Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


A traditional Chinese extract from the bark of the magnolia tree, an ancient genus that goes back some 95-million years, gives you fresh breath by killing off the nasty oral microbes that cause halitosis.

My favorite individual tree is the magnolia growing on the grounds at Balboa Park. It is a magnificent example of the family Magnoliaceae and takes up nearly a whole city block. Older magnolia have this elegant quality of long draping branches, perfect for avoiding a predator while enjoying an afternoon's snooze.

Given that our ancestors decended from the trees, pre Lucy now it seems, and that we've seen bits of magnolia bark in firepits from 10,000 to 80,000 years ago, we may have enjoyed Magnoliaceae as a comfortable perch, hearth and perhaps even some additional oral benefits -- magnolia toothpaste anyone?

Saturday, 5 March 2011


Wind, waves and perfect anchorages await those lucky enough to spend time in Desolation Sound, a 30-square-mile premier cruising area and the province's largest marine park, due south of West Redonda Island on British Columbia's glorious west coast.

With the sun just peaking back in BC, a few friends gathered up supplies and plenty of sunscreen to get out and play in the wind up in Desolation Sound. Two of the days we were joined by resident killer whale and porpoise eager to join in on the surf.

Our crew enjoyed sunny, windy days and cool refreshing nights filled with fresh Pacific seafood bounty -- crab, oysters and salmon!