Tag Archives: British Columbia

Perfect Gift for Your Scuba Diving Friend(s)

Here’s the deal:

I’ve been doing some work with Sea Dragon Charters over the last few months, and I’ve got a limited number of gift certificates available for scuba dive trips in Howe Sound.

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If there’s someone in your circle of family or friends who dives, this is a perfect gift.

Each gift certificate is for 1 person/2 dives aboard Sea Dragon, and includes filling their tank after the 1st dive so they don’t need to bring (or rent) 2 tanks.
Each dive trip is customized to the experience of the divers, and the location(s) in Howe Sound are determined on the dive day.

Each gift certificate is $ 99.00 Canadian.  You save on all taxes.

Buy in packets of 2 and save an additional 25%
That’s a 2 pack for $148.50

You don’t have to commit to a date, the recipient can book their dive at a date that’s convenient for them, based on availability on that date.  Gift certificates must be used before August 31, 2010.  Divers need to bring (or rent) their own equipment as the dive charter does not include scuba dive gear.

You’ll get a personalized gift certificate, custom printed with the name of the recipient(s).


email me if you’re interested  info@bigsnit.com

And you can read more about The Sea Dragon on their website.

-Robert Ouimet

How Big is a Big Yacht? This Big


Archimedes is apparently one of the 100 largest motor yachts in the world, #75 according to this website.

She was anchored in Mannion Bay, on Bowen Island, late this afternoon. I saw her pull in so I sailed over to get a couple of shots. Note the swimming pool on the upper aft deck. Nice touch.

The yacht has beautiful lines. And she’s big alright. Over 222 feet, and sports two, 2-thousand horsepower Caterpillar engines.

I wonder if they were heading over to the Eco-Shed ?

(cross posted to Madsu.ca)


Mothers Day Sail


EB and I spent a fabulous day sailing Howe Sound – my rather lame mother’s day gift to her.

The sound was picture perfect, with some high thin overcast causing a slight ring around the sun.

There was a sweet inflow that had us humming at 5.5 to 6 knots to weather, with Madsu right in the slot the boat was made for, heeled between 15 and 20 degrees, the 150 genoa driving us to weather with a nice steady motion through the chop.

We beat for about an hour and a half or so, tacking to follow the wind shifts, with hardly any traffic.  Lots of harbour seals were popping up so the feeding must be good.

On the way back I ran dead downwind for quite a long time, my back to the pushpit and my feet up.  I was pretty close to nodding off, as it warmed up considerably as was ran wing on wing.  Great was to spend the day.

Vivaldi Never Lived in BC

Even though I’ve lived in the Lower Mainland since 1987, I’ve just now figured out the seasons.

What was throwing me off is that they aren’t distinct, discreet seasons like elsewhere in the country.

They’re mellow, they over-lap, and there are some wildcards.

Today, in a moment of clarity like I’ve never had before, it all came to me.

The seasons here go like this:

  • Mostly Snowboarding
  • Mostly Gardening
  • Mostly Sailing

Oh, we also have a season called Hawaii.

To help keep it all clear, I’ve put together a little chart – click for a larger version – print it up and stick in on the bulletin board.


cross posted to VanGoGreen.com

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.

Fathers’ Day Perfect

I’m a dad and I don’t really make a big deal, or expect a big deal on Father’s Day.

My two sons and I spent the day sailing on a picture perfect BC day, and I must say it was the best Fathers’ Day ever.

Another great day on the water with a steady 10 – 12 knots inflow wind in Howe Sound. We hoisted the main and didn’t even bother with the jib.

We made great time on a close reach over to Bowen Island. Passing a gaggle of kayakers we did a quick tour around Manion Bay, gybed, and scooted back across on a reciprocal course.

There were loads of sail boats heading over from the mainland to Snug Cove perhaps for a late Fathers’ Day lunch. Hope their day was as fun as mine.

thanks boys.

A River Runs Through It

There’s something magic about living in Vancouver, and it’s easy to forget what an amazing place this is.

This morning I got up and took transit from North Vancouver to Richmond. One transfer and an hour later, I was sitting on the deck of Madsu at Skyline Marina on the Fraser River in Richmond.

I spent the next few hours motoring down the North Arm of the Fraser – enjoying a completely different aspect of Vancouver – one you forget is there when sitting in city traffic.

By the time I was off the river and into English Bay the sun decided to show up – and my trip over to Howe Sound and Horseshoe Bay was a delight.

So many different aspects to the city in one short day. From sitting on a bus in rush hour traffic to watching a bald eagle feast on a salmon. Gotta love BC.

Podcast with JER Envirotech

I’ve just posted a new podcast with Edward Trueman, President and CEO of JER Envirotech in Delta BC.

JER Envirotech is a British Columbia company at the forefront of new technology that’s changing the thermoplastics industry and helping the environment at the same time. When JER Envirotech was first founded ten years ago, the goal was to find a way to use organic materials in thermoplastics.

The idea was simple – instead of sending waste wood to the landfill or burning rice hulls – why not make use of these products by combining them with polymers to create a new kind of thermoplastic.

While the idea may have been simple, the science is not. With help from the National Research Council of Canada, JER Thermoplastics has been able to find a way to do it.

Podcast is on the At Large Media web site here.

It’s also on VanGoGreen.com here

Any Club That Would Have Me as a Member…

Oh No.

I’m so ordinary.

At least according to the latest research from Ipsos.

nearly four-in-ten Internet-enabled adults in Canada (37%) have visited an online social network or online social community and three-in-ten (29%) have placed a profile on at least one such site.

But it gets worse. I’m not even a ‘cool old guy’. There are cool old guys and gals everywhere…

…three-in-ten 35 to 54 year olds (29%) have visited such a site and one-in-five (21%) have placed a personal profile on one. One-in-five Canadians aged 55 and older (20%) have visited an online social network or community and one-in-ten (9%) have placed a personal profile on one.

OMG. This is the equivalent to wearing penny loafers in the 70’s, isn’t it ?

Read more, and weep, on the Ispsos site.

Another Crappy Day in Paradise


On board Madsu on a sunny and windy Saturday afternoon in Howe Sound heading out to the Straight of Georgia. We’re beating to windward doing about 5 knots and heeled about 12 degrees. Britannia is outbound from Squamish to Vancouver. The foredeck was packed with young girls yelling hello. In the foreground, clamped to my BBQ mount is our solar battery charger – it works like a charm.


EB’s on the tiller doing a respectable 5.2 knots SMG – got to like that GPS.


Meanwhile, the boys were up on the weather rail cooling off with a little toe dip in the salt chuck.

rail meat

Madsu Speed

Our little sailboat is no speed demon. For one thing, Madsu is a few decades old and of fairly conservative design. She’s also a swing keel with not a lot of aerodynamics at play down at that end of things.
And with 7 weeks to wait for our new 150% genoa, we’re stuck with a tired 100% foresail.

All that said, we’ve had some really fun nights the last few days, playing with the inflow and/or outflows of Howe Sound – sometimes both over the course of an evening.

We use our handheld GPS in lieu of a knotmeter – here’s a shot of our respectful 5.2 knots on a beam reach heading towards Bowen Island. Fun.
Madsu at 5.2 knots