Sunday, September 17, 2017

Surfing High on DYI

A new DIY project in the works - crafted by a Collingwood-born inventor - pairs surfing across the water with soaring through the air. It's Silver Surfer meets Iron Man. It's not a plane, though the physics are similar. It's a remote propulsion system for hydrofoils, stand up paddle boards and surf boards.
Chris Vermeulen, an inventor and entrepreneur, has combined his passion for kiteboarding and surfing with his drive to build new things for this DIY propulsion system project.
"The most exciting thing is we can now fly across any body of water on something like a hover board, and it makes you feel like a super hero with special powers," said Vermeulen. "Its a truly unique feeling and highly addictive."

His plan is to create a model that self-balances thanks to a gyro-assisted steering system. He and the team will be using 3D printed parts and other custom designs to make a small, quiet motor, waterproof remote and compact battery for the system.
The concept isn't new, there are electric motors out there already in use to propel hydrofoils and surfboards - which are not exactly ideal for those looking to seek excitement and want to do this in economical way using a board you may already have laying around. 
Currently there are two extremes available in the market. First being a high priced unit at the cost of a car which works very well, or low cost, low speed units that slowly push you around on your SUP.
Adding a propulsion system makes them about the closest you can get to a Back to the Future-style hover board flying up to three feet above the water. A system like this greatly reduces the need for perfect surfing conditions. A propulsion system on a hydrofoil means the rider can surf above choppy water, or can still soar when there's no wind.
The unique part of Vermeulen's plan is the DIY factor. He is working on a system that can be easily attached to any SUP, surfboard or hydrofoil board and can be made at a fraction of the typical $12,000 price tag - the going rate for another electric-powered hydrofoil surfboard.
A lot of time and effort has gone into proof of concept and designs for the project. There is currently a Kickstarter campaign to raise some seed money for the team to be able to order parts and build prototypes. Supporters who donate $50 or more will be given access to a video series teaching them how to build their own propulsion system. 
"It's worth the effort because we are making the first high-powered portable and affordable unit at a fraction of the cost of competitors," said Vermeulen. "The application of the system on a surfboard is the tip of the iceberg. We plan to make it useful on kayaks, snorkelers and divers for fast and powerful transportation."
For more information about Vermeulen and his DIY eFoil project, click here.
Check out the Kickstarter campaign here.
By Erika Engel

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

See the Salmon Run!!! Run Salmon Run!

Major salmon migration event includes nature walk with conservation experts, gourmet meal, FREE kids lunch and entertainment!
In the wake of last year's resounding success, the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust is holding See the Salmon Run for a second year from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, September 23rd. The Collingwood/Town of Blue Mountains event is a chance for people of all ages to see hundreds of Chinook Salmon fight their way up Silver Creek on their annual spawning run.
This year's event has been bumped up a week to land smack in the middle of the annual salmon migration. Last year's event saw 180+ adults and 80+ children in attendance; this year's is expected to bring even more crowds. It's an event that will include a gourmet lunch put on by Men with Knives, as well as local brews by the Collingwood Brewery and a FREE kids' lunch. Elephant Thoughts and the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority will be there with a huge inflatable salmon, turtle and gut hut, interactive games for children, as well as giant inflatable balls called zorbs that they can climb into and bounce around.
The centrepiece of the event is a 20-minute self-guided nature hike through the woods along Silver Creek. Adults and kids can stop at 4 locations where conservation experts from various organizations will be on hand to add to your knowledge of fish migration and spawning, and stamp kids' fish 'passports'
The event includes parking on-site and will take place at the Foley property, 609830 12th Sideroad, Town of Blue Mountains, just west of the intersection of 6th Street and Osler Bluff Road. It's open to the public and promises to be both educational and a whole lot of fun for all ages. Event sponsors include Kolapore Springs Fishery, the Gosling Foundation, the Nature League and Red-tailed Hawk Forest School.
Event tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite and more information is available at our website

Friday, September 8, 2017

Project Zero

Today, Enbridge Gas Distribution, the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council and Collingwood Fire Department announced they are partnering to improve home safety and bring fire and carbon monoxide-related deaths down to zero.

Collingwood Fire Department received 216 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms through Project Zero – a public education campaign that is providing a total of 3,330 alarms to residents in 15 Ontario municipalities. This year, Enbridge invested $100,000 in Project Zero.

Since 2009, Project Zero has been delivered to 85 Ontario communities.

When properly installed and maintained, combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms help provide the early warning that is needed to safely escape from a house fire or carbon monoxide exposure.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic, odourless gas that is a by-product of incomplete combustion of many types of common fuels. It is important that all fuel-burning equipment be properly maintained to prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Carbon monoxide alarms are recommended as a second line of defense to protect against the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“We have proof that prevention saves lives. Knowing this, we remain committed to educating our customers about the importance of installing a combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, as well as properly maintaining fuel-burning equipment,” says Joe Corrigan, Enbridge Gas Distribution.

“It is essential that Ontarians protect themselves and their families from carbon monoxide poisoning,” says Ross Nichols, Ontario Fire Marshal & Chief of Emergency Management and Chair of the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council. “By installing carbon monoxide alarms in the home, on every level and adjacent to sleeping areas, residents can help prevent needless tragedies. Project Zero is an invaluable program that helps fire departments educate residents in their community about carbon monoxide alarms.”

From L-R: Councillor Deb Doherty, Fire Fighter Trevor Firstbrook,  Councillor Mike Edwards, Acting Captain Jesse Bull, Fire Prevention Inspector Carl Prochilo, Joe Corrigan, Enbridge Gas Distribution, Joe Casey, Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, Fire Chief Ross Parr, Mayor Sandra Cooper, Fire Fighter Brent Balkwill, Fire Fighter Jeff Lalonde, Councillor Tim Fryer


“The Project Zero campaign addresses a great need, in working to ensure that everyone has working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. We know that smoke alarms save lives, but there are many homes without working smoke or carbon monoxide alarms,” said Collingwood Fire Chief Ross Parr. “Project Zero’s generous contribution to the Town of Collingwood will allow us to reach out to 216 homes within our community, and provide them with a combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarm. We thank Enbridge and the Fire Marshal’s Office for their support of this critical program and their efforts to promote fire and carbon monoxide safety and awareness.”

“Smoke alarms save lives, and the recent Hawkins Gignac Act reaffirms the importance of carbon monoxide detectors, however there are still many homes that do not have working alarms,” said Collingwood Mayor Sandra Cooper. “This donation will allow us to make 216 homes in our community safer for our residents. Thank you to everyone involved in Project Zero for their generous contributions, and ongoing commitment to safety.”

About the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council
The Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council (Council) is a registered charity established in 1993 with a mission to help create “a world where no one is hurt by fire.” Chaired by the Ontario Fire Marshal, and supported by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, the Council promotes fire prevention and public education through sponsorships and partnerships with various groups and individuals with an interest in public safety. Follow the Council on Twitter @FMPFSC.

About the Collingwood Fire Department
The mission of the Collingwood Fire Department is to serve the community by providing protection from fire, life threatening emergencies and dangerous conditions through education, prevention, rescue, suppression and basic life support services.

The Fire Department is served by a Chief and Deputy Chief, 24 full-time firefighters, two fire prevention staff, eight volunteer firefighters and one Administrative Assistant.
About Enbridge Gas Distribution Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. has a more than 165-year history and is Canada's largest natural gas distribution company. It is owned by Enbridge Inc., a Canadian-based leader in energy transportation and distribution, and has ranked as one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations for the past eight years. Enbridge Gas Distribution distributes natural gas to over two million customers in Ontario. For more information, visit www.enbridgegas.com or follow us on Twitter @EnbridgeGas.