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Cowichan Bay

By: ycd0108 , 4:28 AM GMT on April 21, 2012

Ran down south with the new GPS through Sansom. Minor lumps and swirls. Tied up at the Cowichan Bay Maritime Museum and wandered in. Some good displays of small boats and old hardware - Vivian Engines and whatnot.
Talked to the folks at the office - I want to give them my old jet boat.
M.V."R-Billy" is pretty in her lines but needs some attention.
Coming home was slightly rougher but not bad.
Chartplotter is just fine. even warned us off some shallows which we run over normally.

For Pat (ycd0108)
two soldiers sloggin'
For Pat

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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9. ycd0108
12:33 AM GMT on April 24, 2012
Just came in and your comment said "one minute ago". Musta had a feelin' -
Anyhow: I'm just relieved the boat is back in the water and the kids had a trouble free ride.
I don't know much about Buzzards/Vultures but it would be great to get a photo without driving the parents away. For now we have warned most users of the cabin there to watch out for the birds.
Knees are likely about as recovered as they will get. I can kneel for short periods but roofing and laying flooring are not in the cards anymore.
I saw your comment on the Stoned Soldiers - I really like that photo. Any history I could give would only cover our surprise to see them on a tiny mountain road somewhere above a northern Bulgarian town. I'll look around for maps and see if Google has anything but I kind of doubt there will be much of a record anywhere.
Edit: but I have been wrong before:
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. BriarCraft
12:09 AM GMT on April 24, 2012
Looks like there's been lots of good times up your way, what with boating and making a garden gate. Is there someplace close by where you can view the vulture's nest without disturbing mama vulture? Would love to hear about the happenings there as the spring progresses, and of course, photos would be enjoyed, too. Hope your knees recover soon and don't give you too much grief for doing what you hadn't ought.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. ycd0108
1:22 AM GMT on April 23, 2012
N'Bad day - probably knelt more than I should have - since I should not kneel at all - but the railing system I dreamed up looks just fine. The lady we are working for is a photojournalist and she was snapping away once she got back from the "Big Smoke" city. Maybe she can boot some pictures to me and I can figure out how to put them up here. I do appreciate being able to build things to allow folks to walk "where no woman (0r man) has gone before" but this one was only decking and railings renewed so mainly what we have done is to allow people to use the same space in greater comfort - no need for plywood patches so one does not fall through the deck and the railings will not fall off.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. ycd0108
2:50 PM GMT on April 22, 2012
Helped Tloml set up the deer fencing around the garden yesterday. We needed a light gate panel about 7'x5' so I ripped a few of the 1 5/8" off cuts from the planks I milled a while ago. Enough to laminate and brace a gate panel. Sandwiched the black netting between two layers of 3/8"x1 5/8" cedar slats. The off cuts are "sap wood" but clear. They will rot in a year or two and make good kindling.
If I ever find my iPod or the patch cord for the Cannon camera I will post a picture of the fence and gate.
By then maybe stuff will have started to leaf out in the garden.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. ycd0108
5:20 AM GMT on April 22, 2012
Let's see if this works:
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4. ycd0108
3:06 AM GMT on April 22, 2012
Evening Ylee:
Sometimes I wonder why the Buzzards are circling over my location: do they sense something I don't?
For some reason this copy/paste showed up when I thought I was putting up the link above. I'm working on learning the Lowrance and was sending what I had found to the other people that run the boat:
"The Lowrance Elite-5 screen is bright, sharp, and easy to read with one caveat. There are times when so much data is displayed onscreen things can get a bit cluttered and you'll need to get up close and personal to read the fine details.

When viewed anywhere from straight out front out to severe side angles the screen maintains its brightness and clarity whether or not the user is wearing polarized sunglasses."

I rated this Lowrance chartplotter fishfinder screen excellent for daylight viewability. No screen fogging was apparent in the display at anytime.

The Lowrance Elite-5 has both a day and night color palette. On the Chart page the night palette changes map features, numbers, and letters to a darker color for easier night viewing. The Sonar page inverts the selected colors in night mode. Daylight brightness can be set to one of eleven levels using the keypad and switched to one of four preset levels by repeatedly pressing the light/power button.

You can see how much chart detail can be displayed here. This is about one-quarter of the screen view.
In my opinion, this screen does not darken far enough for night operations where ambient and cockpit light levels are low.


This Lowrance chartplotter fishfinder is easy to operate using the six front panel pushbuttons and keypad control. The Pages key takes you to the Pages menu where you can choose one of four screens.

The main pages are: Steer, Sonar, Chart/Sonar, and Chart. I liked the slick appearance of the page interface; it was fun and easy to use. Page specific menus are available for each page. When the Menu button is pressed once, the corresponding menu for that page will appear onscreen and give the user a number of options and settings to choose from. Pressing the Menu button twice takes you to the main menu.

The lack of an exit key took a bit of getting used to when making menu selections and choosing settings. Normally a popup would give you the option to exit the menu with another press of the Enter key.


A present position waypoint is built by pressing the Menu button and then checking New Waypoint is highlighted, then pressing Enter. A new waypoint dialog box will open and allow you to save point with another press of the Enter key. To edit the waypoint you'd place the cursor over it, if it is not already there, and hit Enter, this brings up the waypoint information page which allows editing, deletion, or beginning navigation to the point.

Waypoints are built at the cursor position in the same manner. To actually navigate the boat to the point you’d need to go to the Steer page or customize the data blocks on the Chart page to show needed navigation information. This unit supports very long waypoint names and can also identify a point with one of 16 symbols. The Elite-5 can store up to 1000 individual waypoints.


Routes are created from the route screen. You simply follow onscreen prompts to add points from the waypoint list or from the chart view. Since out test machine wasn't loaded with waypoints I built a route by adding points from the chart view. This is simply a matter of moving the cursor followed by a press of the Enter key for each point.

Routes can be run forward or reverse. I found it easy to build a multipoint route quickly. Routes are listed on their own page where each point on the route is listed separately. You can display points with bearing and distance or total distance and bearing or latitude/longitude. The Elite-5 can store up to 100 routes.

Odds and Ends

The Lowrance Elite-5 steer page provide both graphical and digital data for easy navigation back to the MOB.
The man overboard function of the Lowrance Elite-5 is activated by pressing both the plus and minus zoom keys simultaneously.

At that point no matter what page you are on the unit switches to the Steer page and asks you to confirm the MOB function.

Once done, you'll find clear and easy to follow graphic and digital navigation data back to the MOB position.

I think the MOB function of the Elite-5 works well. In my opinion, it provides clear route and easy to follow route back the MOB position that even a novice skipper could follow quickly and precisely.

I found chart redraws on the Elite-5 to be fairly fast under normal chart ranging demands. As is often the case with chartplotters, when you add more cartography using an inserted memory card redraw rates have a tendency to slow somewhat. This Lowrance chartplotter has two chart orientation options, North Up or Course Up. Both worked well during our at sea review.


The Lowrance Elite-5 internal sounder is capable of producing up to 500 watts of power when coupled to accompanying 83/200 kHz transom-mount transducer we used for our review.

The low frequency side picked up our test targets best, all are visible, although the shallow ball is buried in surface clutter.
Standard features include auto and manual depth ranging, zoom, and bottom lock. The unit will also display water temperature and speed when connected to a transducer with these capabilities.

Hitting the Menu button from the sonar page lets you fine tune the automatic sensitivity, switch to manual depth ranging, and change transducer frequency. Going to the main sonar menu lets you select split screen options, color palette, and A-scope.

Selecting advanced mode to on will allow you to further fine tune sonar operations by adjusting the colorline, surface clarity, and ping rate.

Zoom can be off or set to 2x or 4x in single increments by using the plus and minus range keys. The zoomed area can be selected using the up/down arrows on the cursor pad as long as auto depth is disabled. Sounder data can be displayed full screen or in a split screen with chart data.

During our testing the Elite-5 sounder marked all three of the submerged targets we placed in the water fairly well in auto gain. We refined the image somewhat by adjusting the sensitivity down 15% on the 200 kHz side and about 20% on the 83 kHz view, all while staying in the automatic gain mode. Overall we'd rate the Elite-5 sounder good for both presentation and ease of use.

Buy this Lowrance chartplotter fishfinder here.

Final Thoughts

This Lowrance chartplotter fishfinder brings top screen performance, easy operation, and a good quality sonar to you at a reasonable price.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. Ylee
1:44 AM GMT on April 22, 2012
Your Dutch instructions remind me of instructions for a Chinese scooter I was asked to build for a niece several years ago. Besides the illustrations that didn't match the parts, there were directions in English so broken that it would take an anthropologist to decipher. It took a few hours, but I was able to piece it together so it ran, at least until the niece got ahold of it!

There's a bluff overlooking the Ohio River about 15 miles to the NE that has a colony of buzzards. Sometimes you see over 20 soaring through the air at one time, which to some is a little creepy, to say the least!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. ycd0108
11:12 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
SIL and Dau came to pick up the Chartplotter and some gas cans. They are trained up on the running of the boat and what we have found is 'less is more" when it comes to too many captains on board. So I'm forbidden to ride along any more.
When I first stepped on the M.V. "Balder Dash" there were some old rubber boots and an instruction page for start procedure in Dutch.
Seat of the pants is really the only way.
Dau just phoned: She was sitting down by the water and a jet-ski went by waving and pointing near her. As she looked two Vultures flew away. Assuming they were chowing on a deer that had fallen over the cliff she scrambled over.
There is a down filled nest with two Vulture eggs.
Hope she gets a photo and we will set up perimeter warnings till the fledgelings fly.
Never heard of this around here before but if there are Vultures there must be nests somewhere.
These birds are very common here and quite elegant in the air. Up close on the ground is another story I have yet to write.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. ycd0108
2:14 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Interesting analysis of Oil production on CBC this morning:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/04/20/ oil-refining-canada.html
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About ycd0108

Now looking at the potential of humans (including myself) with regard to understanding complex natural phenomena.

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