Saturday, August 27, 2011

Giveaway is on!

I am giving away one download of the My Memories Suite v2 ($40.00USD value)at my Facebook Page . It's simple, just like the page, comment under the giveaway post and a winner will be chosen at random from the comments next Saturday! Giveaway is open only to residents of Canada and the US (not my rules, sorry)

If you are not from North America or just don't want to enter the contest use this coupon STMMMS11437 for $10.00 off the $40.00 price + you get a $10.00 coupon to use as you wish at their online store!

Tell your friends.

Cheers and have a great weekend!

Gary

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Sponsor and a Giveaway

My Blog got a couple of new sponsors namely SmugMug where I have a Pro Account and have been just blown away by the entire SmugMug Family. In the three years that I have been with them I can honestly say that I have not had any issues with them. Their support is second to none and for a pittance of $150.00 per year you get a fully customizable website with no limits to bandwidth, very high security and the ability to set your own prices on your images.

Secondly, the fine people at My Memories are giving me a Digital Download of their latest Suite version 2 to give away to one lucky reader.
I will be announcing the giveaway details tomorrow on my Facebook Page
Check out this video for a quick overview of the software.



Welcome to the Family! from Lisa Jurrens on Vimeo.

My Memories sent me my copy of the scrap booking software to try so try I did. I love it! It is so intuitive to use I had it down pat in no time at all. Being Mr. Manly-Man, I went with a quick photo album on Motorcycles from previous photo shoots I had done.






It all fits together into a great slideshow or PDF that can be saved on CD Rom, your Hard Drive or share online. You can also add music and videos with ease! I'm gonna have fun with this program.

The Giveaway will unfortunately be only for residents of the US and Canada (not my rules).
I do however have a code for $10.00 off of the $40.00 program + a $10.00 coupon for the My Memories Online store that is good for everyone. Use this code in the Coupon box at checkout. STMMMS11437

Finally Moo.com is the place I go to get my awesome business cards.

Check them out. All of my advertisers are company's that I personally use and endorse.

Enough of this, it's Puppy time!

It's my Grandpuppies again. The loud yappy one is Opie and the tall patient dude is Duke :))

Opie and Duke

Remember to check out my Facebook page tomorrow for the Giveaway details.

Cheers
Gary

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tent Tour 2011- Finale

This part of the tour finds us veteran camping enthusiasts heading east from Manitoulin Island, across the Swing Bridge, through the heart of The Canadian Shield and south to Parry Sound and the scenic Oastler Lake Provincial Park.

Oastler Lake Provincial Park is a beautiful park nestled on a small peninsula of a scenic warm water lake. The fishing, hiking, boating, canoeing and swimming almost made up for the Freight Train that blasted through every hour on the hour! Not only did the train blast through every hour but the ******* had to give his horn a good long blast for some inexplicable reason....a week gone by and I'm still tired.

The campsite at Oastler Lake Provincial Park near Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

The campsite at Oastler Lake Provincial Park near Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada

Relaxing,waiting for my tea

We really did enjoy our stay there and got in some swimming at the sandy beach and took a day trip out to Magnetawan, where I used to go to a friends cottage in my teenage years and early twenties. I tried to find the cottage but things had changed too much there... paved roads...UGH! We followed the roads around Ahmic Lake back to Oastler Lake again. Lot's of photo opportunities found and lost along that route.

Swamp

Swamp

Dragonfly

A Seagull grabbing a piece of my delicious sammich in Magnetawan, Ontario

This fine establishment is the Schmeler Hotel in Downtown Magnetawan where I learned to appreciate the finer aspects of underage impairment..SHHHHH!

I developed my keen beer sense here in my teen years

Back to Oastler Lake and our final dinner of grilled T-Bones and Baked Potatoes done over an open fire pit.

Our last night we had some T-Bones over open fire :)

Early the next morning we set out down Hwy 400 towards home. we did manage a couple of stops though. One was the Iroquois Cranberry farm where I left my camera in the soccer bus because the berries were not in season yet. We will be returning for the bog tour in October during harvest.

Second stop was the Marine Railway in Big Chute. This railway is an amazing feat of technology. Built in the early 1900's to raise boats and ships up the rapids in the Severn River. It was built as a temporary measure until the proper locks could be built but World War One came along and funds dried up. The locks were never built and the Marine Railway is still operational.



The Marine Railway lifts boats in the Severn River  by rail instead of through a lock system.



Inukshuks at the Big Chute Marine Railway on the Trent-Severn Canal

A couple hours later we were home and I proceeded to go comatose.

Can't wait 'till the next excursion :)

Random Puppy shot. It;s a two'fer of Buddy and Sammy.

Sammy the Samoyed playing huggy-face with Buddy the Jack Russell



Cheers

Gary

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tent Tour 2011- Part Trois

This post takes us on the Car Ferry Chi-Cheemaun (chee chee man) from Tobermory on the mainland to South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island then to the far western tip at Meldrum Bay where we camped out for two nights. We had a sunny but chilly crossing on the ferry and a day of rain once on the island. However it did stop long enough to pitch the tent and set up our makeshift shelter for the picnic table and grill.

The Chi-Cheemaun has a capacity of 638 passengers and 143 cars, trucks and motorcycles. reservations are definitely recommended. On board is a cafeteria style restaurant with a licensed lounge. Also has a games room for the kids and a couple of outdoor decks to hang out with the seagulls. It makes the 30 mile crossing in just under 2 hours.

The Chi-Cheemaun is the car ferry that crosses from the mainland at Tobermory to Manitoulin Island at South Baymouth
Life boat aboard the Chi-Cheemaun Car Ferry that runs between Tobermory and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island. The crossing is about two hours and costs about $70.00CAD for a car and two passengers. There are several comfy lounges a  cafeteria (actually pretty good) and a bar so you can be in great shape to dodge wildlife in your car on the island!
Relaxing in Muskoka Chairs aboard the Chi-Cheemaun Car Ferry that runs between Tobermory and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island.

Heading west on the worlds largest freshwater island for about 120 kilometers (80 miles) to Meldrum Bay we were unable to stop at the gazillions of vistas and points of interest like a beautiful sandy warm water beach at Providence and 1 of only 6 Imperial Lighthouses in Ontario at Cove Island.
Unfortunately it was raining and we are too precious to go out and get wet so we continued to our campsite at The Point Campground and Marina.


Campsite at Meldrum Bay on the western tip of Manitoulin Island

Sunset at Meldrum Bay in the far western tip of Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada
Sailboat at anchor in Meldrum Bay

On the 2nd day we took a tour of the western end of the island including a tour of the Mississaugi Lighthouse and Museum. built in 1873.
They also offer a restaurant and camping.



Trailer park at the Meldrum Bay Lighthouse

From the Lighthouse we found some back roads and one cool off road trail that the Montana handled quite well! The trail took us to the shore across a bay from an active fishery. I got out of the soccer-mom van to get some shots of wildflowers and the rocky shoreline and every step I took I heard the rattles of the many Massassauga Rattlesnakes. My walkabout was rather slow but the rattles did not deter me too much...Me He-Man!!





Georgian Bay at the far western tip of Manitoulin Island

On leaving the Island we made some stops in Gore Bay to see another Lighthouse and a scenic view of the town. Then off to Kagawong and a hike into the valley and some river wading to grab some HDR shots of Bridal Veil Falls.

Gore bay Lighthouse
Gore Bay Marina shot from the Gore Bay Lookout
Bridal Veil Falls in Kagawong, Ontario on Manitoulin Island.

Next post will be Oastler Lake Provincial Park in Parry Sound with a day trip to Magnetawan then home.

Random Puppy Shot is not a Puppy at all today, rather my new friend in Meldrum Bay 'Chippy' the Chipmunk who had breakfast with me both mornings :D


Cheers

Gary













Monday, August 15, 2011

Tent tour 2011- Part Deux

This post we will be visiting Flowerpot Island which is part of The Fathom Five National Marine Park which contains 20 Islands and 21 old shipwrecks, some of which are in very shallow crystal clear waters. Divers come from all over the world to dive these waters.

Old shipwrecks riddle the bottom of the Fathom 5 National Park in Tobermory, Ontario. People come here from all over the world as a premiere dive site for old shipwrecks and crystal clear freshwater.

This one is located in Little Tub Bay and is part of the Blue Heron Cruise lines Glass Bottom boat tour. The tour we took was aboard the Blue Heron V which took us over two shipwrecks and then dropped us off at Flowerpot Island.

The Blue Heron V is one of Blue Heron Cruise Lines several Glass Bottom Boats that take passengers over shipwrecks in The Fathom Five National Park then out to Flowerpot Island. The trip over the shipwrecks and out to the island takes about an hour and costs $33.00 for a round trip. They will drop you off at the island for as long as you want as long as you catch the last boat back!

The small flowerpot at Flowerpot Island in a 7 exp HDR. Edits in NIK HDR Pro

The visit to Flowerpot Island is well worth it, it's about a 4 hour hike around the entire island where you can see two Flowerpot Rock Formations, a cave you can spelunk your heart out in and a lighthouse to tour. All kinds of wildlife as well, bring a camera!
I took a quick dip into the genital freezing waters of Georgian Bay...Brrrrr....

Our initial plans for this vacation was to go to Newfoundland and grab a whale tail image and since that didn't happen... this was next best. A loon butt diving after a fish :D

We were supposed to go to Newfoundland this summer for some whale watching but didn't make it. I took this Loon Tail instead of having a Whale Tail... good substitute,No?

Our trip back to the mainland, much to Wifey's delight, was onboard the Zephyr, a jet powered Zodiac! It cuts the crossing time from 45 minutes to 15 minutes. The crossing was quite choppy and we got soaked...what could be better!

The Zephyr is a Rigid Hull Zodiac Jet Boat owned by Blue Heron Cruise Lines in Tobermory, Ontario. It zips passengers to and from Flower Pot Island in a mere 15 minutes per crossing for a cost of $28.00 CAN per round trip.

That's it for this part. Next post will be crossing to Manitoulin Island on the Chi-Cheemaun and a tour of the island and two nights of camping at the far western tip of the island at Meldrum Bay.

My random puppy shot is a stray that followed me around Fairbanks ,Alaska in 2008. I think he liked my bag of roasted chicken more than me though :)

this guy followed me around 'cause i was carrying a bag with a grilled chicken in it, thought he wanted to eat me... nice puppy


Cheers
Gary


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tent tour 2011

My apologies for not posting for a couple of weeks but Wifey and I took a much needed vacation.
Much to my surprise, a couple months ago Wifey came to me and said we should do a camping tour of Northern Ontario...in a tent no less! You have to understand something of Wifey, she does not camp! Camping to her is staying at a Marriot in a distant place somewhere! So, when she suggested a tent tour I was all over it!
We borrowed a 6 man tent from my daughter and a double air mattress from Sister-in-law Pat, spent $25.00 on a portable grill and headed off.
1st stop was the Happy Hearts Campground in Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario for 3 days with a bunch of day trips to check out local sights.
The first night, at the suggestion of one of the owners of the park, we left the fly off of the tent as it was to be a perfect night and Tobermory has zero light pollution so the stars would be awesome. And they were, we were totally amazed by the heavenly light show until, yeah, 4am... Wifey wakes me up and say's it's raining.. I responded with a grumpy "it's just dew", then the thunder and lightning hit and I got my naked butt outside risking life and limb to get the fly back on. The next morning the owner saunters by and asks how our night went.... bastard...

The tent with the giant air mattress

The leaky airbed in our tent. This was day one of the 2011 Camping tour of Near-North Ontario. The trip consisted of three different campsites with daytrips each day. First Campground was The Happy Hearts Campground in Tobermory, Ontario for 3 days.

Cooking set-up

The cooking set-up at Tobermory

Wifey through the open tent fly

Wifey relaxing in the tent on the leaky airbed. Shot through the mesh on the roof of the tent.

Campfire

Campfire on our first night of the 2011 Tent Tour

On the 2nd day we toured the back roads and the Fathom 5 National Park Visitors Centre. The Fathom 5 National Park consists of a small Visitors Centre on land in Tobermory and the rest of the park is on and under water with 20 islands and 21 historic shipwrecks. The park is a world renowned dive site in it's crystal clear waters.

Found some Blueberries and a bunch of wildflowers on the back road excursion but not a whole lot else

Blueberries Bokeh

Daisy

The Visitors Centre was pretty cool. We climbed the 20 meter high (66 feet) Observation Tower which pretty much killed Heathers damaged knee for the week but the view was great!

Tobermory Harbour shot form the National Park Visitor Centre 20 Meter high tower

Then a short hike along the impeccably maintained trails through the park.

Pathway at the National Park Visitors Center in Tobermory, Ontario

I will save Day 3 with the Flowerpot Island trip for the next post...this one is kinda runnin' a wee bit long!

Finally.. random Puppy shot! This is Baby our Dalmation who passed away a few years ago :(

Baby PaakkonenMinolta Maxxum 450si (film) ISO100, Ilford B&W film, Minolta 28-80/f3.5 lens, scanned with HP scanner

Clicking on any of the pictures will bring you to the appropriate gallery where there are many more shots....

Cheers
Gary