The Adventures of The Audrey Eleanor- Part 17

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MATCH CUP RACE (A PRETEND) RACE IN AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND ABOARD THE 1995 AMERICAS CUP CONTENDER. MARCH 2009 MY CAPTAIN AT THE HELM BRINGING US BACK INTO AUCKLAND HARBOUR.

SPRING IN THE HARBOUR

Spring is late coming to call in Pender Harbour this year.  Does that make you in the north feel better?  Now you should know that by late I mean the cherry blossoms are out, but the froths of pink flowers haven’t formed archways along the streets yet.  This is the beginning of April. Looking up Gunboat Bay a few days ago, fresh snow was visibly clinging to the mountains as far down as I could see. The snow had almost made it to sea level but a gentle southern breeze fluttered in and melted the “fairy dust” as I have recently heard it referred to.  I am appreciating that it has left quietly and without a trace.

Spring translates into rebirth and renewal for me.  The miserable snow is gone and the sun is producing life-giving heat.  Maybe not enough to warm your bones but possibly just enough to crisp your face, especially if it’s reflecting back from those sheets of ice that still cling to the lake surfaces for those of you in the Yukon!  Here in the Harbour the rays are bouncing back from a sparkling ocean.

Renewal aboard Audrey means removal of old paint and varnish and strange green things that have grown up over the winter.  When we first bought our boat a fern grew in the windowsill on the dash beside the gauges at the helm.  I have tried to nurture and maintain a healthy looking fern through out a Yukon winter with difficulty and the fact that this wonderful piece of greenery simply and routinely chose our boat for its home was to me a wondrous gift.

The Captain ripped it out by its tender little roots and proudly displayed it to me trophy like…he could not comprehend the look of horror on my face, as my only ever volunteer houseplant lay mutilated in his hands.  The fern has returned every spring since and I now pluck the beautiful parasite from the sill.  Plant growth causes wood to deteriorate.

The captain is in the “troll hole” changing filters and maintaining his perfect Perkins engines, his engine room gleams white with cleanliness.  Payback for the time he spends in the engine room is that we can turn the keys on Audrey at any time and the engines roar to life. The lines are cast off and there could be a new adventure in the making.  Crossing Dixon Entrance or battling giant waves, the Perkins engines have never failed us due to his time and care.

I am the sander/painter.  One of our inside jokes is that Rick is a welder and yet he possesses a wooden boat and is allergic to sawdust. Yes, I know that an allergy specialist should certify this.  I love doing the work it is gratifying to bring back the shine on the bright work and Audrey starts to pose in the sunshine as the grime of winter is washed away.

Lying on the teak decks with the heat of the afternoon sunshine on your shoulders is almost perfect.  Having a brush full of Tung oil and being able to smooth it out over the mahogany planks and expose the beautiful colour and grain of the wood: well with that and the G U elevens (Newfie for gull) serenading me, this is just plain heaven. I will take this over having to work inside any day.

The forecast for this Easter weekend is that temperatures should rise to 17c with sunshine all day long.  It is already 6c at 7 a.m. so I’m thinking that we will beat that forecast today.

The hot tub is already in the water and will be floating in the sea beside the dock again today.  We had a visitor the first night that we had the hot tub back in the sea.  There was woofing and barking and much carrying on in water.  The sound combined with the slapping of waves against the dock was causing us to wonder what was in the water with us.  We could not determine whether it was a curious sea lion or a sea otter checking us out in the dark.

‘Damned tourists keeping him awake at night,’ is what I suppose he is thinking.  I just didn’t want whatever was thrashing around in the ocean to join us in the much warmer hot tub.  The gulls fly over the tub and seem to do a double take and come back for another look.  I’m thinking we look like soup.

Spring is signalled in Pender Harbour by the white sails of the sailing clubs rounding Skardon Islands. These Islands mark the inside entrance to Pender Harbour.  The Islands   create the perfect course for sea trials for the sailboats.  These boats gracefully do figure eights around each other, Ocean going ballerinas.  The white sails are billowing like sheets on a line against a backdrop of a deep Blue Ocean and the soft green of the cedars.

This winter we were fortunate enough to participate in a Match cup sailboat race in Auckland, New Zealand.  I had never sailed before and wanted to experience the “other” boating style.   A sailboat race was the perfect birthday gift promised for a significant birthday; although I had never expected it to happen in New Zealand.  We were racing with the ’95 New Zealand Americas Cup contender.

The saying goes something like ‘a bad boating day is a great sailing day’.  Well after all of the extreme boating weather that we’d been through I figured that if you can’t beat the weather you might as well learn how to use it.  IT WAS WONDERFUL!  It’s like flying over the water, the 25knot winds filling the huge sails to the limits, creaking ropes, the hiss of the water racing by, I loved it…so now what to do?  So many choices.  The Captain took the helm during the race and I thought he suited it very well.

I have to trek up to the Grasshopper Pub in the Pender Harbour Hotel to hit a hot spot to email this storey off.  Zipping over by zodiac to the Copper Sky café in Madeira Park is another great place to have a coffee and a chat with Scottie and the boys while the email heats up.  But it’s a tough place to get out of and the afternoon will be biting at my heels by the time we are inspired to leave.  The Grasshopper Pub wins out as the communication point of choice.  The view is remarkable and I have been watching the hillside for the resident doe and this year’s fawn.  The climb to the pub is extreme, but the chances of seeing the fawn are very good.

Daffodils show sunny faces on the hillside as I climb skyward to the Grasshopper.  They are flashing yellow smiles throughout Madeira Park and Garden Bay.  Primroses offer brilliant colours in unexpected places.  The Easter Bunny will have to look for these special spots to hide her Easter Eggs.  The Easter Bunny hops into Pender Harbour as well as Marsh Lake, Yukon Jianna Mia.

From my crow’s nest on the deck above the marina, I can see the tide churning out of Gunboat Bay at a hard-boil.  When she winds up the tide runs at about 5 knots, and with the wind whipping against her it creates a small rapid.   The deceptive Woman of the Sea, at slack tide the waters are placid and create the illusion of perfect moorage. There have been a few unwary sea goers who have dropped anchor here; everyone makes an effort to warn them that they will probably be swept away at tide change. Few ever spend the night; there are nice people here. The benefits of fast water are that it flushes the bay and keeps everything sparkling clean.  It also helps to prevent growth from forming on your boat’s bottom and no one wants growth on his or her bottom.

Across the harbour is Garden Bay the serious transients are already arriving.  Three sailboats have dropped anchor and set up house keeping there.  By mid summer you could possibly walk across on the decks of boats anchored in the harbour.

A warm breeze is wafting the perfume from budding willows leaves and cedar and fir trees growing in loamy rich soil across the deck.  The air is always salty; the clouds drift by in a deep blue sky.  I can see the doe directly below me and what could be last year’s fawn, or maybe its a doe friend and they are out for a walk together, no new baby as of yet, its late in arriving as well.  The tinkle of ice cubes in a tall glass while sitting out on a deck overlooking the Ocean is THE most definite sign of spring.  Happy Easter everyone.

P.S.  Bob and Kait I hope you have a wonderful Easter, you should be here…love from your mommy.

The Adventures of The Audrey Eleanor- Part 17

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MATCH CUP RACE (A PRETEND) RACE IN AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND ABOARD THE 1995 AMERICAS CUP CONTENDER. MARCH 2009 MY CAPTAIN AT THE HELM BRINGING US BACK INTO AUCKLAND HARBOUR.

SPRING IN THE HARBOUR

Spring is late coming to call in Pender Harbour this year.  Does that make you in the north feel better?  Now you should know that by late I mean the cherry blossoms are out, but the froths of pink flowers haven’t formed archways along the streets yet.  This is the beginning of April. Looking up Gunboat Bay a few days ago, fresh snow was visibly clinging to the mountains as far down as I could see. The snow had almost made it to sea level but a gentle southern breeze fluttered in and melted the “fairy dust” as I have recently heard it referred to.  I am appreciating that it has left quietly and without a trace.

Spring translates into rebirth and renewal for me.  The miserable snow is gone and the sun is producing life-giving heat.  Maybe not enough to warm your bones but possibly just enough to crisp your face, especially if it’s reflecting back from those sheets of ice that still cling to the lake surfaces for those of you in the Yukon!  Here in the Harbour the rays are bouncing back from a sparkling ocean.

Renewal aboard Audrey means removal of old paint and varnish and strange green things that have grown up over the winter.  When we first bought our boat a fern grew in the windowsill on the dash beside the gauges at the helm.  I have tried to nurture and maintain a healthy looking fern through out a Yukon winter with difficulty and the fact that this wonderful piece of greenery simply and routinely chose our boat for its home was to me a wondrous gift.

The Captain ripped it out by its tender little roots and proudly displayed it to me trophy like…he could not comprehend the look of horror on my face, as my only ever volunteer houseplant lay mutilated in his hands.  The fern has returned every spring since and I now pluck the beautiful parasite from the sill.  Plant growth causes wood to deteriorate.

The captain is in the “troll hole” changing filters and maintaining his perfect Perkins engines, his engine room gleams white with cleanliness.  Payback for the time he spends in the engine room is that we can turn the keys on Audrey at any time and the engines roar to life. The lines are cast off and there could be a new adventure in the making.  Crossing Dixon Entrance or battling giant waves, the Perkins engines have never failed us due to his time and care.

I am the sander/painter.  One of our inside jokes is that Rick is a welder and yet he possesses a wooden boat and is allergic to sawdust. Yes, I know that an allergy specialist should certify this.  I love doing the work it is gratifying to bring back the shine on the bright work and Audrey starts to pose in the sunshine as the grime of winter is washed away.

Lying on the teak decks with the heat of the afternoon sunshine on your shoulders is almost perfect.  Having a brush full of Tung oil and being able to smooth it out over the mahogany planks and expose the beautiful colour and grain of the wood: well with that and the G U elevens (Newfie for gull) serenading me, this is just plain heaven. I will take this over having to work inside any day.

The forecast for this Easter weekend is that temperatures should rise to 17c with sunshine all day long.  It is already 6c at 7 a.m. so I’m thinking that we will beat that forecast today.

The hot tub is already in the water and will be floating in the sea beside the dock again today.  We had a visitor the first night that we had the hot tub back in the sea.  There was woofing and barking and much carrying on in water.  The sound combined with the slapping of waves against the dock was causing us to wonder what was in the water with us.  We could not determine whether it was a curious sea lion or a sea otter checking us out in the dark.

‘Damned tourists keeping him awake at night,’ is what I suppose he is thinking.  I just didn’t want whatever was thrashing around in the ocean to join us in the much warmer hot tub.  The gulls fly over the tub and seem to do a double take and come back for another look.  I’m thinking we look like soup.

Spring is signalled in Pender Harbour by the white sails of the sailing clubs rounding Skardon Islands. These Islands mark the inside entrance to Pender Harbour.  The Islands   create the perfect course for sea trials for the sailboats.  These boats gracefully do figure eights around each other, Ocean going ballerinas.  The white sails are billowing like sheets on a line against a backdrop of a deep Blue Ocean and the soft green of the cedars.

This winter we were fortunate enough to participate in a Match cup sailboat race in Auckland, New Zealand.  I had never sailed before and wanted to experience the “other” boating style.   A sailboat race was the perfect birthday gift promised for a significant birthday; although I had never expected it to happen in New Zealand.  We were racing with the ’95 New Zealand Americas Cup contender.

The saying goes something like ‘a bad boating day is a great sailing day’.  Well after all of the extreme boating weather that we’d been through I figured that if you can’t beat the weather you might as well learn how to use it.  IT WAS WONDERFUL!  It’s like flying over the water, the 25knot winds filling the huge sails to the limits, creaking ropes, the hiss of the water racing by, I loved it…so now what to do?  So many choices.  The Captain took the helm during the race and I thought he suited it very well.

I have to trek up to the Grasshopper Pub in the Pender Harbour Hotel to hit a hot spot to email this storey off.  Zipping over by zodiac to the Copper Sky café in Madeira Park is another great place to have a coffee and a chat with Scottie and the boys while the email heats up.  But it’s a tough place to get out of and the afternoon will be biting at my heels by the time we are inspired to leave.  The Grasshopper Pub wins out as the communication point of choice.  The view is remarkable and I have been watching the hillside for the resident doe and this year’s fawn.  The climb to the pub is extreme, but the chances of seeing the fawn are very good.

Daffodils show sunny faces on the hillside as I climb skyward to the Grasshopper.  They are flashing yellow smiles throughout Madeira Park and Garden Bay.  Primroses offer brilliant colours in unexpected places.  The Easter Bunny will have to look for these special spots to hide her Easter Eggs.  The Easter Bunny hops into Pender Harbour as well as Marsh Lake, Yukon Jianna Mia.

From my crow’s nest on the deck above the marina, I can see the tide churning out of Gunboat Bay at a hard-boil.  When she winds up the tide runs at about 5 knots, and with the wind whipping against her it creates a small rapid.   The deceptive Woman of the Sea, at slack tide the waters are placid and create the illusion of perfect moorage. There have been a few unwary sea goers who have dropped anchor here; everyone makes an effort to warn them that they will probably be swept away at tide change. Few ever spend the night; there are nice people here. The benefits of fast water are that it flushes the bay and keeps everything sparkling clean.  It also helps to prevent growth from forming on your boat’s bottom and no one wants growth on his or her bottom.

Across the harbour is Garden Bay the serious transients are already arriving.  Three sailboats have dropped anchor and set up house keeping there.  By mid summer you could possibly walk across on the decks of boats anchored in the harbour.

A warm breeze is wafting the perfume from budding willows leaves and cedar and fir trees growing in loamy rich soil across the deck.  The air is always salty; the clouds drift by in a deep blue sky.  I can see the doe directly below me and what could be last year’s fawn, or maybe its a doe friend and they are out for a walk together, no new baby as of yet, its late in arriving as well.  The tinkle of ice cubes in a tall glass while sitting out on a deck overlooking the Ocean is THE most definite sign of spring.  Happy Easter everyone.

P.S.  Bob and Kait I hope you have a wonderful Easter, you should be here…love from your mommy.

The Adventures of The Audrey Eleanor- Part 17

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MATCH CUP RACE (A PRETEND) RACE IN AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND ABOARD THE 1995 AMERICAS CUP CONTENDER. MARCH 2009 MY CAPTAIN AT THE HELM BRINGING US BACK INTO AUCKLAND HARBOUR.

SPRING IN THE HARBOUR

Spring is late coming to call in Pender Harbour this year.  Does that make you in the north feel better?  Now you should know that by late I mean the cherry blossoms are out, but the froths of pink flowers haven’t formed archways along the streets yet.  This is the beginning of April. Looking up Gunboat Bay a few days ago, fresh snow was visibly clinging to the mountains as far down as I could see. The snow had almost made it to sea level but a gentle southern breeze fluttered in and melted the “fairy dust” as I have recently heard it referred to.  I am appreciating that it has left quietly and without a trace.

Spring translates into rebirth and renewal for me.  The miserable snow is gone and the sun is producing life-giving heat.  Maybe not enough to warm your bones but possibly just enough to crisp your face, especially if it’s reflecting back from those sheets of ice that still cling to the lake surfaces for those of you in the Yukon!  Here in the Harbour the rays are bouncing back from a sparkling ocean.

Renewal aboard Audrey means removal of old paint and varnish and strange green things that have grown up over the winter.  When we first bought our boat a fern grew in the windowsill on the dash beside the gauges at the helm.  I have tried to nurture and maintain a healthy looking fern through out a Yukon winter with difficulty and the fact that this wonderful piece of greenery simply and routinely chose our boat for its home was to me a wondrous gift.

The Captain ripped it out by its tender little roots and proudly displayed it to me trophy like…he could not comprehend the look of horror on my face, as my only ever volunteer houseplant lay mutilated in his hands.  The fern has returned every spring since and I now pluck the beautiful parasite from the sill.  Plant growth causes wood to deteriorate.

The captain is in the “troll hole” changing filters and maintaining his perfect Perkins engines, his engine room gleams white with cleanliness.  Payback for the time he spends in the engine room is that we can turn the keys on Audrey at any time and the engines roar to life. The lines are cast off and there could be a new adventure in the making.  Crossing Dixon Entrance or battling giant waves, the Perkins engines have never failed us due to his time and care.

I am the sander/painter.  One of our inside jokes is that Rick is a welder and yet he possesses a wooden boat and is allergic to sawdust. Yes, I know that an allergy specialist should certify this.  I love doing the work it is gratifying to bring back the shine on the bright work and Audrey starts to pose in the sunshine as the grime of winter is washed away.

Lying on the teak decks with the heat of the afternoon sunshine on your shoulders is almost perfect.  Having a brush full of Tung oil and being able to smooth it out over the mahogany planks and expose the beautiful colour and grain of the wood: well with that and the G U elevens (Newfie for gull) serenading me, this is just plain heaven. I will take this over having to work inside any day.

The forecast for this Easter weekend is that temperatures should rise to 17c with sunshine all day long.  It is already 6c at 7 a.m. so I’m thinking that we will beat that forecast today.

The hot tub is already in the water and will be floating in the sea beside the dock again today.  We had a visitor the first night that we had the hot tub back in the sea.  There was woofing and barking and much carrying on in water.  The sound combined with the slapping of waves against the dock was causing us to wonder what was in the water with us.  We could not determine whether it was a curious sea lion or a sea otter checking us out in the dark.

‘Damned tourists keeping him awake at night,’ is what I suppose he is thinking.  I just didn’t want whatever was thrashing around in the ocean to join us in the much warmer hot tub.  The gulls fly over the tub and seem to do a double take and come back for another look.  I’m thinking we look like soup.

Spring is signalled in Pender Harbour by the white sails of the sailing clubs rounding Skardon Islands. These Islands mark the inside entrance to Pender Harbour.  The Islands   create the perfect course for sea trials for the sailboats.  These boats gracefully do figure eights around each other, Ocean going ballerinas.  The white sails are billowing like sheets on a line against a backdrop of a deep Blue Ocean and the soft green of the cedars.

This winter we were fortunate enough to participate in a Match cup sailboat race in Auckland, New Zealand.  I had never sailed before and wanted to experience the “other” boating style.   A sailboat race was the perfect birthday gift promised for a significant birthday; although I had never expected it to happen in New Zealand.  We were racing with the ’95 New Zealand Americas Cup contender.

The saying goes something like ‘a bad boating day is a great sailing day’.  Well after all of the extreme boating weather that we’d been through I figured that if you can’t beat the weather you might as well learn how to use it.  IT WAS WONDERFUL!  It’s like flying over the water, the 25knot winds filling the huge sails to the limits, creaking ropes, the hiss of the water racing by, I loved it…so now what to do?  So many choices.  The Captain took the helm during the race and I thought he suited it very well.

I have to trek up to the Grasshopper Pub in the Pender Harbour Hotel to hit a hot spot to email this storey off.  Zipping over by zodiac to the Copper Sky café in Madeira Park is another great place to have a coffee and a chat with Scottie and the boys while the email heats up.  But it’s a tough place to get out of and the afternoon will be biting at my heels by the time we are inspired to leave.  The Grasshopper Pub wins out as the communication point of choice.  The view is remarkable and I have been watching the hillside for the resident doe and this year’s fawn.  The climb to the pub is extreme, but the chances of seeing the fawn are very good.

Daffodils show sunny faces on the hillside as I climb skyward to the Grasshopper.  They are flashing yellow smiles throughout Madeira Park and Garden Bay.  Primroses offer brilliant colours in unexpected places.  The Easter Bunny will have to look for these special spots to hide her Easter Eggs.  The Easter Bunny hops into Pender Harbour as well as Marsh Lake, Yukon Jianna Mia.

From my crow’s nest on the deck above the marina, I can see the tide churning out of Gunboat Bay at a hard-boil.  When she winds up the tide runs at about 5 knots, and with the wind whipping against her it creates a small rapid.   The deceptive Woman of the Sea, at slack tide the waters are placid and create the illusion of perfect moorage. There have been a few unwary sea goers who have dropped anchor here; everyone makes an effort to warn them that they will probably be swept away at tide change. Few ever spend the night; there are nice people here. The benefits of fast water are that it flushes the bay and keeps everything sparkling clean.  It also helps to prevent growth from forming on your boat’s bottom and no one wants growth on his or her bottom.

Across the harbour is Garden Bay the serious transients are already arriving.  Three sailboats have dropped anchor and set up house keeping there.  By mid summer you could possibly walk across on the decks of boats anchored in the harbour.

A warm breeze is wafting the perfume from budding willows leaves and cedar and fir trees growing in loamy rich soil across the deck.  The air is always salty; the clouds drift by in a deep blue sky.  I can see the doe directly below me and what could be last year’s fawn, or maybe its a doe friend and they are out for a walk together, no new baby as of yet, its late in arriving as well.  The tinkle of ice cubes in a tall glass while sitting out on a deck overlooking the Ocean is THE most definite sign of spring.  Happy Easter everyone.

P.S.  Bob and Kait I hope you have a wonderful Easter, you should be here…love from your mommy.

The Power of Hope

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All of humanity is based upon the notions of what could be, focusing on the future rather than the present. Rarely is anyone truly, wholly satisfied with the life they are living, preferring to think of the time to come as a golden place where their wishes can be fulfilled. This method of thinking, of hoping, is the pinnacle of human nature and is an intrinsic part of society. All revolutionary ideas begin with a farfetched dream, grown from the hope for a better world someday, somewhere. In short, it is a powerful ideal capable of altering history, yet is humble enough to make a difference in anyone’s life.

The most common way people use hope is to generate lists of traits to develop or events that need to happen in order to create a better future for them. It can be as simple as, “I hope it will not rain today,” or as heavy as, “I hope my dream university accepts me.” All of these are fragments and puzzle pieces that can come together to form a bigger picture of someone’s life. Each segment is a key to unlock a brighter world, one where everyone is joyful and everything is just as it should be. Although most people understand not all hopes come to fruition, the wishes still define a person’s individuality and can reveal their inner thought processes and priorities.

Another way hope affects human lives is by alleviating the pain of uncertainty. They stem from a serious reason that sometimes touch on the theme of life and death. For example, when a loved one is ill, people hope for their health and relief of suffering as a way to provide strength to both the patient and themselves. It inspires action with its gravity, and provokes the yearning to fight and survive tough periods of time. In short, this type of hope allows people to keep their chin up and remain calm during crisis situations.

So far, the powers of hope described apply only to certain individuals or a small group of people. However, society as a whole requires the possibility of improvement to continue to function and evolve. Most inventions are the results of wishes for improvement, spawned through mass-demand and necessity. Additionally, in a deeper and more complex way, cultural norms are also products of hopeful thinking turned into action by certain revolutionaries.

As illustrated, hope is a powerful mechanism acting on scales great and small, benefiting the lives of individuals and the global community. Wherever and whenever it exists, it works to generate changes of attitude, inspire strength, and moves the human race forwards towards improvement. The influence and capabilities of hope may be intangible, but they indisputably play a vital role in charting the course of the human race, shining in the back of the mind like a star guiding the way.

Should You Disclose Your Struggles to Your Friends?

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Undoubtedly, life is not known for being excessively kind all of the time. There will be occasions where the situation is less than ideal, and the ensuing struggle is difficult to bear alone. However, the debate then becomes whether or not one should discuss these challenges with friends and family. On one hand, the conversation may be constructive and helpful in recovering from the current darkness, but, unfortunately, the sharing process may lead to rejection and discomfort for all parties involved. Therefore, it is necessary to use one’s judgment in deciding through consideration of a few general factors such as type of relationship, past experiences, and what the end result may be.

The instinct may be to share with whomever one knows for the longest period of time, but this may not be the best route. The ideal confidant is familiar, but can also keep their distance and be objective with regards to giving advice. Of course, a mere acquaintance is a poor choice and may lead to uncomfortable circumstances, but a best friend may be quick to defend and shift away responsibility, which can turn the meaningful discussion into a pity party. Additionally, each friend probably has a ‘designated’ role in one’s life (the wing-person, the partier, etc.). Decide what type of role would best fit the need, and reach out to that person.

Stereotyping, though, will only be accurate to a limited degree. The best indicator of future success is past experience. If one friend has a track record of being a good listener, then they would be an obviously advantageous choice. However, if another person is loose-lipped and threatens any hope of being discrete, look elsewhere. The objective is to create a safe environment, so insecurities can be temporarily swept under the rug and vulnerabilities can show.

Finally, it is essential to consider the end result of the conversation. Hopefully, the disclosure will accomplish something, even if it is only relief from being able to share a burden. No dramatic outcome such as a complete and total resolution needs to come from it, but progress towards recovery should be achieved in some form, which may not be immediately obvious. In other words, the most important aspect to consider is a sense of well-being. However, this will come at the price of complete and utter honesty, which is incredibly difficult to achieve. Therefore, it is ultimately best to confide in someone removed from the situation in order to decrease anxiety.

All in all, confiding in a friend about struggling with some aspect of life is a meaningful and helpful process for alleviating the pain of emotions, but only with the right person. Remember, the ultimate goal is to have an outlet to which to voice frustrations and a figure who offers advice in a positive form.

The Adventures of The Audrey Eleanor- Part 16

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One of many “Garden of Edens” we encountered on our adventures. The picture below is of Petersburg, Alaska. Fishing and logging village that has purposely refused cruise ships to commercialize their lives. They maintain their Identity and have a healthy and sustainable economy. Their children will be able to fish unpolluted waters and breathe clean air.

GARDEN OF EDEN

Hurricane force winds mean it’s just another day on the west coast. We had weathered two such storms in Potts Lagoon, located towards the north end of Vancouver Island. These are the winds that flattened Stanley Park in Vancouver B.C., Canada. Four days of sitting in the rain is wearing on us. The crab traps are providing fresh “meat”, but new sights and people that we had yet to meet are just around the corner…. time is dragging.

We were anchored beside a summer floating camp in Potts Lagoon; three houses set on floats, which looked to be a great place to hide out during the summer. It appears that someone has this idea as well, they are hiding out for the winter. The first night that we were slammed by the hurricane winds, we could smell wood smoke. We distinctly smelled wood smoke as the storm raged around us. This is not a good thing on a wooden boat and it becomes terrifying in the black of the night with the wild winds of the furies screaming at you.

We set out in the zodiac to see if we could raise anyone in the float houses. We circle the houses, call hello several times, there is no response. Who ever is inside does not want to socialize, we understand. Every night we smell the wood smoke, our anonymous neighbours don’t use any lights and we never see them. After four days of knowing that you have someone living beside you that doesn’t want to be seen, well, it just wears you out. I want to go, these anonymous neighbours are giving me the creeps.

Today’s the day! We are attempting to make it to Port Neville. Audrey heads up Knight Inlet and cruises around Minstrel Island, its bumpy but we moving. As we get closer to Johnston Straight the seas start to build again. The Coast Guard out of Comox are following us in a helicopter (they have done this before, it is getting personal). It’s rough going, but compared to some of the rides we’ve had, it’s bearable. Maybe it’s the hovering help above us that makes the rough seas easier to take. Nope, the waves build and we are forced to duck into Burial Cove.

The anchor is dropped and we wait for the tide to turn. Anchored beside us in the cove is a one hundred and twenty-foot ship that has been re-constructed and is now used as a floating bunkhouse, possibly for a logging crew. The crews must be on leave in Campbell River, it’s pretty quiet on board from what we can see and can’t hear.

It’s high slack tide and again, we are running for Port Neville before the tide begins to turn. We will duck into the Government wharf, which has a reputation of being a rough place to dock with swirling currents and tides. The Coast Guard is back above us as we near Seymour Narrows. There is a barge in front of us, we debate about getting up close and letting it break the waves for us. Time is against us, we will have to fight our own battle with the wind and waves, we are only a few kilometres from the dock and the barge is on the other side of the straight. We wonder who the Coast Guard is looking for. We have not talked to family and friends in days; we hope it isn’t us they search for.

The dock is to our portside. It has huge big beams and it looks very well made. The current is swirling around the piles; this is going to be an exciting landing. I am on the bow trying to either lasso the piles or jump for it, sometimes being five foot tall is limiting. The current is determined to take us back out into the channel, I can hear a voice…. no it’s not the Coast Guard or god either. There is a petite lady standing on the dock yelling at me to throw her the rope. Thank you goddess, the rope is thrown and she secures the bow. The Captain brings in her stern and we are home free.

Lorna introduces herself as the second-generation homesteader, mail lady, entrepreneur, and keeper of the government docks. She is appreciated.

She invites us to come ashore to see her families homestead and also throws in an invitation for dinner. The sun is starting to set as we head up the gangway. An old two-storey building sits at the head of the dock walkway, we stroll towards it. The sun is just setting as we reach land…. maybe we did drown out there, this has to be heaven, or at the very least, this is the Garden of Eden.

The Captain and I both stand with mouths wide open in awe. We are at the gateway to her property. There are green rolling hills with lush emerald grass that’s been recently cut (this is November). Off to the right at the top of a green knoll is the most perfect little log cabin; lights twinkle in the lace-lined windows. Several apple trees are scattered through out the acreage that still have red apples clinging to branches.

Underneath the apple trees are deer, small ones and big ones, no shy ones. As they notice us they come to visit. Lorna states, ‘they are looking for apples’. She hands us a few apples that she has hidden in her pockets. The deer walk right up to us and nuzzle our sides looking for their supper. Apparently they will follow a person around all day begging for apples. This year’s fawn looks up with big, soft brown eyes; you know that you have to find just one more apple, somewhere.

The two-storey building is the old homestead that Lorna grew up in. Rough, hand-hewn timbers are silver with age; it is now an art shop for tourists in the summer. Her new home, which is the post office as well, sits just beyond the homestead. We amble towards her house with our deer entourage bumping at our hands and hips. They have become a nuisance and a pain, funny how quickly that can happen!

Lorna lives here by herself. The log cabin is uninhabited; I wasn’t sure why the lights were on, maybe it makes her feel like she has neighbours. She has a generator for power and keeps her marine radio on to listen to passing ships. Bears are curious about the noise that the generator creates or maybe it was simply the shortest route to the apples, she has bumped noses with the bears often.

We tell Lorna that our radio has been giving us grief forever, she proceeds to give us a brief but though lesson in marine radios. Se’curite, Se’curite, Se’curite…doesn’t that mean GOOD MORNING?? We have spent most of our cruising time in Alaska. Alaska doesn’t have lighthouses or live broadcasts, they are all computerized.

In Canada we still have lighthouses with real people in them. They can see a black line thundering across the water and call it in. I love those people. Se’curite translated by me means pay attention, Se’curite twice is smarten up and three times is get off the big water and head for cover, NOW.

Lorna confirmed this. Pay special attention when you get up at 6 a.m. and they are already calling Se’curite, se’curite, se’curite, the wind hasn’t even gotten out of bed yet, just wait. You are experiencing the remnants of last nights “blow” and the best is yet to come. On this trip EVERY morning we woke up to S.S.S, Lorna said she’d never seen a winter like it. I feel less like a wimp.

This strong woman is one of the many independent people that we have met on our travels. She talks of selling off sections of her homestead. Her daughter has left to get married in Powell River. I could tell that she missed her daughter terribly, I can relate to her. It was a feeling that I knew well, my son and daughter are miles away and there had been times that I was sure I would never see them again. It would be a lonely existence; loneliness being the worm in this breathe taking Garden of Eden. This winter of storms is taking its toll on all of us.

The next day we opt to take a detour, why would we want to simply take on Seymour Narrows when we can manoeuvre through four rapids instead? I am starting to figure out my Captain…when he says that “God hates a Coward thing”, it really means Se’curite, Se’curite, Se’curite

Are You Having An Emotional Affair?

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By Gurdeep Pandher

Everyone knows what a regular love affair is. As trust is the basis of any healthy relationship, a betrayal of any magnitude usually ends in heartbreak or some unnoticed deep pains. In this day and age, when connectivity is literally a click away, ‘affair’ is almost a click away too, or a possibility that is always present. However, physical affection is not the only type; an emotional affair can be equally challenging for a relationship. Although it lacks the salacious quality, but attachment can be powerful and “super-emotional”, involving the confiding of feelings and the exchange of intimate conversations rather than physical affection, it is still difficult and needs to be understood appropriately.

The first step is to identify the signs of an emotional affair. This is usually the most difficult part due to the subtle nature of the unsuspected relationship, but it typically involves confiding in another person while emotionally withdrawing from your spouse or actual partner. Keep in mind that this does not include inside jokes or secrets that are applicable only to the other person; this refers to events as basic as having a mishap at work or a funny moment during the day that would somehow be better kept from your significant other. As this develops, it is common to believe the other person is more understanding, and to feel closer to them. You start feeling that your spouse or actual partner is less friendly or charming. You start withdrawing from your real partner or spouse in an endless quest to be closer to your emotional lover. In this whole process, your mind and heart also go through varying degrees of conflicts and confusions as the smoke of unclear thoughts grows.

After asserting the presence of an emotional affair, it is then necessary to determine the underlying causes of this phenomenon. Most likely, the other person validates you in a way your real partner does not, such as through compliments, witty anecdotes, flirtations, and even sensual messages. Although it may not seem problematic at first, the symptoms manifesting as in a regular close friendship, the rate of acceleration in intimacy and the resulting gratification may take you to totally a different path. To end an emotional affair, consider what exactly makes the other person more attractive than your significant other. This could a bubble or this could be real, you just do not know. This could be as simple as a more compatible sense of humor, or as complex as a possible escape from abuse.

Once the cause is ascertained, it is your decision as to whether or not to end the relationship with your significant other. Continuing with both people is hurtful and unfair to all parties involved. If breaking up is warranted, do so kindly. Please keep in mind that your “soon-to-be” ex-partner once upon a time was the best person to you in the world, he/she filled your life with a lot of joys, so please do not hurt his/her feelings. Please be compassionate, considerate, and wise in whatever path you choose. Otherwise, firmly contact the person with whom you are having the affair and state that you can no longer continue your relationship without guilt. Following that, admit your experience to your partner, and plan to become more emotionally intimate with them either on your own, or with the help of a counselor. At this stage, a healthy conversation with a close friend can be a great option too. Otherwise, independent counselors can be great resources to create peace in lives of the both affairs and yours.

Ultimately, ethical considerations should be the first and foremost priority. It is truly up to you to be honest with yourself, and anyone with whom you are having a relationship, in this situation. An emotional affair may seem like a daunting obstacle to overcome, but it is important to face mistakes and accept consequences. No matter what the end result is, you should be proud for having the courage to even attempt to remedy the circumstances.

World’s Population Is A Lot More Obese Now

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By Gurdeep Pandher

Although there are regions where food scarcity is a seemingly insurmountable problem, causing people to become malnourished and susceptible to diseases, it is doubtless that the growing global prosperity is easing the lives of those who used to be extremely impoverished. However, as famine is being resolved by new agricultural technologies such as genetically modified organisms, irrigation, and mechanized farming, a new issue has begun to surface. Obesity, a disease that used to be suffered by only aristocrats who were able to gorge themselves on rich foods, has now become a pandemic. In fact, the number of people who are suffering from obesity is greater than that of those who are underweight.

This phenomenon is indisputable, with the amount of obese individuals rising from 105 million in 1975 to 640 million is 2014. Although we like to blame the United States for being the main contributor to this trend (one third of its adult population is a victim, after all), the global pattern associated with this illness is often surprising. Lesser developed countries such as Libya and Egypt have obesity rates of 40.1 and 41.6% respectively, signifying monetary wealth is not the only indicator. After all, Japan, which is extremely well developed, has an obesity rate of only 3.4%. Although genetics and environmental conditions may play a role, it is definitely culture that determines the spread of the phenomenon.

Social factors such as the consumption of highly processed, fatty foods and the inactivity resulting from a digitized entertainment industry all contribute to the frightening trends in obesity. In fact, sellers of unhealthy foods typically specifically target children with fun mascots and smiling kids who are blissfully unaware that what they are eating is entirely sugar. Although it is stereotypically Americans who fall prey to these marketing tactics, Canada is not immune. With almost a quarter of its citizens (adults and children) diagnosed with this condition, it is seeking to make drastic changes in order to prevent further developments of this disease.

One example of Canada’s commitment is the proposed revision of the Canadian food guide, which currently promotes several misconceptions. It suggests that fruit juice, which is commonly highly processed and sugary with almost none of the nutrients found in real fruit (such as fiber and vitamin A), is equivalent to a serving of fruit. As well, it treats all milk products equally regardless of fat content, which means cream cheese and skim milk are equally healthy in their eyes. Also, they condone oils, but fail to disclose the health benefits from olive and other vegetable oils. Hopefully, these issues will soon be resolved to better educate the country.

However, making a distinguished improvement in Canada and the rest of the world will take time and prolonged effort. From encouraging children to join sports teams and play outside away from screens to educating the general public on the necessity of a healthy diet and regular physical activity, large cultural shifts are needed to make obesity a problem of the past. Otherwise, we may soon see a decrease in lifespan and quality of life due to the burden brought by our advancements.

How Climate Change Impact On Northern Canada Is Higher Than Rest Of Country

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Art of Snow

Words and Photo – Gurdeep Pandher

Climate change is a serious problem with widespread implications and consequences for everyone living on this planet. Although it is commonly characterized as a sharp increase in global temperatures (hence the less scientific name global warming), climate change can also bring an influx of natural disasters such as droughts and hurricanes. However, in addition to the havoc it wreaks on nature, the resulting chain of events have a definite impact of human lives, especially that of those who live in fragile biomes such as the Canadian Arctic, where even a minute discrepancy in temperature can become an ecological catastrophe over a long period of time. In this previously icy environment, climate change has already begun to take its toll.

Frighteningly, the Artic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. In Yukon, the average annual temperature has increased by 2°C over the past fifty years, and its winters have warmed by 4°C in the same time period. Although this may not seem like a lot, it is a drastic change for the biome, and has already resulted in the melting of permafrost, glaciers, and difficulty in forming ice for people and animals to hunt on. The tree line has expanded northwards, and while this provides shelter for a greater variety of animals who can no longer survive in the warming southern regions, it also transforms the ecosystem for species that prefer the tundra and allows invasive species such as the pine beetle to survive through winter.

Additionally, traditional hunting practices are not just for food; they are intrinsic components of the cultural identity of native people in the northern regions. In Nunavut, ice takes as much as four weeks longer to freeze, significantly decreasing the time available for hunting considering the ice is no longer as stable. For some communities, hunting and gathering are their primary methods of obtaining food, considering the climate is still too harsh for farming (and the ground is frozen in most areas, anyways) and shipments of groceries are costly and almost always delayed by storms or the lack of roads. Therefore, there are economic repercussions as well for people in the north.

The most significant loss that may be suffered in addition to the endangerment of native species is the loss of archaeological heritage due to the changing landscape. Indigenous historical artifacts that were preserved in archaeological dig sites in the Northwest Territories are threatened as permafrost melts and the possibility of occurrence for landslides and soil erosion increases. As well, coastal and island communities across the arctic regions are at risk of being flooded or even completely submerged as melting glaciers will increase sea levels by as much as one meter by the end of the century.

Overall, climate change impacts Northern Canada negatively to a greater extent than almost anywhere else in the country. With both environmental and social consequences, it is crucial to halt and reverse this primarily anthropogenic phenomenon. The Canadian government must invest more in renewable technology in order to generate clean energy and reduce carbon emissions, but it is up to people to manage their own levels of consumption so as to not place too much reliance on future developments. In order to combat climate change, it is crucial to make a difference today, and every day.

The Adventures of The Audrey Eleanor- Part 15

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The Audrey Eleanor, in the calm after the storm.

THE SCREAMS OF THE FURIES

The Captain is asleep with his good hearing ear in the pillow…I can feel the weight of it as it as it gets closer, roaring like an old WhitePass steam engine determined to run us down.  The Audrey Eleanor is pulsating with the sound…

It has been a handful of years since the magnificent, giant, old growth cedars of Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada are flattened to the earth. Hurricane winds ripped and tore their roots from the very land that sustained them.  As they thunder to the earth causing humankind to tremble, we are at anchor on an old wooden boat.

Fifty four feet and thirty tonnes of old wooden yacht must be held off of jagged rocks by a chain and a cast iron Danforth anchor in hurricane force winds.  Our anchor had been set earlier in the afternoon and should be stuck in the mud.  We hope so.

The Audrey Eleanor, a 1948 custom wooden yacht is anchored in Potts Lagoon located at the northern end of Vancouver Island.  We had slipped away from our berth at the Government dock on Malcolm Island, disappearing into the fog like a shadowy ghost ship. After days of pouring rain and windstorms we are making our weather break from Sointula on Malcolm Island our quest is to find a safe and semi-permanent Harbour on a more southern portion of Vancouver Island.  It is early morning, we are soon enveloped in a grizzly gray drizzle.

Steel coloured Ocean leaves no definition, no distinction against steely skies.  Flat silver water appears oily, we motor off into nothingness, I wonder if we will drop off the end of the world? There is no indication that a storm is brewing as we search for the slicing dorsal fins of killer whales.  A family pod has been sighted recently here and we are on high alert.  This is an area of rubbing beaches for the giant “Wolves of the Sea”.

A change in tide swings us slightly to one side.  H-m-m-m is it tidal currents or are the waves coming up?  A Sea Span tug is starboard to us; he is making a run to catch the slack tide at Seymour narrows.  Spray from the sea is beginning to break over his bow.  “She’s coming up,” states the Captain.  “We are going to look for shelter before it gets dark.”

We have no radio contact.  In Ketchikan, Alaska we replaced the antennae, in Port Hardy, B.C. we replaced the radio, our reward for this costly process is a static squawk.  Whomp, whomp, whomp, the Canadian Coast Guard is hovering overhead in a very large helicopter.  It’s nice to know that they are there, but we don’t want to give them a reason to stick around. Audrey’s bow points us toward our destination, Potts Lagoon on Cracroft Island. The Search and Rescue Helicopter swings off to Starboard side and disappears from sight. The anchor is to be set in the mud.

Our new neighbourhood is made up of several float houses, this may be a summer camp, we are not sure. The lagoon is not very large with signs of an old wharf at one end and has a beach type that indicates it is good crabbing territory.  There is still enough light to drop a few crab pots.  Gray skies darken slowly into black.  I feel that someone is watching us from the float houses.  My hair stands up on the back of my neck, I don’t like this sense of being ogled while sitting out in the blackening middle of nowhere.  We circle the float house intending to be neighborly, no one responds to our hellos.

Hurricane-force winds begin as a distant rumble, sounding very much like the old Whitepass train roaring down the tracks into the City of Whitehorse, Yukon.  I can feel the weight of it in my sleep.  Closer and closer it comes, I sit upright with a start wanting to stop this bad dream.  It continues, the weight is a heavy pressure in my inner ear; it pulses like a migraine in my temples.  This is no dream; it’s a goddamned nightmare! An entity has arrived and is attempting to bulldoze us over! The Furies are coming, The Furies are coming!

Audrey Eleanor is pulsating with the sound. My Captain is asleep in the saloon with his good hearing ear in the pillow.  I sleep with the hard of hearing Captain, drop the anchor when need be and I do the dishes damn it! I am the crew.  Captain Rick must be dreaming that his perfect Perkins diesels are vibrating us toward the Mexican border; regardless it is time to share this experience with him.

I waken him to the all-engulfing screams of the furies.  A hundred shrieking banshees are blasting us in their rage.  A wall of wind hits the Audrey Eleanor with mighty force.  Icy Fingers of wind become steel, they rip and tear at the canvas. Swung hard to starboard, the chain attached to the anchor stretches taut and jerks us hard about. We stumble and fall with the motion.

Monsoon rains pummel the saloon roof. Blasting rain resonates on the roof.  I feel that I am inside a tin can that is being pelleted with small rocks, the noise is deafening.  The Captain yells for the spotlight as he flashes into action, setting radar and depth sounders on high alert.  Wrestling the saloon door open he shines the spot light into the harbor, the light stops dead, a solid black wall of water greets him, we see nothing.

No visibility coupled with the deafening rain means we have no way of knowing whether we are dragging our anchor over the floor of the ocean. There is no sight; there is no sound except for the pelting rain. The alarm on the radar is set to go off if we get within 50 feet of a solid obstacle, but that would be too late.  If we are blown up on the rocks in this blackest of nights it could cost us our lives.

Our radar is particular as to what it will reveal.  I jump up to check the depth sounder repeatedly. We are maintaining a water level of 45 feet beneath our hull and it is low tide.  As the tide rises so will we.  So far so good, but there will be no sleep this night.

I get a whiff of wood smoke.  My god!  Now what, we are on a wooden boat, are we on a wooden boat that is on fire?  Huge tanks of diesel contained in our hull would set up a blaze for all the world to see.  A frantic survey reveals that we are not about to be cremated. For sure someone is living on the float houses and doesn’t want to be seen.  The fury of the night compels them to light a fire or freeze. Our silent neighbour has started a wood fire in one of the float houses.  I knew I could feel eyes on us, this is creepy, I want to go home.

In true Yukon tradition we settle into a long night of cribbage.  Yelling at each other at the top of our lungs we attempt to out last the storm, 15/4, 15/6…and listening for things that go” bump” in the night under the Audrey Eleanor.

P.S.  Later we found the force of the jerk on the chain to the anchor caused the cast iron stanchion to bend.  You can see it still should you decide to visit. And so the journey resumes, join us soon for another; ADVENTURE OF THE AUDREY ELEANOR.