Friday, August 21, 2015

Moving The Blog

After a number of year of perusing this blog with an on again, off again approach, I have committed myself to a regular and consistent regiment of posting daily. With that in mind, I was looking for a simpler platform to publish with. As much as I love working with Google products, I have always found Blogger as a heavy and bloated platform and that is why I made the move to a Wordpress format.

 Beyond the simplicity of easier publishing, I wanted a platform that had more - and more flexible - features to add in as I saw fit. Wordpress allows me to do that.

 So, without further adieu, I'd like to invite to to follow along at my new Blog, neatly embedded within my main site, at http://boatsbeachesandbars.com/blog/

And while you're there, please feel free to poke around to see what other fun I have going on. There's even more to see on my other social media sites, too, so I  hope to see you there :-)

Boogbaboo's' new home - and new Blog home

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Boating To Florida?

 A question came to me the other day about whether we have ever considered taking our current boat - or any boat for that matter - south to Florida for the winters. Given the fact that live aboard our boat for the summer months, it seemed logical to this person that we just fired up the engines when it got cold and pointed it south towards the palm trees and sandy beaches. . . Here is my reply.


Yes, we currently call 'Boogaboo IV' home from May to October and love the lifestyle. It's a bit of effort to make happen, as I still work full time in my own business and have to commute daily to and from the boat. The good part of that is I get to travel mostly through country roads, so it's quite scenic. As for taking her to Florida, we have discussed that possibility, but not any time soon. Again, I have a business to run for now and being away toooooooo long, or having to commute back and forth to Ontario throughout the process is not something I would entertain at this point.


That said, we are unsure as to which way the fickle winds of fate may send us as we travel through this plane of existence. Ultimately, we would love to be able to step off the boat at the end of the season and head south for the ensuing six months until the boating season resumes the following spring and that is something I am working towards. To that end, I have just released my first, feature length travel video 'Cruising The Trent Severn Waterway'. If you visit my web site at BoatsBeachesAndBars.com you can see the two minute long intro/teaser clip to get an idea of what it is all about. One can purchase the DVD/Blu-ray combo pack or even a digital download version right from my site.

 One other option we toyed with was to buy a second boat to keep in Florida, but the overall costs currently make that prohibitive, but something we may revisit down the road. Despite the life of Riley that many folks may perceive from my endless postings, we are like most of the rest of the working world; car and credit card payments, a mortgage and all the rest that comes with every day living. The one major difference is that we have made a solid decision to live more on our own terms and take advantage of the good days as much as we can. With my MS diagnosis a few years ago, we learned quickly that good health is precious and not to be taken for granted. We have worked contentiously to reverse my condition and a huge part of that has been stress reduction and, like I said, living life on our terms - even if it does mean maxing out the old credit card once in awhile ;-)



 Laughing at ones' self is also paramount to a healthy life, so thanks you for recognizing that. I stopped taking myself too seriously awhile back and that helps to lighten the load, so to speak. As for the lovely deck hands you may have spotted some of in my videos, I'm not sure on their availability, apart from my own Anchor Girl. She's got her hands full with taking care of me and the MAJOR reason I am working at making our lives more fun. And that, is the funnest part for me . . .


:-)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Feature Length Travel + Cruising DVD Now Available!

 It is with great pride that I am happy to announce the release of my first Feature Length Travel video; 'Cruising The Trent Severn Waterway'! After many months of capturing, editing and producing this project, I finally have the finished product in hand and have begun marketing it to an enthusiastic audience.


 Initially, I made the video available for purchase as a digital download and  received overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who bought it. The process of getting it mass produced was a learning hurdle that had to be overcome. Although I have been editing and sharing videos online via both my YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/boogabooster) as well as on my Facebook Pages (https://www.facebook.com/BoatsBeachesAndBars + https://www.facebook.com/thewaterway.ca ), getting something manufactured on an industrial scale was a new game for me. The Result was a tangible product that I was happy to hold in my hand for the first time! Like a kid at Christmastime, I tore into one of the boxes as soon as I picked up the first run at the manufacturers. Only this time, it wasn't a surprise from Santa, but rather a unique creation that came from my heart. Yes, I am very proud of my efforts and have been humbled by the responses I have received ;-)


 Currently, I have both the DVD/Blu-ray combo packs, as well as the Digital Download available through my online store (http://boatsbeachesandbars.com/video_store.html ). I have to add that setting up the online store for the first time was another daunting task :-/ Even though I used a pre-built template offered by an established service provider, some of the intricacies proved to be somewhat frustrating moving through that process.Of course, now that everything is in place, the subsequent projects should move much more smoothly and be a LOT quicker ;-)

 This project marks a milestone in our lives, as I look forward to producing even more travel videos as we move forward. This past winter, we spent a glorious month in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I was able to capture a lot of video from that adventure. Over the coming weeks, I am going to begin editing that production together and hope to have it available by Christmas time this year.

 So stay tuned!

:-)

Mooring Ball in Ontario's Massasauga Provincial Park

 I was recently asked by a viewer of the following video as to how one pays for the use of a mooring ball in the Massasauga Provincial Park.

When tied up to a mooring ball in this area (the Massasauga Provincial Park), payment is made to the Ontario Provincial Park's guys who come by in a small boat to collect the fees, as well as take away your garbage for you.

 Sometimes, such as in this instance, nobody showed up when we were there, so we didn't have to pay. Not that that's an issue, because it's very reasonable, but sometimes they don't have enough time in the day to drop by every boat at every location. They will also collect a $10/night fee if your boat is tied to shore anywhere in the park. And that goes for all the boats who may be tied to shore together.

What I mean is that we have been there with four boats tied together (us and three friends) with a line running back to shore for stability. When the Park's guys came by, we all had to pay the $10/night. Again, we are good with that, because they will take the garbage away and best of all, tell you where the nicest anchorages are :-)

Have a look at this video I did from a trip there back in 2009. You'll see what I mean about the boats all tied to shore;

:-)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Red Right Return - And More

 I'm often asked some interesting questions through my YouTube videos and, more often than not, I take a simple query and reply with half of a book. So, rather than simply leaving those interactions on YouTube, I figured I could share it with you all, here on the Blog. . .

 Here was today's question; ". . for a subscriber/boating newbie here; I noticed in your lake travels, there are these red and green buoys, to which you always pass between them .. why is this and what is their purpose?"


 The long and short of the Red & Green markers is to indicate where safe water is. As one cannot 'see' how deep a given area of a lake, river or canal might be, the buoys (floating) or day beacons (land based) indicate the edge of a safe way for navigation. Used in conjunction with marine charts (paper or digital), mariners can safely pass through an area where the water is shallower than what is otherwise encountered in a given area.

 That said, different boats need different depths to pass through a waterway without risking running aground and that's where the charts come in. The captain of even the smallest boat must be aware of how much draft their vessel draws - how deep in the water it sits - as well as other factors that might determine what a safe depth might be fro navigating.

 For example, our current boat 'Boogaboo IV' draws approximately 40" of water, with an average load. Load refers to all the weight on the boat, including the boat itself, plus other considerations such as fuel, water, passengers, gear, food and yes, even beer ;-) As well, that draft (the depth of the boat in the water, not the beer on tap) will be greatly affected by sea conditions. If we were traveling though rough water, our boat could begin to pitch up and down, making the average depth of water we were traveling through vary considerably, depending if we were on the crest or bottom of each wave. So, if we were traveling through water with only 4 feet of depth and it was wavy, we could bounce up and down enough to touch bottom. And that's not a good thing! Also, if a passing boat were to throw off a large wake (it happens all the time), we could (and do) get bounced around.

 For all of the above reasons, it is imperative one knows where they are and can relate to their proximity to danger, as well as changing sea conditions. And that's where those red and green markers come in.

 So, why red and green, you ask? I'll tell you. In North America, as well as other parts of the world, we follow the Red-Right-Return system of telling us which is the safe side of a given marker. In MOST cases, heading upstream (against the current), the red marker is kept to the starboard, or right, side of the boat. When heading in the opposite direction, the opposite is true and one would then keep the green markers on their starboard side.

 Confused? Don't worry, it gets better. When going through areas such as Georgian Bay, that all goes out the window. Throw in other 'Aids To Navigation' such as yellow Cardinal Buoys, black (or red) and white Fairway Markers, Red/Green/Red OR Green/Red/Green Bifurcation Markers and (sometimes) land based Range Markers and you will soon realize that there's lots to learn about boating for the serious cruiser!

 Unfortunately, many boaters are blissfully unaware of what many of these things mean - or the meaning behind them

 I should really start a video series on how to learn these things and how they are put in to practice to help folks out. There is also something called 'The Rules Of The Road', which plainly lays out who has the right-of-way when on the water. Sadly and frustratingly, there are many, many boaters who don't have a clue what that means, or how to employ the rules to maintain safety. Here is a quick video I posted last summer after I got ticked off by someone who was in the aforementioned column of not knowing;

 I hope my long winded overview on this helps you better understand what goes on. If not, at least it may inspire to you learn a bit more. . . And now you also know why I put this off until I had a bit more free time ;-)

Monday, April 13, 2015

What's In a Name?

For anyone who has been following our adventures via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BoatsBeachesAndBars), Twitter (https://twitter.com/BoatsBeachBars) or Instagram (https://instagram.com/boats.beaches.bars), you will have noticed two major developments.



 Firstly, we have dramatically moved forward with our Life Changes and adventures, having spent two glorious in Florida this winter and had an absolute blast! Sharing our travels and excitement being able to connect with so many like minded folks online has been - and continues to be - an wonderful thing. With that in mind, I felt it was time to better define what we are about and, as such have been migrating from my 'Boogabooster' moniker to something that is many times more recognizable with the online world; 'Boats, Beaches & Bars'. Who amongst us couldn't find an affinity with at least one of those three things ;-)


 With our first love being our boat and our boating lifestyle, the new usernames would have to reflect that. So, 'Boats' was an easy one. Even if someone doesn't have a boat of their own, there are many who simply like to look at them and learn about them. Heck, many times I've received comments from people who tell me they are living their boating dream vicariously through our journeys!

 Next, we look forward to and enjoy our winter travels south so much, the term 'Beaches' not only provides an instant, connectable connotation for new visitors to my social media feeds, but it's also something that inspires and motivates me to keep pushing forward with our Life Changes :-) Like the saying goes; 'Life's a Beach' and we love ours :-)

 Finally, the term 'Bars' was something that I initially had reservations about using. Sounded kinda on the skids, if you know what I mean?? But after seeing how much our Facebook followers seemed to like - and 'Like - our pics and stories from Florida and especially Key West, it became a no brainier. Besides, 'Boats Beaches and Bars' has a nice ring too it.

 So, after roughly a month since changing those site names over, I've seen an impressive increase of new followers on each one. So, today was thew day to make the plunge and commit to doing the same on my Google properties, including this Blog, my Google+ profile and YouTube Channel.

 The only reason I've hesitated here is that, I believe, my email address username is going to change as well. Not 100% sure on that, just yet, as Google's info wasn't completely definitive. Time will tell.

 Hope Evonne likes it and I'm able to expand my audience with this change. Time will tell on that one, too . . .

Cheers :-)