Humour – The Queen’s Riddle

QueenThe Queen’s Riddle

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

Trial Island Lighthouse

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.

Trial Island_Doug Clement

Photo credits – © 2013 Doug Clement Photography

 

Photo credits - © 2013 Doug Clement Photography

Photo credits – © 2013 Doug Clement Photography

Although it is only about half a mile from Oak Bay, most people see only the radio station antennas of BC TV on a black rock be it day or night.

An interesting article on the web is Trial Island Lighthouse & VE7DQA – describing the life of a Ham Radio operator living and working there.

Trial Island is NOT an isolated station compared to West Coast Vancouver Island lightstations like Carmanah Point, Pachena Point and Cape Beale, but it is an interesting place to work.

Google Interactive Map showing the location of Trial Island.

It’s Old, But Not The Oldest!

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!

Today I found this story in The Local – Germany’s News in English dated March 07, 2014.

Fishermen find oldest message in a bottle

German fishermen made a surprising catch this week when they pulled the oldest recorded message in a bottle out of the sea. A man from Berlin scribbled the note 101 years ago. . . . more

Continue reading

Light at the End of the World

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)

Image1A 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

Mise Tales Thirty-Five

 

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

Britain StormsJanuary 07, 2014 – People watch and photograph enormous waves as they break, on Porthcawl harbour, South Wales, Monday Jan. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/PA, Ben Birchall) . . . more

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Vanishings – The Missing Lighthouse Keepers

These two tales on Youtube were brought to my attention. Quite the mystery! 

 

  Continue reading

Ship Movements – It Keeps Getting Better!

On August 08, 2013 I wrote Canadian Firm Tracks Earth’s Ships From Space which also refers to another 2012 article What Ship Is That? Now we have an even better program, free, and online, called Marine Traffic.

Live Ships Map   AIS   Vessel Traffic and Positions   AIS Marine Traffic(1)

The screen shot above of Marine Traffic for 05:30 UTC (Z) for November 30, 2013 shows the freighter Axios (bottom left) off my area, Negros Oriental Island, Philippines, heading for Guam.

With this  free program you can locate ships in your area, determine their destination, speed, nationality, etc., and even see a photo of the ship.

The program shows Vessels, Ports, Lights, and Aerial Photos of the ports. The “Lights” portion lists and shows photos of navigation lights and lighthouses in the areas.

If one is interested in the sea, vessel traffic, ships, lights, or just navigation, this program is for you. Please take a look here at MarineTraffic.com.

 

 

Reprint – A Sailor’s Journal

LaurierThe 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

Who Says Lighthouses Are Old Fashioned?

Boston_and_Graves_Lights

Boston_and_Graves_Lights

 

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

Boston Logan Airport aeronautical chart (not for navigation)

Continue reading

Canadian Firm Tracks Earth’s Ships From Space

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

 hi-852-ship-aground-00659755-8col.jpg

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)

More information here.