Mise Tales Forty-Seven

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

As mentioned earlier on the front page of my website, any photos or cartoons, or short bits of information, when it is removed from the front page, will also be included again later in the next next Misc Tales posting. That way you can keep track of it, search for it, or copy it.

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Wind MapOn October 18, 2014, a large storm was hitting the British Columbia, Canada coastline. The photo above shows the winds as a visualization of global weather conditions, forecast by supercomputers, updated every three hours. Click the photo for more recent details. Move around the map with your mouse. Zoom in also. Check out the menu in the lower left corner for more information.

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By-the-Wind-Sailor

VelelleOne of the things a lightkeeper notices on the shoreline are the different changes, be they strange fishing floats, bloated dead fish, defeathered seabirds, massed clumps of seaweed or the profligate carcasses of the By-the-wind-sailor.

 I had seen many beaches littered with the pale blue bodies of the By-the-wind-sailor and thinking they were the nefarious Portuguese Man o’ War I hesitated to examine them, fearful of the imagined sting I would receive. It was not until I read the article yesterday on the By-the-wind-sailor from the Monterey Bay Aquarium that I realized that I was in error in my knowledge. Continue reading

The Wind Speed Indicator Episode c.1935

– Roy Carver (son of C. E. Carver on Kains Island 1933 – 1944) 

One of the daily duties of a light house keeper was to estimate the wind speed during each day and record it, along with other meteorological observations and measurements, which also included sea water temperature, and a sample of sea water which was taken at a depth bellow the surface, weather permitting of course.1

Average Seawater Temperature Kains Island 1935 - 2011 - Fisheries & Oceans

The small glass bottles with cork stoppers of sea water were stored in wooden boxes with many little squares, one for each bottle. These boxes would be shipped out when the supply ship re-supplied the station once a year, usually in July. As far as I know Father never did find out what happened to the bottles of sea water after they left the station.2

For an individual to estimate wind speed is a pretty tall order, especially on the edge of an island. If the wind is blowing in your face one would judge the wind speed higher than if it was blowing from behind you (behind the island), so wind speed estimating was not very accurate, even with the crude wind speed indicating instruments supplied at the station. Continue reading

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men . . .

With credit to Robbie Burns for the title quote I will tell a tale of woe that  I heard  many years ago about the Green Island lightkeepers and how they had run out of tobacco (a common occurence on the lighthouses) and the keepers had pooled their money to charter a float plane from Prince Rupert, 25 miles (15.5 kms) away, to bring some more cigarettes and tobacco out to the lighthouse. 

It should be easy, eh? - photo Ray McKenzie

The small float plane arrived with the cargo on board and circled the island a few times, tipping his wings as he spotted the keepers standing outside waving. But alas, he radioed the keepers that because of the outflow northeast winds from Portland Canal he could not land on the ocean as requested, but, if the keepers wanted to take the risk, he could could fly over the island and drop the package from the cockpit window.  Continue reading