Category Archives: Excursions

An Aod Oolichan: the first cruise

Five days after the launch of An Aod Oolichan my Caledonia Yawl designed by Ian Oughtred, I was ready to take the family out on a multi-day camp cruising adventure. We packed most of our camping gear into waterproof bags and I went and found a flexible soft cooler that will fit nicely in the boat and not scratch up the paint.

Set up on the first cruise took a little longer than expected and we headed off at 4pm on Friday from the Jericho Sailing Centre with a nice 8-10 knot westerly. In overcast skies and forecast for rain mid-day on Saturday.

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We got to the shipping lane with a falling breeze and still 10 miles to Halkett Bay. So in the interest of safety we started up the new electric outboard to motor-sail (ePropulsion Spirit 1.0) which is about the equivalent of a 2-3hp petrol motor.

We arrived after sunset into a dark Halkett bay and tied up to the dinghy dock. (An Aod Oolichan is technically a dinghy). The camp sites are in a fairly wooded area of the park up behind the dock. We set up the tent quickly in the dark and made quick work of dinner with one-pot dehydrated Bim Bim Bap meal. To call it bim bim bap was a stretch but after a long day we were happy to have warm food.

The next morning we tried to set off early to beat the rain and get across to Plumper cove and set up camp there before the big rain.

It was a lot of fun to have a nice building SE breeze pushing us ahead of the rainwall.

Unfortunately the rain beat us to Plumper Cove

But the powers of a bag of chips to keep the spirits up should not be underestimated.

The wind did not abate with the rain. We found that as we were turning the corner of Keats island to Plumper Cove. By the time we got to the turn to the cove we were doing 6.5 knots and the breeze was up to 15-16 knots. I had all the canvas up and knew that when on a run the apparent does not feel as much. I did not want to gybe in these freshening conditions. So as we came up to Plumper cove we rounded up into the wind and simply dropped the main sail. Then tacked and came in calmly into the cove under jib and mizzen. Although it might have been a little early to introduce a high wind manoeuvre to my crew, their two weeks of summer sailing camp came in handy and they were able to assist without any problems.

We got a nice spot at the dock and unloaded all the camping equipment in a bit of a deluge.

My Hennessy hammock hexagonal rain fly tarps are a dream in these situations. They come with light high-strength cord tucked into little pockets at each corner making setting up the tarp in the rain a fair bit faster and easier. We quickly had one set up for the picnic table and another to cover the tent. We also set up another smaller rectangular syltarp over a hammock I picked up on Ecuador made of an old fishing net which we used to hang all our wet weather gear.

Plumper cove is a well maintained marine park with it’s own little library.

On Sunday the clouds parted and we set off for a day trip to Gibsons. It was an opportunity to connect with friends who had recently moved there and recharge the battery for the electric outboard that we had depleted on the first let to Halkett bay.

Upon our return to Plumper cove we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.

And a chance for a summer family photo

… and the end of the fire ban. So an unexpected campfire.

Monday was a return to full sun. We set out early at 10:30am with a 20 NM return trip to Vancouver ahead of us around the south end of Bowen Island.

We had a beautiful breeze through the Pasley island group. But as we reached cape Roger Curtis the wind started to get very light.

For the next few hours my crew dozed as we motor-sailed along the coast of Bowen Island and watched Point Grey and the buildings downtown slowly emerge in the horizon.

It seems like the gunnels are like a favourite place to hang out.

After eight hours we arrived at the Jericho Sailing Centre with a strong flood pushing us.

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Overall I was super pleased that all that time building and thinking about each aspect of the boat meant that the transition to sailing was relatively natural. There are still many little things to tweak in the rigging (make lazyjacks) and the way we stow gear onboard. I was also pleased that we did encounter some challenging conditions that pushed us to adapt and work together as a family. It was a very successful first voyage aboard An Aod Oolichan and I look forward to returning to sailing around Atl’Ka7tsem / Howe Sound which on September 15th was designated a UNESCO Biosphere reserve. How fortunate I feel to have such a unique geography and biosphere right in my back-ocean.

From Tel Aviv to Vancouver learning from each other

I had the great fortune to be able to participate in the FuTurisme.com conference plenary discussion on mass tourism and the future of tourism at IMTM 2015. I was there at the invitation of Tel Aviv Global which is a municipal corporation tasked with promoting the economic development of the city attracting investment and developing tourism.
One theme that was very prominent in their strategy is to leverage the tech start up ecosystem of the city.
The conference had 42 travel related digital startup companies pitching their ideas and vying for the mayor’s digital travel award.
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The Roschild boulevard at the heart of the city is a wonderful pedestrian and cycling oasis.

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Getting a tour of the startup ecosystem in Tel Aviv. The big questions seemed to be that starting things was happening in an organic way but holding on to the dividends of that innovation was the challenge. Keeping successful startups in the city and making sure international investment was not just pulling the human capital out of the city.

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That evening I was invited to a cocktail at city hall with the mayor of Tel Aviv where they unveiled a commemorative stamp of the city. Tel Aviv has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site for its white city collection of Bauhaus architecture. It also recently was recognized by UNESCO as a creative city in the digital sphere and they are running with it as a branding element for the city.

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The Tel Aviv Global team also came up with a wonderful idea to put a call out to students to volunteer as local hosts for the conference speakers. This was an opportunity to meet someone with an interest in your subject matter, but also they acted as ambassadors and sometimes interpreters or even personal assistants. I found it to be invaluable and rewarding, helping me develop more insights and broadening the conversations I had.
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My student host Marina Balkarey

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Speaking on a panel discussing mass tourism and implications on destination development.

After my presentation I was interviewed by Ayal Zaum, a City & Place branding consultant that also writes a popular blog called cityncountrybranding.com
here is the article he wrote:
http://cityncountrybranding.com/2015/02/12/%D7%9C%D7%A1%D7%99%D7%9B%D7%95%D7%9D-%D7%AA%D7%A2%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%9B%D7%AA-imtm-%D7%99%D7%A9-%D7%9C%D7%A0%D7%95-%D7%A2%D7%95%D7%93-%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%91%D7%94-%D7%9E%D7%94-%D7%9C%D7%9C%D7%9E/

Un article mène à de nouveaux horizons

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Suite à la publication de l’article dans Skift que j’ai poster récemment. J’ai reçu une invitation a participer a un congrès de tourisme international a Tel Aviv le 10 et 11 février. Avec tout juste un mois de préavis je n’étais pas sur que l’invitation soit sérieuse, mais après un échange de communication au ralenti à cause des onze heures de décalage.  Ils m’on confirmer qu’ils cherchait réellement à me fair participer à une colloque avec le ministre de tourisme de Israël, le consul général de Israël à New York entre autre. Le thème est de discuter le future du tourisme et l’impact sur le développement durable des destinations. Je vais parler de mon travaille et le contexte qui le met en valeur a Vancouver.
Continue reading Un article mène à de nouveaux horizons

Paddling for the 2014 king tide

Yesterday with a group of friends we continued a tradition of meeting down at the Jericho Sailing Centre, donning our wetsuits or drysuits and heading out into Burrard Inlet for a stand up paddle. This year we waited a day after our usual boxing day outing to match up our paddle with the highest high tide of the year, which was a 5m tide. Fortunately their was little wind or waves and the tide did not bring with it any flooding or damage to the coastline. But after the last king tide earlier in the month where the wind came up, the Sailing Centre was prepared with sandbags.

King tide at Jericho Dec 27 10:11am

Dominique brought a his medium format film camera to capture the moment which was fun. We needed to flag down a runner to actually trip the shutter.

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Here is my picture panorama of the set up for this.

King tide at Jericho Dec 27 10:11am

We had a 6-8 knot breeze from the SE for our paddle. As we made it close to the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club docks it started to rain, so unlike the year before where we managed to go hang around the freighters in complete calm and sunshine, our excursion this year was a little closer to shore but just as memorable.

Boat delivery from Steveston to Jericho

Today my friend Dom asked me to help him take his boat RedFive, a J30 back from the boat yard in Steveston where it had bee hauled out and sanded down, to the RVYC marina at Jericho.
We set off at 14h00 in a light drizzle and a rising tide.

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All was quiet on the south arm of the Fraser as we motored out

By the time we got to the Fraser lightship station at the mouth of the south arm where we would be able to turn north, the wind had freshness up to 12 knots out of the northwest. As we moved towards Point Grey the wind rose steadily and peaked at about 20 knots with a solid set of waves hitting us on the nose.

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The combination of the shallow shelf and the long fetch made for short steep waves.

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We finally saw the bell buoy Q62 at sunset.

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And turned east into the darkness as the wind started to freshen up behind us.

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Dominique at the helm

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We tied up the boat in the dark and were quite happy to stop in the club for a bite to eat, warm up and watch the final game of the regular season for the Whitecaps on the television in the corner.

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Boxing Day: everyone has their own traditions

In the spirit of making memories and not garbage; I met with my friends Ian, Dominique and Frederich for a stand up paddle around English Bay. Starting at the place that links us all. The Jericho Sailing Centre somehow courses through our veins, with a deep connection to the ocean, non powered recreation and fun.

Boxing Day paddle

We met at 9:30am and set out to paddle around the tugboat boy just west of the entrance to False Creek. There we met two busy bald eagles who had taken up temporary residence to feast on what seemed to be a recently caught seagull carcass.

Boxing Day paddle in English bay. Watched two eagles eating a seagull on the tugboat bouy

Eagle on Tugboat Boy
We the headed west with the current and paid a visit to one of the dozen freighters at anchor waiting in the bay for its turn to load up on Canadian cargo.
The weather could not have been milder, I was overheating a little in my wetsuit. I was very happy to spend my Boxing Day morning this way.

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Freighter Bulb