Thursday, April 23, 2015

Red Right Return - And More

 I'm often asked some interesting questions through my YouTube videos and, more often than not, I take a simple query and reply with half of a book. So, rather than simply leaving those interactions on YouTube, I figured I could share it with you all, here on the Blog. . .

 Here was today's question; ". . for a subscriber/boating newbie here; I noticed in your lake travels, there are these red and green buoys, to which you always pass between them .. why is this and what is their purpose?"

 The long and short of the Red & Green markers is to indicate where safe water is. As one cannot 'see' how deep a given area of a lake, river or canal might be, the buoys (floating) or day beacons (land based) indicate the edge of a safe way for navigation. Used in conjunction with marine charts (paper or digital), mariners can safely pass through an area where the water is shallower than what is otherwise encountered in a given area.

 That said, different boats need different depths to pass through a waterway without risking running aground and that's where the charts come in. The captain of even the smallest boat must be aware of how much draft their vessel draws - how deep in the water it sits - as well as other factors that might determine what a safe depth might be fro navigating.

 For example, our current boat 'Boogaboo IV' draws approximately 40" of water, with an average load. Load refers to all the weight on the boat, including the boat itself, plus other considerations such as fuel, water, passengers, gear, food and yes, even beer ;-) As well, that draft (the depth of the boat in the water, not the beer on tap) will be greatly affected by sea conditions. If we were traveling though rough water, our boat could begin to pitch up and down, making the average depth of water we were traveling through vary considerably, depending if we were on the crest or bottom of each wave. So, if we were traveling through water with only 4 feet of depth and it was wavy, we could bounce up and down enough to touch bottom. And that's not a good thing! Also, if a passing boat were to throw off a large wake (it happens all the time), we could (and do) get bounced around.

 For all of the above reasons, it is imperative one knows where they are and can relate to their proximity to danger, as well as changing sea conditions. And that's where those red and green markers come in.

 So, why red and green, you ask? I'll tell you. In North America, as well as other parts of the world, we follow the Red-Right-Return system of telling us which is the safe side of a given marker. In MOST cases, heading upstream (against the current), the red marker is kept to the starboard, or right, side of the boat. When heading in the opposite direction, the opposite is true and one would then keep the green markers on their starboard side.

 Confused? Don't worry, it gets better. When going through areas such as Georgian Bay, that all goes out the window. Throw in other 'Aids To Navigation' such as yellow Cardinal Buoys, black (or red) and white Fairway Markers, Red/Green/Red OR Green/Red/Green Bifurcation Markers and (sometimes) land based Range Markers and you will soon realize that there's lots to learn about boating for the serious cruiser!

 Unfortunately, many boaters are blissfully unaware of what many of these things mean - or the meaning behind them

 I should really start a video series on how to learn these things and how they are put in to practice to help folks out. There is also something called 'The Rules Of The Road', which plainly lays out who has the right-of-way when on the water. Sadly and frustratingly, there are many, many boaters who don't have a clue what that means, or how to employ the rules to maintain safety. Here is a quick video I posted last summer after I got ticked off by someone who was in the aforementioned column of not knowing;

 I hope my long winded overview on this helps you better understand what goes on. If not, at least it may inspire to you learn a bit more. . . And now you also know why I put this off until I had a bit more free time ;-)

Monday, April 13, 2015

What's In a Name?

For anyone who has been following our adventures via Facebook (, Twitter ( or Instagram (, you will have noticed two major developments.

 Firstly, we have dramatically moved forward with our Life Changes and adventures, having spent two glorious in Florida this winter and had an absolute blast! Sharing our travels and excitement being able to connect with so many like minded folks online has been - and continues to be - an wonderful thing. With that in mind, I felt it was time to better define what we are about and, as such have been migrating from my 'Boogabooster' moniker to something that is many times more recognizable with the online world; 'Boats, Beaches & Bars'. Who amongst us couldn't find an affinity with at least one of those three things ;-)

 With our first love being our boat and our boating lifestyle, the new usernames would have to reflect that. So, 'Boats' was an easy one. Even if someone doesn't have a boat of their own, there are many who simply like to look at them and learn about them. Heck, many times I've received comments from people who tell me they are living their boating dream vicariously through our journeys!

 Next, we look forward to and enjoy our winter travels south so much, the term 'Beaches' not only provides an instant, connectable connotation for new visitors to my social media feeds, but it's also something that inspires and motivates me to keep pushing forward with our Life Changes :-) Like the saying goes; 'Life's a Beach' and we love ours :-)

 Finally, the term 'Bars' was something that I initially had reservations about using. Sounded kinda on the skids, if you know what I mean?? But after seeing how much our Facebook followers seemed to like - and 'Like - our pics and stories from Florida and especially Key West, it became a no brainier. Besides, 'Boats Beaches and Bars' has a nice ring too it.

 So, after roughly a month since changing those site names over, I've seen an impressive increase of new followers on each one. So, today was thew day to make the plunge and commit to doing the same on my Google properties, including this Blog, my Google+ profile and YouTube Channel.

 The only reason I've hesitated here is that, I believe, my email address username is going to change as well. Not 100% sure on that, just yet, as Google's info wasn't completely definitive. Time will tell.

 Hope Evonne likes it and I'm able to expand my audience with this change. Time will tell on that one, too . . .

Cheers :-)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring Boat Canvas Cleaning

We took advantage of a sunny and dry day yesterday to remove and thoroughly clean the canvas over our cockpit area. Late last season, we noticed that mold was starting to grow on the underside, but the year ended up being rainy most weekends so we were unable to tackle the cleaning job at that time.
Mold on underside of boat canvas.

It took us three hours to remove, scrub, dry and waterproof all of the cockpit canvas. A mild solution of bleach and Tide laundry soap does the trick on the Sunbrella material top.
Washing canvas.

'Boogaboo' looked partially naked with it's top off. Last summer we were able to perform the same task on the flybridge canvas and it has been mold free since.

Cockpit canvas removed.

 I took a bunch video during this project and hope to have something posted to my YouTube Channel in the near future, so keep an eye out for that.

 Our plan is to do each section on rotating years - flybridge again next summer, and so forth. Hopefully that will keep the disgusting mold at bay - but not on any of the bays we visit ;-)


Friday, April 18, 2014

Summer 2013 Boat Cruise - Part Eight

Wow, I really gotta start doing these Blog posts sooner to the actual events ;-) It's hard to believe that this set of holiday pics are from last summer and we are going to be re-launched for the 2014 season in less than two weeks!! Oh well, it's always fun to look back on memorable times, and this is no less.

 Part eight takes us back to Young's Point and a nice evening with the owner of Islandview Resort. Despite the fact we were heading back towards home, there was still lots of fun and memories to be made :-)

Waiting to go up through the lock at Young's Point;
Up-bound through Young;s Point Lock - Lock #27 of the Trent Severn Waterway.

VIDEO: As the title suggests, I was having an 'off day' with my MS symptoms and my approach to the dock at Islandview was less than spectacular. On the good side, you have a nice, long video of the approach to and through the lock;

Immediately beside the lock - and a shorty walk from Islandview - is the Lockside Trading Company. apart from the store, they offer a full fledged ice cream shop and even have this little pig for the kids to sit on. Or, in this case, Anchor Girl.
Lockside Trading Company at Young's Point

Across from the lock stands this old bridge, built in 1884-1885 and is the only known surviving bridge that employed both wrought iron and steel in it's construction. It's also one of the oldest bridges along the Trent Severn Waterway. Once used for road traffic, it was long ago replaced by the Regional Road 28 bridge, a little to the west highway (both this bridge and it's replacement are viewable starting about the 3:00 minute mark of the video above).
Young's Point bridge.

Our host for our stay, one Mr. Kieth. Um, as a side note, he has a good connection with a guy that does a great job of fashioning drinking glasses out of empty beer bottles. How we got all those empty beer bottles between the two of us is another story ;-)
Hey Kieth, have you seen my empties ;-)

Another great spot to tie up for a night or two.
The docks at Islandview Resort and Marina.

Leaving Young's Point and heading northbound across Lake on a clear, sunny day;
A clear day on Clear Lake.

 Lots of pretty scenery as we approach Hell's Gate that separates Clear & Stony Lakes;
Hell's Gate on Stony Lake.

Anchor Girl still trying to get that perfcect shot of St. Peter's Church - an incident that got us into trouble the first time passing through here, years before! Watch the upcoming video for all the details;

Perry The Penguin sure enjoyed his time travelking through here. Warm & sunny is right up his ally!
Perry The Penguin having fun on his first boating vacation.

St. Peter's Church - on the rock.
St. Peter's Church on Stony Lake.

VIDEO: Our cruise from Young's Point and through the very picturesque Hell's Gate on Stony Lake;

The aptly named Stony Lake offers similar cruising grounds to that of Georgian Bay, albeit only for a short distance of just a few miles.

At the far western end of Stony Lake is the bottom sid eof Burleigh Falls Lock (Lock #28), and our stop for the next two nights
Approaching Burleigh Falls Lock.

Next time, we are at Burleigh Falls Lock for a very stormy night!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Writing a Book, One Brick at a Time

For those of you who have been following this Blog or my YouTube Channel for the past few years, you will have already seen the posts from our grand adventure when we purchased 'Boogaboo IV', back in 2010. Well, after retelling many highlights of that experience over the ensuing years, I have been inspired to put it all together in the form of a book. Yup, you heard right - I'm writing a book.

(Actually, I'm in the midst of writing two books, but the other one has a much deeper, personal resonance to it which I'll delve into more in a future post.)

Referring to that event as a grand adventure isn't mere hype. It was truly a milestones that would mark a turning point in our lives - not only in terms of our boating travels, but in our whole outlook on life and what we CAN do as a couple - and survive it intact!!

In Michigan with our soon-to-be 'Boogaboo IV'.

  Survival was the key to the whole story. And the whole story is a whole lot more than can be properly conveyed through mere Blog posts, hence the book. Survival, as you will learn, has many connotations and will be used in the context of this story to relate to not only surviving a voyage of nearly 700 miles, but also that of mental, emotional and yes, marriage survival! Perhaps 'ordeal' might have been a more descriptive term ;-)

Applying the name on the transom before leaving Michigan, making it 'Ours' :-)

 So, what the heck do bricks have to do with it all, you surely must be asking yourself? Read on . . .

 As I am going on about my day, especially when I am involved in physical labour (which is most work days, in my contracting businesses) I feel that my mind is somehow released and that more far reaching thoughts and inspirations come to me, most especially when I am working alone. Take this weekend, for example. As part of our preparations to move onto the boat full time, we had to make some changes to the house (see video below) and I was basically pushing a paint brush and roller for hours at a time. Put on some good music & it gives me time to think.

 And think, I do. Lots of it! As I continually point out to my lovely Anchor Girl, I could fill five more lifetimes with all the thoughts, aspirations and inspirations that come to me. But that's OK, because I firmly know that when this current plain of existence ends, I (we) will continue on with a much higher propose, so ultimately, I got lots of time :-)

 But I digress. Back to the bricks!

 I find it amazing how thoughts seem to come to me out of the blue, then only to be reinforced, or revisited a short time later by that same 'spark' being presented to me in another context. Almost like it's trying to show me something. . .

 Case in point (and finally getting to the darned bricks!); As part of my free thinking moments yesterday, I was reflecting on one of the 14,286.419 pieces of seemingly useless information floating around my head, that being a fact I recalled that Winston Churchill (former Prime Minister of England & 20th Century icon) would spend a great deal of time working at his estate, Chartwell, doing - you guessed it - bricklaying!

 From many accounts, Sir Winston derived a similar mental escape through building walls, fences and other brick structures that seemed to clear the way for inspirations to flow freely. His bricks, my paint brush. Or drywall trowel, or whatever the tool du jour happens to be. Perhaps it was through this release that Mr. Churchill found the abundant inspiration to write more than 50 volumes in his time.

 Do I have 50 books in me? Dunno. Two years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of me writing ONE book, let alone two! But here I am, knee deep into it and finding that writing and me seem to have a long suppressed destiny.  I hope that you will look forward to reading about our boating adventure - and more. I will promise you that I'm going to do my best to keep you entertained, and more importantly - inspired!

 Quickly getting back to the connections between these thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. Yesterday I was thinking and jotting my notes to share with you about our Mr. Churchill and his bricklaying release. Today, I was looking at a web site (boating related, no less) published by someone we know but haven't haven't talked to in too many years and what pops up? A photo of a boat with the name 'Chartwell', along with a caricature of Winston Churchill on the transom, produced by this very person!

 Was this a coincidence? No sir. Just one more sign that our new path, book, rekindled relationships and so much more yet to be discovered destinies are meant all to be. And I'm grateful for that & the forces that are moving us along this path :-)

VIDEO: preparing to move pout of the house & onto the boat update - all part of my continued inspiration;