PenderBlog From The Pender Islands Of Canada

April 26, 2010

Proposed US Ferry Wake Tests in Plumper Sound?

Filed under: Nautical bits — Jocko @ 8:24 pm


Plumper Sound (photo:Richard Fox)

From the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney, B.C.

What’s  going  on?

•  A  new  24  meter  (78′)  high-speed  catamaran,  foil  assisted,  passenger  ferry  has   been  built  for  service  on  the  Seattle  –   Bremerton  run  in  Puget  Sound  by  the  Kitsap  Transit  authority.

•  Earlier  efforts  to  introduce  such  a  service  with  a  different  ferry  were  thwarted  by   a  law  suit  that  awarded  damages  to  property  owners  on  the  ferry  route  (in  Rich  Passage)  where  the  ferry  wake  caused  shoreline  damage.

•  Before  the  new  ferry  can  be  placed  in  service  in  the  US,  vessel  performance  tests   must  be  conducted  to  verify  simulation  test  results  and  fine  tune  the  vessel   control  systems  with  a  particular  focus  in  the  wake  output  of  the  vessel.

•  Golder  and  Associates  (Victoria  office)  is  a  consultant  to  the  project  and   they  have  recommended  Plumper  Sound  between  Saturna  and  the  Pender   Islands  as  the  ideal  location  for  the  1.5  nautical  mile  test  site.

What  do  the  tests  involve?

•  The  tests  are  planned  to  begin  on  May  25,  2010  and  run  over  a  period  of  30   days.

•  The  vessel  will  be  tested  at  speeds  up  to  40  knots  (74  km/hr)  with  a  variety  of   loads  and  control  settings.

•  Because  of  the  variability  needed  in  the  test  specifications  at  least  390  test  runs   are  planned  over  the  30  day  period.

•  Additional  runs  will  be  required  if  a  test  run  is  aborted  due  to  vessel  traffic,  wake   interference  from  other  boats,  wildlife  interactions  or  test  equipment  failure.

•  Four  monitoring  equipment  stations  will  be  anchored  to  the  seafloor  in  various   positions  along  the  1.5  nautical  mile  length  of  the  test  track.

•  Each  of  the  units  emits  four  high  frequency  underwater  acoustic  signals  to   measure  wave  action  as  the  test  vessel  passes  by  at  various  speeds.  No   information  on  the  possible  impact  of  these  sounds  on  marine  life  is  provided.

•  It  is  predicted  that  the  vessel  will  emit  sound  in  the  range  of  70  dBA  at  1,000  feet   on  the  surface.

•  No  information  has  been  provided  regarding  the  underwater  acoustic  output  of   the  vessel  at  test  speeds.

The full media release from the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre can be downloaded here:  waketests.pdf

Full  details  of  the  Golder  proposal  as  presented  to  the  Islands  Trust  can  be  viewed  at:

May 31, 2010 letter to Golder Associates can be viewed here:  31-may-10letter.pdf

For more information about our local waters and marine wildlife visit the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre: located in Sidney, B.C.

Reduction of greenhouse gas emmissions…

Filed under: Governance and Legal — Jocko @ 7:00 pm

The following is from the Islands Trust:


NOTICE is hereby given that the North Pender Island Local Trust Committee will hold a public hearing within a Local Trust Committee Business Meeting on:

Proposed Bylaw No. 182 – cited as “North Pender Island Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 171, 2007, Amendment No. 1, 2010”

for the purpose of allowing the public to make representations to the Local Trust Committee respecting matters contained in the proposed bylaw at 9.:45 a.m., Thursday, April 29, 2010, at Pender Island Community Hall, 4418 Bedwell Harbour Road, North Pender Island, BC.

At the public hearing all persons who believe that their interest in property is affected by the proposed bylaw shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard or to present written submissions respecting matters contained in the proposed bylaw.

Proposed Bylaw No. 182 – cited as “North Pender Island Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 171, 2007, Amendment No. 1, 2010”

In general terms, the purpose of Proposed Bylaw No. 182 is to meet the requirements of Bill 27 (Local Government (Green Communities) Statutes Amendments Act) by amending the North Pender Island Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 171, 2007 to include a target, policies and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed amendments would include a target of a 33% reduction in emissions, consistent with the provincial target, and new policies and amendments to existing OCP policies that would support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions within the local trust area.

A copy of the proposed bylaw and any background material that may be considered by the Trust Committee in respect of the proposed bylaw may be inspected at the Islands Trust Office, #200 – 1627 Fort Street, Victoria, B.C. between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, inclusive, excluding statutory holidays, commencing April 14, 2010 and up to and including April 28, 2010.

For the convenience of the public only, and not to satisfy Section 892(2) (e) of the Local Government Act, additional copies of the proposed bylaw may be inspected at various Notice Boards on North Pender Island, B.C., commencing April 14, 2010.

The proposed bylaw can also be viewed on the internet at and selecting or downloaded here:  proposedbylaw182.pdf

Written submissions may be delivered to:

1.    The office of the Islands Trust by mail at #200 – 1627 Fort Street, Victoria, B.C. V8R 1H8, by Fax (250) 405-5155 or can be sent on-line by going to the Islands Trust Website at the following URL:

and completing the “Public Hearing, April 29, 2010, Submission Form”, prior to 4:30 p.m., April 28, 2010;

2.    After 4:30 p.m., April 28, 2010 to the Trust Committee at the Public Hearing at 9:45 a.m., April 29, 2010.

The public is asked to send any electronic response by using the on-line public hearing submission form. The Islands Trust does not guarantee that any email submission will be received by the North Pender Island Local Trust Committee. Reasonable efforts will be made to provide email submissions, if they are opened and received, to the North Pender Island Local Trust Committee for consideration, but the public should not rely on email as a means of providing a written submission.

Written comments made in response to this notice will also be available for public review.

Inquiries regarding the proposed bylaw may be directed to the Islands Trust Office, Robert Kojima, Planner, at (250) 405-5159 or, for Toll Free access, request a transfer via Enquiry BC: In Vancouver 660-2421 and elsewhere in BC 1-800-663-7867.


Italicized emphasis by Jocko, moderator, PenderBlog

April 23, 2010

For a great cause…

Filed under: Nature watch — Jocko @ 4:46 pm


From the Islands Trust Fund (

Join us in welcoming Woodland Telegraph and Happy Feet Howe, two music groups who throughout May and June will serenade the islands while raising money for a great cause – land conservation in the Gulf Islands.

Woodland Telegraph and Happy Feet Howe will be performing their toe-tapping tunes at the Driftwood Cafe (Pender Island) on May 8th (9:00pm).  A portion of all CDs sold during their performance will be donated to the Islands Trust Fund, a regional land trust working with island communities to protect fragile ecosystems in the Gulf Islands.  Please come out to support the preservation of our natural areas.

Described as Canadiana Roots – stomping Bluegrass West Coast G-Funk, the music of Woodland Telegraph and Happy Feet Howe is guaranteed to shake your body and stir your soul.  Their lyrics weave through the history and geography of British Columbia and other iconic Canadian places.

For more information about the Islands Trust Fund, visit us at

For more information about Woodland Telegraph and Happy Feet Howe and their fundraising concerts, visit them at

April 21, 2010

Looking back…

Filed under: Ramblings — Jocko @ 7:26 pm

From:  “The Pender Palate – Tastes and flavours from our favourite island“, Compiled and written by Georgina Montgomery and Andrea Spalding.  (Available for sale online or loan from the Pender Island Public Library)


A Pender librarian recently brought The Pender Palate to my attention as a great little book.  Published in 1992 to raise money for the Pender Island Play Group, it is organized by the four seasons, with recipes from locals to fit the time of year.  Little tidbits of Pender history, activities and facts are interspersed throughout.  A handy spiral binding makes this compact book a perfect addition to any kitchen.  Forget about Googling for these practical recipes, they’re only in the book.  Here is a history tidbit from the book:

Pender appears as “Isla de San Euevio” on an early chart of the Pacific Northwest, an area surveyed by the Spanish in the 1790’s.  However, Spanish naval officer Pantoja, in charge of the survey ship Santa Saturnina, is also reported to have named the island “Isla de Sayas” in 1791.  Although Pender today has little Spanish nomenclature itself, it is surrounded by other islands and waterways with names such as Saturna, Galiano, San Juan, Sucia, Haro and Juan de Fuca, reminders of this period in its history.

It was the British, nearly 70 years after the Spanish had their tour, who gave Pender its present name.  Captain Richards of the Royal Navy named the island in 1859 (one year after B.C. became a province) after Daniel Pender, second master aboard H.M. survey vessel Plumper.  Daniel Pender went on to become master of the Plumper and then of the Hecate, and in 1863 was placed in command of the Beaver, hired from the Hudson Bay’s Company for more survey work of coastal waters.

The first white settlers on Pender arrived in the 1870’s, and many island features still bear their names.  Hope Bay is called after David Hope, who originally owned about half of North Pender.  Port Washington and Grimmer Bay are named after Washington Grimmer, as is Grimmer Road.  Watch, too, for Hamilton Beach, Spalding Road, Auchterlonie Point, Corbett House and Hoosen Road.  Also, pick up a copy of A Gulf Islands Patchwork – there are two volumes – written by the Gulf Islands Branch of the B.C. Historical Association.  These books contain some Wonderful stories about the early settlers on Pender.

Why not visit the Pender Museum for more local history.

April 16, 2010

Pilot project redux…

Filed under: Commentary — Jocko @ 8:29 pm

Re: Pender Island Woody Debris and Yard Brush Drop-off Event Pilot Project

A pilot project to follow up the pilot project.

From Mike Aston:

I’ve mulled this one over for a little while. It’s a nice idea in principle, but do I recall a recent attempt at a similar thing, which overwhelmed the CRD not so long ago? That particular pilot project was free to the public (although paid for from taxes), and yard waste was collected from the curbside, which is much more convenient. However, the chipper broke, then the yard waste sat by the roadside for weeks, before eventually being cleared up. The scheme appeared to have dealt with the yard waste in the end, but I imagine it was likely a financial disaster and therefore not particularly viable for a small, spread-out community.

This latest reincarnation of the chipper project, on the other hand, will cost people to use (between $5 and $20, depending on vehicle In addition to our taxes), so this might have an effect on its popularity. This time, any waste will need to be delivered to the CRD designated site. I think this is likely to lead to a neutral, or perhaps even negative, environmental impact when fossil fuel use, pollution, additional road use and hazards are taken into account.

The best route, in my opinion, is for yard waste to be dealt with on site, at source: Keep it local, compost it; salvage wood for heating/energy. Dry and burn any remaining invasive waste. This, of course, must be done safely and responsibly. A small hot fire in a suitable incinerator can work wonders while producing very little smoke. Additionally, the subsequent ash can be used as a fertilizer, natural pesticide or soil supplement in many cases (although not for acid-loving plants or potatoes).

I cannot understand why (in the words of the CRD “press release” email circulated to interested parties):

“It’s  that the CRD gets a good turn-out for BOTH days of the event so it can be established as a regular occurance on Pender and the other SGI communities.”

I wonder why it is “critically important”. Sounds like this ‘pilot project’ has already been deemed too important to fail, regardless of how successful it is. Call me cynical, but is this a prelude to being able to introduce a burning ban? This issue has surfaced before, but went away after public rumblings.
Burning is one of the most natural ways to control and regenerate. Wood-fires and domestic yard-waste burning are a drop in the ocean, emissions-wise, compared to the tens of thousands of natural wild-fires each year all over the world. So please don’t ban burning, but by all means try to improve it, restrict it at dangerous times of the year, promote the use of better incinerators, better safety, better education (or is it that we simply can’t be trusted?)

If indeed there is a poor turnout at this chipper event, then that would suggest it might not be needed, or that the cost is unreasonable. Knowing that is “critically important”, and at that point only can a decision about the project’s future be made because taxpayer’s money is being spent. However, if the chipper event is a resounding success, cost-neutral to the tax-payer and doesn’t preface a burning ban, then it will get my congratulations and full support.

Then I guess I’ll have to eat my hat as well!

Visit Mike Aston’s blog for more insights at:

April 14, 2010

Travel expenses disclosed…

Filed under: Governance and Legal — Jocko @ 6:18 pm


From The Tyee  online newspaper:

Your Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Minister of State for Sport

Gary Lunn racks up $180K in travel expenses

By Bob Mackin, Vancouver 24 hours April 13, 2010 05:44 pm

Canada’s Minister of State for Sport billed taxpayers $180,476.52 for travel expenses since Jan. 1, 2009.

Records show Gary Lunn racked up a $10,213.49 Olympic hotel bill from Feb. 4 to March 1 in Vancouver and Whistler. That’s an average $392.83 a night. By comparison, deputy minister Judith LaRocque, the federal government Olympic mission coordinator, spent $5,693.73 on 23 nights of accommodation for a nightly $247.55 average.

Lunn’s spending peaked at $46,225.64 from Sept. 2 to Dec. 1 when he attended the Olympic flame-lighting in Greece, International Olympic Committee session in Denmark and Pan American Sport Organization assembly in Mexico.

Spokeswoman Vanessa Schneider said the Victoria-area Conservative minister’s accommodation “was booked by the department in accordance with government guidelines.”

For the complete story go here:  Lunn travel expenses

April 9, 2010

If you can make it…

Filed under: Island Neighbours — Jocko @ 1:40 pm

Another development in the electric vehicle story:

“GM’s electric Volt works in real-world tests” (From CBC News)  For the story, go here:

 GM’s Volt works

From Jon Healey

Transition Salt Spring presents:

A Transportation Action Forum
All Saints, Saturday April 10, 1 – 4 p.m.


If you are interested in the possibility of converting an existing vehicle or are wondering how we might build local infrastructure and gain government support for electric vehicles please plan to attend the forum.

This is a practical, hands on kind of event that we expect to result in some action. We have resource persons to assist discussion and electric vehicles to demonstrate. The forum takes place Saturday, April 10, from 1 – 4 p.m. at All Saints Anglican Church Hall on Salt Spring Island.

(Maybe we could plan something similar on Pender this summer – Jocko.)

April 6, 2010

Black-tailed deer on Pender

Filed under: Nature watch — Jocko @ 6:34 pm


photo: Jocko

If you have ever wondered about what really goes on in the secret life of our deer, please read on.

Mule and Black-tailed deer are both members of the same species, Odocoileus hemionus, yet they are very different from one another. In British Columbia, these two subspecies or races are the most widespread members of the deer family (Cervidae) and probably the most familiar.

They become quite tame in parks and residential areas where there is no hunting and few large predators.

The number of antler points is not a reliable way to determine the age of these deer, but in general, yearling blacktails almost always have unbranched spikes. Two-year-olds mostly have small two-point antlers, but they may also have spikes. Bucks three years old and older may have two, three, or four points on each antler.

Black-tailed Deer occur along the entire coast of British Columbia, west of the summit of the Coast and Cascade ranges, and on most coastal islands. Blacktails are excellent swimmers and inhabit most islands.

This is a prolific species which can double its population in a few years under favourable conditions. Black-tailed and Mule deer live more than eight to ten years. Predation, starvation, and hunting are the main causes of death.

Mule and Black-tailed deer are vital components of their ecosystems and provide food for several predators. The Cougar depends on both species for its survival in British Columbia. Wolf populations in several areas, including Vancouver Island, also rely heavily on deer. Bears, Bobcats, and Coyotes supplement their diets by killing deer when the opportunity arises or by scavenging on carcasses left by Cougars or wolves. Other scavengers include Wolverines, Ravens, and Magpies. (Pender Island has only Ravens as predators)

For the most part, Mule and Black-tailed deer live amicably with a number of parasites and disease organisms. These kill deer only when the deer are starving. Epidemic diseases have not caused large die-offs in deer in British Columbia.

Excerpted from B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks Brochure entitled Mule and Black-Tailed Deer in British Columbia.  Original Text by Donald A. Blood.  For the complete story on black-tailed deer, download the brochure here:  muledeer.pdf

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