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.
RSA Insurance and the World Wildlife Fund report on emerging risks as a result of environmental change. The disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico has made abundantly clear the increasing environmental risks to our shoreline. While, as recreational boaters we are directly effected by these risks, the issues are wide ranging, extremely complicated and of importance to everyone no matter where they live, since we will all be affected. Offshore drilling is just one challenge that will have to be faced along with increased shipping and aquaculture, and of course rising sea levels.
On June 8, World Oceans Day, RSA Insurance in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a global report on the marine risks that are emerging as a result of environmental change.
By definition, an alien species is a plant or animal occurring in an area outside of its known natural habitat as a result of accidental or intentional introduction by human activities. An alien species is considered invasive if its introduction and spread causes harm to the environment, society or economy.
Throughout history human activities including settlement and trade have caused the introduction of aquatic invasive species (AIS) quite often to the detriment of native ecosystems. Over 200 non-native species of plant and aquatic life have become established in the Great Lakes; this number grows annually.
“If you work hard at keeping your marina clean, green and safe, your boaters will too. There is absolutely nothing to match the effect of leading by example” according to Hub Steenbakkers, the proprietor of Collins Bay Marina in Kingston, Ontario. “It is more than setting or enforcing rules, it is all about educating boaters in the critical role they play in maintaining the environment and setting expectations that become the social norm for behaviour.”
At Collins Bay Marina, caring for the environment is an essential part of their business.
In many sectors there’s a developing interest in all things environmental and the boating community is no exception. Boaters are taking more of an interest to what is happening in their cruising areas – and in “Beautiful British Columbia” there is much current interest.
High on the list is the new pollution prevention regulation under the Canada Shipping Act. The regulation caused a serious uproar before it was made into law, as it seemed to be drafted with big ships in mind rather than small vessels – and because the bureaucrats in Ottawa appeared to have ignored some major recommendations of the west coast work group.
Anyone who has ever sailed the waters of Georgian Bay is familiar with the iconic trees that line the shore and dot the islands. Sculpted by the prevailing west winds, they stand arched and graceful yet still solid and defiant and in their struggle with the harsh climate and sparse soil scattered amidst the prehistoric granite of the Canadian Shield.
The Georgian Bay Land Trust (GBLT) was founded in 1997 to help preserve not only the famed trees of Georgian Bay but also the entire ecology of the unique archipelago that makes up the Eastern Channel and North Shore.
Well it’s spring and time to organize most people’s least favourite spring outfitting job. Time to get the bottom painted. These days, when it comes to antifouling paints, we need to consider not just the cost to ourselves, but also the cost to the environment. With a little education, boaters can make both a green and a cost-effective decision for their antifouling paint.
First, a little history. From early days, copper in various forms, from copper sheathing to cuprous oxide in paint was the best available biocide for antifouling. Remember TBT (tributyltin).