Dragons, Silly Boats and Bathtubs.

The city of Nanaimo B.C., is known as the harbour city. This month it more than earned that moniker.

Three events took place in the month of July. First was the Dragon Boat Festival. Started in 2003 as a means of bringing cancer survivors together to join in a common social endeavor. Today it is a fund raiser for cancer detection equipment for the Nanaimo Hospital foundation. DSC_0039

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The next event is billed as the Silly Boat Regatta. In its 34th year, its goal is to raise money for the Child Development Centre which help children with disabilities. This event is just a hoot. Silly boats, silly costumes. Actual boat construction starts at 8:00am the day of the race, to be ready to put in the water by 1:00pm. To coin a phrase, ‘build it and they will come,’ viewing room was at a premium, but I got lucky and elbowed my way to the rail.DSC_0330

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The third and final event is the International World Championship Bathtub Race and Nanaimo Marine Festival.

The first race took place in 1967, and took a course from Nanaimo to Vancouver. In the last couple of years it has been run in a loop, up the coast from Nanaimo, in the Salish sea and back. Well represented by local tubbers, it also draws competitors from around the world. Competitors, both male and female, can race in a number of different categories, from stock to super modified.

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We were blessed with perfect weather for all 3 weekend events. That is about it for water events this summer. We still have a folk festival, a blues festival and a jazz festival to look forward to. Until then, enjoy the pics. Cheers.

Here, There and Everywhere…well nearly.

As part of our travels around Vancouver Island, we decided to take in some camping at a provincial park near Port Renfrew on the west coast, about 21/2 hours from Nanaimo. As put in their glossy by the Chamber of Commerce, “Port Renfrew is where the Pacific Ocean collides with the rugged west coast of North America, and massive trees earn it the Tall Tree Capitol of Canada. Home of the West Coast Trail, and Juan De Fuca Trail”. Many trails lead to the beaches along a 50k stretch of the coast. Being open to the Pacific Ocean, some of the beaches are very popular with surfers.

I love the water, but I will leave riding the waves to the younger bunch. No sharks, just lots of rocks. We spent 4 days there, so these pictures only take in our first day, at Mystic Beach.

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Always lots of drift wood along west coast beaches.

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Mystic falls is down to a trickle at this time of year. Next year we plan to visit in the spring.

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This could be a place to spend the night… but only at low tide!

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Too many pictures to include in one blog. I will post more on our journey up the beach in a couple of days. Cheers.

 

Rainy Days and Sunshine.

The weather the other day was a mixed bag of sun one minute followed by rain followed by sun followed…. well you get the picture.

Speaking of pictures, the poppies here on Vancouver Island are in full bloom. And with the raindrops clinging to the petals, the sun transformed them into tiny jewels. Luckily I noticed this. A photo op for sure.

Here are a couple of shots I got in just before it started to rain, again. Enjoy. cheers.

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The Bubble has Burst

Last week I wrote about the magic of bubbles. Apparently, thanks to WordPress, the bubble has burst. And why, we don’t know. Is this being done for financial reasons? Staffing problems? Is the bottom line hurting and something had to give?

I fully understand that change exists in any organization, that is key to doing business. But the explanation given is nothing more than a white-wash. It simply does not ring true. Very disappointed and angry.

Nevertheless, I am not going away. I have made too many friends, fellow bloggers; and I have benefitted from that relationship. I have learned from them, laughed, smiled and cried. To give all this up now would be too much of a let down, both within the blogging community and to myself. At nearly 75, I have much yet to learn and much to share.

I am sure someone out there will pick up the banner and run with it. I am not sure just where this will transition to, but I look forward eagerly to whatever may appear on the horizon.

As far as my favourite pictures are concerned, I think in keeping with my feelings about this whole sell-off, I think the picture chosen expresses just what I think of this fiasco. Cheers.

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All-Time Favorites

Blowing Bubbles.

I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air, they fly so high, nearly reach the sky……(John Vellette & Jaan “Kenbrovin”) well, not really me but a lady down at our water front in Nanaimo. Not your average bubbles, but big, ever shape changing , bubbles.

As they came floating by us, twisting and turning, I found that due to their translucent nature, that auto focus was not going to work. So, manual focus to the rescue.DSC_0567

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And staying with our twisted theme, but nothing to do with bubbles, this creation was also at the water front park. Wood, in all shapes and sizes gets washed up on shore every year, just waiting for some creative soul to come along.

So, if you are walking around with your camera, get it out of the bag, be ready to put it to work, you never know just what will come floating by. Cheers.DSC_0556

Twisted

 

Wandering Vancouver Island – Kinsol Trestle.

Since the weather here has warmed up significantly, we decided to take a short, 76k road trip to view the Kinsol Trestle, located in the Cowichan valley,  and now part  of the Trans Canada Trail.

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Kinsol Trestle.

The trestle spans the Koksilah River. It is 187m long, and rises to a height of 44m, one of the largest in North America. Now for a bit of not to boring but condensed history.

Orginally built by the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway in 1911, it was needed to connect Victoria to Nootka Sound to transport old growth timber. The actual construction was undertaken by local farmers and loggers. The CNoPR  was take over by the Canadian National Railway in 1918 who oversaw  completion of the trestle by 1920. Last train to cross the trestle was in 1979, and the trestle was abandoned one year later. DSC_0110DSC_0109

The CNR gave up ownership on Vancouver Island in the 1980s, and the rail line was given over to the Ministry of Transportation. Due to the fact that the trestle sat unused , it’s deterioration  in the following years rendered it’s use prohibitive by hikers on the rail trail. It seemed unlikely at that point in time that the trestle would be able to be restored to use.

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After Much debate for and against restoration, an agreement was reached to preserve the trestle for it’s historical and tourism value. A feasibility study was conducted as to the work needed to restore it to use. It was estimated that 5.7 million would be needed. The provincial government kicked in 4.1 million and the rest was raised by local fund raising. The restoration was started in 2010, and the trestle opened to the public in 2011.DSC_0111

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Original cement piers at the base.
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Koksilah River.

DSC_0108The Kinsol Trestle has proven to be a very worthwhile addition to the Trans Canada Trail as seen by the number of people who visit it each year. Whether hiking, biking or on horseback, the trestle is available to all those who love the great outdoors. Cheers.

Unlikely

A Few Lines to Giggle, Grin or Groan at….

Here is my approach to this weeks photo challenge, “lines”.

I can’t seem to get limericks out of my head. The words just seem to creep into my brain, begging to be explored.

So here are a few lines,  grin or groan as you will, I am addicted.

 

My feet are running, my nose is not,

It’s all stuffed up and filled with snot.

I wheeze and blow,

But one thing I know,

Being knighted on Friday as Sir Dripsalot.

 

Toodle  Loo and Oogle Too were in a heated race,

Waddling down the road at a not so torrid pace.

Along came a hole,

Which swallowed them whole,

Said Loo to Too, I think we have fallen from grace.

 

There once lived a frog by the name of Bart,

He would moan and groan and hone his art.

The ladies he longed to do,

Alas, he was weak in the woo,

When mounting a croak, all he could do was fart.

 

Until my next time I give in to this silliness,  cheers.

Lines

My Favourite Place?

I find myself having some difficulty in selecting one place to call my favourite. After sifting through many pictures and memories, I still didn’t feel that I was  any closer to nailing down a favourite. Until…..

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Would my favourite place require travelling by plane?
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Newfoundland. Would it start here?
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The snows of winter makes for an inviting adventure, but…..
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This is so relaxing, it could be my favourite………..

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So many places, so little time. I have had the opportunity to travel this country from shore to shore. You can turn your world upside down looking, but…………

No matter how attractive or enticing a place is, there is simply no place like home. It is that place where you “are”, both emotionally and physically.DSC_0614

And my own back yard.DSC_0988

It doesn’t matter whether I am seeking mountains or the sea, I am here, and they are only a glance away. And the best part, I don’t have to do it alone. I have come home to  my favourite place. Cheers.DSC_0383

“When the uniqueness of a place sings to us like a melody, then we will know, at last, what it means to be at home”

Paul Gruchow, American author and conservationist.

Favorite Place