Tuesday, May 6, 2008

You see something new every day

Yesterday's novelty was watching a log boom do a U-turn in the narrowest part of Dodd Narrows at low tide. Was walking Dog in the morning and noted the amount of boat traffic going north. Around here it's usually so quiet at this time of year that five boats passing through the channel is rush hour. I counted eight, plus a log boom being chugged north by one of the ever busy tugs. At first, the tug kept to the far side of the channel by Mudge Island, letting the other traffic go past. As it got level with Joan Point something odd appeared to happen. A blue hulled sailing yacht, a fifteen metre boat with two masts which had been following the seventy five metre long boom had to stop and go backwards.

Being a curious sort, I ambled up the foreshore and took a look at what was going on, having a quiet curse for not having brought binoculars for once. Damn me if the tug was now facing south at the 'wrong' end of the boom, it had turned south where the channel is less than a hundred metres wide. The blue hulled boat was moving backwards under power. For ten long minutes I watched the tug shunt and heave at the hundred or so tons of logs blocking the channel until it had the front of the boom facing south. Then, with a creak from the towing cables that I thought heralded the break up of the corral of heavy floating timber, the tug began the arduous job of turning the boom north again. Still at low tide, still at the narrowest part of Dodd Narrows. Another ten minutes and two boats from the direction of Duke point came south on the relatively shallow side of the channel closest to Joan Point, then the blue hulled yacht and two other boats headed north towards Nanaimo. The tug and it's log boom were snugged close to the deeper side of the channel next to Mudge Island, just holding steady with the current.

Other stuff include our two resident pairs of Bald Eagles are back hunting with a vengeance. Early morning and late afternoon is the best time to see them hunt, dive bombing the surface and coming away with a struggling silver form in their talons. These guys are big too, full grown specimens with well over two metre wingspans. Their droppings can be found all along the foreshore.

On a more sombre note, I notice that Wikipedia is infested by people who don't care about accuracy, only putting forward their own world view. A piece in the National Post (see Wikipedia's Zealots) I learned about from Small Dead Animals outlined the difficulty of updating the terribly useful online resource, when your entries could be deleted at will by someone with a political agenda. There's an Information War going on. A propaganda machine that Goebbels would have been proud of is perpetuating it's own view with a complete disregard for accuracy. They are intelligent, they are organised, they are funded, they are committed, and they frighten the socks off me. What is their real agenda? It isn't truth, and that's a fact.

This does not alter the fact that there is still snow on the top of Mount Benson, and at the current rate of decrease, it may stay there for at least another week or two, the longest in anecdotal memory. People have noticed against the avalanche of pro warming propaganda, and are guiltily mentioning it like they are speaking heresy just before the next scheduled Auto da fe. During a haircut yesterday, my Barber raised the subject. My workmates have noticed. Our friends on the island have noticed. The heat death of the universe is not upon us, and they openly wonder what all the fuss is about.

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