Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On clear day, you can see forever...

... or at least as far as Mt Baker in Washington State on the mainland from Gonzales Park in the Victoria.

Turning about ninety degrees it's possible to see the spires of Craigdarroch Castle above the trees.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ogden fans

It's possible to walk to the beacon at the end of the Ogden Point breakwater via the large granite blocks on the ocean side of the breakwater.

The lower level of granite blocks are exposed to the wave action of the water. Over time they have become the bedrock for colonies of barnacles -- I assume that's the correct name for them. (See what I just did back there?)

On a sunny day, the crowds gather to fish, dive or otherwise just sit around and soak up the warmth and watch the traffic entering and leaving the harbour.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


I am sailing, 
stormy waters, 
to be near you, 
to be free.

So sang Rod Stewart.

On this particular day off Ogden Point, stormy waters were nowhere to be seen... Lots of sunshine did bring out sailors who were content to let nature do most of the work as well as those who were happy enough to dip a paddle and do the work themselves.

Monday, April 21, 2014


If you were passing by Victoria's Centennial Square on Sunday afternoon, you may have noticed the crowds under a layer of pungent smoke wafting overhead. April 20 is known as 420 when marijuana advocates gather to openly consume their vice of choice in public as a way to promote it as a lifestyle choice.

I periodically read articles that still scream about the dangers of 'reefer madness' and they make me shake my head in disbelief. As someone who smoked pretty regularly in my late high school years and still periodically indulges socially I'm pretty familiar with the effects of dope consumption.

Can it lead to impaired judgement and health issues? Probably, but no more so than alcohol or cigarettes and probably a lot less. As with any vice -- be it booze, cigs, chocolate, gambling -- moderation and self-control are called for.

It amazes me that forty years after I left high school -- FORTY years! -- we are still no further along the path of legalizing dope.

The festivities on Sunday included costumes and bad poetry by assorted enlightened types who bashed on the police. It was stupid as most cops could care less about a bunch of stoned kids but, hey, they make for an easily visible target for disaffected youth...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Coming and going

On a recent sunny day the approaches to and from Victoria harbour entrance are busy with all sorts of marine traffic.

The Coho ferry is a familiar site as it arrives from the American city of Port Angeles in Washington state. At the same time, a pleasure craft exits the harbour...

Meanwhile, around the corner of the Ogden Point beacon, one of the popular whale watching tours kicks up a rooster tail as it races to catch up with the marine mammals against the backdrop of the peaks of Washington State...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nuthin' finer...

Warm sun, blue water
A good friend for company...
You DID bring the beer?

I really think there's nothin' quite so fine 
As lettin' the sun rejuvenate your mind

This past weekend warm weather drew the crowds down to the Victoria waterfront. Off the Ogden Point breakwater one fisherman gets his casts in...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


A closeup of one of the colourful totem poles outside the Songhees Wellness Centre in Esquimalt, BC...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

An explorer is never lost...

-- Photo: Mike Laplante -- Saturna Island
I don't know if he was the original author, but I first heard this quote from Vic Lindal.

Risk is about going beyond your comfort zone into the realm of the unknowable.That's also the very definition of exploration.

Risk is about exposing yourself, feeling uncomfortable or awkward.

Exploring is about adventure, discovering new things, opening up possibilities, boldly going where no one has gone before...

So instead of 'I'm not comfortable with the risk' it should be 'hey, let's go exploring!'

Get your Captain Kirk on and seek out those strange new worlds, baby...

Thursday, April 10, 2014


These totem poles glow in the gathering dusk over Esquimalt Harbour.

They are located outside the eye-catching Songhees Wellness Centre. The totem below is of a loon and I like it for its unique curves -- different from the traditional upright pole.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Guest photography: Cinemagraphs

The image above is an example of a cinemagraph. It appears here courtesy of http://annstreetstudio.com/category/cinemagraphs/.

About fifteen years ago the Internet was awash in cheesy animated GIFs such as these. (Warning: Don't go to this site if you are prone to epilepsy...) Then about five years ago, the animated GIF was re-invented as the cinemagraph.

Typically, cinemagraphs feature a photo with discrete or subtle animated elements to add life to the photo. They can be used to add a clever element of surprise to a photo as well.

This earlier post from this website could be considered a crude cinemagraph. I hope to feature some more of them in the near future.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

10000 hours

Victoria's year round mild weather makes it a premier training environment for many of Canada's Olympic athletes, including rowers.

Under grey dreary skies recently these rowers on Beaver Lake looked less than enthusiastic about their early-morning workout. Excellence demands dedication though so a few minutes after this picture was taken they were dutifully pulling hard through the water as their coaches urged them on.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Into the mist...

This past weekend my wife and I traveled to the top of Mt. Washington on Vancouver Island for some spring skiing.

Wet sloppy snow landed heavily on our goggles and clothes throughout the day. Combined with the thick fog it created near whiteout conditions which made for some exciting downhill runs...