Imagine you are a lighthouse keeper on the graveyard shift on a foggy night. All you hear are the diesel engines running, the foghorn blowing at intervals. As you stare out into the gloomy mist you hear this sound. It is a boat, but what kind of boat? What kind of motor?
Many old-timers will recognize it as the sound of a classic make and break Easthope 2-stroke marine gasoline engine on idle. It probably belonged to a fisherman waiting out the fog so he could see where he was going. It was a sound that carried through the fog just like the foghorn.
To hear it again brings back many memories. If you wish to see the fishboat that housed this engine take a look at this Youtube page.
For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.
Here is a great video taken on board the Coast Guard ship CCGS Sir Wilfred Laurier as it services the mountain-top radio sites using the onboard helicopter. Great shots of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwai) and the old lighthouse and radio station at Cape St. James.
It is titled on Youtube as the “Big Red Restaurant“!
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What a nice surprise! Today on Facebook the lighthouse keeper, Colin Toner, who is residing at my old workplace at McInnes Island posted a fantastic video of the lighthouse. Please watch in full screen to get the full effect.
Watch as the MBB105 helicopter approaches the island in the rain. You can see the rain striking the windscreen on the front of the helicopter.
Later get a tour of the light and a walk around the island in the stormy weather. Take note of the heavy seas. That is life in winter on the west coast of Canada.
Thanks Colin for the memories, and special thanks goes to Tineke Veenhoven for creating the film!
For a larger and higher quality version please go to Youtube. I had trouble getting it to embed here.
The British Colonist is the forerunner of the Victoria Daily Colonist newspaper from Victoria, British Columbia (BC) Canada. It is an old newspaper and originated in 1858 in the Gold Rush period of BC history.
As this site is mostly interested in BC lighthouses here is a page from May 04, 1913 that will interest you. It is entitled The Lights that Guard our Coast and is on page 25 of the full newspaper listed in PDF format here.
If you wish to download your own PDF copy of this newspaper, left click your mouse on the large italicized “i” in the upper right menu of the page above and and right click your mouse on PDF and select “Save link as…” and then save it to your computer.
For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.
Tell Tale Productions Inc’s. documentary “Lighthouses” – the film has been completed and has had its world broadcast premiere on CBC Television’s Land and Sea Sunday, November 24, 2013. If you missed it you can see it online on CBC Land and Sea.
Lighthouses Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-eyXSyl0Og&feature=youtu.be
Lighthouses Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/580960155309104/
Another beautiful video called “Salmon Confidential” showing the life cycle of Sockeye Salmon, and the problems they are encountering now with salmon farms, and other unknown fish diseases. Thirty-six minutes long but well-worth the watch because of the beautiful photography of wildlife on the British Columbia coast, both above and below the water.
The Canadian Coast Guard HQ at Victoria, British Columbia–what a beautiful building! This view is from the Blackball Ferry deck on approach to the harbor. Those buoys look like Dreidels lined up on the rocks for Hanukkah! – posted on Facebook by author and friend of mine Elinor DeWire
Canada just acquired a new (used) hovercraft from England. It was shipped to Vancouver, British Columbia by the boat shipping company Peters & May. On their Facebook page they posted some wonderful photos of the loading of the hovercraft on one of their ships. Quite a feat!
And from the Fisheries & Oceans Canada media website:
November 27, 2013
Vancouver, British Columbia – The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament for Richmond, today announced the arrival in Canada of the new hovercraft to be stationed at Sea Island in Richmond, British Columbia – the CCGS Moytel.
And from a former lighthouse keeper and friend of mine, Chris Mills, comes this wonderful view of a Fresnel lens – photos and a video showing the lens in action.
The photo at the left shows the lamp, lens, mercury bath bearing, and winding apparatus which was installed on the Pachena Point lighthouse in February 1908. The lens is a 1st order Fresnel lens made by Chance Brothers of Birmingham England – one of the largest sizes possible, and it all sits on a wooden tower!
The glass lens, 3 m tall, 2.5 m wide and weighing 400 kg was brought by boat around Cape Horn. The 1000-watt bulb in use now puts out four million candlepower and is visible from Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. (reference)
This graphic was sent to me by a friend but I have no idea of the source. I have searched Google and the only mention of the photo that I found was in reference to the Eddystone lighthouse, which this definitely is not. 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
A rare white ‘spirit bear’ in the BC temperate rainforest. Photo: Ian McAllister / pacificwild.org.
In the sanctuary of the White Bear by Canadian Poet Lorna Crozier
17th November 2013
Poet Lorna Crozier vists the Great Bear Rainforest in BC, Canada and finds a fragile paradise imbued with myth, meaning and magic for local indigenous peoples.
Above the stench of rotting salmon, my smell has been drawn into a grizzly’s nostrils, through the nasal passages inside his long snout. Part of me now lives inside the mind of an omnivorous animal whose Latin name ends with horribilis.
The bear is here for the salmon, who have returned to the rivers of their birth to spawn and die. We’re here for the bears.
Photographer/filmmaker Ian McAllister has joined my husband Patrick and me on our first morning to help introduce us to his home turf, the Great Bear Rainforest, a tract of land that follows B.C.’s coastline from the tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska Panhandle. He and his wife Karen run the Pacific Wild conservation group to protect this astonishing piece of wildness that they’ve known intimately for over twenty years.
The largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, the traditional territory of the Kitasoo / Xai’xais First Nation, this region is only two short flights from Vancouver. But we are as far from a city, as far from ordinary life, as you can get. . . . more