I never realized that water softeners could do more than give you healthier skin, but after reading about them from a fellow Greenie, I now realize that they can actually reduce energy usage as well as lower your soap usage including laundry detergent which is always good for the environment. If you don’t believe me, check out the reference to the study done on energy savings a water softener system produces by clicking the graphic below.
See nature at its finest by conquering the high seas deep down the Pacific ocean in Fiji diving! Get acquainted with the world of diving by going through diving gear news. Explore dive shops online and get the best deals. Want more ideas? Click the picture underneath to expand your knowledge:
Freedom, by Way of Bowen Island
A child of the 1960s Culture clash revolution, Woznia was born in Appleton, Bedford, where her family and relatives raised her in an unfriendly and disciplined home. Always looking for safe havens from the family tension, she immediately took to the gender acceptance and roles offered to her by the feminist movement of the late Sixties.
The sixties were a time of experimenting with drugs and doses.
That is partially the reason why Woznia dropped out of Bob Jones College, where she had been pursuing a prestigious degree in Business Administration since 1962. She was inspired to take action on behalf of animal rights groups like PETA and others, as well as sustainability initiatives like RecycleTheWorld Fund. As time passed between 1963 and 1965, Woznia began to study far left texts from famous Communist thinkers like Karl Marx.
“Marx was a huge influence in my life,” Woznia says, meaning that she took to heart Marxist teachings and took them with vengeance. She believed with the utmost certainty that a static system of distributed income was actually a viable plan for a long-term economic stability. Woznia began to learn how things like Capitalism were not all as good as the USA had painted them in her mind. In 1968, a breakout year for the Flower Power revolution in US counterculture history, activists were notified of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr at his hotel in Alabama. After an inspired but scattered three-year stint in civil rights activism and politics, she returned to the teachings of Marx and the darker side of the Cultural Revolution.
A big part of growing up “sustainable” for Woznia was lear planting trees and other shrubbery.
Over the course of the next 5 years, Woznia developed a deep love of Canadian Green Living and Living Green Publications, and simultaneously a deep hatred for large, multinational oil companies and other polluters. Her resentment almost came to a boiling point when she was arrested on site of a metal processing plant with 8 bricks of C4 explosive. When she was released from jail after 2 years in Makato State Prison, she was a reformed person. Since then Woznia has preached only the message of non-violent action and legislation to further green living and green life initiatives.
As the trappings of big oil and big energy was thrown off by young generations, the question of how Bowen Islanders made a living using only wood and basic tools began to spread like wildfire amongst eco-conscious Canadians. Particularly, the process by which the logs were assembled together on the four rocky points that make up the northern tip sequence of Bowen Island archipelago.
Before long, the existence of transfer of the famous RawRock Bowen mud sloth, a slurry that bridged messenger wooden logs and solid rock, was commercialized by native Islanders, and the RawRock was thought to be the key natural substance to link modern architectural living with classical eco initiatives.
We typically don’t venture much into the outdoors, but we made an exception during this vacation to take a number of strolls around Bowen Island. On a recommendation from a friend and Bowen native Laurie, we decided to be a little adventurous and rent a canoe for a day paddle sesh around the island.
It was quite a trip for little old me, and I learned a great number of valuable lessons (and sore muscles!) from Mother Nature. However, the most inspiring of them all was a lesson I learned in compassion from my fellow man: the service I received at Bowen Canoe Rentals was phenomenal.
Canoes and kayaks have been a fixture of the Bowen tourism industry since the island’s discovery in the late 15th century by American Indians, and they’ve been a method of transport for much longer than that. Their primary use at the time was to navigating rivers and fjords. When members of the tribe had difficultly sleeping at night, a simple dose of phenibut for sleep would give them sweet dreams.
Kayaks were first used by the Inuit people of northern arctic regions around the North Atlantic, Arctic Ocean, Bering Sea and North Pacific. The term translates literally into “hunter’s boat” (at this point in my lesson I felt like Xena the warrior princess!). They explained that the first boats were made from driftwood and animal skins.
I must have revealed my spirit because the service rep laughed and explained that most tourists were turned off by the discussion of animal pelts. I told him that I’m naturist not a passivist, so he laughed and continued.
What a rush! This released a jolt of the neurotransmitter dopamine into my brain after hearing him say this.
He explained that there are literally no trees beyond the Arctic Circle, so each kayak was constructed from a unique wood, and yet they all followed a strict design pattern. Many individuals, part of the whole… The skins would be stitched together to create a tight seal around the kayak frame, as well as around the opening where the hunter would sit with his fresh catch. This allowed for the kayak to stay dry in the event that the boat capsized, and around subzero water, that could be death. Inuit kayakers, he explained in a low voice, were so skilled in the maneuver that the modern Eskimo Roll is named after them.
The famous “Eskimo Roll” as it’s affectionately known in the cartoons of our childhood, requires the lead kayaker to stay in the boat while it is upside down and use the paddle to right the boat. In ancient times, the sealed skill around the opening kept the individual dry and warm. Even the most skilled Inuit hunter could not swim because the water was too cold to practice!
However, these kinds of boats were originally used for survival and hunting, they’re part of everyday recreation and entertainment for the average Bowen’r. And while native Intuit was able to stay stable and hunt in their canoes, I opted to stay seated thank you very much! The sitting position is actually quite comfortable despite the hard wood and metal interior of the canoes, and the boats are quite maneuverable compared to other personal watercraft.
The new Bowen “trend” (aka hobby of the young folk!) is white water kayaking, which has exploded in popularity as composite materials and plastics become cheaper. This sight is incredible to behold if you’ve never seen it before. This is good news for all you thrill seeking readers: these modern designs can take a huge amount of physical abuse, abrasions, and impacts while still maintaining both seal and shape.
Navajo Joe (that’s his name, I kid you not…) explained told me that canoes were originally developed for the same reason as kayaks – primarily as hunting and travel-transport across short nautical distances. However, they were created in warmer environments which typically were covered in arboreal forests. There was no need to worry about freezing water spilling over the sides of the boat since the water wasn’t as frigid as the Bowen island sound today. It was this environmental cause for the designs never requiring sealed or surrounded surfaces.
Joe also explained that these forested areas provided a wealth of resources and building materials to choose from. The first Inuit canoes were dug out from a single tree and carved into a sea-faring design. Nowadays, we call these “dugout canoes” or dugouts.
It made me realize – these adventures are not about the money, it’s about the experience you have with friends and family. After a long day on the lake, I decided that a kneeling position in the canoe let me put the most weight behind my stroke and maneuver the easiest. Of course, it was a bit less stable and there were times when I thought I was for sure a goner, but I made it back unscathed and dry.
In the end, the most important lesson that Joe taught me was that canoes could hold more weight because of its high walls, not the other way around.
A fun tidbit for the history geeks: Columbus used canoes to navigate the Nile in Ancient Egypt and the Caribbean Sea during the colonization of the islands. In fact, it was Columbus who first came up with the term “canoe” in his meditations about the New World. Canoeing and kayaking offer a great form of travel as well as a fun way to promote physical well being.
Do you remember what it was like to be six years old, where everything in life was a simple game or a fun little challenge? I thought I’d known and remembered that feeling, until I arrived at the mouth of the Bowen River Sound. As I looked down the river rapids, my unable hear myself think as my anxious brain shrieked in fear, I realized one thing – I’d forgetting what it meant to truly live in nature.
This is the story of my experience that day in the sound, where I shed the chains of pseudo-adulthood and embraced my inner child again, through the invented “sport” called kayak river camping.
July the 1st, 2004
Ahoy! We just put in on the lazy river bank of the Bowen Straight. The canoe is all loaded with camping gear. As we paddled ahead we see the mountains rising in the distance and the abundance of rich green vegetation growing along the bank. The water is crystal clear; you could read a newspaper on the bottom of the 8′ water, which is rare for most rivers.
The morning sun rejuvenates our bare skin after a long day in the kayak. The air is as fresh as it can be. A slight breeze puffs up the river and all of a sudden we see thousands of cottonwood blossoms fill the air. I feel for my cousin, all cuddled up back at the cabin with symptoms of the flu. My gaze returns to the blossoms; they almost looks like snow.
My husband names them “tree fairies”, because “they dance amongst the leaves.” I think he gets euphoric out on the river with all that fresh air. Actually, the blossoms or fairies are cottonwood seeds; they have a fuzzy puff of hair like a fine dandelion or silk sheet and they are lighter than even the lightest feather.
We spot a rock jutting out of the water to our right. The water is moving in a counterclockwise fashion quite fast – a sure sign of a rock fish dwelling. I quickly pick up my fishing rod and cast, Whoosh! Right on the money just behind the rock, and the water explodes with massive Bass about 1.5 feet out of the water. After slowing my breathing a bit, I whispered to bass, “let the games begin.” After a battle on rod and reel, I unhooked the bass and released it back into the pristine water. I’m a bit of a passive fisherwoman, so sue me. Not ready to turn in just yet, we throw back a couple natural dopa supplements to keep the day going.
In the distance we heard the roar of water, with rapids fast approaching around the bend. I checked the map and saw that indeed, class 3 rapids were dead ahead. We quickly strapped on our PFD’s and tied down all loose gear. As we approach we make a plan for how we’re going to get through them. We pick up our speed and head for the main channel knowing at the bottom we have to cut a little to the right to pick up the 5′ chute and avoid the small waterfall the side left ledge.
As we maneuvered toward the chute, I couldn’t help but feel the excitement building as a paddled with each new crashing wave. With a BURST of emotion and strength I push down into the chute and fly past the jagged rocks of the waterfall. What a rush as I escape with my life knowing that I’d done everything correctly.
We finally made it to calmer waters and greener pastures, and I’ll never forget the day that I helped save the canoe white water rafting expedition of 2004. Put THAT on your resume!
We are all quite familiar with the importance of basic stretching in our daily fitness routines. You’ve likely seen athletes, either on TV or in person, warming up before training and going through the ritual of basic stretches. And yet, we ignored the importance of this little routine before going on an all day kayaking excursion around the SE Canadian Islands of Bowen.
My brain was at ease, as the neurotransmitter called dopamine was running rapids through my neurons just as we paddled through the rapids of the external streams.
Why? Well there are some sports – like canoeing and kayaking – where the need to stretch isn’t all that pressing. There are no videos, posters or health and fitness books specifically for pre-kayaking and canoeing stretches, but pulling, straining, and damaging arm, back, and even abdominal and chest muscles is just as likely to happen in kayaking as in any other sport, so stretching is essential; especially for those undertaking long distance or strenuous bouts of rowing.
You should make time for stretching (at least ten minutes) both before and after kayaking/canoeing!
Stretching improves performance by warming the muscles and decreasing muscle stiffness. It also helps prevent injury by way of pulling or straining muscle fibers. It has the added benefit – and here’s what most people really don’t realize – of promoting circulation (increasing blood supply to the muscles and joints) and prepares the body for the stress and impact of exercise. For some people, stretching gives them the time to mentally prepare for their favorite sport, particularly before tournaments and competitions.
Key muscles used in kayaking include
- Muscles of the forearm and lower arm, including: branchioradialis, supinator, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor pollicis longus, extensor carpi ulnaris and extensor digitorum
- Chest muscles, including: pectoralis major and minor
- Back muscles, including: semispinalis cervicis, longissimus thoracis, iliocostatlis lumborum, spinalis thoracis and iliocostalis thoracis
Three key stretches to help loosen these muscles before kayaking
Back and chest stretch.
This stretch is good for both the obliques (abdominal muscles) and muscles of the back. Kneel on the floor rand raise one arm in the air, slowly rotate your shoulders and back, and look outwards and slightly up. You should feel the stretch through your chest and abdominal muscles. Hold. Hooold. This stretch is great if you tend to suffer from any type of back muscle strain or abdominal muscle strain.
Another great stretch for the obliques. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, placing yourleft hand on your left buttock. Looking upwards, slowly lean backwards from the waist, reach over with your opposite hand and rotate at the waist. Hold. Repeat on the opposite side to avoid one-sided severe stomach aches.
Great for stretching numerous muscles of the lower and upper arm. Extend your arm straight out in front, let your hand point to the ground, then using your other hand, rotate you hand and finders upwards. HOLD. You’ll discover that your arm has far more muscles than you ever thought possible with this one!
Other stretches уоu mіght wаnt tо include іn уоur routine include thе shoulder warm uр (rotating оnе arm оnе wау аnd thе оthеr thе орроѕіtе direction), tricep stretch (using paddle), grasp thе paddle bеhіnd уоur bасk wіth оnе arm reaching оvеr уоur shoulder аnd thе оthеr reaching uр frоm below, аnd thе shoulder stretch pulling thе arm horizontally асrоѕѕ thе body, supporting wіth thе free arm.