined that two passengers could not be found despite extensive land and sea searches.

The marine disaster resulted in commendations for the orderly evacuation, then lawsuits, court cases, sentences and firings. Colin Henthorne lost, then regained, only to lose again his position with BC Ferries. Crew on the bridge that night also had their lives disrupted by conjecture and innuendo, even prison time for one.

Captain Henthorne tells the story from his point of view including details about the Queen of the North as a ship, her workings, her crew and their responsibilities, and the events of that fateful night.

I recommend this book if you are interested in the history of naval accounts, if you use BC Ferries, or if you remember the incident and subsequent investigations. I learned a lot about the disaster and the ferry system that is a big part of my life. -- Margy

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Pilot or Co-Pilot

Sometimes it's hard to tell.

I fly from the left seat.


Wayne, with his instructor background, flies from the right seat.


And George, our autopilot, flies from the font panel.


No matter how we do it, it's fun to fly in 997 . . .

Final approach to Mahlon Sweet Field Airport in Eugene, Oregon,

. . . to places far and near. -- Margy

Friday, May 26, 2017

"Flying the Pacific Northwest"
by Wayne J. Lutz


Perfect for Pilots
and Aviation Enthusiasts of All Kinds

Flying the Pacific Northwest

by Wayne J. Lutz

Description: Airports of Western Washington and Oregon form the backdrop for adventures in the Pacific Northwest. Take the controls of a Piper Arrow, as your personal flight instructor leads you to out-of-the-way spots where recreational aircraft give us the freedom to pursue personal goals. Hints for cross-county and local flying, as presented by a 7000-hour FAA certified flight instructor. For armchair pilots and experienced pros, this book is an escape so realistic you’ll swear you’re airborne.  

Kindle $5.99
Print from Amazon.com $10.95
Check with your favourite e-book dealer 
for other formats.

Check here if you need a Kindle 
or free Kindle App.

If you enjoy the book, consider writing a review at Amazon.com
Happy reading! - Wayne

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pacific Northwest Plants: Cottonwood Trees


Cottonwood Trees

Full grown Cottonwood Tree
For a week now in Bellingham there have been puffy white seeds floating everywhere from the Cottonwood Trees.

Cottonwoods are a type of poplar, with the same quivering leaves. They grow in moist areas, so the wetlands behind our Bellingham condo is a prime spot.

Male and female flowers are in separate catkins (long, slim clusters) that appear before the leaves each spring.

The female catkin produces the cottony seeds that are blown long distances. It's these fluffy white masses that give the tree its name.


Each spring the white fluff flies through the air creating the plant version of a snow storm.

video

The seeds are very small (1X4 mm) which is remarkable considering they can grow into one of the largest trees in North America, up to 100 feet (30+ metres) high.

Cottonwood Catkins
Not only are Cottonwoods large, but fast growing, reaching maturity in 10-30 years. Young trees can add an amazing six feet per year.

Historically, their trunks were used by Native Americans to make dugout canoes. As a commercial product, their course wood is best suited for making pulpwood in the paper industry, pallets and shipping crates.

As summer changes to fall, the leaves of turn bright yellow and orange, making a warm contrast to the cooling blue skies.


Here's one framed by a double rainbow near sunset. -- Margy

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie


You've heard of chain letters. This is a chain recipe. I googled and found it at Krista Kooks. She got it from Beantown Baker. And she got it from Stephanie O'Dea. Stephanie got it from Lorie's Stitch in Time. Each blog has some great recipes. Now it's my turn to add my own twists to Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie.

When we were recently in town, I bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Afterwards, there was lots left, so I boned it and here's how I used the meat.

Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie

What drew me to this recipe was its simplicity. Spray the crock pot with cooking spray. Put all of the filling ingredients in the pot and stir until completely mixed. That's it.

Filling Ingredients

2 cups diced chicken
1 can drained red beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can drained corn (reserve 1/4 cup)
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small can diced green chilies
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cornbread Topping

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup drained canned corn

In a bowl, mix the cornbread topping. Start with the dry ingredients, then the wet and blend. When finished, pour evenly on top of the filling in the crock pot. If it is too thick to pour, add a little extra milk.

Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours.

I always use the low setting. That way there's a hot supper ready for when we are ready to eat, a win, win for everyone.

p.s. Let me know if the chain continues. -- Margy

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Christmas Spirit on Lopez Island, WA


During a trip to Lopez Island, Wayne and I walked from the airport to the marina to get lunch. On the way, we passed a unique mailbox.

As you can see, every day is like Christmas on Lopez Island.

Lopez is one of the San Juan Islands off the northern Washington coast. It can be reached by air (your own plane, Kenmore Air or San Juan Airlines) or sea (boat or ferry). Lopez is one of the most rural of the San Juans. Walk or drive the quiet back roads and you'll see lots of interesting mailboxes. Come and see for yourself. -- Margy

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Powell River Sunset


We returned town in Powell River to see this awesome sunset from our balcony. The view is northwest towards Vancouver Island. I think you can guess why they call this the Sunshine Coast. If you haven't made your summer holiday plans, this is the place to come. It is uncrowded, lots of outdoor activities for all ages, and friendly people. Want more information?


Click here to link to the Tourism Powell River. Come join us in paradise. -- Margy

Friday, April 7, 2017

Quick Shuttle Service from Bellingham to Powell River, BC via Vancouver Airport


Quick Shuttle connection at the Bellingham Airport.
Want to get to Powell River without taking a car on the ferries? Take the Quick Shuttle bus that connects Seattle and Vancouver airports. It has several stops, one of which is Bellingham Airport. Reservations are mandatory and passports are required.

The bus uses the Pacific Highway Crossing in Blaine. You get off at a special building and take your bags inside to clear Canadian immigration and customs. For up-to-date information about border crossing requirements check with with the Canadian Border Service Agency and US Customs and Border Protection before you go.


Boarding the Quick Shuttle
The amount of time necessary depends on the number of passengers and buses in line. Plan on at least 30 minutes, more on holidays. By the way, the Quick Shuttle has free WiFi so you can surf the web the whole trip (or work if you must). The cost is very reasonable, currently about $49 round trip, or $29 from Bellingham to YVR. They will also stop at the train station, cruise ship terminals, downtown Vancouver and most major hotels. Along the way you will see forests, farmlands, small towns, glimpses of the ocean, and finally the big city.


Vancouver Airport South Terminal
Whether you arrive at Vancouver Airport by bus or plane, Pacific Coastal Airlines has a free shuttle every half hour outside the lower level to take you to the South Terminal. Pacific Coastal has connections to many Vancouver Island and BC destinations. From Vancouver, it is only a 25 minute flight to Powell River.


Over Powell River, BC
One-way fares start at about $140. The Quik Pass program includes discount fares for frequent fliers.

Transportation is easy in Powell River. Your Pacific Coastal flight crew can call ahead for a Powell River Taxi to be waiting to whisk you away to your first adventure. If you are on the ground, you can call them at (604) 483-3666. You might be lucky enough to get one of our good friend John's brothers, Rick or Rob. They both have Prius cars to be environmentally friendly and economical.


Powell River Airport
If you want a car, Budget car rental is in the terminal. There is also a stop for the Powell River Regional Transit District bus outside. This bus can take you all around town or, with a connection, to the community of Lund at the end (or beginning depending on your point of view) of Highway 101.  No matter how you get here, Powell River is the place to visit and live. Join us here someday soon. -- Margy