Monday, March 21, 2016

Journey to the Centre of the Universe

Saanich's observatory sits high above the city...

The title of this post sounds like a movie title from a 50s drive-in B-movie.

Well, it turns out the centre of the universe is right here in Saanich, BC. See that white dome in the photo above? That's it... the centre of the universe. I know! Who knew?

The Centre of the Universe a.ka. the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory sits high above the suburbs, lakes and parks of Saanich below it. All that is readily visible is the white dome of the observatory itself, but there is much more to the site than that.

Despite living in greater Victoria for 40 years, I had never ventured up to see it until recently. I'll talk about it more later this week.

Friday, March 11, 2016


Ship wrecked on the Victoria waterfront...
Shipwrecked on the Victoria waterfront...
Here's something you don't see everyday... an honest-to-goodness shipwreck.

This barge broke away while underway off Victoria's waterfront during a recent windstorm. It washed up on the waterfront at the base of Victoria's popular Dallas Road walkway, giving pedestrians and beachcombers something to talk about.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

No girls allowed...

Saanich treehouse...

Growing up in northern Ontario we never lived near any tall trees that would have allowed us to build a tree fort. On the west coast with tall trees everywhere I'm surprised that I don't come across them more often.

This cool clubhouse in the sky is located in rural Saanich about fifteen minutes north of where I live. Given the expensive price of real estate out here I estimate this penthouse accommodation is probably worth about $60,000.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Surf City Sheriffs

Danger! Earthquakes and hostile surfers!

Remember that cliché line from old Westerns: "Stranger eh? We don't take kindly to strangers around these parts."

This sign can be found adjacent to the beach at Jordan River. The original sign is a warning about the local earthquake danger. A BC Hydro dam upriver was identified as likely to fail when the expected major earthquake occurs here sometime in the next 50 to 100 years. The result will be a wall of water expected to wash away the campsite at the mouth of the river.

Consequently the provincial government closed the campsite as a safety precaution. However, saner heads prevailed when someone calculated the odds that campers would actually be at the campsite during the limited camping season as minuscule and so the province agreed to re-open the site.

The second sign is the smaller attached sticker seen below. Jordan River has a reputation for its local surfers not taking too kindly to visiting surfers encroaching on their turf. And they definitely don't like paddle surfers like me in their waters.

Personally, I haven't experienced any hostility, however, I've confined my water play to a different area of the beach so as not to provoke anyone.

Always read the small print...