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Going Swimming

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Wednesday July 20th 2011
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I'm up at 5:30 today and will shortly be headed for Pine Hill.  It is now only five more days until my family arrives in Muskoka.  The van is packed and all I have to do is pack, do my morning routine, and drive south.

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I arrived at Pine Hill around 1 Pm and spent the afternoon organizing the vans and tidying the boathouse.  It is very warm and I was swimming more than once.  The River seems much cleaner today.  There is much less boat traffic, and maybe that is why.

At right is the latest scale reading.  It indicates another 10-lb gain or 1-1/4 lbs per day per hive.

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Thursday July 21st 2011
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Another hot day in Muskoka, coming up.

Here it is, the 21st of July and I have not been sailing once.  Today, I'll change that.

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Nope, I did not.  I did a few other things, but when I was about ready to go out, the wind was gusty.  I want to take Zip out with me, and I'd like her first trip to be enjoyable.  Besides, I don't have a life jacket for her yet and if a dog falls into the water about the only way to get it out is to jump in and hoist it up.  From a moving boat with no one else on board, that can be tricky.  Getting people out can sometime be difficult enough, even if they can assist.  A dog life jacket has a handle on the back to make lifting the dog from the boat dead simple.

Any "Man Overboard" condition can be serious.  The first issue is to get the boat into position to retrieve the person without running over the victim.  If there is chop or swells, that is not easy, even if the person is wearing a PFD and is not panicked.  Not only can the boat drift down onto or away from the victim, but the engine must be turned off before loading over the stern.  If the boat drifts over the victim, that can submerge him or her and cause injury or drowning.   If the person can catch a heaving line, that is the best and safest approach, but many people cannot catch a rope and certainly not most dogs

The stern is the usual choice for where to bring the victim on board.  Usually the stern is the lowest and most stable point on the boat, and many boats have boarding ladders there, but that is also where the prop is and it can be sharp.  If the boat is heaving up and down, the prop and skeg can be dangerous to an immobile subject.

The day here was hot. Toronto hit an all time record for the day of 37 degrees.  I was feeling lousy and thinking I should see a doctor.  I didn't, but did take antihistamines (loratadine) and aspirin.  Then the day cooled a bit and I felt better.  I don't think I was overheated, because I was in swimming about ten times, but maybe I was too hot, but did not show signs of heat illness.  Heat Illness can cause fatigue and lethargy.  I also drank a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water.  Salt is bad for some people, but for people like me who sweat a lot, salt is essential for  keeping well on hot days.  My rule?  If the glass of salt water tastes good, I need salt.  If it is not appealing, I don't.

I had seen an ad for an interesting boat, a  1997 model, in the grocery store and went to look at it this afternoon.  It is a very nice boat, but has spent summers uncovered outside and needs a lot of cleaning.  Besides, the owner wants $6,000.  My budget is 5.  If it were clean, did not have a scratch and a chip out of the chine, and was polished, it would be worth $6K, but as-is, that is too much.  Still, I am tempted.

I stopped at the grocery store on the way back and treated myself to box of wings, which I cooked up on the oven on my return to Pine Hill.  I have been eating bean salads lately and actually lost 4 or 5 pounds without trying since they are filling, low calorie,  and low glygemic, but maybe I have been overdoing it.

Anyhow, after supper, it had cooled down, and the loratadine had cut in or the protein and fat did some magic, but I felt like doing some work and went to the River and pulled the engine, then removed the outdrive mount from Cloud 9. 

I notice the keel has a crack.  It's nothing fatal since it is on the side of the keel and near the stern and therefore does not compromise the keel's strength, but just the same...  I saw a boat like her on Kijiji today for $3,500.  That makes me wonder if I am nuts.  We are spending at least a grand and a week or two of my time on a $3,500 boat?

I worked until after dark and the dog was somewhat disgusted with me by then.  She is a creature of habit and figured we should be up in the cabin by dark.  She kept coming over, looking at me, and trying to lead me off.  I notice she coughs when she is getting impatient.  Maybe she is part Finn?

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Friday July 22nd 2011
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Alberta is cooler these days and rain is predicted.  This series of alternating heat and cool is ideal for a flow and if it continues, I predict t a bumper crop for beekeepers in our area if this weather pattern continues.

Here in Muskoka, last night was cool and I slept well. Predictions are for cooler weather -- today will still be over 30, but by the time Ellen and the kids arrive , the weather should be pleasant. (See right).  This heat has almost eliminated the mosquitoes, and that is a blessing. 

I awoke this morning realizing that I had not put a keeper pin into the chain loop holding the motor up.  It had dropped and gone out of sight.  I saw it last night while lying in the bilge to turn some bolts.  At the time, the penny did not drop, but in my sleep, my mind put two and two together.  At the moment the engine is hanging from a chain which has a link with no keeper pin.  I awoke at one point and wrote that down, and also several other items which came to mind in my sleep.

Today, I plan to go to Bracebridge to do a few errands and work more on the boat.  I got a lot done of good work accomplished on the boat in two hours last night.  If I can get a few more good hours in, I may get to where I am putting it together instead of taking it apart.

I'm realizing that the rotten area is quite small, and also that the outer veneer may be OK.  If so, I may be able to get a way with just a small patch job.  Of course getting access is the big job, as is cleaning up the outdrive.  The hot weather makes the job uncomfortable.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *   

I finally got everything off the transom and now have a better chance to evaluate the problem.  here is a picture of how soft it is in areas.  The outer veneer seems OK, and most of the transom, but the middle is bad.  I can see that the repair will not be too tough, but I will have to get the engine out of the way more than it is.  Without a trolley, that is not easy.  I may just  remove the forward part of the engine compartment.  It is a wooden hollow channel about  7" X 6".  I can cut it without the cuts showing on deck so it is removable, and reinforce it when I put it back together.  Removing the upholstery may be harder.

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The hive scale has not put on much weight since the 20th.  These pictures are sometimes taken from one side of the scale, and sometimes from the other. This causes the scale to read right to left one time and the reverse another, so this shot actually reads "49-1/2".

I wonder when I need to go back to work on these hives.  They may need attention by the end of August, I'm thinking.  Are they drawing their foundation?  Are they growing larger?  Did all the queens mate?  I've asked Ellen to take a peek.

I have 38 now, but expect that I'll see about four of them fail by September, leaving me with 34 hives.  Those are the odds.  I hope there is no AFB.  I recall smelling something that made me think of it as I was working the hives, but I inspected every frame and saw nothing.  Of course, AFB can hide under cappings for a while before it becomes apparent.  Often it has been active for a while before it becomes obvious.

When I left, I saw no sign of varroa, but do not know about tracheal.  A formic treatment in  fall, after the brood area reduces could be a good idea.

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Saturday July 23rd 2011
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The morning was spent planning the reunion and writing a group letter to the family.  I did some tidying, reading and bought groceries.  The family is arriving soon, so I am beginning to get beds ready and organize other things.  On bureau in my room is still in need of new paint, so I got some paint and gave it a coat.  The store has no more of that paint, so I had to get them to order a can.  In the meantime, I gave it an undercoat of a colour which is close.

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Sunday July 24th 2011
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The hives on the scale show a slight loss of weight since yesterday. 

Here, at Pine hill, I started organizing for the arrival of Ellen, Jon and the kids tomorrow.  Around noon, I took a run over to Port Sydney to look at a boat.  It was a good boat for a decent price, but I figure now that I'll wait to see what the kids think.  On the way back, I stopped at Huntsville.  While I was there,  Jean called and said they will be in Sudbury tonight.  They will camp at Mom's.

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Monday July 25th 2011
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Only 5 More Months Until Christmas!

It rained overnight here at Pine Hill.  The weather has cooled to a comfortable level. 

Today, I finish making beds and tidying, then drive to Pearson to collect Jon and the kids and Ellen in the evening.  They are coming in on separate flights from  Santa Anna and Calgary.  Ellen arrives at 9 PM, Jon at 11:53 -- if the flights are on time.

Jean & Chris and kids are at Mom's camped in the driveway and after visiting Linda, will be headed here.  I expect them around 2 PM.

*    *    *    *    *    *   

They arrived around 2 and at 5, I drove south to pick up Ellen at YYZ.  She was arriving at 9 and like to be early, so I had time to check in at our hotel and have a rest before heading to the airport.  She was a half-hour late, but the pick-up went as planned.  We drove to the hotel and watched a movie before driving back to YYZ to get Jon and the kids at midnight.  They arrived on time and we returned to the hotel.

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Tuesday July 26th 2011
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We slept until 8 and had coffee, then left the hotel and drove north to Barrie, where we stopped at Wal-Mart for some essentials and I picked up two sheaves at West Marine.  We arrived at Pine Hill just after noon and the kids went swimming.  The day was somewhat overcast and cool, but pleasant.  We had a fire in the fireplace to keep off the dampness. 

In  the afternoon, on, Chris and I went looking at boats.  We found one which looked perfect, but when we launched it and took it for a sin, we discovered it did not handle well.  Too bad.

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Wednesday July 27th 2011
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We're back to sunny and warm this morning. 

I took the kids out for some tubing behind the sailboat in the morning.  In the afternoon, we borrowed Ron's boat and went out again.

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Thursday July 28th 2011
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The breeze is from the east today and the forecast is for overcast skies.  Mom comes today, after lunch.

Chris and I drove to Huntsville to look at a boat which turned out to be pretty used dup.  We returned and foun d Sue and Mom had arrived.

I saw the doctor in the afternoon and she said I have ear inflammation and gave me some drops.

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Friday July 29th 2011
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We spent the day swimming and preparing for the reunion

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Saturday July 30th 2011
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Chris and Sarah ran to town first thing to pick up the sandwiches and people began arriving after ten.  In all, we had 35 in attendance. 

The weather was perfect and after lunch the younger crowd gravitated to the dock.  I found myself the driver for a tour, then several rounds of tubing.

Just after everyone left, the kids were walking up the path and heard a noise ahead of them.  A large tree fell abruptly only fifty feet away from them farther up the path and demolished the bench that sits beside the trail.  We were lucky that out guests were not still here since there was foot traffic up and down that  same path all day.

The tree is a large oak, with green leaves.  It seems that it rotted at a crotch and one half of the upper portion split off and came crashing down.

At five we all went to Ron's for supper with the same gang, and were back at Pine Hill and in bed by eleven.

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Sunday July 31st 2011
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Brunch was at Ron's at ten.  Afterwards, we returned to Pine Hill for more tubing and  cleanup.

The whole reunion went off perfectly, with ideal weather.

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