Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Powell Lake by Barge and Quad

Newest Release
from PowellRiverBooks.com


Coastal BC Stories

And other Online Booksellers

Wayne and I have lived in our float cabin on Powell Lake since 2001. In 2003, our good friend John introduced us to quad riding.

In the beginning, we followed John around as he introduced us to the many logging roads and trails in the Powell River region. At that time, we kept our quads on a trailer in a hangar at the airport, and drove to off-load locations.

In 2012, we tried keeping our quads a short boat ride away from our float cabin.

It made it easier to go riding, but we were limited in the roads and trails we could explore. Plus, they were exposed to the elements.

Thus began our quest for a landing craft to house and transport our quads to all of the roads and trails around Powell and Goat Lakes.

In 2014, we found a perfect 22' barge on Craigslist and quickly bought it sight unseen.

Now our quads can remain at our float cabin, ready in an instant for day trips and camping adventures. We can also maintain them better and protect them from the weather.

In Powell Lake by Barge and Quad, you can join us for quad adventures to destinations on Powell and Goat Lakes accessible only by boat. You will visit unique places where all-terrain vehicles can explore logging roads and trails in picturesque British Columbia. 

Check with your favourite online bookseller or go to www.PowellRiverBooks.com for more ordering information.

It’s time for “Outdoor Wednesday.” Click HERE for more outdoor pictures. -- Margy

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 Vancouver International Boat Show

ANNOUNCING 

Wayne and Margy Lutz

of

Are Presenting

Off the Grid 
Getting Started

at the 
Vancouver International Boat Show




Wednesday, January 18
6:30 pm in Room 3

Thursday, January 19
6:30 pm in Room 3


Seminar Details: Are you interested in living off the grid in the mountains, up the coast, or maybe just at the edge of town? How do you begin, and what are the essentials to getting started? This seminar will take you through the basics of remote living, joining the learning curve with a measured approach in setting up your new residence. Although some of the principles in this presentation can be applied to boats at anchor, the primary emphasis involves those who want to reside full-time off the grid in a remote location.


Related books from the Coastal BC Stories series by Wayne J. Lutz include Up the Lake and Off the Grid. Both books are about living off the grid in Coastal British Columbia. -- Margy

Check here if you need a Kindle or Kindle App.

Or go to www.PowellRiverBooks.com for more ordering information.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Coastal BC Birds: Pacific Wren

Looking for something to eat.
We were sitting on the sofa and movement caught our eye outside our sliding glass door. I was expecting to see the Song Sparrow that visited us last winter, but this bird was very different.

I got my camera to help make an identification using nature guides. The Internet is a great resource, but up at the cabin with limited access having books makes getting an answer right away much easier.

The tiny, plump bird was busy flitting from one empty flower pot to the next looking for tiny seeds in the soil. That was a difficult task since the surface was frozen solid from the sub-zero temperatures during the recent Arctic inflow.

Where are all the seeds?

He slowed down long enough for me to get a few shots through the glass door. The body about was 10 cm (4 in) in size and quite round, especially with the feathers fluffed up to stay warm. The colour was dark brown with a reddish cast. The short tail, constantly flicking up and down, had darker horizontal scalloped bands. A short, thin beak looked perfect for seed cracking. My guide said it was most likely a Pacific Wren.

They are common in coniferous forests, but move below the snow line in winter. Maybe that’s why it’s here now. Snow is down to about 500 feet, not far above our float cabin’s location at lake surface.

A plump Pacific Wren visiting our pots on the cabin deck.

I took my feeder down because seeds kept sprouting during rainy weather, so I added some birdseed to the flowerpots. I should be able to easily pull out any sprouts before spring planting time comes.

It’s so good to have a winter bird visit our cabin. I really miss all of the spring and summer bird calls and activity.

References: Birds of Southwestern British Columbia by R. Cannings, T. Aversa and H. Opperman (2005) and National Geographic Complete Birds of North America edited by Jonathan Alderfer (2nd Edition 2014).

Camera Critters Thanks for visiting my post this week. I'm linking up with Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters. Check them out for more great animal pictures. -- Margy

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Repairing a Broken Anchor Cable

The boat dock behind the cabin.
Our float cabin and docks are anchored in place with heavy steel cables. Because steel rusts over time, they sometimes break at key pressure points.

One day while we were entering the back of our water lot, I noticed that one of the cables that anchors our boat dock to an old tree snag was broken.

Fortunately, it was snagged on the secondary cable. We like to have two at each anchor point just in case, a  good thing this time.

Wayne used the tin boat and temporarily reattached it with a rope. Later, our good friend John came up to help with a permanent repair.

John pulling up the boat dock end of the cable.

Since it was already secured with a rope, the next thing Wayne and John had to do was take the pressure off the far end by raising the cable up out of the water. Did I mention it was made of steel? That means it's very heavy.

John uses a log to support the cable's weight.

John is a master aquatic engineer. He figured the process out in his mind and adjusted as needed as he went along. They borrowed the log we use to keep floating debris out of our natural swimming pool.

A notch at the end of the log holds the cable in place naturally.

John situated the log at the dock end and used a pike pole to raise the cable up. A natural notch at the end kept the cable from slipping off. Once the cable was half way down the log, he drove a log staple over it, but with enough room for the cable to slide through.

Driving a log staple over the cable to hold it in place at the middle of the log.

When the cable got to the far end of the log, he used another staple to hold it in place. Using the boat as a platform, he fed the cable through until the log was a little over half way to the snag. This reduced the weight of the cable because it was no longer hanging low in the water.

Another staple at the end of the log allowed John to feed the cable through.

At the stump, John and Wayne used the pike pole to pull the cable up, trim it, wrap a good section around the snag, and secure it with large clamps. The repair shortened the cable, but it still sinks deep enough to get Wayne’s sailboat out without snagging the keel.

Once the log was half way to the stump it took off enough pressure so they could work.

At some point, the whole cable will need to be replaced, but for now it makes a good secondary connection (just in case we need it again). And the log got to go back on swimming pool duty.

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

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad.

It’s time for “Outdoor Wednesday.” Click HERE for more outdoor pictures. -- Margy

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Top Ten Float Cabin Living Posts

Come on a year-end tour of the most popular
2016 float cabin living posts.


Rotating chimney cap reduces smoke blowback
Woodstove Rotating Chimney Cap -- Last winter our rotating chimney cap rusted away. To prevent smoke blow-back during windy storms, we quickly replaced it. The woodstove is the heart of our cabin, without it we couldn't live here in all seasons.

Flying home with the spinnaker.
Spring and Fall Sailing -- Late last year, Wayne and I purchased a small sailboat named Ste. Marie. We've been teaching ourselves to sail here on Powell Lake. We have the most fun using the large red and white spinnaker for long leisurely trips home from town.

Marigolds in the narrow "gutter" garden.
Rain Gutter Garden (Sort Of) -- I was cleaning moss out of a notch along the side of my floating garden and thought it would make a great spot for a narrow self watering gutter-style garden. The strawberries didn't survive, but I had beautiful marigolds all summer long.

Pollen created artistic images in the water.
Pollen Art -- Each spring there's lots of pollen in the air and on the water. Some of the heavy producers are alder, fir, pine, and hemlock. This year it was especially thick, creating artistic images in the water. And it left an enduring "rings around" the rock wall.

Hungry hummingbirds at the feeder.
Hummingbird Feeding Frenzy -- I put up my first feeder at the cabin. There were so many birds at the feeder that it became a feeding frenzy. You can watch them at my YouTube channel. The first video is normal speed, and the second one is in slow motion.

Self-loading logging truck.
Logging Equipment -- Last summer Wayne and I took our barge to the head of Powell Lake for a camping trip and to ride our quads on the many dirt roads. Logging activity was in full swing. While we were there, we saw Terry's Edgehill Hauling and Towing tug bring in more equipment.

Lots of jam making and canning.
Concord Grape and Plum Jam -- Over the summer I did lots of canning and preserving. I made both blackberry and grape and plum jam. Cucumber and zucchini pickles and relish preserved my garden produce. Gleaned apples made an almost free addition to my pantry.

Mounted Mason Bee hotels at the float cabin.
Building a Mason Bee Hotel -- In March, the Mason Bees arrived. They are solitary bees that lay eggs in small holes. Wayne and I quickly made a bee hotel to hang on our porch. We drilled nesting blocks and redesigned an old birdhouse. Check here for my bee hotel update.

No-bake sourdough bread in a dutch oven.
No-Knead Sourdough Bread -- I found the perfect recipe for no-bake sourdough. First, I had to recondition my cast iron dutch oven. Each time I made the bread I learned something new. Here are some No-Knead Sourdough Bread Tips for making it even better.

Our cabin in Pacific Coastal's Soar magazine.
Powell Lake Cabins in Cottage Life Magazine -- Wayne and I enjoy sharing about our off-the-grid float cabin lifestyle. This year we were included in a Cottage Life and Soar magazine articles. Online we were featured at Cabin Obsession and Small House Bliss.

We hope you enjoyed the tour. You can read more about float cabin living in Wayne's Coastal BC Stories series of books and e-books. Go to PowellRiverBooks.com for more information and ordering details.

Want to see a review from last year, check out 2015 Top Ten Float Cabin Living Posts.

Hope your 2016 was as eventful as ours. Give us an update in the comments below. -- Margy

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Night Before Christmas

**With a wink and nod to Clement Moore**

'Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the cabin
not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse
(oh thank goodness).

The stockings were hung
by the woodstove with care
in hopes that something
would miraculously appear.

With Wayne in his hoodie
and I in my sweats,
we’d just snuggled in
for a cozy night’s rest.

When out in the Narrows
there sounded such a roar,
we ran down the stairs
to look out the glass door.

Rounding the point
and coming into sight
was Terry’s green tug
all decked out in lights.

Up in the sky
the stars were a-twinkling
guiding him home
without any lingering.

To loggers and tug drivers,
forest workers and all,
a very Merry Christmas
from Hole in the Wall.

Wayne and Margy Lutz

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Snow for the Holidays

We've had two snow storms with cold weather in between. That allowed the snow to stick around until yesterday when rain and warmer weather arrived.

I can't complain. There was just enough snow to make this city girl from Southern California happy.

Our float cabin home dusted in snow.

We stayed indoors watching the snow come down, snuggled in front of the woodstove. This last week it sure has gone through the firewood quick! It's amazing what a difference there is between -1 and +1 Celsius.

A winter-like view from our cabin porch.

All that snow tempted me to make a natural snow cone. Head on over to my other blog, Margy Meanders, to get a taste. -- Margy