Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Float Cabin Living: Getting Started

Arrow 997 over Powell River Airport.
If you've been following my blog, you know that our home is a float cabin on Powell Lake in Coastal British Columbia.

We discovered Powell Lake and float cabins during our 2001 summer flying and camping vacation in our Piper Arrow 997.

First night at the float cabin.
Powell River had an immediate attraction for us including the opportunity for a wide variety of outdoor adventures, beautiful forest and seaside locales, a small town atmosphere, and expansive Powell Lake with its unique float cabins.

The tin boat.
We rented a 14' aluminum boat (a tin boat to us) and explored Powell Lake. After discovering float cabins, we contacted a local realtor, Harry Zroback. A long time cabin owner himself, he gave us directions to two cabins currently available.

First day inside the cabin's great room.
The first was old and cluttered. Float cabins traditionally come with everything included. The second was newer, built in 1998. It came with just the basics. That was perfect for us because the cabin would be a vacation home until we could retire from our jobs in Los Angeles.

In the summer of 2005 (we were both educators), the float cabin became our primary residence. A small condo in town provides a place for mail, washing clothes, an occasional shower and a place to stay overnight when we have late evening activities in town. 

Our float cabin home in 2022.

Since 2001 we've upgraded our float cabin to better match our lifestyle. Some of the major changes include (follow the links for more information):

    You can read more about float cabin living by selecting Float Cabin Living and Float Cabin Construction in the topic list on the right side of this page.

    You can also read about our off-the-grid lifestyle in Wayne's Coastal BC Stories series books including Up the Lake, Farther Up the Lake, Off the Grid and Off the Grid: Getting Started. All books are available in print and e-book formats from most online book sellers. -- Margy

    Hop on over to the Simple Life Mom and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

    And Sunday Sunshine Blog Hop at Ridge Haven Homestead.

    Also shared with Tuesdays with a Twist at Stone Cottage Adventures.

    Saturday, June 18, 2022

    Bats, Bees and Birds

    Coming home is always fun. We were last here in winter. Now it's spring going on summer, even though Mother Nature is holding on to cold rainy weather. One exciting thing about coming home is checking for critters that return each year.

      Little Brown Bats

    Every year we have bats at our cabin. They arrive in May and stay the summer.  One of the first things I do is check a favourite roosting spot under the metal roof of the propane shed. 

    I found a Little Brown Bat had already moved in. It's probably male, because females group together under the cabin roof to raise their young. It's noisy at dusk and dawn as they wiggle out and in, but they keep the mosquitoes away. Here's the little guy under the shed roof. 

    Mason Bees

    I was worried my Mason Bees wouldn't have enough empty nesting blocks, but the enterprising bees cleaned out the old ones and are filling them up again. A few bees are still working away. My colony grew from two bees in 2015 to over 100 in 2019. 

    Sadly, I lost the colony due to a long absence in 2020. Fortunately, a few native bees got me restarted last year. I love giving pollinators a helping hand. Here's more about my bee experiences:

    Readying My Mason Bee Hotels 
    Revitalizing a Bee Hotel
    Drilling Nesting Blocks
    Building a Simple Bee Hotel
    Tree Swallows

    Two Tree Swallows flew in and out of the birdhouse on my floating garden. They arrive in mid-May, followed by Barn Swallows in June. This year the occupants are Tree Swallows
    Sometimes a pair of Violet-greens will get there first. Swallows fly all the way from their winter home in Mexico to raise families in Coastal BC. My arms get tired thinking about it.
    There are lots more critters for me to enjoy around my float cabin home. What do you like to watch where you live? -- Margy

    Visit Letting Go of the Bay Leaf for more Mosaic Monday.

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

    Shared with Your the Star at Stone Cottage Adventures. And Tuesdays with a Twist at Stone Cottage Adventures.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2022

    Finally Heading Home

    Our Powell Lake float cabin home.

    Last Wednesday Wayne and I drove to the Peace Arch border crossing in Blaine, WA. Most Canadian COVID-19 border restrictions have been lifted for vaccinated travelers. The online ArriveCAN app is still needed. 

    Rules are in flux, so check before you go with the Canadian Border Service Agency and US Customs and Border Protection.

    We timed our border arrival to catch the first of two BC Ferries needed to get to Powell River. To ensure we made our connection at the second ferry, we had a reservation.

    Arriving at Saltery Bay means we're almost back to Powell River.

    There's no quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated. Because of the relaxed rules, we headed home early after our Arizona Snowbird RV Adventure. After a few days in town to take care of business, we got in our Hewescraft and headed up Powell Lake to our float cabin home.

    Heading to First Narrows with Hole in the Wall beyond.

    Here's our cabin and the view from our front porch. Purchasing our unique off-the-grid home in 2001 was the best choice we've ever made.

    Here's the cabin's interior. It's 500 square feet with a sleeping loft. We have a woodstove for heat, propane appliances and a hand water pump in the kitchen, and a bathroom with a composting toilet.

    Here's a video created by Kirsten Dickson at Faircompanies featuring our float cabin home.

     Travel is fun, but here's no place like home!

    Living through the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone worldwide. Wayne and I hope you and your family are starting to come out the other side in a safe manner. -- Margy

    Blog sharing at Through My Lens by Mersad and Wordless Wednesday by Natasha.

    And Travel Tuesdays at Intelliblog, Tuesdays with a Twist at Stone Cottage Adventures and My Corner of the World at Photographing New Zealand.

    Visit Letting Go of the Bay Leaf for more Mosaic Monday.