Moonlight Sail with Bella and Aron

Garnet and I were lucky enough to be joined by Aron and Bella on our FullMoon Sail last Friday night.

I got a bit of video footage – fun night. Sorry the video’s so dark but it WAS already quite dark (it’s gonna get darker), and I left the good camera on dry land…

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Is Vancouver Genius Bar Challenged ?

I’m now heading into week 3 of trying to get my MacBook Pro airport fixed. I’ve been to the Apple Genius bar 3 times, they’ve worked on my machine twice, and after picking it up today it worked for about 2 hours then stopped.

The first time I brought it in, 2 weeks ago, they spent about half an hour at the ‘bar’ trying to figure out if it was a software or hardware issue. After decided it was hardware, they checked and by some miracle had a replacement airport in stock. I have Apple Care Pro so I left the machine with the promise of getting it back the next day.

Apple called the next day to say that they now thought it was the antennae, not the airport itself. One problem. That’s another part, and this they didn’t have in stock.

So I drove back downtown to pick up the machine since they expected it would be 10 days to get a part from California (huh ? Does Jobs drive them up here himself, on a bike? )

On Thursday (11 days later, but who’s counting) they called to say the antennae had indeed arrived. I dropped the machine off on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning (today) they called to say it was done.

Nice. Well, for 100 bucks a year you get 24 hour turn around on repairs, so they were just doing what they promised, but still, nice.

But Wait.

All excitement should be put on hold.

The wifi worked while I got mail and sent some photos up to the web site. When I came back to the machine 2 hours later, back to the flakey on/off airport reception, which is mostly off. It looks like maybe a physical connection problem – one second it’s showing 4 bars the next none.

So I’m tethered again (lan cable).

A call to the Apple Store netted a ‘…um, I’ll have a manager call you back’. Dude, I’m still waiting…

Can someone tell me, is this a normal experience at the Apple Genius Bar,


is Vancouver particularly genius challenged ?


No-one ever did call me back from the Apple Store. So I called at noon today, and just got off the phone after speaking with 3 people there.

What a nightmare.

Apparently if the Apple Genius decides a machine is working, then it doesn’t really matter what you the customer thinks since ‘we’ve run our diagnostics and it was fine’.

The upshot is that I will now be heading to the Apple store for the 4th time to see if they can actually fix my airport.

Here’s the thing – if I had a PC I’d just plug in an external wireless receiver but I can’t on the Mac, so I’m really hooped.

Maybe the Apple Genius will replace parts one at a time until they get it right ?

I’ll keep you posted.

UPDATE UPDATE (july 21):

Woaw. Night and Day. I got a call this morning from one of the first people I talked to at th Apple Store, who obviously IS a genius. It was like night and day – super helpful in trying to figure out what might be going on with my machine and wanting to solve the problem. A big thumbs up to Adam at the Apple Store in Vancouver ! Still have to resolve the issue, but at least now there’s someone there willing to order parts BEFORE having me come in.

July Full Moon Sail

We had an incredible night sailing under the full moon last night (18th July).

Despite a morning of cloud cover, the afternoon cleared up and we had a completely clear sky for our night sail. We left Sewell’s around 9:00 and there was a lovely 10-12 knot inflow wind.

We had a couple of guests with us, and even though they were novice sailors they did amazingly well. In fact, I put AB on the tiller most of the night and within a few minutes he was sailing the tell-tales like a pro. We were doing between 5 and 5.5 knots to weather thanks to just a light chop.   (a short video here)

By the time the moon made it over the West Van hills it was close to 10 pm and we sailed by the light of the moon for another hour and a half before heading back. We did see one complete idiot (a sailboat I might add) with no running lights making way to Bowen – crazy. Otherwise, just the usual ferry traffic and one big barge with tow.

There’s nothing quite like the magic of a full moon night under sail. Hope we get as lucky in August !

Albertan Makes My Day and other Stories from the Coast

Garnet and I had an incredible day on the water Saturday. We sailed Madsu from Horseshoe Bay at Granville Island and back, all for the sake of a little lunch in the market.

We logged about 27 miles on the trip there and back, all but 5 of them under sail. It was one of those perfect ‘set it and forget’ days with a steady wind around 10 knots.

The day started on an auspicious note, even before we hit the water. On the drive from home to Horseshoe Bay we stopped for gas. While gassing up a tourist came over to ask for directions and I stood and talked with him for a bit. In doing so, I put my wallet on top of the car, and promptly drove off.

Fortunately, the very same tourist followed me out of the gas station and spotted my wallet. Some frantic horn honking got my attention and the day was saved. So, the the tall blonde couple from Alberta at the gas station in North Vancouver who asked for directions to Stanley Park – thank you for making my day.

Our trip from Horseshoe Bay out was lovely – the sun was hot and the boat was humming along at a nice pace. With my back to the pushput and the tiller extender in hand, I managed to sit back and relax in the sun for most of the trip out of Howe Sound, interrupted by only a couple of tacks as we worked out way to weather on a steady inflow.

The trip down into English Bay was a straight shot and of course as we got closer to Vancouver the sailboat traffic increased rapidly, with the usual collection of outbound yachts, day sailors, and a gaggle of Lasers and Hobie’s flying out of Jericho.

As usual the docks around Granville Island were packed so we milled around a bit and got lucky as 40 foot sloop signaled he was pulling out. We tucked in, tied up and headed for the market to devour a late lunch. As usual, the market was packed but we managed to find a couple of stools and chowed down. Next stop, the Kids Market for a quick purchase of much needed new Lego for G and a strong coffee for me.

The trip back was lovely – we cruised by the beach at English Bay which was of course packed. Garnet pointed out a few naked sunbathers who were obviously shielded from the beach side by some big rocks but sitting ‘en plein air’ from the water. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

We fired up the iPod and listened (and laughed) to Ricky Gervais and gang – it’s become a ritual on the boat to listen to his podcasts (over and over).

We were dockside at our slip at Sewell’s by 9pm. A fantastic day – pure west coast magic – saved from disaster by a lovely couple from Alberta.