Thursday, March 31, 2005

In like a lamb and out like a lion:

Heavy rainfall warning for Howe Sound issued

Heavy rain is occurring over west Vancouver Island - coastal sections
and north Vancouver Island. Up to 80 mm has fallen so far over parts
of these regions and additional amounts of 30 to 70 mm are expected
before the rain eases tonight.

15 to 20 mm has also fallen over Howe Sound and northwestern sections
of greater Vancouver. Total rainfall amounts of 40 to 60 mm are
expected before easing early Friday morning.

This is a warning that heavy rain is imminent or occurring in these
Regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.

An intense pacific frontal system is moving southward along the British Columbia coast. In advance of the front southeast winds of 50 to 70 km/h will continue over the Sunshine Coast east Vancouver Island and west Vancouver Island - coastal sections. The strong winds will ease after midnight as the front moves inland.

In addition the frontal system continues to give heavy amounts of rain to west Vancouver Island - coastal sections and north Vancouver Island. Total amounts of up to 150 mm are expected in these two regions by Friday morning. Howe Sound and greater Vancouver will also receive heavy rain with total amounts of up to 60 mm falling by Friday morning.

As I write the wind is clearly gusting in the 60-70km/h range. That's the speed at which you can actually feel the air move through the house. Not so much rain is falling, but the wind is something fierce. I'll have to get out the battery powered alarm clock to rouse myself in the morning. Got a ferry to catch to Vancouver Island if they aren't cancelled. I'll take some shots of Bowen from the Strait and post them here for your enjoyment.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

We went down to Pebbly Beach today, which is just below our house on the north side of Mannion Bay (the beach on the other side is called Sandy Beach). We went down because this morning after Finn and I did the recycling, we were sitting in The Snug having an espresso and some sandwiches when Ken told us about a barge that had washed up on the beach. Said we should go have a look at it, maybe salvage some wood off it.

So we headed down around 2:00 and sure enough there was an enormous mussel encrusted barge pitched up sideways on the beach at the mouth of Rosebank Creek. It was about 25 meters long and stood probably 2.5 meters high, probably 10 meters wide. All wood, mostly rotten and built from huge beams bolted together with long bolts of iron. It looks for all intents and purposes like a beached whale, and it had that same air of forlornness about it, discarded, dead, smelling a little ripe, at the end of its days.

After exploring the barge we hung around the beach and timed the Barrow's Goldeneyes who seem to stay under water for between 25 and 30 seconds per dive. We also saw three Pelagic Cormorants flying north out in the channel, a small plane registered C-GNZI (here's a picture of it - it flies out of Pitt Meadows airport) and a Kingston class naval patrol boat (number 702 "Nanaimo" I think out of HMCS Esquimalt) heading out of the Sound. Towards the end of the afternoon, a Washington Marine Group tug hove into view towing chip barges (numbers 469 and 473 in the fleet).

It was a day of observing and noticing things.

I've installed new away!
Yes it's true...Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart have become the newest residents of Bowen Island. We welcome them heartily as we all shuffle around to make room. Like all newcomers to the island they are warmly invited to pick something to become involved in. The recycling centre is always in need of help, the community choir is a great place to meet folks and hang out and of course our Sunday evensong (2nd and fourth Sundays of every month at the United Church) is open to all for a half hour of reflection and silent meditation wrapped in Gregorian chant and classical liturgical music. Perhaps the fledgling Bowen Island Film Society would be to their liking as well.

Spring is the time of year that many people do buy houses and move here, and all are welcomed. It's important on this island that we all find ways to become involved in the life of this place. There are a million ways to do that and if there is nothing currently offered that strikes your fancy, it's easier than you think to start something here.

And to all newcomers and established residents alike, make sure you vote "YES" in the referendum on April 30.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

What a storm brewing out there tonight. The winds came up around 10:30pm and got stronger and stronger. They have been gusting above 70km/h and there is a wind warning issued. The rain started falling around midnight. It feels like November, and you can just FEEL the air pressure.

Unusual for spring...usually we get rain but not so stormy. Got the fire burning and just hunkered down for a wet and wild Easter weekend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Snug has reopened under new owners Andrea and Michael and after a whirlwind renovation featuring new floors, counters and a lovely red-orange paint job, they reopened this week.

It's the same old room, but a little bigger and with a fresh energy to it and a new menu. I'm really enjoying sitting in the corner table looking out at the traffic in the cove and catching up with my work. The wireless in the Cove is a huge asset to the Cove businesses and on island consultants and self-employed folks like me. It means we can come down to these businesses and patronize them and still get work done. I ran into Murray Atherton, the president of the Chamber of Commerce today and told him as much. He agreed. Now I suppose I have to join the Chamber! So I me that application Murray!

Spring has arrived and it truly feels the season today. We had some rain and a last Squamish wind last night, howling through the tress on the mountain above us, but calm where we are. There's a bit of cloud today but it's mostly sunny and I've been able to work outside a little, which has been fantastic. I love this time of year on the coast.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

There is a wonderful collection of photos of Bowen Island being compiled at Flickr.

You can view them seperately or, my favouritie, as a slide show.
If you are up for it, tomorrow night down at the fabulous Bowen Island eatery, Blue Eyed Mary's, I will be performing with my fiddle partner Randy Vic, some acoustic jigs and reels to accompany your special Irish meal.

Stephen and Carol have a fixed price menu whipped up that is NOT about green beer and leprecahns but rather about excellent repaste, beautiful wine and a tribute to some unknown treasures of Irish cooking.

And live music to boot.

Reservations recommended. For a sample of what you might hear, here is Hawtin's Return, a tune we recorded in 2003 for the Bowen Island Music Exchange CD.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Eight days in the North in Prince George, preceeded by four days in Kelowna and I'm finally back home on the rock, sitting at Cocoa West, sketching designs for learning journeys and facilitation processes. Good to be home.

The robins are back, the towhee's are giving their whistle call in the mornings and the dawn chorus is with us for its annual three and a half month songfest. The weather has been balmy lately, with sunshine and temperatures in the high teens. No wind, a little rain. El Nino dries out the tail end of winter, and we're already fearing a drought.

The Snug, my favourite little coffee shop on the Island has closed while it gets a minor renovation. Tanya and Chris sold it to new owners this month, preferring to opt out of running a small business while they welcome their first child into their lives. As long as I've been on Bowen I've seen the Snug owned by four owners and they have all kept it as a great little place for coffee and meeting friends. It is my on-island board room, writing space and lunch counter all in one. I wish the best for the new owners, and for Tanya and Chris and their little one.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Weeks since I last posted here. We have had two weeks of beautiful spring weather, marred only in the last few days by the fog and rain of late winter...the herring rain that falls when the herring are running on the coast. In First Nations communities up and down the coast, the winter ceremonies are ending and the food seasons are beginning: herring, oolichan, salmon, shellfish...The berries are showing life, with the salmonberries starting to shoot. They'll be followed by the thimbleberries, huckleberries, salal and finally the fat, juicy non-native Himalayan blackberries which will end our summer with purple stains and sweetness.

All of this promise is at hand. We even have foreshadowing of what is surely to be a summer of drought. After the storms of this winter it's incredible to see the creeks already receding.

A time of palpable change.