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My Four-Day, 150 nautical mile Easter Trip on Cassiopeia

Monday April 1st 2013
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Stephen and I were up at the crack of dawn and left Silva Bay by 6:45, just as the sun was rising out of the Strait.  We left quietly, so as not to disturb the other boaters tied up at nearby docks.  We motored through Gabriola Pass and into the Pylades Channel, with a two-knot current pushing us along.  Just as we were entering the pass, we hit a small log that made quite a racket, but did no apparent harm.  There is a lot of junk in the water at this time of year and when it is calm, it just sits there.  If there is any wind, that sort of debris soon winds up on a beach.

The water was mirror-smooth at first, and we motored down through Samsun Narrows to take advantage of the tide which ran up to three knots in our favour, but by 10 or so, the wind picked up and soon we were reefed and beating into a 20 knot wind.   That dropped to almost nothing and we motored a bit past Schwartz Bay, before the wind picked up and we were sailing again.  On our last tack, we exceeded 11 knots on the speed indicator, or 50% over hull speed.  What an ending to a great trip!

The trip amounted to 50 nautical miles and took us about seven hours.  Sailing here is quite challenging compared to many regions as there are tides and currents and many hidden rocks to consider.  The winds are shifty and ferries run every which way.  Logs escape from booms and float around at random.  Unlike sailing offshore, sailing here requires constant attention and an eagle eye on the water ahead.

At three, Stephen caught a ride to the ferry and I am again alone on my boat.  He had been gung-ho to wash the boat and do chores, but I was beat and said he could run along.  I had been up in the cold wind for the full seven hours and he spent a lot of time below in the warmth of the cabin.  We have a full enclosure, but when sailing, the sides have to be opened for winching,  Often they were left that way for convenience and visibility.

I had supper and sat around until bedtime, then called it a day.

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Tuesday April 2nd 2013
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Being exhausted, I slept well and awoke at 7:45. 

I have now completed the series of challenges I set out for myself and can take some time to catch up on things and rest.  There are some boat maintenance tasks to do, but nothing too pressing.

Weather at home is warming up, but the pond is still frozen over and the snow still covers the ground.  I wonder how the bees are doing. Dealing with them is the next challenge.

Our entire route is at right.

There are lots of things to do on a boat, and I kept busy today, listing things needing doing and getting a few done.  I lifted the dinghy and put the enclosure back together, etc...

Merv, the owner of a CS in the next slip, dropped over to visit after supper.  After he left, I got started on the boat charter manual.  It is a big job and I worked until after midnight, then went to bed.,

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

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Wednesday April 3rd 2013
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Alberta looks snowy, but is warming up.  I'll see for myself tomorrow.

Today is overcast here in Sidney, with a light breeze.  The day looks good for sailing, but I doubt I'll see any sailing as I have a very full day ahead getting the boat and myself ready for my departure early tomorrow.

This looks like a good time to go home.  The weather here, below, promises rain and cloud for the forecast period.

I was up early, getting things underway and checking in for my flight tomorrow.  I have to be at the airport by 7:30.

The diver was working checking boats near C22, so I asked here to take a look at Cassiopeia, seeing as we had hit the log up at Silva Bay on Monday.  She examined the hull, keel and leg and reported that we had knocked off a bit of our nice new bottom paint, but did no damage. 

Last night Merv, my neighbour, said he was on an new Bavaria some time back at a boat demo and was surprised when they ran a video in which they repeatedly ran a Bavaria onto some rocks then showed the hull in a close-up to demonstrate the hull strength and non-scratch surface.  Hmmm. Seems to me to be a bit extreme, but proves a point, I guess.

I worked on the sail, the tachometer and other little things all day, then took the boat for as run to get fuel and empty the blackwater tanks in case the boat is chartered before I return here.  The tach seems right on now, so that is fixed.  A bad tach can cause charter clients to run the engine at the wrong speed and potentially do harm.

Merv left mid-afternoon, headed for Calgary.

I motored Cassiopeia over to Tsehum Harbour for fuel, but was too late and found the fuel dock closed.  The entry to the marinas in that bay is very shallow at low tide, which it proved to be, and I saw as little as 0.1 meter under the keel according to the depth meter, but have no idea how deep it really was since charter boat companies generally set the indicator with a little safety factor so that people will not scrape bottom by trusting the gauge.  I'll have to do a sounding by hand and see.  I also notice there is no depth alarm set.

After that, I went to the pub for one beer and returned to the boat to pack, but found I am too tired and so I set several alarms and am headed for bed.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint Exupery

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Thursday April 4th 2013
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I slept well and awoke at ten to five. I have to be packed and at the gate by seven ten.

CBC Calgary reports slippery conditions and promises cool weather for the rest of the week.

A taxi picked me up right on time and ten minutes and $15 later, I was at the airport baggage check with 80 minutes until my flight.  YYJ is a small airport, so the walk to the gate is short.  Nonetheless, they managed to keep everyone lined up for ten to fifteen minutes snaking through to security, then we lined up again in the tunnel boarding the plane.

That is something I cannot understand.  If they can fly planes in any weather with hardly a mishap, and manage all the details of running a huge airport, why can they not set up and run a security screening operation that is more efficient and less exhausting for the clients, especially those who are older or with children?  After all these years, the security rooms are still cramped and set up like a flea market.

With all the money spent on facilities, why it seems necessary to make the security and boarding so uncomfortable is a mystery to me.  It seems like a deliberate attempt at dehumanizing and fatiguing passengers. 

A few years back, Joe and I went to several bee meetings in the US.  I realised then that it is not the flying that is exhausting, but the airports.  On my January trip to the BVIs, I found that the two stops along the route in each direction made the journey sufficiently tiring that I am not looking forward to going again without a day or two layover along the way. Unfortunately, the fare structure tends to penalize anything other than short stops of several hours.

I arrived in Calgary and Mike was waiting for me.  We drove to Airdrie, where I loaded up some patties, and did some shopping, then I drove home.

Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.
George Eliot

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Friday April 5th 2013
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I recently discovered that my LG Optimus Black takes panoramas.  The capability was buried in the 'settings' under 'Shot Mode".  It is easier and more intuitive than the iPhone in that it is fully automatic.

The day is dull and breezy, and we still have lots of snow.  The pond still is covered with thick ice. Often the pond has thawed and the ground is bare by the middle of March.  At this point, we are almost three weeks past that, and at the current rate we will be a full three weeks and more late before the snow has gone.  We are seeing runoff today, but it is slow and very late. We have lots of wind, but the snow is too patchy for kiteskiing. 

Today was spent unpacking, doing wash and preparing for supper.  I'm still weary from my travels, but  Zippy and I did the one-mile walk down the property and back at mid-day, and found the snow was a foot deep or more in places. 

Some of the usual suspects came over for supper and that was it for the day.

A clever man commits no minor blunders.
Goethe

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Saturday April 6th 2013
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Looking out the window, I see that the pond has frozen over again and that we had a dusting of snow.

There is a big pile of paper on my desk and that is today's project, but first the kitchen needs tidying after last night's supper.

Zip and I did the walk again  today.  The ground is frozen again. 

I have some patties to put on the hives, but the weather is not co-operating.

Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
Ian L. Flemiing

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Sunday April 7th 2013
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We had more than two inches of snow overnight.  I spent the day at the desk, except for a short, one quarter-mile walk.

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
Will Durant

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Monday April 8th 2013
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More snow accumulated yesterday and overnight.  The pond is solid and the thermometer says minus eleven.  However the sun is shining and the day promises to be brighter than the past several days.  I don't see any promise of a big melt in the forecast, though.

The phone has been ringing with people looking for bees.  I have not been able to work on them and I think I have 50% loss.  Given the promises I have made, I think I am sold out for the year.  I pulled my ads.

I'm getting used to being back home.  The past month has been a whirlwind of activity.

  • From kiting at home I changed gears and flew to Sudbury on March 11th to celebrate Mom's 94th.  While there, I flew the trainer kite, plus also took a trip to the old camp at long Lake.

  • On the 19th, I flew to Vancouver. 

  • In Vancouver, I visited Ron, then got ready to deliver Cassiopeia to Sidney.

  • I then made a 2-day trek on Cassiopeia travelling through rain and snow with a crew supplied by Cooper Boating, stopping at Montague along the way.

  • In Sidney, I met a new dock crew and worked on the boat.

  • I then moved to the Surf Motel for a few days and spent time with family.

  • We all went out and did a little daysailing and I had a chance to see how the boat accommodates families.

  • Then I met another sailor supplied by Cooper Boating and we made a 150-mile trip up past Nanaimo and back over four days.  I was at the helm almost the entire time. Even with the enclosure, I was exposed to the weather when we kept the side panels open.

  • During that trip I was able to discover additional little items needing my attention and on return, I dealt with some of them and worked on the boat manual which is supplied to charter clients.

  • On April 4th, I flew home and started on catching up, and also a distribution project for a client.

  • I'm still studying the boat's navigation equipment and planning some adjustments.

No wonder I am a little tired.

I have material for more floors and lids and customers lined up for hives and nucs.  So far, for my own use, I have been employing my old equipment left over from my commercial beekeeping days, but have been thinking that I need properly fitting floors and lids when selling hives.  The floors and lids I have in abundance are designed for standard wood equipment and I have switched to EPS boxes which are a different size. 

The problem with making new equipment is that I am not set up to make several hundred at a time and as a result the going is slow.  Also, my heart is not in the work. 

In the past, I built furniture and entire beehives and enjoyed the challenge.  At this point, though, it is a case of 'been there, done that'.  There are so many other ways I'd like to spend my time.  I'm going to arrange to buy floors and lids.

We were invited to a supper and a party at Meijers', but Ellen is not feeling well, so I went over by myself.  The usual group were there and we had a good visit.  The snow and ice on the back roads are melting and the road surfaces are covered with water and fine mud.  My truck is badly in need of a wash.

Mining your iPhone

 Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
Isaac Asimov

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Tuesday April 9th 2013
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The sun is shining today and, in spite of cool temperatures, a lot of the snow disappeared yesterday.  The longer days make a big difference.  We are near the spring equinox and the days are lengthening quickly.

Today, Ellen is scheduled for a bone scan in Red Deer.

We drove to Red Deer and, while we were waiting for the dye to take effect, went up to Jean's for a visit.  Ellen is tired and aching today.  I'm really tired, too.  The wind was up and there is enough snow to kiteski, but I just don't have the energy today.

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.
Jimi Hendrix

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Wednesday April 10th 2013
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We're expecting a warm, but overcast day.  It was windy all day, but I was extremely tired and not in the mood to do any kiting.  I did go out and do a bit of work in the yard, charging batteries, taking out ashes, and bringing in the lawn mower.

Mostly, I did nothing all day.

A witty saying proves nothing.
Voltaire

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Thursday April 11th 2013
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We're off to see Ellen's doctors today.

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch,
you must first create the universe.
Carl Sagan

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Friday April 12th 2013
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Today promises to be sunny.

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.
Milton Friedman

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Saturday April 13th 2013
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I woke up with a cold and a sore throat.  I had a hint of what was coming in past days with tiredness and a raw throat, plus head congestion and now I have the real thing.

We're expecting up to a foot of snow in the next day or so.

The nice thing about being a celebrity is that if you bore people they think it's their fault.
Henry Kissinger

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