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Capt. Jim's column is published Sundays, through to Oct..... by Kamloops This Week .
Also watch for Capt.Jim on Shaw TV with his boating safety program...
Kayla

"Relay For Life" 2010
Relay for life 2009 kamloops BC
Team "A Touch of Home"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jim Knowles, Tammy Leary’s realtor and friend who helped her find a home suitable for the needs of people with disabilities.

June 2008 was an exciting time for the young Leary family of Kamloops. Not only were Tammy and Gordon happily dealing with their new son Noah, but they also had a new home and the gift of two young adults coming to live with them. I say gift because this is what Tammy had envisioned for years as she made her way through Nurses College and worked at Ponderosa, a seniors residence in central Kamloops.

The new home, which soon would be called “A Touch Of Home”, was perfect for the two new arrivals. The daylight walkout basement was set up with all the proper attachments and aids. The wide doorways, the walk-in shower with its support aids, and the tile and linoleum flooring all provide easy access for wheelchairs. Tammy and Gord immediately added their own touches and installed an elevator to allow access through the whole house.

Kayla, who has Cerebral Palsy, and Andrew, who has Spina Bifida, are the two new additions to the family who let nothing stand in the way. Andrew graduated last year from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and is working his way to becoming the best he can be at web design and computers. Kayla is finishing her studies at TRU and will graduate next year.

While browsing the web, Andrew found out about the sit ski program up at Sun Peaks, the local ski mountain.

Tammy, Gord, Deb (Andrew and Kayla’s caregiver), and I were soon up on the hill ready for our first lesson on the sit ski. We all participated in a course available through the Disabled Skiers Association of BC offered at Sun Peaks in Kamloops. This program provides opportunities for people with a wide range of disabilities to participate in sports and recreation.

With Andrew and Kayla screaming and laughing all the way down the hill, and all of us trying to keep up, we knew that sit skiing had become the new sport for all of us. Now, some four months later, Tammy, Gord, Deb and I all have our Level 1 instructors card for able bodied persons and also carry our CADS Volunteer cards so we’re able to help any people with disabilities that come to the hill.

Recently, the local TV station came to the mountain to do a story about Kayla and Andrew. What brought home to all of us standing listening to the interview how lucky we all are, were Kayla’s  inspiring words:“Life is like a puzzle. It’s hard but just keep trying, and in the end, you will find the piece that’s missing.” With tears freezing to our faces we, will never forget those words and how inspiring this young lady is to us, and how inspiring she will be to many others in the future.

Recently Tammy and I were talking as we watched Kayla finish her run down the mountain. She told me, “To me, having Andrew and Kayla in the house has not only taught us that life should never be taken for granted, but also, that when you put your mind to it, anything is possible.”

To request more information about adaptive skiing in you area, please visit the Disabled Skiers Association of BC’s website at www.disabledskiingbc.com.

Welcome folks... below are some of my most recent events... If you know anyone that would like to get involved in Adaptive Sports please call me we are looking for participants and volunteers.

" boating has been a part most of my life, when my Ex passed here in Kamloops I moved here to raise my daughter. Community involvement from my televised boat show to teaching boating safety to kids in the schools keep my love for everything water related alive. Because the Sea is my third biggest passion behind my kids and Real Estate, I am involved as much as I can with local water related activities. If you have any boating or water related questions give me a call, I am always available for a chat".

REM OnlineCLIC PIC for story

Wow... They called and wanted an interview... who am I to question the most important Real-estate journal in Canada.
I will link the cover picture to the story.
thnx
Capt.Jim


Zipline Kamloops

Week3
I looked out over the tree tops at the forest below, the shiny green tips of the towering Hemlocks below me. The foot round branches above me sheltered me from the rain and wind falling now more heavily. They also held my weight as I hung on for dear life, the giant trunk of the tree itself too big to get my arms around.
I peered down through the cracks of the red wood floor from where I clung afraid that at any moment the bottom would fall out from under and I would plummet 130 ft below to the forest floor on to the surrounding rocks of the creek bed below. My word, what was I doing up here I asked myself?
Jim …Jim… I heard a voice from beyond calling out to me to move forward. I slowly came out of my fear of heights daze to focus on the 20 yr old Zip line guide, Chiquita calling me forth for the last and longest ride to the forest floor from our perch amongst the trees. “Come on Jim only one more to go…you have come through five already, this is nothing” she said egging me on to move towards the edge.
I took an unsure step forward into her experienced hands, she hooked up my safety belt, then my backup safety belt and asked me to step down the five steps in front of me… the catch is, that as you walk down the steps that lead off the platform, more weight is distributed to your harness causing you to lose your footing and off you go flying through a controlled decent, hanging from a steal cable as the stainless steal pulleys you are attached to run down the one inch thick cable, towards your next platform or forest floor.
The folks I was with loved it… what fun they seemed to be having as they gleefully jumped out off the platform into space and did somersaults and headstands as they sped to the next platform. Myself… Hang on, don’t look down and try to conceal the fear as I arrive at the bottom.
We were at the Whistler zip lines last weekend… ZipTours.com, I would recommend it for everyone, they say that even 6 year olds have done it. The tour was very interesting, interspersed between the fear of the actual ride down each line were informative guides speaking about how the forest is affected by us, global warming, our ability to help the world and much more eco related stuff. Very interesting! Also interesting was the over budget Luge track being built for the Olympics, in the middle of the old growth forest. Its electric systems will run on solar power and for every tree or piece of ground they destroy to build it an equal number of trees will be planted.

The weather has finally changed a bit to something that can sort of be called summer. I am not impressed with it at all though, very unstable, personally I have only had the boat out twice!We have such short summers... I guess I had better get on it and get some use out of it.
The buoys are all in place up and down, from the Lake to the Shawp, I am told by the buoy master who cares for them. Thnx for all your calls regarding where to find some wayward buoys that broke free during the high water.
The big "Wake To Wake" Pro Am Wakeboard competition is this weekend down at Riverside Park, should be lots of fun, amateurs and pros alike can compete. Myself, I will be heading down the coast to try my hand at surfing so all you wakeboarders count yourself lucky that I will not be able to attend the competition, leaving some of the jewelry on the table for the rest of you.
Take it easy out there, remember! treat the river like a roadway, up on the right, down on the right and you will never run into problems with other boats cutting across your bow.


mountain biking kamloops
Week 2
It was a cloudy Sunday down in Merritt the music capital of Canada. 148 cyclists had arrived from near and far to race the Cow Trail Classic a 30 kilometer cross country bike race. It is not called the Cow Trial for nothing; there are a lot of cows, bull’s, bears and what comes with all of the above. Greasy, slippery, splashy, cow patties that seemed to just jump up and get on you. That was not my biggest problem though, my biggest problem after the drop offs, rock faces and rivers to cross was the fact that I had visited the health food store the day before to pick up a bit of a booster and now that booster was coursing through my veins and I was having a hard time catching my breath and staying conscious.
The first hill climb which I had practiced earlier that week was not too much of a problem till I got nearer the top, about 30 minutes of climbing. It was getting really tough and my breath was coming in short gaspy bursts. What was up with that I thought to myself as others started to pass? It got to a point where I had to get off a push my bike ahead of me.
The downhill began as the next part of the trail and once again where it should have been easier I had no breath and on occasion was seeing the odd star flash in front of my eyes, till crash, with a hrumpf and a yell, down I went on the down side of the trail to come to rest, face first against a log that thankfully kept me from falling further down the mountain.
I sat up, and for the first time started to ask myself what the heck was wrong, I have done this trail with far less grief?
With bikers passing continuously I repaired my tire at the side of the trail. I thought back to my training, hmmm, all went well; three hour rides each day, small weight loss over the past month, lots of water and sleep. I should have been good to at least place third at the finish in my age group.
But alas my thoughts came to my day before shopping spree at the Health food store. Hmmm… I need some whey product for protein so as not to eat a huge breaky and feel heavy, some power bars and maybe something to get the blood moving faster, as it takes this old body about a half hour of peddling to warm up. I inquired of the staff and was given a few choices; one of which was Yohimbe Root an African Aphrodisiac. It was suggested to me that the others may do a more complete job but being me, the smart thinking athlete, I proscribed to myself the Yohimbe, she said it will make the blood flo! I figured that if it will make the blood flo there, it will also make the blood flo to my legs where I really needed the flo.
Morning of the race I gathered my things, had my whey product and gobbled down a few extra Yohimbe capsules, what can some supposed African witch doctor treatment do to me and if it does work, it is natural and it probably wont hurt to have a few more, I thought. Hey why not add it to my drinking water I use on the trial?
Pumped up (the tire that is) and flying along the trail again, I continued to make my way down the course, breathing so hard that it was near impossible to keep going. When I got to the finish line an hour behind the pack, I told all that I had a bad crash and that I had to walk most of the course. I sat dejected as my friends went to get me a burger, actually I sat for quit a while, till the race was over and till almost all had left, then quietly snuck out to my vehicle. You see when you race these races the clothing of choice is spandex, and trust me spandex and gobs of Yohimbe root just don’t mix.

Week 1
Welcome to another year of “Out and About” with Capt. Jim, I do hope all is well in your lives and that the winter was not too hard on you.
Three tough subjects to cut my teeth on …all related … global warming….Beetle kill trees, First Nation people.
My daughter has now opened my eyes to what we have helped do to our planet in the last 100 years. It sure is going to hell quick if we believe what we hear about global warming. Personally I do feel that I must do my part to help change things, how ever small it may be. But what I asked myself? While I was pondering that question I heard on the news that if every American household changed just one light bulb to the new florescent kind that that would be the same as taking three million cars off the road. Wow… that is something I could do, and did. We changed all of our bulbs. Recycling… yes we try, and have a garbage bag in the kitchen for the plastic and stuff. My daughter takes care of delivering it and sorting it at the depot. She tells me that yogurt containers are not accepted, hmmm?  I believe that we need a blue box program and that if the program is made easy enough, lazy guys like me would join in more readily. I say thank you to my daughter for opening my eyes
From Mt Dufferin to the Dew Drop Range I peddle for hours on end getting ready for an up coming attempt at my first Cross country Mountain Bike race in Merritt, the Cow Trail Classic:” Better known to me as the “Cow Paddy”.
I rank my rides as to how many beetles I crush on the road or trail, beneath my tires. Yes Pine Beetle that is… At least I think it is a Pine Beetle… Little black buggers crawling all over the place looking for food. Yesterday was a fifteen bug day… biggest day so far!
I really don’t know what kind of beetle I am taking such joy in destroying; I only know that the mountain I call my own, Mt Dufferin has been wiped out by the hungry little varmints. As I crush each beetle, Pine or otherwise, under the weight of my tire I take some consolation in knowing he will not eat another tree.
I suppose that I should not be painting all beetles with the same brush, but isn’t that just the way we humans are?
I was sitting with a friend that happens to be native the other day, and since I have known him he has told me that 200 yrs ago he would have been what stopped the white man at the door to the West. And I quote “your bloody scalp would be hanging from my lodge pole” he is serious. I have sat and listened to his side of the story many times and the truth is that the white man so graciously gave them huge tracts of land and provided the seed to plant it. To bad that it was covered in sagebrush and had no water. No wonder they are a little pissed.
Then we, or at least I, having seen native people downtown pushing shopping carts, without jobs, formulate the opinion that they are all lazy, no goods. The native friend I spoke of has been hauling fire pumps on his back, up mountains and runs a crew of native firefighters on one of the toughest fire suppression crews in the land and has been for fifteen years, saving our homes, and land.  The only thnx he gets is attitude by those he passes on the street that group him like the Pine Beetle, they all must be bad.
40 years ago, growing up on the Muskoka Lakes in Ontario, we used to watch a TV commercial of a proud native standing in all his grand, feathered, regalia. He was looking over what used to be his land, now covered with factories with smoke rising from each, with fish, dead in the rivers. One tear rolling slowly from his eye.
That says it all…
Look what we have done, to them and to our planet.

 

Week 10:

Day 1: CN wreck at Lytton: Safety rescue boat

The high sounding hum coming from the vacuum truck above muffled the approach of the 10 ton crane crawling slowly out onto the freshly laid track. Above the Thompson River at Lytton, the five man track laying crew ahead of the machine is waiting patiently to accept the heavy load of new railway ties.

On the opposite end of the trestle, the East end, a mammoth crane towers over the skyline delivering to the men below the new steel that will be welded into place.

With only two days before the deadline to have trains passing over this CN trestle at Lytton, the schedule seems a bit optimistic to this untrained eye. (Excuse the pun)

Sitting in the 28 ft CN jet boat ready to pluck persons or timbers from the fast flowing river, looking up and watching these men and woman at work, I am amazed at that precision with what this well oiled machined called CN Bridge and Structure Repair operates.

Working 24/ 7 is the expression used these days but in this case it is 24/4 to complete the task at hand.

As a safety man my job is just that, safety. Two vessels stand by, one on each side of the Thompson River just before it runs into the Fraser, two crew aboard each boat ready to spring to action at the first sign of trouble. The speed of the current is fast, at about ten knots with sections of rapids seemingly more numerous than flat water. If washed overboard during a rescue you would best be fighting your way to the shore line before washing through Hells Gate rapids a terrifying 30 minute drift away.

Dressed in survival suites, life jackets and helmets, we must be extra cautious making no mistakes if we are called to make a fast water rescue.

My rescue equipment consists of a radio to the control center at the East end of the bridge, two heaving rings with one hundred feet of rope attached, eight lifejackets, flares, water and food. The jet boat I operate has a 327 hp engine with a Berkley jet drive, very heavy duty equipment, If I do say so myself.

 

If we break down in the fast flowing Fraser my plan is to get as close to shore as possible and toss the anchor, for our sake I hope that the 20 pound Danforth sea anchor will hold in this current.

The Vacuum truck drones on as the operator sucks black coal dust out from the tracks where the end of trestle meets solid ground. Most of the twelve cars that crashed off of the bridge are up and out of the river. The cars themselves are virtually unrecognizable, crushed to flat by the following cars crashing down upon them one by one. The damage to the train cars is amazing; yesterday I walked past a train wheel split cleanly in two. One hundred and twenty tons per loaded car I presume can tear 8 inches of steel in half.

The whirl of a high powered drill has just started, almost covering the annoying vacuum pump. The river flows quickly past, 24/7 the work continues, the 30 men above on the trestle repairing the damage. The other 60-100 men and women on site from welders to environmentalists’ to First Nation people all working together to get this operation complete and to get the trains rolling by deadline.

Myself, I am a small piece of the puzzle, insignificant really, not noticed. Action for me means terror for some unfortunate sole unlucky enough to fall from the trestle into the mighty Fraser.

I pray I stay insignificant and unnoticed.

Capt Jim… out… 

Week 11:

The BC Pro Am wakeboard season is over…. Done… finished… complete. And I, Capt. Jim, did not win. Not only did I not win but I did not even place.

But alas there were strange goings on among the veteran competitors which may have led to my demise.

The first day of competition to decide my start position the next day saw me finishing my three tricks and ending the day in fifth of sixth spots. Sunday, unlike Sat where I was so nervous, saw me relaxed and ready to move my position up to third and maybe first, or so I figured.

My competition was three men from Vancouver Island. One I called Bilbo, one Frodo and the tall one, Gandolf the Grey. Yes… all characters from Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” series. It seemed fitting, they were from a far off land and had powers that I believe would see through to my defeat.

Bilbo and Frodo moved in tune to the grey master’s wishes as if he had a spell upon them.

When they carved out from the wake behind the boat towing them, they would look back at the consuming Grey figure on the dock. Having received acknowledgment from their leader they would then pop themselves up and over the wake, sometimes completing full 180 degree turns in the air.

Both of their programs were identical, always beginning with the look to shore to the gaunt, silver bearded figure standing there.

At times the silver giant would raise his arms and miraculously at the same moment, Frodo and or Bilbo would rise into the air and complete another trick.

When my turn came I yelled “hit it” for my normal dock start and was pulled forward onto my face as if something had been holding my wakeboard to the dock. I looked back as I fell and saw from the corner of my eye the hands of the “grey one” lifted towards the darkening ski and then falling hard to his side, his garish gin, erupting into a laughter that frightened the children at the near by play area., mothers running to collect them.

I started again, this time from the water, up and out I sprang into my usual wakeboard stance, legs apart, knees bent and off I went.

My first trick was to be a “wake to wake”, the same as I had completed the previous day, as I cut out then turned back towards the wake, before my eyes the wake ahead erupted into the largest wave I have ever seen, seemingly towering over my head as I approached. From nowhere this huge wall of water had sprung up with me on a head-on collision course. I jumped as I approached and was launched towards the sky, my board flailing behind me as my body came crashing down into the flat water fifty feet from where I had began.

I gave it one more try, my last try, and to my regret the same scenario, an abnormally large wake, knocking me down.

As the pick up boat brought me into the dock, the three haunting figures stared out at me from the beach. The Grey one in the middle, the others dancing playfully about his feet.

My first adventure with the island folk had ended, my neck aching and knee bruised I hobbled up the beach, to an awaiting ambulance to be checked over by the St Johns Ambulance crew.

Next year! I say, I will once again do battle with the forces from beyond, the Island folk, Gandalf, and his band of hairy goblins.

But seriously folks, we all had a great time and next year we hope to see a lot more Kamloops amateurs out for this contest.

A special thnx goes out to the large group from Vancouver Island that showed up.

Further congratulations to Craig and Trent from Wake to Wake Board School that put on the event. Good jobs guys!

Jim


Week 13:

“Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass Monkey they say”! Now before you get you shirt tail in a knott, it is an old maritime expression from the days of pirates and cannons. The brass balls sat on a cradle called a monkey, when the weather got freezing cold the brass balls would shrink and fall through the cradle, hence the …balls off a brass monkey saying.
Anyway it was -8 degrees for my final ride up Mt Dufferin this past Tuesday. It was cold.
I am thinking it is time to put away the bike and to put away this column for another year.
The boat is under cover, my gardening tools and hoses away… yes... it is time to shut er down.
So sad it has been seeing the bug kill trees around town, they just seem to be standing out so brown and noticeable these days. People in the know tell me it takes two years for the dead trees to show, I can’t imagine what we are going to have left by this time next year. Up on Mt. Dufferin, where I mountain bike; the trails are blocked with countless trees killed by the beetle and fallen by that last wind storm.
I have been taking notice of the construction cranes in Aberdeen working away with the dead trees but it really didn’t hit me hard till I passed two of my favorite trees on Mt Dufferin that must be 150 years old or so. They are on the South side of the mountain near the prison. Two of the most glorious large Pines you have ever seen, sharing a piece of property, growing away from each other to gain more light, forming a “V” as they do.
They are browning, they are dying.
I would pass them by and always look up to see if there were any bears sleeping in the arms of the towering giants. I have no clue if bears would be up these trees but if I were a bear I definitely would be lazing in one or the other. So long my friends and so long to all the trees affected, there are thousands.
I can only imagine the fly by night tree cutting companies that are going to spring up, watch your pocket book folks and make sure they have insurance. I really hope that the government steps in and declares it a natural disaster, and that only licensed companies can cut. It may avoid some dangerous situations of people thinking that they can just hack these things down. Falling trees around buildings is not for the inexperienced!
Well folks it has been some great year for weather hasn’t it? Thinking back I cant remember to many days that were rainy and wet, the spring was warm, summer hot and we had a beautiful fall. What more could we ask for? I guess a super cold winter would be the best thing? We would kill the beetle.
Have a great winter, come on snow, the mountain is calling, get out the sled, man the snow shoes, wax the boards…. Lets go play! See you in the spring,
Captjim1@telus.net

 

Week 12:

You’re to old Jim… What are you doing? Jim, isn’t that a young persons sport?

Jim…having a mid life crises?

I have heard these statements more and more throughout this year as I have indulged in activities that to some may seem dangerous and to most, for younger of body. I say younger of body because they may be right on that one, as I sit here typing I am still caring for my busted up knee from the wakeboard tourney three weeks ago.

But young of heart and mind I will always be, and to all those folk that bug me with their negative statements I say, common for a bike ride with me, join me on a hike, lets go out in the boat and have some fun, I don’t hold their lack of get up and go against them, it is how I used to be.

Up until last year I was having a real hard time with my age, then one day, unannounced my father pulled up with a friend of his on motorcycles’ and announced that they had just ridden in from Toronto. I almost dropped, at the sight of him. How old are you Dad, I asked later as we had a coke on the patio, 70 he replied. That was the end of my problems with thinking that I was getting to old, life was over. The way I see it now is that I have 22 years till I ride across Canada on a Harley, I haven’t thought of my age since that day.

That was last August, In January I was into the hospital for an operation, It could have gone bad and I could have ended up with a colostomy bag or maybe worse. It didn’t and I do not have one, but the realization that I came to laying there in the hospt bed with the poor guy beside me dying of cancer was that even if they give me a bag I am still alive!

I received a call today from an old baseball friend in Burnaby; a team member of ours from the Backstage Brewers had succumbed to his cancer at 43.

Shoot! 43, Jeffie dead at 43… just doesn’t make sense. But guess what… this guy who played all sports was still playing hockey and baseball on an organized team along with everything he did with his kids up until a few months back. He lived life.

Personally I am happy to be alive, forget about sunken boats and trudging through Nicaraguan jungles with Contra rebels chasing me, forget about auto accidents, forget about all the teenage stuff where we lived on the edge a lot of the time, hey, we made it this far, but the bottom line is that life can end now and we must live it to the fullest.

Am I to old to complete a wake to wake jump while wakeboarding? No. Am I to old to ride with Jared Gatzka one of the best down hillers in the country …No.? I started both these sports this year against all the naysayer’s comments. Am I any good, no, I pretty much suck, but I am doing it, living it and loving it, what about you?

 

Week 9:

Congratulations Kamloops, the BC summer games, was a great success!

Out at Shumway all went well with Marc, Tim and Niki heading up the show. The kids were great! The jumps and bumps were amazing as these young athletes completed their tricks with vim and vigor. Zone 5 from Vancouver Island had a very strong showing; not only did they take a good share of the medals, they also won the team overall; perhaps it is be because they live on an island?

Talk about hardy team volunteers, Jennifer, a mom that was here as a chaperone from the island, having slept on the floor of a local school for three days was Sunday looking forward to a ten hour bus ride with the kids, back to Comox. Hip Hip hooray to you and the rest of the dedicated parents that came to our games.

Out at Shumway for the first two days it was “man this heat is killer” that then changed to high winds on Sat and then to a sprinkle and a downpour on Sunday. By midmorning Sunday all the kids and parents were wrapped in sleeping bags and huddling together on the balcony overlooking the lake with other unfortunate competitors freezing on the launch dock waiting for their run. Early afternoon we moved our medal ceremony inside where we all crammed under the cover of the picnic area to present the kids their medals.

 

I must disagree with a medal rule, made up by the BC Games powers that be because the games did not print enough medals.

The rule is …When less than three entrants in an event, the last entrant does not get a medal. If gold and silver only place then the silver gets no medal? If there was only one kid in an event, an event that no one else has taken on, and he completes the event he gets no medal at all!

We had to tell this to the saddened face of some  participants, once  we even had to call a child off the podium as the announcer announced gold and silver… woops… there will be no silver, come on down from there.

I believe that this should be changed as the kids work so hard and deserve what they fought so hard for.

Hey BC summer games… do you have enough left over to send the few kids that got ripped off, their medal?

Hey Kamloops! give a call to the BC Summer Games office and stand behind me on this, let’s send these kids their medals!

Week 8:

wakeboarding kamloops watersports

Insert… Capt Jim up and practicing for the up coming Pro am Wakeboard comp in Riverside Park Aug 12/13.

 

This weekend is the big event, The BC Summer Games. I was at the volley meeting last weekend and received my hat and shirt and am now all decked out with only one place to go. Wakeboarding!

Myself and my fellow host Niki will be your towed water sport hosts out at Shumway Lake Friday to Sunday.

If you haven’t seen a schedule here you go with the times. Friday we have barefoot at 9am with wakeboarding at 12:30. Saturday is the three event slalom at 9am with trick skiing in the afternoon. Sunday has ski jumping from 9-noon.

Another great show, down the road a little further at Nicola Lake is the sailing events. Saturday from 9-1:30 and Sunday 9-1:30. Come on down if you are interested in sailing as these kids would love some attention so far out of town.

It should be an action packed sporting weekend, get out and enjoy these up and coming athletes’ some of the kids you see will be representing us in the next summer Olympics.

 

This just in, from Cricket Banford of the Local Dragon Boat club.

Kamloops River Spirit Canoe Club Dragon Boat teams; Extreme Currents (mixed) and Extreme Curves (ladies) entered the Vernon Dragon Boat Festival this past weekend. This was Vernon's second annual event and they threw in a few twists to make the weekend a challenging one.  There were the normal races of 500 meters in length, a 200 meter sprint race, a marathon race of 1000 meters and for added excitement, a water skier pull competition.

The Kamloops teams did extremely well in all races with the mixed team winning the water skier pull and placing third in the 500m final against two highly ranked Vancouver teams and second in the 1000m race.

The Kamloops ladies team owned the weekend.  The 1000m race was a boat starting every 15 seconds with 5 in a heat.  Kamloops was the fifth to start and the first to finish.  Very impressive!  The 500m final was exciting with the Kamloops boat being hit by another at the beginning of the course.  The ladies kept it together and managed to get back on course and win the Ladies A Division.

 Week 7:

Yea baby… bring on the games, yours truly Capt Jim will acting as your Towed Water Sport host out at Shumway Lake when the BC Summer Games get here at the end of the month.

I read last week that the folks organizing the games needed volunteers; with a simple phone call I was helping at a sport I am interested in. I am a little torn however, having gone to my introduction meeting I heard about golf, sailing, mountain biking and equestrian events that also tickle my fancy, oh well wake boarding is my main sport of interest this month!

My duties out at the lake will be to answer questions for the guests and athletes about our city along with helping with lunches and water distribution. I have never volunteered for the games before but am told by others that have that it will be a great experience, lots of neat people.

The folks down at the volunteer office still need bodies, if you’re not to busy at the end of the month, pick your favorite sport and give them a call, they could really use your help.  Lisa 374-8489

 

Another up coming event that I am entering in is the BC Pro/Am Wakeboard Tournament finals Aug 12 and 13 at Riverside Park. This event is the culmination of five events that have run during the past few months for all levels of skill in the sport of Wakeboarding. Entering into? you say Capt Jim? Yes, note that it is called a Pro Am… the Am means amateur and I am reassured by Trent and Creg of Wake 2 Wake Board school that, if entered, my training on Paul Lake has progressed enough to not make to much of a fool of my self. I personally believe that these young guys are being a little too optimistic about my progress on the water, but with a few weeks to go I should have a few tricks should be ironed out. Come on out and watch the king of all Scorps(wakeboard term for face plant into hard water) smash and crash his way to the finish line.

If you need more information about the competition please call Trent at Wake 2 Wake at 318-2272 or one of the sponsors Oronge Board shop, RTR Performance or myself at ReMax

Safe boating

CaptJim1@telus.net 

 Week 5:

Enough is enough and I can’t stand no more! Famous Popeye expression!

The waterfront was crazzzy this past long weekend with more boats and tubers than I have ever seen floating and buzzing around the South Thompson River.

I won’t get into the near fatal misses I saw; the tubers being pulled through the train bridge by their irresponsible guardians or the massive amounts of alcohol being consumed by the tubing and boating crowd. It will only end with a crackdown by the city and Police!

Little seems to being done by anyone to curb the problems on the local waters and sorry to say but a bad accident must be what is needed to move the city to create some speed/wake restrictions to guide boaters to safer places to play.  As far as the alcohol consumption is concerned I am sure that this has been a problem for the RCMP since alcohol and teens found each other many years ago. The police approach and the kids hide the booze, the police boat approaches and the net hanging under the tube is let out further and deeper.

Don’t get me wrong I aint no saint, boating or tubing with out a beer? Crazy thought I used to think… but having seen the results of crashed boats and drowned kids my view has changed, yes… I am older and yes I sound like a broken record but Yes I also know what it is like to lose someone to a drunken irresponsible, no brain, hormone monkey in a fast boat buzzing docks and scaring girls in tubes.

May I be so humble to once again offer theses new rules: Post speed limits to 5 knotts around the boat launches, post no towed water sports between the Overlander Bridge and the Yellowhead Bridge. Ticket and tow the vehicles’ not parked properly at the boat launches and parks. Confiscate vessels and tubes that are found to be carrying open alcohol!

 

The local Dragon Boat club “River Spirit Canoe Club” made a good showing at last week’s regatta in Salmon Arm, winning the mixed competition and getting second place in ladies with another race tour upcoming this weekend in Nanaimo. This club is very active on the circuit with upcoming events in Kelowna, Nanaimo and Vernon. Good luck to all and may I remind you that if you are interested in going out for a friendly paddle or if you would like to get serious about the sport, all levels are invited out to give it a whirl. You can drop into their compound at Pioneer Park Monday and Wednesdays at around 5:15 and talk to Paul, their coach.

 

There was a lot less debris in the local waters this past weekend. The chance of knocking your prop off by hitting some flotsam is less likely than during that high water we had a week ago.

With water levels high enough to pretty much go anywhere don’t get lulled into a false sense of security. These levels won’t be here for long, get used to obeying the buoys as they will keep you in the deepest water, as the water levels subside throughout the summer.

The wakeboard lessons continue for me up on Paul Lake, I am proud to say that my crashes are down in number and that we are now working on jumping wake to wake. No pain no gain …right? For more information on water sports in our town please drop me an e-mail

Captjim1@telus.net

Week 4:

I did my first “Scorp” this past Monday. What pray-tell is a scorp you may ask.

When you are Wakeboarding and you let go of the wrong hand when pushing to the outside of the wake and the toe edge of the board catches, you pound, face first, hard into the water. I am told that the position your body takes as you crash your face into the cold blue is that of a writhing Scorpion.

Like snow boarding I am also told that the falls in the beginning, when learning, are about the worst you will do. The more you learn, you do not get yourself into painful situations where you let go with the wrong hand.

The two young lads that have taken the challenge to teach this old guy to “Ride” are Trent and Craig from Wake 2 Wake Board School out on Paul Lake. These two accredited instructors offered to teach me to ride and I have hesitantly accepted.

Using their new Wakeboard boat and their towable launching platform, a well built floating barge where they teach you different techniques before you enter the water, the setting could not get any better. Eagles and Ospreys fly close by, the trout are jumping and the lake is a flat calm. The only unpleasant noise you will hear if you happen to be in the area on Mon or Wed is the slapping of my face on the hard glassy water, and the urggs of pain as I peal my eyelids back onto my face.

Having committed myself to two lessons per week for the summer, now sitting here eight hours after my first lesson, my back and shoulders aching, I wonder if I have bitten off more than I can chew.

Trent and Craig were very patient; they got me up and off their Ski platform, from under the cooling canopy with its comphy chairs and cooler of ice and pop and riding the first day and have me going side to side over the wake. They have learned quickly though to keep me at one end of the lake and the comfort of the dock at another.

Pretty proud I was with my wake to wake ability till asked by Trent who was being towed on another rope beside me to practice “Olies” , this is where you push down at the back of the Wakeboard and pop up in the front , thusly getting the board out of the water into the air. That is how it should work… In my case it is more a push down, jump, then crash doing the face smash, eyelid peal.

I cringe at the thought of my next lesson a day away but am reassured that the more I practice the more my muscles will adjust.

Can these guys pull it off, teaching this old Sea dog to Board?

Only time will tell, but if their enthusiasm says anything about the weeks to follow I am sure that I will be doing flips in no time… Well maybe jumps…

Calling all RCMP… it was a mad house last weekend on the river; please send patrols to the river this weekend. Mature, responsible boaters need you. I with my kids and two other boats were almost run down by drunken hooligans.

Boaters! the registration number on the side of all boats is reportable by cell phone to 911, if they are drinking they will be charged the same as they would if they were in an automobile. Please make the call, lets get them off our river!

Week 3:

From The Bridge:

 

What a rainy month it's been, goodbye May hello June. Come on Mr. Weather man
bring on the sun.
I was heading down river on the South Thompson, through the rail bridge at
Riverside Park in my own boat recently and noticed that I only had a foot or so clearance from my tower to the bridge deck above.
Now, a week later, with the water rising further people should be aware that
if you had a wake board tower or were operating a larger boat, that you
possibly will not make it under the rail bridge without severe structural damage or
personnel injury.
My concern is that as soon as this weather changes someone is going to be
playing in the river out from the boat launch at Pioneer Park, have a
breakdown and we are going to have an accident under the train bridge.
What is the solution? Whose responsibility is it to warn the boaters of the
overhead clearance on the CN bridge? Is it the duty of CN who own the bridge? How about the TNRD who took over the Buoys? Do we need permission from the Province to hang a sign on the Red Bridge?

Frankly I don't give a hoot who takes the step to warn the people but I think it should be taken to prevent a life threatening accident. The TNRD’s comment this week of “people must use common sense” is a cop out! Common sense, what’s that when you are 17 and out for the first time in the year on the river and have no idea about river /bridge heights, get real Mr. McBride are we not supposed to guide and protect those that may not be as wise?
TNRD  took over the responsibility of the Navigation Buoys in this river,
it is the opinion of the coast Guard that bridges that cross a waterway are
part of the overall navigational package, if their are safety issues regarding
bridges, no matter who owns them Coast Guard would be all over them to have
the work or warnings posted. We no longer have the Coast Guard to protect us!
we have the city; I believe that the city or TNRD should post a warning.
I am suggesting that the city post temporary signs on the Red Bridge, at water
level, stating the clearance or hazard ahead at the train bridge down river.

Or even better, how about the proper buoy required? It is called a hazard Buoy, is it not your duty now that you care for the Buoys in the river?
Sure we can say "don't worry” no accident like it has ever happened here before or that the water will subside in a week or so, but the truth is with all this
rain, the water is still rising, the bridge has become an accident waiting to
happen.
During the same trip I sucked some debris into my jet drive. While clearing
the engines I tried to set a hook to slow my downward drift, to no avail,
my anchor would not set; it bumped along the bottom for thirty feet until I
decided to haul it up.
Eventually I got my jets cleared and preceded up river into the South Thompson
where there was less debris.

Proper maintenance is what is required if you are running the river at this time in this high, fast water, that and an anchor with chain would be the best thing to keep you out of trouble.

 

Week 2:

From The Bridge:

By Capt Jim

 

Rain , rain  go away, come again another day..
Two footitus has hit the Capt, "this boat is just not big enough, if we just
had the next size up" it is a disease that affects most boat owners; it can
lead to heartburn and divorce if not handled quickly.
Having lived in Kamloops now for almost ten years I have moved from a rowing
dingy to a canoe, to an older inboard to a jet drive and now to a larger twin
jet drive. The warning signs of twoftitous are very evident.
I choose the new jet drives as I stay in the river only, I do not go to the
Shwap as there are too many dingalings jeopardizing my life. The shallow draft
of the jet boat gets me through the shallows in the river unlike prop jobs
that need four times the water to run in.
The new 19ft jet drive was purchased from Don at RTR performance on the TCH
East of town, as usual with friendly service and no hassles.
The only problem came when in shorts, sandals and cut off tee, I went to get
my boat and was brought back to reality when told that I need insurance to
take the boat, trailer license to tow the boat and registration to launch it.
Great. bureaucratic stuff.. What I love best. Not!
My first stop my insurance company. "Underwriters" on the corner of 3rd and
Nicola.
Because the price of the vessel is over a certain amount I could not just put
the insurance on my home policy, I needed special Marine insurance. Erin was
very helpful and had me set up the same day, this meant that I could now pick
up the boat.
Next was the trailer insurance, accomplished with Erin at the same office, I
was soon on my way with my new boat now tow able.
I called Christine at the customs office at the airport and was told that hull
registration was no longer done through customs and that Transport Canada had
passed the chore off to Service Canada. I shook my head and thought as many of
you are probably also thinking "another govt. agency that will die in short
time after spending much of our dollars to get it started".
I called the number given me reaching a recording at Service Canada asking me
to choose from the next eight items. Some minute's later, feeling more like
hours, I got to the end of the choices with no mention of boat registration.
Typical!
I headed to their office, which is located in the old E.I building across from
Ocean Pacific on Seymour. As I approached the office I realized from the
signage outside that the Govt in all its wisdom had combined many Govt
services into one office. You can now get your boat license along with your
pension check, EI benefit or passport at the same teller. how efficient! What
a mess this will be I thought as I pumped two hours of quarters into the meter.
I was told to sit and wait with three other people and that it would not take
long to be seen. To my pleasant surprise I was called in a few minutes.
Jackie, my pleasant Govt service agent, in short order and with efficiency
that I have not seen from a Govt employee in many years had me signing my name
and receiving my new numbers for the hull of my boat.
I was out of there in minutes scolding myself for ever thinking that all Govt
agencies were the same inefficient time wasting endeavors I was used to.
The legal stuff done now all I needed was my "Operator Card" and I would be
ready to hit the chuk. ok. river. The Operator card must be kept on the boat at
all time when operation your boat if it is powered by an engine of any type,
electric or otherwise and under 14 feet or if you are under 26 operating any
boat with power. There are horsepower restrictions for younger boaters also in
effect. You can pick up the Govt publication "Safe Boating Guide" at any Govt
agency to update yourself on what safety equipment is necessary to carry on
any vessel large or small, fishing or wakeboarding. If you send me an e-mail I
can also give you the information

Week 1:

From The Bridge:

By Capt Jim

 

 

Thirty degree weather and lookout South Thompson here I come, another year of boating is upon us, I can hardly wait!

I must back up a bit and do admit that I have been out on the water already this year.
About a month ago I ran my canoe down from Barriere with the others paddling kayaks.
We set off from the west side of the river below Barriere on a beautiful sunny Saturday heading down river on the North Thompson. 
Ritchie, a client of mine who moved to town this year from the UK is an accomplished kayak and canoe teacher back home in Wales, not only does he teach kayaking but he
has won national championships, I was happy to be spending this day with him
and his fiancé Jo-Jo.

Proceeding down river sometime shortly after launch young Ritchie
pipes up with "why do you take your Paddle out of the water on each stroke"?
Huh"? I respond dumfounded, amazed that he would even consider questioning my
Canadian style. "Because that is how we paddle in Canada, and how we have
paddled our canoes since being taught hundreds of years ago by natives in
birch bark canoes"
Being a good Canadian that had spent my youth paddling canoes on Lake Muskoka and
from a family of boaters going way back to our family's arrival from England
on one of the first ships across, I do not take lightly to being questioned on my ability to maneuver a canoe. I am so confidant in a canoe that even my First Nation friends
are impressed by this mans ability. I pride myself on being able to maneuver a canoe as well or better than most.
It is not efficient he went on to say, you should keep the blade in the water
during the whole stroke even as you bring it forward for your next.
At this point I began to remember some show I saw on the method of paddling he was talking about.
The show was taped at an uppity canoe club on the shores of Lake Champlain in New
York State. Six or eight fitness clones were paddling their black graphite canoes
without a drip or splash all wearing coordinated white tunics and blue
runners. What sacrilege I huffed in disgust, put them on a Canadian river
with rapids and see how long they last in their tighty whitys or push them through a five mile portage in their blue suede boat shoes with the no slip bottom and see how well they make out. Even better, throw a Beaver and a Muskrat in their canoe and ask which is which. If they haven't all ran away screaming you may get an answer. 
When necessary I have the ability to approach animals unnoticed using my
Canadian way of paddling, little drip on the draw back of the stroke and no
splash or wake on the stroke, and never changing sides while steering. My grandfather “Grandpa Boo” charted the Tar Sands in Alberta Via the Mackenzie River in a canoe, he taught me to paddle from his cottage on Browning Island in Muskoka, Ont.
We Canadians have paddled through wars, hunted for our food, hauled homesteads, charted our country and have for years enjoyed what the canoe has to offer, using our Canadian method of lifting our paddles out of the water!

"Keep your paddle in the water"

Bullocks I say…. Bullocks!


 

 

 

Jim Knowles
Direct  250-318-0497
fax 250-828-9544
CaptJim1@Telus.Net
RE/MAX Real Estate (Kamloops)
258 Seymour Street
Kamloops, B.C. V2C2E5
250-374-3331
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