Thursday, September 20, 2018

Last Summer Cruise to Vancouver Island

Last week there was a window of sunny skies and calm winds. It's calm winds we like the best. We used it to for a last summer cruise in our Bayliner 2452. It was a spur of the moment trip so we decided to visit marinas near restaurants for easy dinners.

We left in the afternoon to arrive at Campbell River in the early evening. There were a few cloudy skies along the way, but we dodged the showers just by chance.

Dodging a few showers heading for blue skies.

We stay at Discovery Harbour Marina quite often. It takes less than two hours to get there and we can get there with protection from several island along the way. There's a large shopping centre next to the marina where we ate at the Riptide Pub. They had Dinosaur Bones (beef ribs) on the menu and they were excellent.

A mix of working and pleasure boats at Discovery Harbour Marina.

We timed our departure for slack tide in Discovery Passage and to fish for salmon at the southern tip of Quadra Island. No luck.

We rarely travel this part of the Strait of Georgia. The open area can get big waves, but this trip was calm. As we approached Comox, we saw boats fishing. It's salmon season so we decided to give it another try. Wayne caught an undersized fish, so we let it go.

On the way to Comox, BC.

We headed for the Comox Valley Marina. The visitor's dock was filled with large expensive yachts. Our 24' Bayliner looked like a toy between them. We love our boat. It's perfect for us. We found a great spot for dinner, Martine's Bistro a short walk up the road. We both had the Seafood Linguine filled with clams, mussels, prawns, salmon and halibut. The chef brought out our plates, a nice touch.

Playing with the big boys at the Comox Valley Marina.

The next morning we headed across the Strait of Georgia to Powell River. We stopped at Coho Point on Texada Island for one last try to catch a salmon. Again no keepers. We don't care. Fishing is fun.

Our three day and two night cruise was a great way to end the summer season. That afternoon we put our boat in Powell Lake for the winter.

Do you have a boat? What do you do during winter months?

Go to the Sky Watch Friday website and you'll see sky photos from all over the world!

A new meme is All Seasons. Stop by and take a look.

Stop by Weekend Reflections for more great photos from around the world. - Margy

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Available Online: "Up the Strait" by Wayne J. Lutz

A Great Book
for the Boating Enthusiast

Up the Strait
Coastal BC Stories

It's cruising time again. Jump in the boat and head up the Strait of Georgia with us to magnificent anchorages and exciting adventures. Drop your hook in world famous Desolation Sound, discover hidden coves and meet some of the locals. Read Up the Strait by Wayne Lutz and then join us for the cruise of a lifetime. You may never want to leave. 

Go to for more information.

 Print for $12.95
Kindle for $2.99
E-book for $2.99 at Smashwords
(prices may vary in Canada)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

2018 Powell River Fall Fair

Welcome to the Powell River Fall Fair.
Saturday, September 15, and Sunday, September 16, the place to be is the Fall Fair in Powell River. It highlights and celebrates the end of the local harvest season. Admission for adults is $5 and children 12 and under are free. The Fall Fair runs from noon to 5 pm both days.

Garden Club information table.
There are agricultural exhibits, competitions, demonstrations, activities for the kids, music and other entertainment on the market stage. Community groups have tables with a wealth of information about our wonderful town. I helped out at the Garden Club table on Saturday.

Purchase farm fresh items for your kitchen or have a cup of tea and a "nummie" (that's what my friend Helen calls all of the great home baked goods) while you browse the vendor's booths.

A busy day at the vendor booths.

And lots of good things to eat.

Check out the Zucchini Races and take the kids for a ride on the Forestry Museum's miniature train.

Engineer Danny takes the train out on the tracks.

See all the fair entries and check out the big winners.

Sewing, crafts and quilt entries.

What's a fall fair without home grown produce.

And canning entries.

Come to the fair - hope to see you there.

Follow the signs up Duncan Street. Turn right on Padgett Road and then left on McLeod. Street parking will be available. Better yet, take the shuttle bus from the Town Centre Mall if you want to avoid the parking congestion. Park your car in the Town Centre north lot and get a ride right to the Fair's front gate.

Fall Fairs are held in towns large and small across Canada and America. Do you have a fair in your community to celebrate the harvest and the end of a great summer? What is your favourite thing to do at the fair? Tell us about it.

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad.

And Tuesdays with a Twist at Stone Cottage Adventures.

Head over to Blogghetti for Happiness is Homemade to see more recipes, crafts and DIY projects. -- Margy

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Update: Float Cabins for Sale on Powell Lake BC

Wayne and I love living in our float cabin home on Powell Lake in all seasons. While we enjoy summer a lot, the quiet months of fall, winter and spring are a special time up the lake. Several float and land properties have recently come on the market, so don't wait too long. Purchasing our float cabin home was the best thing we ever did. Why don't you come up and see what Powell Lake has to offer.

Powell Lake Cabins and Properties

Are you interested in getting a cabin of your own? Here's an updated list of cabins and properties up the lake that are for sale. Some are through real estate agents, so you can get more information via their websites. Other cabins are for sale by the owners with information on Craigslist or Facebook pages.

Powell Lake Cabins and Properties For Sale

POWELL RIVER PEAK NEWSPAPER LISTING (Sept. 14, 2018): A float cabin plus a large second float in an excellent protected location 20 minutes from the marina. Asking $150,000. For more information call the owner at 604-485-7082.

MLS LISTING: 14131 Powell Lake is beautiful float cabin is in a bay of its own with sandy beaches near Olsen's Landing.  The large float cabin ready for you to use in all seasons. It has two stories with plenty of room for family and friends to visit on a warm summer day to enjoy sunning, swimming and fishing. It has 3 bedrooms plus extra space upstairs for guests, full and half bathrooms, and a large open concept living area downstairs. with a pellet stove to keep you warm. Solar panels for power are quiet and efficient. In back there is also covered boat parking. All of this for $199,900. For more information contact Warren Behan of Royal LePage at 604-485-2324 or click here.

MLS LISTING:  12940 Powell Lake is a float cabin with lots of deck space for outside summer fun, and a swim platform for the little ones.  The open concept cozy cabin has one bedroom downstairs and a sleeping loft. Features include vaulted ceilings, tongue and groove pine ceiling, tongue and groove yellow cedar floor, wood stove, propane fridge, on-demand hot water, stove and freezer. Also included are a generator, solar system and a composting toilet. All this in a great location that's very protected for $148,000. Click here for more information and pictures, or contact Harry Zroback of RE/MAX at 604-483-8333.

MLS LISTING:  10100 Powell Lake is a large 1200 sq ft float cabin for sale for $159,900. The cabin has 3 bedrooms that can sleep eight comfortably plus a hide-a-bed for 2 more.  Amenities include an on-demand hot water heater and all the bells and whistles. Custom work throughout must be seen to be appreciated. Click here for more information and pictures, or contact Warren Behan of Royal LePage at 604-485-2324.

FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE LISTING: This Powell Lake owner is taking offers for a 680 sq ft two bedroom float cabin. I comes furnished, has a water supply from a glacier fed waterfall behind the cabin, an on-demand hot water, and a new composting toilet. All remediation for the upland has been finished with a letter being sent. The cabin will be sold with full approval. Lots of winter sun, zunga tree, year round use. It is located just past the hiking trail to Beartooth water fall. Asking price is $110,00.  Click here for more information.

MLS LISTING:  7395 Powell Lake is classic barn style float cabin just minutes from the Shinglemill marina by boat. It's nicely maintained with recent float and deck upgrades, a huge breakwater with newer cables, and 25 new flotation barrels added in 2016. Solar panels and a battery bank are included along with appliances and bedroom furniture. This cabin is turn key and ready to enjoy right away for only $149,900.  For more information contact Ross Cooper of Re/Max at 604-485-2741 or click here.

MLS LISTING: Jamie and Jason Zroback of BC Land Professionals has the "Ultimate Fly-in" Cabin listed. It's a float cabin on Frogpond Lake on Goat Island in the center of Powell Lake. This all-inclusive float cabin is accessible by plane or boat and vehicle via a logging road on the island. Just a few of the amenities include: main cabin, guest cabin, shop, propane and generator for power, 3 boats, and all the furnishings. This secluded cabin is one of only three float cabins on the lake. The cabin and its lease for occupation are at a reduced priced at $124,900.  Click here for more information and pictures. For more information, call Jamie at (604) 483-1605 or Jason at (604) 414-5577.

MLS LISTING: 9256 Powell Lake is a land cabin on a half acre waterfront lot for $297,500. It's only minutes up the lake from the marina. This two-bedroom, self-contained cabin is in a park-like setting with approximately 140 feet of lake front. It has an open floor plan with 2 bedrooms on the main plus a sleeping loft. Amenities includes an on-demand hot water system, propane fridge and stove, plus a 2000-watt inverter. An aluminum ramp leads down to your own private dock. For more information contact Warren Behan of Royal LePage at 604-485-2324 or click here.

MLS LISTING: 9242 Powell Lake is a land cabin on a half acre waterfront lot with a beautiful sandy beach. It has two bedrooms, a bath with a shower, a large living room with a cozy woodstove. The little kitchen is a perfect .place to prepare meals to enjoy in the glassed-in breakfast room.  A covered front deck is the perfect place to relax on a warm summer evening. There's a lovely garden, a waterside deck and fire pit on the beach, plus a handy sheds for storage and firewood. It’s all ready and waiting for you to enjoy for $320,000. For more information contact Warren Behan of Royal LePage at 604-485-2324 or click here.

MLS LISTING: BC Land Professionals is offering a lakefront lodge. The property is 8.35 acres of Crown lease land (renewal due in 2021) with 1300 feet of lake frontage. There are 5 self contained cedar cottages: 3 two-bedroom and 2 one-bedroom. Each has a full bathroom with showers, sinks, toilets, and full kitchens with brand new appliances. Living and eating areas are fully furnished with wood stoves for heat. The fridge, stove, hot water and lighting are propane. Other buildings includes a wood fired Sauna and tool shed. The foreshore and docks are protected by log breakwater. The complete package is priced at $379,000. Click here for more information and pictures. For more information call toll free at 1-866-558-5263, the office at 604-694-7626 or mobile at (604) 483-1605.

Powell Lake Cabin Services

Powell Lake Cabin Services: Already have a cabin up the lake? We are always looking for help with projects around ours. Our good friend (and float cabin neighbour) Justin Behan offers services such as cargo delivery, lumber packages, cubes, propane tanks, wood stoves, and anchor and rope supply. In addition, Justin is now a distributor for Sun-Mar composting toilets just like the one we installed in our new bathroom addition. For more information, call Justin at (604) 483-6527.

Powell Lake Real Estate: Want a real estate agent that really knows float cabins? That's Harry Zroback (our man Harry who helped us get our cabin) from RE/MAX. Harry owns a cabin himself, so he's an excellent person to contact for all your "up the lake" real estate needs at 604-483-8333 or

Powell Lake Stories

Want to know more about life up the lake. Check out these books from Wayne's Coastal BC Stories series:

Up the Lake (Free for Kindle and e-books)
Farther Up the Lake
Cabin Number 5
Off the Grid
Off the Grid: Getting Started
Powell Lake by Barge and Quad
If you have any questions about Powell River, Powell Lake or cabin living, I'd be glad to help out. Just leave a comment or use the e-mail link in my profile to send me a message. -- Margy

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Preserving: Raising and Drying Herbs

Winter at the cabin.
Most herbs are perennial in my garden. We get frost and a little snow, but I've been lucky to have the majority of them last from year to year.

To contain herbs and keep them from spreading throughout my limited garden space, I plant them in plastic pots in the ground. I also grow herbs in containers on the cabin deck.

Herbs in pots along the edge of the float garden beds.

I start most of my herbs from seed including basil, thyme, parsley, sage, dill and cilantro. I purchased starts for rosemary and mint that are now well established.

Herbs, chard and onions hanging to dry.
I pick fresh herbs from spring to fall. Even in winter I can pick some, but it’s handy to have dried herbs in the kitchen.

When I trim herbs back, I save the best for drying. Here’s my simplified method.

Drying Herbs
  1. Cut and keep herbs that have little or no evidence of damage.
  2. Wash the cuttings in fresh water.
  3. Hang upside down or place small cuttings on cookie sheets to dry.
  4. Once dry, remove leaves from the stems and spread them in a thin layer on cookie sheets.
  5. Place the cookie sheets in a warm dry room away from sunlight.
  6. Stir the leaves daily until thoroughly dry.
  7. Depending on the size of the dried leaves, either package whole or cut them into smaller pieces.
  8. Store dried herbs in airtight glass or plastic containers. 
I like to combine my craft painting with dried herb storage.

Hand painted herb containers.

I save small jars and empty spice containers. I paint labels to match the dried herbs I have to store. Sometimes a batch of herbs isn’t large enough to store as a single item. When that happens, it becomes a part of Margy’s Mix. I use my special blend in soups and stews as a flavourful seasoning.
For more preserving tips click here.

Do you grow and dry herbs? Let us know any tips you've learned. -- Margy

Friday, August 24, 2018

Summer Sailing on Powell Lake

Blue summer skies and light winds are perfect for Wayne and I to go out in our 19' O'Day Mariner.

We are teaching ourselves to sail, carefully.

Large open areas on Powell Lake make that possible. On this day we practiced tacking into the wind to cross the area we call the North Sea. You wouldn't want to be out there in a little boat in a big storm.

Sailing downwind back through First Narrows we got to practice a little "wing on wing" with the jib and main sail on opposite sides.

Are you a sailor? How did you learn?

Do you wish you could sail? Look for lessons available in your area. Here the Powell River Yacht Club offers lessons for children and adults. They also offer introductory rides on occasion. Watch their Facebook page for upcoming events. If you live elsewhere, check with your local clubs to see what they might have to offer. -- Margy

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Overwintering Geraniums

For the last few years I've tried different methods to save geraniums over winter. In a warm climate they can thrive year-round, but at my float cabin in Coastal BC it's a different story.

I buy geranium plants at the nursery in May and enjoy them all summer in my repurposed BBQ planters. But when frost comes in November they die. What could I do to save them and money at the same time? Follow the links to read the full stories.

Covering roots with newspaper and soil.
My first try to save was covering the roots with newspaper and soil. It was a moderate success, but I had to buy lots of replacements.

Experimenting with a plastic cover.
My next tries included adding plastic covers. On my first try I uprooted the geraniums and placed them in a large pot with a plastic cover. White flies enjoying the warm environment were a problem. The next year I left the geraniums in their planter and covered it with plastic. Both tries were again a moderate success, but not perfect.

Bareroot geraniums in the guest bathtub.
Not one to give up, I tried a bareroot method the next winter. The dormant plants were stored in paper bags in town. They revived nicely, but I put them out too early and they didn't adapt well to alternating warm days and cool nights. Back to the nursery to buy more to fill in the gaps.

Last winter I found a better method. I carefully removed each plant from the planter roots, soil and all. I trimmed the dead leaves and cut back long stems.

Removing geraniums from their planter.

I put the plants in a plastic tub and took them to town. I placed them next to a west facing glass door to get sunlight and watered them periodically from November through April. I waited longer to put them back out to avoid cold nights.

Storing the geraniums indoors for the winter.

Here's half of my overwintered geraniums in the repurposed BBQ planter. The blossoms have been amazing on the more mature plants.

Overwintered geraniums in a repurposed BBQ planter.

I didn't have to buy any new ones for fill-ins. I would say that was a total success. I bet you can guess which method I'll use again next year. Do you overwinter any plants? What have been some of your successful methods? -- Margy