Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Master and Commander of the HMCS Ta Lana

Well, after 2 stressful weeks, it's official ... I am now a Master (limited), certified by Transport Canada to pilot boats over 5 tonnes! This means I am a sea (err... lake) captain ... now I just need to find a pointy hat and a fake parrot and I'm set!

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Day In The Life Of A Newly Indocrinated Jasperite

Since my last post, I have arrived in Jasper and have begun training at my new job. I will be conducting tours and driving boats for Maligne Tours this summer, on beautiful (now 99% ice-free!) Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park. It's been an intense 3 1/2 weeks thus far, learning about marine terminology, emergency procedures, how to actually drive the boat (doing that right now, steering it is a totally different experience than from driving a car!), and all about tour topics (history/ecology/geology/geography/etc).

Amid this, I've been living the Jasper Dream; to illustrate, I will run through my day yesterday:

7:45am: Just started my work schedule for the year, which means that today is my final day off before 4 workdays in a row. I'm up early on this day though to go have brunch at the Jasper Inn with co-workers (subsidized by Maligne, only have to pay $5) before they head off to the Lake.

8:15am: Have brunch. Brooke and company are wearing the company uni, which I also had received the day before (the pants are sweet, and so are the jackets!) Filled my boots with sausage, bacon, pancakes, fruit, etc etc....

9:00am: Head back to Cavell (my apartment building), fire up the laptop. Pour over e-mail and Facebook, then enter 4 0.25 cent poker tournaments on Pokerstars. Cash in two of them (4th and 2nd out of 45 runners) for a tidy $4 profit.

1:00pm: Head out for the afternoon, having lunch at the North Face Pizzaeria (bacon and onion pizza + pop for $9!). On the way, some Aussie tourists, not suspecting sprinklers due to a watering ban back home, cross a median, only to be accosted by the Automated Sprinkler System Of Death (hidden throughout municipal land in Jasper), looooool...!

2:25pm: Begin the mega-hike of the day ... Old Fort Point to Lake Annette. Ventured through the thinned forest (underway the past few years for fire safety) to Lac Beauvert, whereupon I ventured past the lush fairways and greens of the Jasper Park Lodge (JPL) golf course to the Lodge itself.

3:00pm: Wander through the Beauvert Promenade, the haute couture mall in the basement of JPL. I'm sure any decent shopping spree would finish off my bank account in about an hour. Nice stuff though...

3:30pm: Speaking of bank account depletion, I buy an ice cream sandwich (Oreo) at JPL ... for $4. Yay Jasper inflation!!

4:20pm: Make it to Lake Annette after hiking through more thinned forest. My God, what a sweet place! Lake is spring-fed, not glacial, and it's shallow, making it delightfully warm. Beach is short, but not narrow like other Alberta beaches, and the view of Pyramid Mtn, Whistler's Mtn, and Mount Edith Cavell made it a beach unlike any other that I've experienced.

5:30pm: Make it back home after re-aggravating my knee descending a steep slope (it's fine today). Start dinner, end up making an amazing pork chop with fried sweet onion/corn garnish, with a side of chicken-broth flavoured rice.

8:30pm: Go shoot hoops at the community park to rectify brutal performance playing 21 against friends that day before. I'll be back guys, look out for me!!!

9:45pm: Study my boat/tour manual, surf the net and hit the hay....

6 months ago, I would have never believed I would be living this well, yet here I am! If you want to change up your living environment, just do it. I did, and my life is day compared to the night of the previous year....!