It’s a mid-August night at Beausoleil Island in southern Georgian Bay. The moon has already plummeted below the tree line on a cloudless night, setting the stage for the Perseid meteor show, an annual display easily observed from the deck of a boat at anchor.
The 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay is a boater’s dream destination with crystal clear waters, endless anchorages, amazing angling opportunities, outstanding scenery and diverse wildlife and vegetation. It is also a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world biosphere reserve, a designation awarded in 2004 after seven years of intensive work by a collective of cottagers, boaters, residents, First Nations representatives and organizations with support from government agencies.
New rules severely restrict where and how salt-water boaters can discharge sewage. Is your boat ready to comply? In May 2012 a significant environmental anniversary slipped by with little fanfare. It was the end of the promised five-year transition period before new sewage discharge regulations for small craft in salt waters, introduced in 2006-07, took full effect. From 2012 onwards all vessels in Canadian waters, fresh and salt, are covered by the same legislation regarding sewage discharge. Salt-water boaters have a bit more flexibility in pump-out options but the basic rules are now the same for fresh and salt water.
Many Canadian Yachting readers have likely experienced the beauty of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. Nestled between Vancouver Island and the mainland, this archipelago of more than 450 islands and islets offers calm seas, a gentle climate and stunning landscapes. What many visitors may not notice are the immense pressures on this much-loved area and the work of numerous conservation groups to save these fragile ecological jewels for all British Columbians and visitors.
Many newspaper headlines appeared in the spring of 2012 with these two names highlighted. The Rideau, a recently designated World Heritage Site, and the Trent Severn, with a combined age of 325 years, were designated as transportation routes until 1972 when the Federal Cabinet moved canal operations from the Department of Transport to Parks Canada. In March of 2012, during Federal budget deliberations, Parks Canada (PC) was given a budget reduction target of $29.2M over 3 years.
Investing in a reusable winter cover is a sound environmental choice and a practical way to facilitate winter maintenance on your boat. Over the past few decades, more and more boats in Canada have been put away for the winter under shrink wrap. Properly applied, shrink wrap seals the boat from water and intrusion by creatures, its slippery surface sheds snow (when we get it), and it resists wind and sun all winter. Shrink wrap can also be recycled quite effectively, and some shrink wrap suppliers have created programs to gather used wrap to ensure that it’s recycled and not disposed of in a landfill site.
I’m on vacation! Things can turn ugly in paradise when you finally reach that secluded anchorage. You set the hook and kill the engines, but the buzzing sound continues...you are not alone! Black flies, mosquitoes, wasps and of course, the little army of invisible spiders that you accidentally brought with you, all emerge in the stillness, buzzing around looking for something, or someone to munch on. Hopefully, you packed the AfterBite, lotions, antiseptic, cotton balls, antihistamine for those with allergies, BandAids and other first aid items, but the best route is to protect yourself from being bitten in the first place.
I've been a pilot for 37 years and spent 28 years flying passenger aircraft for the airlines – you can bet that the weather was always one of my foremost concerns. I've retired from the airlines, but my interest in the weather, in forecasting weather and in all of the available resources to help me plan a safe journey, are just as important as ever. It’s still a matter of my personal safety, the safety of my loved ones and my friends, except now, I’m at the helm of my own boat.
There's been lots of talk about electric boats recently, but few examples are actually out on the market. So far, the battery technology for large-scale applications seems to us to be a significant environmental consideration. I suspect that the carbon footprint of a big lithium-ion battery bank might totally negate the energy savings of the electric engine.
Then, on September 28th 2011, a company called BionX introduced its own electric boat. There is some very interesting thinking behind it, but the size and scale is in the dinghy range, not the cruiser range.
I think it’s a given that as a Canadian Yachting reader, you are passionate about Canada’s waters and protecting them from pollution and wildlife threats. Recently, an article in the Globe & Mail presented a way to easily demonstrate our commitment to the waters we love so much.
Back in June, tied to ‘Oceans Day 2011’, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society challenged the federal government to establish 12 new marine protected areas by the end of 2012.