Saturday, 28 November 2009

Survival of the fittest

Walking around Gabriola Island, it never ceases to amaze me how resilient trees are when faced with adversity - even when it comes in the shape of a massive rock fall.  These specimens can be found along the trail leading to Sandwell Provincial Park.

Towering high above the trail, it's difficult to tell how this tree came to be the shape that it is. Maybe it was blown down many years ago, then recovered to grow back to health. Or maybe the horizontal growth is the last remaining part of its root network after the sandstone rockface collapsed from under it?  Either way, it's an amazing recovery!  

Friday, 27 November 2009

A break in the weather

At last, sunshine.  For the first time in three weeks the sun has really broken through and we can see the true colours of the season. 

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Time and Tide

After two incidents (at least) in the past week, BC Ferries finally issued the following warning today:

Please be advised that the MV Bowen Queen may not be able to accommodate long wheelbase vehicles when experiencing extreme tidal conditions, due to potentially steep ramp angles. Affected vehicles may be Semi’s, Commercial vehicles and Recreational vehicles. Customers may be required to delay their travels until suitable tidal conditions exist.

Pity they didn't issue the warning before they had 35 gallons of diesel fuel dumped on the car deck by a truck that ruptured its fuel line last week, and then had to call a heavy recovery vehicle to pull Home Depot's delivery truck off the ramp this week when the driver found himself with two wheels in mid-air!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Waiting for dinner

A few days ago I cut down part of a vast ivy growth and, to this day, I have yet to discover whether there is a tree trunk at its centre. Over the past few days, the cuttings have been progressively devoured to the point where all visible leaves had gone.

On my arrival home this evening there was a young deer looking hopefully for some dinner. I pulled a branch from the heap and flipped it over so the leaves were on top. They obviously tasted good, as I was ignored completely as I walked past four or five times collecting things from the car.

I love the expression - it's either "yeah, that's good eh?" or "just clear off and let me eat in peace"

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Bad weather defeats BC Ferries

High winds caused the cancellation of all BC Ferries from Tsawwassen from 3pm today. The 9pm sailing from Horseshoe Bay was also cancelled.

The Bowen Queen has continued in service, though delays are being experienced on the Nanaimo-Gabriola route.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

After the storm....

......the sun comes out, and there's time for a coffee pot walk.

Hummingbird's brook is babbling

The high tides that have threatened flooding to parts of Vancouver Island

and you start to see just how much lumber has been set adrift by the combination of heavy rain, wind and tide.

mmmm - fir cones, deer droppings and fresh mushrooms.

Coffee's brewed now - it must be time for breakfast!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Island Drywall Solutions

After much cursing and swearing, Island Drywall Solutions has come pretty close to handing over the space to Island Kitchen Solutions.

The window shelf is 30" wide and 25" deep.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Windows on the world

The second window is now in, next to the kitchen door

-  here's the view of the ocean from the kitchen sink

....... and the view out of the side window in daylight!

Friday, 13 November 2009

New Delivery!

It feels a little like a furniture store right now, but the kitchen cabinets are finally here. 

If only I was ready for them!

It's amazing how much light the new window lets in (when it's not dark, of course)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Foot passengers present safety risk for BC Ferries - or do they?

At the recent Ferry Advisory Committee, it was reported a risk assessment had been conducted on passengers leaving the Gabriola ferry and a decision taken that would mean foot passengers and cyclists disembarking after vehicles have left the ferry at both ends of the route.

In a letter to BC Ferries, Island Blog has pointed out some of the weaknesses in this proposal:
  • No representative of the FAC appears to have been invited to contribute to the risk assessment
  • Allowing cyclists to board first puts them in conflict with vehicles as they are still on the car deck when vehicles are being loaded
  • Foot passengers are already safely managed at the Gabriola terminal, to keep them away from vehicles leaving the ferry
  • Delaying foot passengers leaving the ferry at Gabriola will result in a greater hazard from the many cars that await the arrival of friends and family on the ferry, clogging the area as cars are unloaded
  • Foot passengers leaving the ferry at Nanaimo are allowed to wander into the vehicle lanes because BCF staff follow them off the ferry, instead of leading them off as they do at the Gabriola terminal
  • Pedestrian barriers and gates at the Nanaimo terminal need to be refurbished and supervised by staff, as they are at Gabriola. 
  • Since there is a member of terminal staff on duty at Nanaimo, there is a "spare" member of crew who could ensure these procedures are followed
  • With up to 150 walk-on passengers aboard on busy crossings, there is a serious risk of an accident aboard the ferry as they wander onto the car deck while vehicles are being unloaded
  • During the summer months, many walk-on passengers stay on the car deck during the crossing - especially on Quinsam. These passengers will be at serious risk while vehicles are leaving the ferry.
Have BC Ferries taken these issues into account in their Risk Assessment? We must wait and see. 

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

From the floor up

After much ingenuity to achieve a (comparatively) level floor, the work continues....