Sailing in Pelegrin in the Gulf Islands
B.C., Travel

Gabriola Pass without an engine

"You won't get any thanks for this, you realize?" My brother-in-law John is talking to Mickey, a Gabriola Island buddy with a 35-foot sailboat and the willingness to tow us home. "Not the damsels-in-distress routine, you mean?" "God, no, that's not going to work. Won't go over at all well." Gill and I are on… Continue reading Gabriola Pass without an engine

Travel, Vietnam

Preparing the Tet trees in Hanoi

I live in Au Co, near the orchards and flower market, and the main road right now is a manic mess of motorbikes, flower sellers on bikes, and walking and moving trees. It's just days before Tet and everyone in Hanoi is buying a kumquat tree for good luck in the coming Lunar New Year.… Continue reading Preparing the Tet trees in Hanoi

Pix motorbikes in hanoi
Travel, Vietnam

No. 132 passes the motorbike test in Hanoi

By Alison Bate I’m finally legal, after five months of zoom-zooming around Hanoi. Yesterday, I went to pick up my Vietnamese motorbike license, after a long, tortuous but entertaining ride. Like nearly everyone here in Hanoi, I’ve broken rules that I wouldn’t dream of flouting in Canada. I’ve ridden my Yamaha Nuovo daily without a… Continue reading No. 132 passes the motorbike test in Hanoi

Travel, Vietnam

On the Indigo Trail: with the Black H’mong in NW Vietnam

By Alison Bate The Latin name trips off his tongue easily. “Have you seen any strobilanthes cusia – the indigo plant? Or know anyone who makes the indigo dye here,” a boisterous French guy called out as I wandered by a street café. Bemused, I joined Jean-Louis Dulaar for some of the local bitter green… Continue reading On the Indigo Trail: with the Black H’mong in NW Vietnam

Containership in Tacoma, Washington State, US

Maritime clips

Here's a short selection from the hundreds of shipping articles I've written while covering the west coast of North America, including California, Oregon, Washington State, B.C.(Canada) and Alaska: * Kyle Washington: The Prince of Tides (BC Business) * Escape from the 91st Floor (9/11) * Armada Rescues Trapped New Yorkers (9/11) * The Ship That… Continue reading Maritime clips

Travel, Vietnam

Friday night in Hanoi

It’s Friday night in Hanoi and the Mausoleum is like a gigantic playground. Barefoot toddlers and pre-schoolers run around in circles, dads hoist kids on their shoulders, and moms guard strollers, teddy bears and surplus clothes. Shrieks of laughter fill the night air, a pleasant change from the impatient beep-beeps in the background from motorbikers… Continue reading Friday night in Hanoi

Portfolio, Travel, Vietnam

Rowing with his feet and other Vietnam water scenes

A fine mist filled the bay, as we went kayaking near Cat Ba Island in northeast Vietnam. Most people go to see the spectacular vertical mountains dropping into the sea, but actually I spent more time looking at the boats. Cat Bay harbor itself is full of colorful wooden boats flying the Vietnamese flag, and in… Continue reading Rowing with his feet and other Vietnam water scenes

B.C., Sudan

Bitmakaly helps immigrant women

My Sudanese friend Lubna Abdelrahman is a very enterprising lady. In the last 18 months, she has set up an organisation to help immigrant women and their families and is also busy writing articles for and promoting the new Alqalam Arabic newspaper in the Vancouver area. Her new outfit, Bitmakaly Women’s Association, hosted a community… Continue reading Bitmakaly helps immigrant women