Pipelines & Tankers


According to McLeans article of November 29, a biologist with the RAINCOAST CONSERVATION SOCIETY, one Misty MacDuffee, the Kinder Morgan Pipeline will result in an increase of ship traffic in Georgia Strait and the additional noise generated from those 300 ships per year will kill the killer whales.  MacDuffee says the noise will make it impossible for the whales to communicate with one another and they won’t be able to hunt down salmon. Really?

Perhaps Ms. MacDuffee is unaware that 3500 ships visit Vancouver each year. That means 7000 trips between Vancouver and the western entrance to Juan de Fuca. Add to that all the trips by BC Ferries. They make 86 trips per day or over 31,000 trips per year! And that is only counting the major routes. Perhaps BC Ferries should cut service to reduce the underwater cacophony.  Ms. MacDuffee lives on Pender Island.  Maybe ferry service could be cut on that route to once a week.

While there certainly is a degree of risk when deep sea ships are involved, the history of deep sea ships in Georgia Strait had been almost accident free. The last significant event occurred in 1974 when a Russian freighter collided with a BC Ferry in Active Pass.  Consider too, that modern ships have very advanced navigation systems that were unavailable just 15 years ago. Radar, AIS, & chart plotters all make shipping safer. Already, Every Tanker entering or departing from Burrard Inlet is accompanied by 3 tugs ensuring the ship’ safe passage.

Consider that every week several very large Tankers transit Juan de Fuca Strait filled with Alaska oil en route to Anacortes and Cherry Point, in Washington State.  They pass within a few miles of Victoria beaches and go through the San Juan Islands.  Could there ever be an accident.  It’s possible, of course.  But it’s possible your plane will crash on the way to Maui, but you still get on it.

Ms. MacDuffee’s theory is the goofiest thing I have heard in a long time.

Vendée Globe Race

23 days into this epic single handed round the world sailing race the first two boats are less than 20 miles apart. English skipper Alex Thomson, on HUGO BOSS,  led the race down the Atlantic but Frenchman Armel LeCleach sailing BANC POPULAIRE VIII took the lead as they approached Kerguelen Island in the Southern Ocean.

Currently LeCleach is sailing at 21 knots and has covered over 8000 nautical miles. He has 15, 570 miles to go. The third placed boat is 510 miles behind the leader.  The first six boats are all east of Capetown in the Southern Ocean. The last boat is still off the coast of Brazil 400o miles behind the leader. Three vessels have retired due to damage.

Thomson’s boat hit something at night a week or so ago which caused damage to one of the ‘foils’ on the hull but he has still managed speeds over over 20 knots.

The trek across the Southern Ocean passing south of Australia can be wild and perilous.  Stay tuned.

Trudeau Eulogies.

Following Justin Trudeau’s remarks regarding the death of the Dictator of Cuba, Fidel Castro, the pile on began. Someone started a Twitter Site #trudeaueulogies and everyone from Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Greg Gutfeld to numerous Canadians jumped in. The tweets were hilarious in their mockery of our lightweight PM. Here are just a few.

#trudeaueulogies “Today we say goodbye to Mr. Mussolini, the former Italian prime minister best known for his competent train-management.”

“Osama Bin Laden was certainly a controversial figure, but his contribution to airport security is unparalleled.” #TrudeauEulogies

#TrudeauEulogies “Pablo Escobar’s legacy of opening up Columbia’s export markets & fighting for prison reform won’t be forgotten”

“Stalin was a remarkable figure and one of the fathers & innovators of the strict form of diet better known as starvation.” #TrudeauEulogies

“While a controversial figure, Robespierre led France w/ a clear vision & firm resolve while others were losing their heads” #trudeaueulogies

“Let us remember Jack the Ripper as a great benefactor who worked tirelessly to get female prostitutes off the streets”. #trudeaueulogies

“Osama bin Laden advanced the world’s understanding of Islam.He also provided a valuable service in improving building codes”.#trudeaueulogies

There were dozens more all mocking Trudeau. What an embarrassment he is to our country. He will have a significant PR problem getting through this.

Well, somebody voted for him. Not me!

Just saying.

Trudeau on Castro

Is it possible that our Prime Minister is a total ignoramus? His official statement on the death of Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro was shameful. In part he said:

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”

Could the Princeling be unaware that Castro oppressed the poor people of Cuba? That Castro imprisoned and murdered thousands of his own citizens? That Castro was a Communist and a Dictator!

Would Trudeau say that Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Hirohito were also fine fellows! Today I am embarrassed that we have such a waste of space for our Prime Minister.

Just saying…


Christmas is a favourite time of the year for me. Lots of food, drink, parties, family and out door lights and Christmas trees. I love decorating our home with lights in front and in back too. In our area there are some spectacularly decorated homes so a drive around on a dry dark night is a must. Some communities really go all out. Last night the little town of Ladysmith lit up the Main Street with 175,000 lights. Upwards of 20,000 people were expected to be there to see the switch go on. We’ve seen their lights which are quite spectacular. It’s worth a drive to see them.

I have always loved Christmas trees, even the ones we had as kids that were so sparse we loaded each branch with that silver tinsel to make the tree look fuller. Tree stands used to be terrible and I recall once a guy in our home got so frustrated trying to get the stand working he finally nailed it to the floor right through the carpet.

We have friends who flock their tree every year and they usually celebrate the flocking with a party. He puts the tree on the patio, mixes up the white flocking and sprays it on the tree with a vacuum cleaner. Makes a mess but the tree does look snowy.

Until recently we always had a real tree which we usually purchased from the cubs and scouts. Noble pine is our favourite. One year a little cub would not let us take the tree until he ‘twirled it’ for us so we could see all sides.

Ok, I admit that we have capitulated and now have a fake tree. No. Let’s call it a replica tree. A Martha Stewart no less, with a simple but attractive stand that works. But it looks like a real tree! Not like the ones on display at Canadian Tire today. A pink tree! Powder Blue maybe? Gold? Who would have a tree in their home that looked like these..


Call me old fashioned but a Christmas Tree ( not a Holiday Tree) should look like a tree.

Only 6 more days until our lights go up. Then the place looks festive! ”Tis the Season”.

Just saying.


Wednesday night we were expecting to meet friends, one couple, at SAM’S SUSHI in FRENCH CREEK. Much to our surprise, when we arrived there were 3 couples surprising us to celebrate this old guys birthday. What a delightful surprise!

Sam’s as usual did not disappoint. Keep in mind that we have probably enjoyed Sam’s at least 100 times since moving here over 5 years ago. My favourite girl had her regular, Mixed Tempura (Prawns and Vegetables) which is consistently delicious. I chose Salmon & Tuna Sashimi and a Red Eye Roll which is wonderful and I washed it down with a large Kirin Beer. I ordered a large because it was my birthday.

Our friends ordered a variety of dishes including Gyoza, Scallop Sushi, Osaka Roll, Sashimi & Tempura. The plates were empty when we finished so One might assume it was all delicious.

We have never been disappointed at Sam’s. Whether it’s a simple noodle bowl or an exotic sashimi, it’s all good. The service is really friendly. Servers Chrissy, Chigusa, and Emma are wonderful. They treat us like old friends. Sam, who grew up in Japan and apprenticed there, is always behind the Sushi Bar creating his excellent dishes. He has a great smile, and just beams when he sees customers coming through the front door.

Sam’s is pretty simple. Not fancy. But spotless. With really good food. Sam’s does a big take out business too.

If you have not been to Sam’s Sushi and you like Sushi, you need to go. Our nephew, from Vancouver, hits Sam’s every time he and his gorgeous Japanese wife come to the island. She is from Yokohama and really knows Sushi and she thinks Sam’s is the best.

Sam’s is open for lunch (try a Bento Box) and dinner Monday to Friday. Sam wants to have a life so he closes on weekends. Good decision! Not many restaurant owners do that.

Finally, the one other reason to like Sam’s is that it is only a 900 metre drive from home. I know, we should walk!

Just Saying….


Last night old friends from the BC Interior arrived for an overnight visit and insisted that they take us out for dinner. So we decided to try the Beach House Cafe on the waterfront in Qualicum Beach.

This restaurant changed hands earlier this year and has been open under its reincarnation since August. The interior has had a very nice face lift and is quite inviting. It’s not big but in the summer it offers the addition of a lovely Oceanside patio.

The menu looked tempting, not extensive but good. We all opted for their special sheet which for $25 each offered the 3 course Grand Opening dinner. Soup or Salad, choice of 5 entrees and desert. The Tomato Soup was very tasty and quite spicy, which I like.  Two of us chose the Lamb Shank, one the Seafood Fettucini, and one Steak.

The Lamb was excellent, accompanied by  some select roasted vegetables and it was nicely presented.  The Fettucini was served with a generous selection of seafood and was pronounced  delicious.  Mr. Beefsteak was a little disappointed as the steak was sirloin and not his favourite cut.  We all chose the Creme Caramel for desert and it was both refreshing and delicious.

Unfortunately  for the owners, the place was not busy, so for us that meant quick and attentive service.  Ken, the waiter looked after us well and the owner, Simona, came by the table for a visit.  She is a very charming lady, originally from Romania, some 25 years ago and her husband is the chef.  We were treated to a complimentary after dinner drink, Port for the gentlemen, Dubbonet for the ladies.  Simona wanted us to know that they are really keen to make the Beach House a local favourite and a real part of Qualicum Beach and not rely on the summer tourism.  She has a wonderful attitude and we really enjoyed chatting with her.

The Beach House Cafe is open for lunch and dinner and they just started breakfast too. We enjoyed our evening and will go back soon to try their lunch offerings.

If you are in the area, this place is definitely worth a visit!

Just saying…






The Eagles

Last night I spent a totally enjoyable 3 hours watching the HISTORY OF THE EAGLES. No, not the bird, the band. It is a well done documentary following the band from the beginning in 1971. I love The EAGLES music although I must confess I really didn’t know much about them until about 15 years ago. Good thing they got together again in 1994 or I may have missed them completely. It seems that during the 70’s and 80’s I was too busy working, raising a family and listening to talk radio, to notice what was happening in the music world.

Many reading this already know the story of the Eagles, but some may not. The band was formed by Don Henley and Glen Frey in 1971. Two other guys, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon joined at the outset. Leadon was replaced eventually by Joe Walsh and Meisner by Timothy B Schmit.  Henley & Frey wrote most of the music and the history documents how some of the songs came about. Some of the best were written in the early 1970’s and have endured all these years.

The band stayed together for almost 20 years but the stress of drugs, booze, parties and travel ripped them apart in 1980. They all went on to have success as single acts until the band got together again in 1994 and stayed together for another 22 years.

They recorded, toured and continued to perform their great music. They made a fortune too. Henley is reportedly worth $200 million, Frey $90 million, Walsh $65 million. Were the Eagles a commercial success?  Apparently. One album, The Greatest Hits sold 42 million copies world wide.

In January 2016 Glen Frey passed away at age 67 and his death pretty much was the final chapter in the amazing Eagles story. Don Henley has said that it’s unlikely that the band will ever perform again. Not many bands survive for nearly 50 years but these guys did.  Great music!

What genre are the EAGLES.  Country, Rock?  I say the were unique and their genre was simply, THE EAGLES!


If you have not seen this history, I highly recommend it to you.

The History of The Eagles is on Netflix and can be purchased on DVD too.

Just saying…

Southern Barbecue

To begin, let me say that I love BBQ.  Not grilling like we do on our patios but real Southern Low and Slow smoked BBQ. Brisket, pulled pork, chicken,  ribs and beans. Now, I have never been to any of the famous joints like FRANKLINS in Austin, Texas   where customers start lining up 2 hours before it opens, or CHOO CHOO BBQ in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our son Jackson and his business partners treated their largest clients to a Franklin BBQ picnic while at a conference in Austin this Spring.  They ordered several briskets, two turkeys, ribs and all the sides and served it outside in a local park. They pronounced that it was OUSTANDING!

Even though I’ve been to many southern cities and even drove across the south once, I have, for some unknown reason have missed these fabulous joints.

So, I was thrilled when Park Heffelfinger and George Sui Opened  MEMPHIS BLUES BBQ on West Broadway in Vancouver in 1999. Their beef brisket was outstanding, the ribs superb. I loved the place. They now have places in Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna and Edmonton.

But since moving to the island we have not been near Memphis Blues. We have thought about SMOKIN GEORGES BBQ in Nanaimo for about 3 years. Today was the day to give this place a try.

SMOKIN’ GEORGES looks and smells like a BBQ JOINT with painted concrete floors, several tables and a couple of booths too. Very industrial in atmosphere and a really friendly staff. My best pal of 49 years opted for a pulled Chicken Sandwich while I had to try the Brisket. We ordered at the counter, took a beer and a Pinot Grigio to a booth and checked out the ambiance while waiting for the food to arrive. It was quick. Both items were good, but not great. I think MEMPHIS BLUES is better.  The Brisket in a bun was $9.50 and if you wanted beans, slaw, or corn bread that was extra.

They feature Phillips Craft Beer from Victoria and Sumac Ridge wine.  Both  were good.



Its worth a try if you want a fast lunch in Nanaimo but would I become a regular? probably not.  I think I’d order the BBQ Pulled Pork at Cactus Club  first.

Just saying…

Vendée Globe

Seven days and eight hours and the lead boats are already south of DAKAR on the African West Coast.  The leader is the Englishman Alex Thomson driving the HUGO BOSS.  He has covered over 2000 nautical miles and sailed 429 nm in the past 24 hours. That’s an average speed of over 18 knots.

The second placed boat is 31 miles behind while the 28th boat is now over 1000 miles behind the leader.  Yesterday some of the boats were running at 19 knots.

If you want to follow the race more closely, try the Vendee Globe App on your iPad or iPhone.  Or follow the race on Facebook or on the net at http://www.vendeeglobe.org.

Only 21,800 miles to go.  Wait until they turn left at Capetown and head across the wild Southern Ocean.  60 foot boats, full crew of one.  That’s it. Just the skipper.  Alone!  Not for me.  Just saying…