The past few days have been very laidback. On Monday, I went out for a bike ride into Richmond to do some shopping and see what there is to see. Tuesday I spent on-board helping to ready for open sea traffic, and Wednesday was my first trip into Vancouver proper.
There’s a lot of work that goes into preparing for open-sea traffic. We inventoried the “ditch” bag (the bag we take with in the event we have to abandon ship), checked the backup systems (hydraulics, navigation, power, bilge pumps, etc.), checked and re-rigged the man-overboard gear, and identified the paper charts we needed to get in case the digital system goes out. In addition, I helped figure out the system for retrieving weather data via email over the satellite phone, so all we need to do now is plug in our latitude and longitude to get weather and wave data for our position. I’ve also been asking questions and looking over shoulders so that when we actually go out to sea, I can pull my weight.
Now, on to Vancouver: it’s beautiful. There’s trees everywhere, waterfront views in pretty much any direction you look, and architecture that serves to compliment the natural beauty of the landscape. The air is clean, public transit is abundant, the sprawl is minimal, and the people are beautiful. Not only that, but the food is excellent.
The trade-off is that everything is expensive. The value of the US dollar versus the “loonie” (so named because the Canadian dollar coin features a loon on the reverse side) is 1:1 right now, so the majority of consumer goods (electronics, clothing, shoes, etc.) is anywhere from 25% to 50% more expensive than it would be in the U.S. The unintended benefit for me is that it keeps me from buying things that I don’t really need.
Anyway, I’m going to upload some pictures that I took yesterday, as well as some pictures of the boat. I want to go for a run before it rains again (yay Pacific Northwest!).