Europe 2012 M&M day 0

It seems that every five years, I get the bug to travel. I know…I travel a lot for work. But personal travel is different.

I relax. I unwind and recharge. This time, I’ve even unplugged…from work anyway.

Once that five year urge comes on, I start to plan for the following year.

This time around, I’ve managed 4 weeks. Just Moe and I, with periodic meetups with friends along the way.

We’re sitting at YVR now, have just seen off Terry and Claudia Boorman and Roy and Karen Leeson who will fly 30 minutes ahead to smooth out the bumps. We’ll see the Leesons again in 10 days or so.

We’re packed and ready to go!


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Headed North

It’s that time of the year again.

Time to head to the Arctic to do some high volume water and sediment sampling in the Beaufort Sea.

I’ve been doing this for three years now and the Arctic never gets old for me. So far, each year has given new adventures and different experiences.

The first year, everything was new. Ice breaking, midnight sun and a whole new world. The second year was a few weeks later and while there was no ice to speak of, I saw new parts of the NWT that I’d never seen.

This year is later still and night has returned to the North and I’m hoping that I’ll get a chance to see the Northern Lights.

You can follow along. As much of my work is in remote parts of the world, I buy a new toy to help keep in touch with the outside world. The Spot Connect uses a GPS receiver and Globalstar Transmitter to send short messages and my location to groups of emails that I’ve predefined. It also has an SOS button that when pushed, will notify authorities that I need help. You can follow me at or on the link over there———>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Masset, Haida Gwaii

I flew up here this morning to travel out to a Met Tower that’s located in the middle of Hecate Strait.

Naikun Met Tower

The tower has been in place for last two or three years and is collecting data to evaluate the location’s suitability for a wind farm. We have been contracted to provide some routine and emergency service over that time frame to keep the system up and running.

One of the problems with that location that makes our job harder is that it’s well…windy a lot of the time.

We arrived in Masset mid morning, met our contact and made sure that all of our gear was in place and ready to go. Another problem with the location…is the location. You want to make darn sure that you have everything that you’re going to need before you climb that 60 foot tower 10 miles offshore.

When we were happy that we were ready, we set off exploring the area. Masset is located near the North East corner of Haida Gwaii. There is a road that runs from Masset eastward along the shore. The road turns from pavement to gravel, then winds its way through the ancient forests. The forest floor on either side of the road is covered in a mossy carpet. The trees hang heavy with mosses that drip from the branches.

A Decent Proposal

When we reached the end of the road, miles and miles of sandy beach stretched for as far as the eye could see to the east. We walked along the beach and I spotted a couple on one of the logs. It appeared that was kneeling down in front of her. Then she opened something and they embraced. They saw us watching, she showed us the ring and we applauded and gave them the thumbs up.

My B&B is tucked into the waters edge overlooking the fishing boats. This particular B&B is run by Susan Musgrave. It is full of her books and the art of her husband, Stephen Reid. The guest book reads like a who’s who of the Canadian Literary world. Pierre and Maggie spent some time here as well.

Just another day at the office.

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What a beer geek

In April, I did the month of blogging thing and on B, I started a batch of beer and on Z, (Zymurgy) I had my first taste of that batch.

Along the way, a couple of folks asked if I had a webcam set up…that sounded like a challenge.

So in the right side widget area, is now my brewcam, updated every 10 minutes.

See it over there? —————————————>>>>>

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Reflections on PAB2011

As another PAB draws to a close it’s time to reflect on why I keep coming back and what I get out of PAB.

In the beginning, the focus was on some of the technical aspects or the mechanics of how I could share our stories with the world. Some of these were new to me and I’ve incorporated them into my editing and story telling techniques. Some were topics that didn’t apply to my situation at all, but they did to other attendees.

Later years focused on ways to tell a story so that it was compelling to watch, listen to or read. Some of these techniques have helped me to collect and tell a better story. Some have not.

Recently, PAB has centred on the importance of the story itself. The importance of recording it, sharing it and making sure that it lasts.

Every year, leading up to PAB, I wonder what I will take away. What spark will catch in me? Who will give a presentation or Jolt that make me think long after PAB is over and all of the  folks that make up the PAB family have all gone home.

This year, I can honestly say that each and every person who got up on that stage at the NAC left something in me that I can and will take away and use.
– I will collect content where ever I see it
– I will strive to tell a compelling story and engage my audience
– I will recognize those unattended moments in life.
– I will raise my hand when those Shiver Moments happen. Sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally.
– I will not be afraid to head into the jungle and the unknown, to go with my gut feeling, regardless of what the locals may think.
– I will not be afraid to let my voice and believes be heard and when possible, I will lend my voice to those that have none.
– Sometimes, I’ll share too much.
– I will be bolt.
– I will record the stories of my family and share them, show them and protect them like the precious jewels that they are.
– I will publish more. Sometimes it will be crappy, but hopefully, occasionally I will polish that turd and it will make someone think, react, or raise a hand. You will decide which is which, not me.

The PAB2011 Family

Photo Credit Martin Jones

According to my dictionary, Conference comes from the Latin conferre “bring together”. PAB brings together the most extra-ordinary group of people that I have every known and my life is richer in so many ways because of the relationships that I have made with all of you.

I thank you.

We miss you Moe!

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