A Ring of Endless Light

Here endeth my first week of work. Last week was great; we spent four days doing an Old Testament survey and talking about our relationship with Creation and how we can convey it to the trainees. It was also a great way to spend time with the rest of the crew not on the boat.
Today was the first day in the shipyard! I spend the morning in the galley (actually, I spent the whole day in the galley…) exploring. Sarah taught me how to light the stove and it began to get warmer in there. First, I had to find the galley. Not locate it, but find it underneath all of the things which managed to accumulate over the winter. There is a new cabin being built in the hold, so there are lots of tools and miscelaneous other things lying all over in the hold and galley. Then, there was cleaning of the counter tops. Next I had to sand the rail around all of my counters in preparation for oiling this afternoon. After lunch, it was cleaning out cupboards and investigating what is in the galley. I found a binder of info and notes from previous seasons and offshores (!!!) which will be a HUGE help! Bring on the season!

Last night was nice and still. I went to bed early but woke up around midnight/1am and couldn’t go back to sleep right away. I decided to walk down to the waterway and take some pictures… becuase I do that kind of thing and it is only about 50m down to a little wooden, covered platform that juts out over the water. I spent about half an hour out there enjoying the silence… well, the silence broken by ducks making lots of noise. My favourite surprise when looking at the photos when I got back in was a heron standing in the water which I couldn’t actually see when I was out there.

Here is the Bay Street Bridge in time exposure. You can see the Johnson St Bridge in the background. This is the one with my heron standing in the reflections from the bridge!

This one is also a time exposure of the appartment/office/?? across the waterway from here. The tide was going out.

The covered wooden thing I was standing in and taking pictures from. There were lots of clouds… apparently there was a storm last night, probably after I was outside, but I didn’t hear it… and they were all blowing across the sky at a fair rate.

Photo Journal

I finally uploaded pictures from the last week onto my computer. In celebration of being back in Victoria for one week, here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to for the last week or so:
February 1, Nicole came over from Victoria and we took in the Canucks-Oilers game at GM Place. Unlike the previous Canucks games Dad and I have been to, the Canucks actually won.

We had great seats… lower than I’ve sat before!
Vespa, however, was less than impressed with all the noise and was pretty excited when we left to go home (on the skytrain).

That night, before we left for the game, there was the most amazing full moon rising over the Golden Ears. Yes, this is the view from Dad and Colleen’s place in New West. And I don’t have photoshop or anything like that, so these are all as they were photographed!

Now that I’m back in Victoria, I’m living in a new part of town (new for me anyway) – on the “other side” of the water in Vic West. The townhouses/apartment building is pretty distinctive and very cool looking:

And the apartment has incredible light from the zillion windows (and there’s a huge balcony)

my room… with a spare bed for when I have visitors… hint hint…

And there is a fab view out of the windows… this is a little fuzzy, but we can see all the way to Mt. Doug and, looking the other way, the Empress

Even better, I am super close to the shipyard where I will be working. Here you can see the Pacific Grace in dry dock. She was there for a couple of days this week, getting ready for the upcoming season which starts (gulp) really really soon (she is missing her top masts in case you are wondering why the masts look so short and stubby). And yes, this is the boat which will be my home for a whole year when we’re off sailing the South Seas and to the Far East.

These last two are not my pictures… they are off of the S.A.L.T.S. website. The first is none other than the Pacific Grace. This is the one I’ll be sailing on this year. The second is the Pacific Swift. People familiar with my sailing history will remember my fond tales of her. It is the Swift that I have sailed on for every trip I have taken with S.A.L.T.S. since my first trip in October 1999. And, incidentally, if you need a job starting, say, next week, and want to be a part of a wonderful organization like S.A.L.T.S., give me a shout because we need another cook. Not only would you get to sail, but you would get to sail on the Swift (and she is so much more the pirate-looking ship of the two, complete with a mini cannon!) for a good 4 months or so. Yes, you know you want to…!

Back Home…

Well, I’m back home again after house-sitting for the last five days or so. In between sorting out my iPod (for the 10000000th time…) and cleaning up my room (where everything has just been dumped and the floor, as well as every other semi-flat surface, is difficult to see, I’m sitting here and taking some time to post.
On reflection, I spent way too much time in the last 2 weeks watching the Olympics. And the crazy thing is, by the end of the games I was still tearing up every single time there was a Canadian athlete on the medal podium. Call it what you will, but I’m going with fierce patriotism.
The other activity which occupied way too much of my time over the last week was searching and researching (in both senses of the word) a psyc paper. Every phrase I entered into the online journal database available through UVic library yielded either 5000 hits or none at all. That got to be a little frusterating after awhile, consequently, the researching has come to a screeching halt. Fortunately, I still have a week and a bit until it is due… I guess I will continue to perfect night-before-it-is-due-paper-writing technique.

Continuing Saga of the Oil Tank

I told you that the tank was right outside my bedroom window…
…yes, this was taken from inside my room looking out.

I guess this morning the removal guys were poking around trying to find the stupid thing and they only heard one “clunk” of metal on metal… (which explains the mild expletives I heard whilst trying to drag myself from bed) The reason is that the tank was so rusted that the pokey thing they were using kept going straight through.
So this is what a hole looks like when a 300 gallon oil tank has been removed… note to self, do not use the stairs on the west side of the deck…

Curiouser and Curiouser (or The Saga of the Oil Tank)

One week to go in the election campaign, and I actually have nothing of substance to say. Yes, I’m still reading all of the fantastic political blogs out there, watching CPAC, listening to CBC, all that stuff, but it seems like no one has anything new to say. Stephen Harper is still in his high tower, impervious and untouchable, Jack Layton is still whining “vote for me, the Liberals are scary, there is a third option,” Gilles Duceppe is still… oh who cares, I can’t vote for him anyway, and Paul Martin is still blissfully unaware of how badly his party is doing in the polls and seems to think he can still win. So where does that leave me? Well, I’ve narrowed the vote to two candidates and past readers of this blog might be very surprised at who one of them is.

So, since there is nothing new under the sun in the Canadian political field, my attention turns to more pressing matters. Like the fact that it is not raining outside right now. I sincerely doubt that, unless you live in Victoria, you will understand the true import of that statement. So I will say it again. It is NOT raining right now! And no one in this whole city is more thankful than me. Not only because it means I don’t have to wear my fabulous rain pants everytime I exit my dwelling, but because it means my house smells better. Smells better you ask? You heard (or rather read) me correctly, smells better. You see, it seems that in the 1960’s when people used oil to heat their homes, the oil tanks were buried in backyards. Then, when they switched from oil to gas heat, they merely took off the connecting pipe and forgot about the tank. Forgot about it, that is, until a record rainfall of about 26+ straight days. Last Thursday night, there was a slight oil smell in the house. By Friday, it was pretty much unbearable, so much so as to prompt my landlords to call in the gas company. They checked everything out and said it was all fine, no leaks, no CO or CO2 emissions anywhere in the house… blah blah blah… It was only when the fire department came to check it out for us that we discovered the possible existence of an oil tank in the yard. Now you can see where this is going. Saturday morning I awoke to a “BLEEEP BLEEP BLEEP BLEEEEEEEP” sound directly outside of my window (which I had left open the night before because of smell). There was a guy with a metal detector in the yard right beside my window. Yep, found it. It seems that with the rising water table, the oil has been seeping out and causing the place to stink to high heaven. Lovely. The good news? It stops stinking when it stops raining for a few hours. Hence my excitement that it is not raining right now. The other good news? The tank comes out of the ground tomorrow.