TV’S Brojects puts its unique take on vacation homes
Kevin and Andrew Buckles are helping to make people’s vacation getaways more fun and enticing – and are doing it on TV.
In their TV show Brojects, the Buckles brothers are featured overhauling cabins and vacation properties with creative renovations in Nova Scotia.
Albion Lodge, the Lakeside home away from home of the Steeves, Macleod, Maclaren, Henshaw and Cheverie families of Pictou County, was one of the many projects taken on in Brojects. The Guysborough County-based camp has a special place in their hearts.
In a letter, Dave Steeves – one of the owners of the camp – wrote that he and his friends bought the property at Eight Island Lake to create “a special place to call our own and make memories.” Steeves and four of his friends bought the property from a previous owner who had used it with four of his own friends as a communal escape from the hustle and bustle of the world. The fact that Steeves and his friends’ situation mirrored that of the previous owner was something Steeves found significant. “As Harry (the former owner) recounted old tales and days gone by, a smile would come across his face as he remembered the good times…. He was selling something that meant so very much to him for so long,” wrote Steeves.
Steeves and his friends knew they wanted to purchase the property from its previous owner and, with the help of family, they pooled enough money together. From that point, the families who vacationed there saw “the potential of what it held could be seen by us all.”
Part of realizing that potential was fixing up the infrastructure of the camp, improving living spaces and a dock to make the camp safer and more family-friendly. “The walls of our little shack have brought great happiness to us all for the reason they were intended,” wrote Steeves, but as time passed and families grew, those families knew that the camp would have to grow with them.
That’s where the Buckles brothers of Brojects got involved. Their objective was to make the getaway at Eight Island Lake an even more exciting escape. What they built was nothing less than a floating water park.
“Basically, we built it for the kids mostly, but there were a few adult features on it, like a hangout spot for the adults,” said Kevin Buckles. “Mostly, our aim was to make it like a water theme park for kids that floated on a lake.”
The floating water park was one of the most challenging builds for the Buckles brothers – something that very quickly complicates the most straightforward plan.
“It’s challenging to build on water, because once you’re out there you’re moving tools back and forth, and if you drop something – it’s gone,” said Buckles. “There’s also no power at the property, so we had to use a generator.”
In the end, Buckles said the measure of success “was seeing how excited the kids were, when they saw it.
“They flipped when they saw it. It was such a good reaction from the kids, who are brutally honest, sometimes,” said Buckles. “There were a bunch of families involved with the cottage and a bunch of children there, and they all really enjoyed it. I was excited that we did that one right.”
Recently, the Buckles brothers also completed renovations on a local summer property in Chance Harbour, N.S. That project was an outdoor kitchen, and as a nod to its location by the sea, it was built to resemble a boat.
“It was beautiful working on that property down there. It was a beautiful field leading to the ocean, with those beaches out there. It was great being down there for a week,” said Buckles.
Fishermen who break speed limits in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence could face hefty fines as Ottawa announced a raft of protections for critically endangered North Atlantic right whales Wednesday.
Fishing vessels in the gulf must observe a 10-knot speed limit or face a $6,000 penalty for a first offence, while repeat violators can be fined up to $25,000, warn Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
The federal government’s speed restrictions apply to all vessels longer than 20 metres and run from April 28 to Nov. 15, subject to change as needed.
“2017 was a devastating year for North Atlantic right whales. At least 18 of these iconic and highly endangered marine mammals were found dead in the last year alone,” said Dominic Leblanc, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
As such, fishing vessels may only travel at normal speeds in two sea lanes north and south of Anticosti Island when no whales are seen in the area. A 15-day mandatory slowdown of 10 knots will be enforced within any section of these lanes if any right whale is spotted and the speed limit can be extended as needed.
Other protective measures include opening the southern Gulf snow crab season earlier if possible and closing it earlier, with all fishing fleets in area 12 beginning operations simultaneously. All snow crab gear must be removed from the water by June 30, 2018, two weeks earlier than normally scheduled.
Area 12 will also see fewer traps set compared to last year, while all vessels must report any interaction with marine mammals and certain fisheries must keep track of ropes, buoys and report any lost gear.
Fisheries management areas will be subject to both temporary and fixed closures anywhere right whales are observed. Fixed closures will occur in those areas where the whales were seen last year and will likely return to forage for food.
Snow crab fishing boats will face another requirement to more frequently report their activity at sea via the DFO vessel monitoring system to ensure compliance with the new measures.
“This government – and I believe Canadian society – is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of endangered species,” said Minister of Transport Marc Garneau.
Of the 18 North Atlantic right whales known to have died last year, 12 perished in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the rest in American waters, a number that Ottawa says is unprecedented.
Leblanc said there are only about 450 right whales in existence worldwide with just 100 females of breeding age.
Post-mortem examinations of whale carcasses revealed that boat collisions and fishing net entanglements were major causes of deaths.
Other threats to marine mammals such as right whales include availability of food, water pollution and increased noise levels from human maritime activity.
“Last year’s deaths represent a staggering loss to a species that is already critically endangered,” warned Leblanc.
The federal Liberals’ 2018 budget includes $167.4 million over five years to help protect and recover endangered whale species in Canada, including North Atlantic right whales, the southern resident killer whale and the St. Lawrence estuary beluga.
Nova Scotia’s tool-wielding brothers Andrew and Kevin Buckles have a new series for the Cottage Life network called Brojects: Built for the Weekend.