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Harry

Vancouver Diary XII : Fall '06

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Harry

Vancouver Diary XII: Fall '06

Fall2006.jpg

Welcome to the twelfth season of Vancouver Diary.

The vertical rays of the sun will cross the equator tonight at 9.03 pm PST ( 12.03 am Saturday 23 September in Toronto). Tomorrow ( Saturday) morning is the first morning of Fall in Canada. I trust everyone has had a great summer and is busy back at work. This is the time of year when Vancouver gets down to business in a big way, and one can see it from the upramp in traffic immediately after Labour Day. This is also the time of year when the bears get down to serious eating for hibernation in November. It is also the season when the clouds roll in and the rain really starts..which is why I chose the picture! Many Fall gardens still have lots of flowers, though.

I've been manning the Van Diaries for almost 3 years now and I've now been in Canada for 6 years and 3-1/2 months. So, my own experience with this immigration thing is now very dated. Quite possibly I do not know anymore what is NOW important to people who want to settle here or have just arrived. Over this period the value of the rand almost halved and then almost doubled again and then started slowly sliding again from a Canadian dollar being 4.5 rand to now R6.6 in its traditional style. Inflation in SA first skyrocketed and then went down to the lowest in decades again. House prices there had stagnated when I left and then took off in hysterical fashion in the last four years, increasing fivefold in some cases. I did not live through any of that in SA. I cringe at the prices I hear folks now have to pay for stuff in SA. Back, when I arrived in 2000, things cost 2.5 times as much in Canada as in SA. Now they do not differ dramatically.

I just know that my life would have been vastly easier in 2000 if SACanada had been around at the time. So I carry on with the Diaries in the hope that they're helpful in some way.

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CharleneK

Helpful? HELPFUL?! The diaries are one of the essential food groups!

Charlene

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Adele

Harry,

Most of us LIVE for these diaries. A daily dose is essential for peaceness. Please keep it up. Even though we too have been here 7 years on Monday September 25th, it is still relevant in many ways to us. We may not be able to help newcomers with actual immigration answers regarding paperwork, but with the lifestyle details we gave very valuable feedback.

I know how much work goes into maintaining a one way conversation about ourselves and what is going on in our lives, but I know MANY FOLKS THANK YOU....and, we will contribute as we can.....

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Harry

Well,

thanks for the words of support, folks!

For those in SA, I thought I should point out that, contrary to the lead picture on the thread, which was taken looking north at Mt Seymour here from our house some time ago, we had a great blue-sky day today with some light cirrus feathers up there. The temperature was around 18/19C.

I enjoy this early Fall time of year, because the temperature is great at night and the mornings are nice and crisp. Summer temperatures can make sleeping a bit of a problem over here where we do not typically have air conditioners. Of course, the Fall colours also make great pictures!

I'll see if I can take a nice picture of our first '06 Fall sunrise tomorrow morning.

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Guest

Hello Harry,

Sorry I missed you on my recent trip to Vancouver. I was there the week you and the family were enjoying your holiday in Alaska, brilliant pictures of your trip. Fall is the one season in Canada I have missed on my three trips. Judging from the pictures I have seen, fall must be absolutely awesome in Canada.

Getting back to your Vancouver Diaries, to those of us in waiting, your information and postings are invaluable and a great source of information.

Keep posting for the :D Hopefuls back in South Africa.

:D Regards,

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Harry

As promised, our beautiful and clear first Fall sunrise this morning in Vancouver:

6-09-23sunrise2.jpg

errr...note the smoke coming from our volcano towards the right of the picture?

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johankok

Jy moet voortgaan -- dis een van my daaglikse inloer plekke..... die fotos vertel baie en word baie waardeer.

Harry, you mentioned that those in SA has the opposite now and that the sun is moving accross the equator. When we lived close to the equator, we actually had two "summers" and two "winters" and no autumn or spring. It was hottest whenever the sun crossed the equator = summer and "coolest" whenever the sun was furthest (i.e. mid-winter and mid-summer) = winter. The subtle difference is that winter was still around 26 Celcius, and summer went to 38-40 Celcius with an unforgiving humidity.

Edited by johankok

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Harry

Lawrence,

see you next time around.

Johan, OK! I hear you!

In theory, the only difference between the two winters in the tropics, should be which direction the prevailing passage wind blows ( obviously modified by the continent and its shape). The two equinoxes ("summers") should be hottest, wind-still and punctuated by violent thunder downpours with local wind.

In principle a person on the Equator should experience the Northeast Passage wind over Christmas, and the Southeast Passage wind during July (there would typically be about a 15-30 day delay after the calendar time..the time it takes for the air mass and oceans of Earth to adapt to the shifting sun). However, that only works right if you live on a small island far from a continent. If you are on the East Coast of Africa, it modifies things, as do the sea currents.

I imagine that's also how Cape Town gets the "sedoos" Passage wind in summer (twisted northeast in PE). That's when the climate of Walvis Bay moves to far south of Cape Town. As the Earth's tilt causes the climatic bands to move north in winter, the high pressure area moves over northern Namibia and Angola and SA's south coast, including Cape Town and PE, moves into the infamous Roaring Forties of the old seafarers...hence the unbelievable winter temperate cyclones that roar in unbroken over thousands of miles of open ocean and blow balls of tan-coloured sea-foam over the shrubs and houses along the coast.

Sounds crazy, but I miss that wind....and the drama of the approaching "battle towers" of cumulonimbus cloud rushing across the sea-horizon like chess-pieces in an eternal Great Game. They would be presaged by cirrus streaks in the upper atmosphere with upturned ends(we called them "perdjies") a day or so earlier, with an attendant bone-dry bergwind from the northwest. As soon as the wind turned through west to southwest, the battle would be joined and the clouds would storm the land in great drama. Time for frozen noses and pannekoek.

I always wondered why those storms arrived in PE with clockwork regularity on Friday afternoons....just in time for the weekend, but too late to get the stupid schoolkadet session terminated...I hated those with a passion. The weather system would disappear to the southeast over the ocean later on Sundays, looking nice and puffy with blue streaks through it, while the sun shone on a wind-still, sunny, fresh blue-sky PE.

Hmmm...klink so half of Harry verlang....( dêmmit!)

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johankok

Pretty much my experience in places like Malaysia and Singapore, Harry.

Your mention of the tilted earth brought up something else that I often wondered about (never investigated though):

The shear temperatures in the band 5-15% north and south of the equator. The equator and +- 3 dregrees around it seems quite a bit cooler than the 5-15 (maybe even up to 20) degrees on either side.

It seems logical that the tilt of the earth may have something to do with that? Your thoughts?

Edited by johankok

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Harry

You are right , Johan....and I think the reason is relatively simple:

At the equator the Earth is surrounded by a low pressure band ( broken into cells by the presence of land). At about 20-35 degrees south and north, there is a high pressure band. South Africa and Algeria actually represent those bands very well in Africa and the Sahara and Namib are representative of the problem they cause.

Basically, the air flows from the high pressure band to the low pressure of the equator, where it rises in massive tropical thunderstorms inland (and monsoons where there are coasts facing the equator, such as in India and Nigeria). Either way ( thunderstorm or monsoon), one gets humidity and massive rain, but relatively lower temperatures.

Nearer those high pressure areas, south and north of the equator, the humidity is congenitally lower due to the flow of air away form the high pressure, the skies are more clear and the sun beats down much more relentlessly. So, ironically, the sun pours more heat into the equatorial atmosphere ( because it hits more perpendicularly), but some distance away from the equator more of it actually heats the ground itself due to the open skies. Humans respond to the temperature within 20-odd feet of the ground.

Obviously the phenomenon varies gradually from the SA latitude of around 25-30 down to say 10 degrees. On satellite shots, you'll see the permanent daytime cloudband of the equator wonderfully clearly. You'll also see that band move with the time of year.

I wonder if folks truly appreciate what a touch-and-go thing the classic SA summer thunderstorm is. SA is profoundly dependent on them, and the three day lows that cause them are itenerant things that happen almost by a fluke and sheer heat over the western parts of the country in the hot summer, as long as there is an upper air low.

Even slight variations in global temperatures can trip SA into bitter drought, because it is so solidly in that high pressure zone, slipping slightly out of it northwards in summer [ getting northern thunderstorms], and southwards in winter [getting cold fronts over the Cape]. I'll see if I can get good sat-shots of that.

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Adele

Harry & Johan,

I have an idea what you are talking about, although I am clueless when it comes to such matters of 'life' with hot and cold pressures etc. The two of you make it sound very interesting as opposed to my Geography teachers at school.

I have learnt something about the SA storms I miss so much. Over this last summer in Surrey we had 2 such occasions of "Summer afternoon rainstorms" . It made the heartstrings stretch really thin and made me very nostalgic for them, even though I was petrified of SA storms since childhood.

Thank you.

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Harry

Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver

6-09-24hmcs.jpg

This weekend the HMCS Vancouver was docked at Lonsdale Quay, so my son and I went to take a look.

That link on its name is to its dedicated government website with 88 pictures to look at. The ship is a multi-role patrol frigate. She has served in the Gulf and is equipped to work closely with the US Navy.

She is armed with

- 1X CH-124A/B Sea King Helicopter

- 8X RGM-84 Harpoon Cruise Missiles

- 16 X RIM-7P Sea Sparrow SAMs [air defence]

- 24X Mk46 Mod 5 ASW torpedoes

- 1 X Bofors Mk2 57mm main gun on the bow ( seen clearly in the picture)

- 1 X Mk15 CIWS 20mm Cannon

It has a single mounted machine gun on either side.

As regards electronic systems, it has:

- SG-150 Surface Search radar ( the horizontal pan-like dish halfway up the mast)

- SPS-49 Long-range Air Search Radar ( the black "wire structure" above the bridge)

- 2 X STIR 1.8 Fire Control Radar ( looks like a ball on top of the bridge in the picture)

- 1 X SQR-501 Towed Passive Sonar Array

- 1 X SQS-510 Hull-Mounted Active & Passive Sonar

- Ramses ECM ( Electronic Counter Measures)

- Shield Chaff Decoy Launchers ( to confuse enemy radar)

- SRD-502 Comm D/F (looks like a cylindrical wire cage near the top of the mast)

As regards Power, Propulsion and Navigation :

1 X 20 Cylinder Pielstick Diesel (850kW)

2 X LM2500 Gas Turbine Main Engines ( Same as our vastly bigger Cruise Ship), rated at 25,000hp each.

KH1007 navigation Radar

The result of this power plant, is that the HMCS Vancouver can accelerate from zero to 55 km/h in 53 seconds, and then stop again in one and half times its own length. Her top speed is 30+ knots and her range is 4,500 nautical miles at 15 knots cruising speed.

The cruise missile launchers are clearly visible in the second shot. The SAMs are are tucked in behind the heavy vertical panel

6-09-24hmcs1.jpg

The chaff launchers ( at least I figure those are them) and mounted machine gun are seen in the last shot.

6-09-24chaff.jpg

I hope you enjoyed that, Charles! :rolleyes:

I used the opportunity to check with the Army recruiters about being a reservist, but it seems:

1. I won't have much time left before they pension me off

2. The chances of me getting in a shot at the bad guys are remote

..otherwise known as "grow up, Harry!".

MAN, I really miss working on this kind of stuff.

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johankok

Adele, No I am the dumb one asking questions -- Harry brings clarification...

Harry, the last time I dealt with that kind of stuff, was designing a tracking radar for SA's little ones. I should try to see it in action some time. That was some 20 years ago. Recently ran into an ex-collegue of mine. The rest of the team seems to be pretty distributed around the world, including Brazil, Germany, UK, Australia and Portugal amongst others.

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Harry

Sunrise on Indian Arm

When I left for work this morning at about 7:30am ( I have a 20 minute commute), I saw that the fog was hanging over Indian Arm as it always does from this time of year onwards. I could not resist the opportunity to go take a dawn shot of the sunrise through the fog over the fjord, and here it is....looking southeast towards Coquitlam from the northern end of Cates Park on the North Shore.

6-09-26dawn.jpg

Johan, yes...what can I say...another life...another time.

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Pierre

Harry, your last pic made me thing of the old song "moody river".

Do you get people drowing in the lake/ocean there.

Is the water fresh or seawater?

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Harry

Pierre,

that would be seawater that you're looking at.

Of course the mountains drain into this section of "ocean", but I do not believe that dramatically changes the salinity. Just imagine the lakes at Knysna being stretched 18 miles into the mountains. That area would flood and drain with seawater twice a day through The Heads, as the tides move.

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Pierre

Agreed.

What is the water temperature at this time?

Also it is easy to misjudge distance over water - do you get people drowning there?

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Harry

Pierre,

I don't know the water temperature...interesting question....too cold for me, anyway.

Drowning?....not heard of one in my 6 years so far, actually

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Harry

Indian Arm and the Burrard Inlet

6-09-27rock.jpg

On Saturday, one of the SACanada members visited me. He arrived at about 10am. We talked on our deck for a while and then we went down to the village to look around, eventually making our way to what I call "Mrs Ming's Fish & Chip Shoppe". We then drove up the side of Mount Seymour to reach the Rock by walking downhill from a parking spot I know. The picture above was taken there, from the Rock.

After that we went to the supermarket and then to The Raven....then home for coffee.

The view in the picture is pretty much due south. To the right is the cove of Deep Cove. The piece of land on the right is part of Deep Cove. Indian Arm fjord is actually coming about 12 miles from behind our backs, out of the mountains, and joins the Burrard inlet just beyond that furthest Island in the picture. The Burrard runs right to left in front of the far hill in the middle of the picture, which is known as Burnaby Mountain. The Simon Fraser University towers may be seen at the left-hand end of that hill.

The faint building in the right-hand distance are the main buildings of Burnaby, where I work.

The next picture is a zoom shot of the bit in the middle of the first shot.

6-09-27island.jpg

The view of the marina directly below the Rock is quite something...about 200 feet down:

6-09-27boats.jpg

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Harry

The End of the Rainbow

One thing we get a lot of in Deep Cove, is rain...2150mm of the stuff. Most of it falls in winter, and some summers we have basically zero water from the sky for two months. This summer was one of those. So, when a bit of rain fell on the 23rd of this month, and the sky cleared, we had something else we get a lot of....rainbows. I had promised our visiting family a good view of a complete rainbow, and they certainly got it. It was simply too big for the camera:

6-09-23rainbow2.jpg

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johankok

Something interesting that I noticed with digital cameras is that the sky area below the rainbow has a lighter shade of blue than the area above. That is not visibile with the naked eye, neither aparrent from film cameras.

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Harry

Johan,

it is in fact quite visible to the naked eye and is a very real phenomenon.

In this shot I actively dialled up the contrast, but I have other rainbow pictures that show it vastly more clearly.

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johankok

I would believe what you are saying, especially as my eyesight could be a little suspect at times, actually a lot of times (depending on circumstances).

Any idea behind that phenomenon?

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Oom.Dee
I would believe what you are saying, especially as my eyesight could be a little suspect at times, actually a lot of times (depending on circumstances).

Any idea behind that phenomenon?

Johan

It is called "old age"

Cheers

Deon

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Adele

Oom.Dee,

Johan is referring to the phenomenon of the different hues of blue above and below a rainbow?

Do you have anything more constructive to contribute to this forum? (just edited this due to poor grammar, if no one minds :huh: )

Harry,

I would also like to know about this, as I have never noticed it before. I will be looking more carefully next time!

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