Bosun's Log :: The Bosun's Mate News

By: The Bosun's Mate  09-12-2011

The vessel tracker mapping system has been updated again

The vessel tracking system has been updated to include several enhancements that make it both easier to use and faster.As always, we have more in store but finding the time to fit it in around the 'day job' can be a real challenge!

In this more recent update the maps themselves have been switched over to the Google map data. This looks a bit better even if it's a bit less accurate then the marine charts. This has the added benefit that the maps will load faster thanks to Google's world-wide content delivery network. In addition to this we added a series of back-end updates that further optimize the code allowing the maps to be generated faster as well.

using HTML Canvas to dynamically visualize lights

Initial lights testing

For some time now I have wanted to improve the lights and shapes section of to include a more interactive experience with more light configurations. The HTML Canvas element that allows direct drawing in a web page should finally allow this..

The image shown is a screen-shot of our test area where all four of the light diagrams are generated by the web browser. There are no uploaded graphics involved. This means we can store instructions to tell the browser how to draw each configuration and change things like size, time of day, eventually even distance from the target to create a very dynamic experience. Adding new configurations for different regions and/or conditions will not pose a problem either.

Granted it is going to take some time to polish the code and create a comprehensive database of different configurations, but the possibilities are extensive and we should see the first implementation coming online soon.

The West Island College Class Afloat's tall ship sinks off the coast of Brazil

The tall ship S.V. Concordia (from


to get news articles

the loss of a vessel I can best describe as one on which I always wanted to

but never did. It is always sad to hear of the loss of any vessel, tall ships make that loss feel closer to home. All initial reports indicate that all hands are safe and accounted for - that is the silver lining.

According to the

web site, which at the time of writing this article has no mention of the incident; The Concordia, was specifically designed and built in 1992 for their programs.

Currently there seems to be no information

the factors leading up to the incident or what exactly happened although on news source states the vessel "capsized and sank" and suggests sea conditions may have been a factor.

Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be on the SV Concordia can contact Foreign Affairs' Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa by calling either 1-800-387-3124 or 1-613-996-8885.

our thoughts and best wishes go out to the crew, family, and friends during what must be a very trying time.

UPDATE: best news source seems to be the CBC:

killing the dswave32.dll and it's associated garbage

I spent the last 2 days working on a friend's computer to remove a nasty little virus that the anti-virus software didn't seem to do much

apart from detecting it. To help, I reported my findings over on my technical blog - but I thought it might be good to cross post that here for your reference.

My Technical blog entry is here:

Basically the procedure involved a lot of scans from various programs while the computer was off the internet. Then some manual deleting of files, more scans, and some reinstalling of key components.

In the end the virus was eradicated and we can all smile again. But if you're interested the technical blog post has some good detail on how I nabbed it.

Calling in sick for work? Throw a good latin name at them..

For those times when you really need to call in sick from work - you might as well have a good illness to use for the big "phone call" Seeing as Latin is frequently the language of choice for things medical.. here is a good one "

Inhibeo Egrotatio


Translated directly (and word for word so it's probably wrong) it should mean "

Employee Sickness

" but it sure sounds good doesn't it?

Ok, why am I going on

this - well it's one of those goofy moods you get into after a friend tells you they are overworked and you suggest they call in sick and then your brain goes out of control..

So, what better then to share silly thoughts with others - in the feeble hope that perhaps it will generate a small chuckle for them too.

Great to see the tracks from Swift and Grace as they sail through the summer

It's great to see the positions coming in from the summer program as the Pacific Swift and Pacific Grace ply our local waters. For the armchair sailor like me, this is

as close as we can get to be

out on the water..

As always the

entries bring floods of memories and hints are how each of the new trips is unique in it's own right. The majority of the points of call remain the same and that helps the nostalgia wagon, following the new trips always brings a

of memories from my own past on the boats.

So at this part-way-through point for the summer season - we wish the

crews well and look

to continuing to follow the boats as they bring joy and new experiences to ever more each year.

More Items..

A fun way to help out in the community

The 2009 PawPrint MiniMite Team

Back in 2007 I started sponsoring a minor softball team in Sechelt. This year they sent a little bag of goodies after the season had ended. It contained a photo, ball cap, and card of thanks.

A new web site for some old friends

Screenshot of the site

I'm pleased to announce the launch of the Clarks Maritime web site, a home for the various nautical endeavours of Martyn and Margaret Clark (who will be familiar to many of you by name) This site was a joy to design and produce.

XP64, Vista, or wait for Windows 7 - trying to unravel the OS arena

In my ongoing quest to get more performance out of my system, and thus more productivity for my day-to-day existence I'm starting to bat around what will be my next operating system choice. As much as I complain about Micro$oft I know it will be some form of windows - the only question now is.. which one!

not with much help from these pills..

Spent the last 2 days getting over a bit of a cold - but it seems a good excuse to post these funny "pills" my parents gave me for my birthday. In reality they are just mints but I love the idea as a great joke.

Looking back, 2 years after we lost the Robby

Sailing off the Sunshine Coast

The fastest Firefox launching today

As promised I'm going to keep this blog going - but talk about whatever I'm currently thinking about and not necessarily try to make it relate to nautical happenings - so here we go with that.. Today marks the launch of the latest version of Firefox (my favorite web browser) and I simply must rattle on about it.

.. and I return from being the ghost of blogging past

Today marks both the start of the SALTS 2009 Summer program, and my return to trying to keep this site up to date with some news of happenings around my world. I Was a bit reluctant to return to blogging here because my nautical endeavors have been reduced of late - but - probably better to continue and be less nautical then not to continue at all.

Sample of the comic-book release notes

Just when you thought it you knew the browser contenders - along comes Google Chrome to rock the boat. I feel like the proverbial bowl of petunias saying "Oh no, not again.." but here we are - released in a unique Google way - comic-book style..

For anyone considering an upgrade to MySQL 5.1 BEWARE BEWARE BEWARE I just spent the morning working with a web host who also spent the night after what should have been a simple upgrade completely fried several databases! We did find the workaround though..

AIS Receiver

Over the weekend I finally got my Java based AIS decoder software working and have started to post technical details on my AIS information pages for the benefit of others looking to accomplish similar tasks.

I know that a lot of people love them but for those that don't, myself included, I think it's about time to turn off the Olympics and get on with real life..

Heathkit H89 Computer

I just found a photo online of my very first computer (now I feel old) it was called the Heathkit H89 (kit because you build it yourself) and was given to us by a friend of my father who built it.

Sample Street Map

After a little over a week of work I finally have the entire Sunshine Coast road network mapped out, including ferry routes and some of the major routes to get here.

Sechelt Street Map Example

Now that the new mapping interface is running well, it seems many of my customers want street level data - only problem is that that data is very expensive (roughly $25,000.00 per year!!!) so I needed to find an alternative..

Throughout the voyage of the Pacific Grace 2007-2008 during the "Pacific Odyssey" offshore voyage Bonice Anderson kept a meticulous log of what transpired. A bound copy was presented to her upon their return. You can download a copy of it here.

East Porpoise Bay Forest Fire

Some days are mundane, yesterday was anything but. It started in the morning with an unseasonable wind storm - gusting about 40kn plus all morning. Then, for obvious reasons the power flickered off rendering my work day basically over. On going outside to find something "powerless" to do, I first sighted the water bombers descending over Sechelt..

Sample recent vessel positions map

I have mentioned this quite some time ago - but it's finally online and running for the 2008 summer SALTS trips. New and Improved interface for vessel tracking that uses an advanced open-source mapping engine along with custom chart data for coastlines around the world.

George Carlin

One of my favorite comedians has passed away. While he is well known for his sometimes unpredictable performances and for pushing boundaries - my favorite aspect of his humour was always his intelligent look at English grammar and the idiosyncrasies of our society.

I recently printed out a Service Overview from my printer and was very surprised to learn all that the thing was tracking silently in the background.. For example, I know know that since it was purchased the paper trey has been removed 83 times!

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The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

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What's New :: The Bosun's Mate News

This post is my ongoing track of the news surrounding the grounding of the Robertson II on Minx Reef off Winter Cove near Saturna Island on Sunday July 1st 2007 - I have been adding to this complete news post as soon as information becomes available.