Perth, Western Australia

In October 2001, I was in Australia to attend an annual conference of weather buoy users and manufacturers. With an 8 hour stop-over in Sydney before a connecting flight to Perth in Western Australian, we headed for downtown. As this was only a month after September 11th, we couldn’t check our bags in early or leave them in a locker at the airport. Our first stop in Sydney was at one of the downtown hotels. We walked in like we owned the place and asked if we could leave our bags. They assumed that we were registered in the hotel and happily took them…something to remember.

We spent the day in Circular Quay, enjoying their spring weather, a bite to eat and a tour of the Sydney Harbour. It made for a nice break after the very long flight – which was forced to land in Hawaii due to 9-11 – and made the thought of another 5 hour flight to Perth manageable.

Once we were safely in Perth and had reassured our families back home that we were ok on the other side of the dateline (and tell them that we had to promise that we would not divulge the lotto numbers to the folks living the past) Ron, Sergey and I had our tradition greeting.

The conference continued through the week and I stayed on over the following weekend to take in some of the sights and sounds before heading back to Canada. We took a wine tour and went to a nature preserve to see some of Australia’s notable fauna.



Posted in By Land, By Sea | 2 Comments

Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay is located approximately half way up the east side of Vancouver Island.

Protesting the rising price of chocolate. Dad is in the middle at the back

It’s where my Father spent most of his teen years and the focal point of most everything that happened on his side of my family. It is the home of some of my fondest memories as well as some of things that never should have happened.

It’s forty acres that was farmed when Dad was young; by the time there were grandchildren, however, most of it had returned to forest and swamp. The outbuildings survived, full of all sorts of treasures: a tractor, old logging equipment and things that had drifted in with the tide.

The beach across the highway was where we would spend our summer vacations.  The tide would go out for miles revealing pools full of fish, crabs, sea weed and geoducks to stomp.

It’s where we’ve celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, where weddings have taken place and where many of us will spend eternity.

Posted in By Land, By Sea, Family | 2 Comments


Ok, I’m stretching it a little, but I really wanted to get Georgia out, back when G rolled around.

My Mom’s Mom came from Groningen in the Netherlands and I’ve been lucky enough to visit there a couple of times. The first time was with my buddy John. We backpacked around Europe and were happy to save a few bucks when we could find a long lost relative that we could hit up for a place to stay. Fortunately, my Mom had a cousin who she exchanged Christmas cards with and they would periodically write back and forth to update each other on what changes there were to the family tree. When it was mentioned that I was coming to Europe, there was no way that I was going to not make a stop.

It was the norm for apartments in the Netherlands to have extra suites that could be made available for visitors, and John and I were put up in theirs. It was a nice break from Hostels and cheap Hotels. They showed us the local sites and made our stay a great one.

In 2006, with the girls and my Mom and Dad, we took a day trip from Amsterdam to visit Groningen and my Mom’s relatives. The train left Amsterdam Centraal at 0736 and we were all still a little sleepy when during one of the frequent stops, I heard an announcement mentioning Groningen. Perfect…that’s where we want to go.

After a bit, there was some clunking and some jerking usually associated with cars being de-coupled. This didn’t seem right, and I jumped off to have a look…at the forward cars leaving the station. Our car no longer had a Groningen sign showing, but rather Leeuwarden. I ran back to our car and as I passed our window, I pointed at the departing car and yelled GRONINGEN! Everyone lept to their feet, grabbed their bags and jumped from the train as it started to pull out.

From that moment on, GRONINGEN! became our battle cry; our call to arms through the rest of the trip.

Can you tell that they're cousins?

We made it to Groningen 30 minutes late after we waited for the next train to pass through Zwolle to pick us up. We had a wonderful visit with our relatives. They had arranged for a luncheon in the beautiful station’s cafe and a canal cruise through town. The family tree has lost a few more branches since we were there, but it was great that my kids got a chance to meet some of their European family and hear some of the stories of their past.

One story that I will always remember was about my Mom’s Uncle Engel. He had come to Canada with his sister and when WWII broke out he joined the Air Force. He fought through the war and during the Liberation of Holland, he was one of the proud Canadians who freed Mom’s cousins in Groningen. She can still remember sitting on his knee and pulling a chocolate bar from one of the pockets of his fatigues.


Posted in By Land, By Sea, Family | 1 Comment


We had ’em.

22 years ago today, Moe made an honest man of me.

After the big church ceremony, we headed off in our limo to Beacon Hill Park for our photo shoot. As we were early and it was a beautiful spring afternoon, we had the driver stop by the Beach Drive-In (a local favourite) for a quick ice cream. We were definitely the best dressed couple there.

Photo by **Mary** used under CC licence

We had our reception at the swanky Oak Bay Beach hotel and had made up little bags of M&Ms for our guests.

Happy Anniversary Moe my love, and here’s to 22 more.

Posted in By Land, Family, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Lima, Peru

In November 1999, (wow that seems like so long ago) we set off on a marketing trip to Peru and Chile to try to take advantage of some opportunities there.

Our first stop was in Lima, Peru to meet with an agent, visit some potential service vessels and prepare a detail proposal.

I found Lima to be dusty, muggy and the level of security all around the city did not leave me with a good feeling. All in all, I was happy to leave and to be honest, not completely disappointed when we lost out on that contract.

So long Lima

Our next stop in Chile was a much better experience and I’m happy to report that we have been successful there.

Posted in By Land, By Sea, Uncategorized | Leave a comment