Ocean Shores Blog

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24 Miles of Canals at Ocean Shores

By William May
Published: 01/22/16 Topics: Ocean Shores WA Comments: -

I know you’ve heard places referred to as the Venice of the north or the Venice of where ever but in the case of Ocean Shores, the comparison is apt. Here me out before you accuse me of hyperbole: when they were building a town out of this sand bar, they built in 24 miles of of canals!

That’s 24 miles of canals in a town with a population of less than 6,000. There might be more miles of canals than roads downtown. So it’s not trite to call Ocean Shores the Venice of the West Coast.

Unlike Venice though, these canals aren’t crowded with oil slicks and boats! They’re slow moving pristine fresh water, despite the whole town being a peninsula between the ocean and a saltwater bay. That means you can tucker yourself on the ocean beach, either riding horses in the salty spray, or flying kites in the sand, and then the next day relax in a canoe for a mellow day on the canals.

Where did this canals come from? Well up until the 60’s there wasn’t much going on in Ocean Shores. Some farms and ranches here and there, mostly people that thought their ocean beach was the best kept secret in the world.

Soon or later, word got out about the seemingly endless dunes and beaches on the Washington coast, and the tourists came. Somebody had the bright idea of building world class nightclubs, and all of a sudden, the Hollywood jet set was partying it up in Ocean Shores!

But none of this has anything to do with the canals right? Well when you’re catering to celebrities that have been to all the fanciest places in the world, you’ve got to class the joint up a bit! Canals it was then, surely using Venice as the inspiration. But unlike Venice, Ocean Shores has roads too, so you don’t have to abide a nasally Italian tenor.

The canal system is centered around Duke Lake, which is a big long green body of water running north to south the whole length of the town. The Grand Canal runs parallel to Duke Lake, and many tributary canals flood out in all directions from the Grand Canal, with each smaller canal being the focal point of a residential cul-de-sac.

Don’t forget then, that even though the town is appropriately named Ocean Shores, and there is tons to do on the ocean beach, there is plenty to do on the bucolic Ocean Shores canals.

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Author: William May, Oyhut Bay Vacation Rentals
Blog #: 0487 – 01/22/16

Chim Chimney! What to Know on Chimney Sweeping

By William May
Published: 01/01/16 Topics: Vacation Rentals Comments: -

It’s that time of year to curl up around a warm fire - New Years has just happened, the weathers getting a little chilly, maybe there’s a light dusting of snow on the lawn. You open the flue, light your kindling, and wait for the romantic crackling to start.

But then you start wondering: when was the last time you got the chimney swept?!

It may sound like something of a Dickens novel, but modern chimney sweeping is something every homeowner needs to do. Soot deposits can clog your flue, smoking out your house, or worse, soot can create a fire hazard.

Sweeping also alerts you to any maintenance needs, and boy is it easier to repair a brick than replace the whole chimney!

So how do you go about getting your chimney swept? Well, this is something best left to the professionals. The last thing you want to do is wedge a ladder up your chimney and track soot all over the house.

Find a local sweeper who’s certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or the National Chimney Sweeps Guild. These groups ensure their members know what they’re doing with a brush, and can help diagnose any repairs that need to be made.

Professional chimney sweeps will set up tarps that capture failing soot, and will first inspect the flue to make sure there’s no major damage. Cleaning is done with brushes (not boys climbing up!) and high powered vacuums.

Cost typical depends on how many flues you have. While you may only have one firebox, other appliances in the house may have their own flues, such as dryers, heaters, and anything that needs to vent to the outside air.

Average prices should start around $150 and go up to $200 if video equipment is used. Video better enables diagnose of damage. For a more thorough inspection, ask for a Level II inspection.

So this winter before you pick out the movie and butter up the popcorn, make sure your fireplace is ready to go by getting it professional swept. And remember, it’s lucky to see a chimney sweep!

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Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0481 – 01/01/16

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