Category Archives: Canoeing

Completed Standard First Aid for Industry

I completed a St. John Ambulance (Burnaby branch) Standard First Aid for Industry with CPR/AED course and certification over the weekend.

Thanks to Danni, a superb instructor, who was very knowledgeable, down to earth, and fun.

I’m zonked now — it was an intense two days, but also happy to have refreshed my first-aid knowledge. I hadn’t taken a formal first-aid course since my youth, in Red Cross swimming classes and Boy Scouts, several decades ago.

Ode to a Knife

OK, let’s get one thing clear off the top. I love this knife, but I’m not homicidal. I just have a long history with this sturdy implement, and I admire its durability.

It’s a US Boy Scouts sheath knife circa 1970. I bought it when I was living in New York City, and was active with the local troop in my ‘hood, so it’s at least 45 years old.

It’s all original, including the leather sheath.

It has been much used, and, for a knife, abused. As you can surmise in the scars in the detailed photos below, it’s pounded nails, stripped 14/2  wiring, split kindling when an axe was not available and a rock was used to pound the blade into the wood. . . In addition to more “knifely” duties such as cleaning fish.

And it’s still solid, still takes a good edge, and will long outlive me. I may ask to have it buried with me when I depart, just in case there are zombies on the other side :-).

If you check the BSA online store, it appears nothing like this is available anymore.

I still take it hiking and camping, though I’ve retired it from streamkeeping — I have an excellent, inexpensive, plastic-handled stainless-steel knife from MEC for that duty now.

Beauty, eh?

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cipywnyk_us_scouts_sheath_knife_3_20161125

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1960s US Boy Scouts Sheath Knife

I used to be a car guy – Vancouver Auto Show beckons

In the days of my youth (sorry, no Led Zep here : -), I used to be a car nut. I did all my own servicing until solid state and computertronics put much of that out of reach for backyard mechanics.

I bought, drove, and sold nearly a dozen used vehicles between age 16 and 25 or so…

An AMC or two (anyone remember those? Think Hornets and Matadors — relatively smaller cars for that era with punchy V-8s : -), a couple of Euro Ford Capris both 4- and 6-bangers…

A rusting-out Jaguar saloon… A Pontiac Grand Am with a 400-4 V-8 and RTS that I drove across Canada and back once, if not twice. A superb highway cruiser…  A couple of trucks and vans (yes, the van was soon accessorized with big speakers and shag carpet, blush….)

Then I didn’t own a vehicle at all for the 14+ years I lived in Tokyo. We rented for weekend trips a few times, and drove my wife’s family vehicles when we visited up north in Aomori prefecture.

And when I returned to Canada, I matured into a so-called “environmental activist.”

So I/we have had one vehicle for the last 18 years, a solid, rather staid ’98 Subaru Outback.

But I feel myself wanting to go to the Vancouver Auto Show. I can check out the fantasy vehicles, the sports cars, the super trucks, and then bring home a few brochures on hybrids.

At this point in my life, I listen to my wife a lot. Wife wants a hybrid when we get our next ride. I won’t argue with that.

But I also want a truck for camping, fishing, canoeing, photography journeys, etc. A midsize one. A Tacoma would be nice…

Met the Otter at Deer Lake Again

After our Deer Lake canoe shakedown cruise two days ago, we were going to canoe Burnaby Lake, but discovered there was a regatta in progress. So it was back to Deer Lake where we saw the otter again, and what appeared to be a juvenile bald eagle.

eagle deer lake

otter deer lake burnaby
This little fella was hanging around right where we saw him/her two days ago.

otter deer lake burnaby
Hide and seek among the lily pads

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This kingfisher was too far away for a good shot with my teeny pocket Canon PowerShot 520HS, so rather grainy in this blowup.

I am loath to take my DSLRs and big lenses canoeing!

Canoeing Burnaby’s Deer Lake

We dusted off the canoe and went for our first spin this year. Just been too busy to get out with Yumi both working full time and taking classes.

It was a lovely morning for a shakedown cruise, and we paddled leisurely around the lake a few times.

Deer Lake Canoeing
Heading out with Yumi in the bow

Yumi is always in the bow, seeing as I outweigh her by about 100 pounds : -)

Deer Lake geese
Lots of Canada Geese on the beach and lake

Deer Lake canoeing
Metrotown skyline

Deer Lake furry water beastie
This furry water beastie approached us, coming quite near before turning away

Deer Lake furry water beastie
Otter?

Deer Lake wildlife area market
Some years ago Burnaby designated the west end of the lake as a no-go wildlife area. People, please respect this haven.

Deer Lake cormorant and herons
A cormorant and three herons

cormorant herons Deer Lake wildlife area
You can clearly see the importance of this small area of urban biodiversity

Deer Lake mallard escort
An escort of mallards

Deer Lake damselfly
A visit from a damselfly

Yumi blackberries
Yumi doing her best to keep invasive Himalayan blackberries in check : -)

Deer Lake friendly mallard
This pretty mallard was pretty used to people, perhaps overly so!

Erickson's Baldwin House
Gliding toward Arthur Erickson’s Baldwin House

Deer Lake east beach
Back ashore at the east beach