When the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada met with Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of England he asked her. “Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give me?”
“Well,” said the Queen, “The most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people.”
The Minister frowned, and then asked, “but how do I know if the people around me are really intelligent?”
The Queen took a sip of champagne. Oh, that’s easy; you just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle. Watch.
“The Queen pushed a button on her intercom.”Please send in the Prime Minister would you?” The Minister walked into the room and said, “Yes, your Majesty?”
The Queen smiled and said, “Answer me this please. Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?” Without pausing for a moment, the Minister answered…”That would be me.” “Yes! Very good.” said the Queen. Continue reading →
A lot of people who visit Victoria, British Columbia (on the southern tip of Vancouver Island) never get to see Trial Island lighthouse as it is not visible from the town core. One must travel to the Oak Bay waterfront to see the lighthouse.
On September 21, 2013 I wrote Message in a Bottle which described a 107 year old message-in-a-bottle find. Later on October 29, 2013 I wrote More Messges in Bottles which described more messages found in bottles. It seems that everybody loves to do it!
Light at the End of the World Three Months on Cape St. James, 1941
by Hallvard Dahlie (orig from Raincoast 18, 1998) with notes from Jim Derham-Reid (last keeper on Cape St. James before automation)
A strange interlude in my brief seafaring life took place in the fall of 1941, when I signed on as assistant lighthouse keeper at Cape St. James, a light perched on top of a three-hundred-foot rock at the very southern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands. I had quit school earlier that year, at the age of sixteen, and found a job on the CGS Alberni, a lighthouse tender operating out of Prince Rupert. But when she had to go into dry dock at the beginning of September for a new wartime grey paint job and a bit of refurbishing, I chose to take a stint out at the lighthouse rather than scrape barnacles and paint for three months. Continue reading →
The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) carries lighthouse keepers and their supplies (groceries, mail, household goods, etc) usually by ship or helicopter. This story describes the inner workings of the Canadian Coast Guard light icebreaker Sir Wilfrid Laurier as told by my friend Abe Van Oeveren. I have been on several ships and they are indeed a complicated piece of machinery run by very competent men and women.
Abe’s comments to me about the story when I asked permission to reprint:
The account is based on material gathered on several trips blended together to make a story that flows end to end. To make it readable I avoided talking about too much crappy weather which keeps everybody on board the ship unable to fly up to Van, Naden or Barry, or how the ship’s crew’s collective mood changes as the 28 day typical patrol proceeds. Continue reading →
Can you imagine a lighthouse being used as an aeronautical beacon? Well there is one. It is in the United States at Boston’s Logan Airport and it uses the Boston Lighthouse as a visual marker for Visual Flight Rule (VFR) landings. See the copy of the aeronautical chart below:
Boston Logan Airport aeronautical chart (not for navigation)
In 2012 I wrote an article called What Ship Is That? which listed a group of programs for tracking ships worldwide. Why would one want to do that? For myself I like to keep track of what ships are sailing on my home coast (the Philippines right now) or for that matter, on the British Columbia coast (my old workplace). It is interesting and informative to anyone that lives on or by the sea. The following story came in from CBC News:
Canadian firm tracks Earth’s ships from space Data mining with tiny satellites offers new business opportunities By Emily Chung, CBC News Posted: Aug 12, 2013 5:33 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 12, 2013 12:59 PM ET
ExactEarth’s data allows authorities to monitor whether ships are following maritime traffic laws or straying into protected areas. For example, it could have provided visual data on the Panamanian-registered ship MV Double Prosperity, which ran aground and destroyed a large portion of a marine sanctuary in Sarangani Bay in 2011. (Sarangani Information Office, Cocy Sexcion/Associated Press)