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Flying over Sidney.  My marina is centre right.

Thursday October 10th 2013
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I spent the night comfortably at the Fulford public dock.  Mist and rain greeted me on my awakening to the sounds of loading and unloading at the nearby ferry terminal.  They start early.

Today promises to be a busy one.  I have to trek back to Sidney and it looks as if it will be motoring all the way as it is calm right now.  It's an hour and a half from here.

Then I have a lot of small jobs to do, a trip to Victoria, then meet Jon at the Marina gate about midnight.  There may be wind by the time I get out there, though, here is the latest forecast.

Wind southwest 5 to 15 knots becoming north 10 to 15 early this morning then diminishing to light late this afternoon. Wind becoming southeast 10 Friday morning then becoming light Friday afternoon.

*   *   *   *   *

The trip across was uneventful other than passing within a few hundred yards of another sailboat that I did not notice until we were quite close.  We were a mile from shore with good visibility.  No harm done, but it just goes to show how easy it is to miss traffic when distracted, due to blind spots behind solid portions of the enclosure.

I arrived in Sidney at eleven and wound up waiting, first for the enclosure repair guy, then the dock crew with the part for a toilet.  Even after the thorough cleaning the other day, there was some leak-back from the hose, so we changed the pump and joker valve.  In the meantime, while waiting, I reattached the overflow hose on the Espar heater, filled the water tanks,  and had a nap.

I was tired today.  I think Bruce and I partied too hardy last night.  At any rate, I did get some things done.  These were priorities, and once they were finished, I borrowed the truck and bought some items for the Rendezvous and more provisions.

Jonathan arrives just before midnight and I'll go out to get him.

The only secure knowledge is that I exist.
Rene Descartes

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Friday October 11th 2013
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We got up at 0600 to be ready for the trip to Thetis Island.  Slack water at Samsung Narrows is at 1051 and that is two hours away, so we should leave around 0830.

We did leave on time and got to the Narrows as planned.  There was still a knot of current, but we had no issues.  Once in Maple Bay, Jon had a conference call, then we sailed until the wind dropped and motored the rest of the way.  We reached Thetis by two-thirty.

Knowledge is not wisdom, unless used wisely.
J.D. Anderson

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Saturday October 12th 2013
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Today I serve coffee on the dock at 0900 and it is 0851.  The coffee is ready.

*   *   *   *   *

Coffee went off well.  That is Cassiopeia on the left with the banners. 

Later, I got some help blowing up my dinghy.  It is a RIB and they get a little soft over time, especially when the weather changes.  I had two pumps and 10 fittings on board, but when I tried to use the pumps,  none of what I had fit. One of the other boaters had the correct fitting and I was able to get the job done.

I hung around the dock, visiting and then tried out the dinghy, taking a run out the cut to Clam Bay and back.  The new motor is not too bad.  It has enough power and once I adjusted the tilt, it rides OK.  I need a throttle extension, though, as the handle is too short when I sit forward to keep the bow down.  An extension also makes the steering less touchy.

Knowledge that is paid for will be longer remembered.
Nachman of Bratslav

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Sunday October 13th 2013
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Today I serve coffee on the dock at 0900 again and run a VHF Roll Call.

*   *   *   *   *

Roll call was called, coffee and pastries were served and announcements made.  The next event is the model boat race, which is a bit of nonsense.

I skipped the race and instead took the dinghy and circled the island.

AT 0700 we had happy hour, followed by a pot luck supper.

Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Monday October 14th 2013
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Coffee at 0900 and then we leave.  The Rendezvous is over.

The day turned out sunny and warm again.  We left Thetis at noon to make Sansum Narrows at slack water.  We sailed some of the way through and sailed about 5 nautical miles, then motored over to Brentwood Bay. From there we went around the bend to Tod Inlet and Marine Park and anchored for the night.

We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.
Robert Wilensky

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Tuesday October 15th 2013
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Jack, my cousin meets us at 0900 and will stay on board tonight.  We return to Sidney tomorrow.

Jack and Vince showed up on the dock at Tod Inlet and I picked Jack up in the dinghy.  From there we motored out past Brentwood Bay and out to some wind.  We sailed a bit, had lunch and then went by Mill Bay for a look and headed for Cowichan Bay. 

Along the way, I got the notion to take the dinghy for a run and it goes 20 MPH while the mother ship goes 8 or so, max.  In circling the boat I noticed a stain below the vent for the forward head and realized that the toilet tank was not draining.  That called for a pump-out and we went to the government dock.  The dock was a tight fit and we circled many times before finally landing. 

As it happened the winter hours were in effect and the station was closed, but friendly locals got it open and we flushed the tank.  We strayed right there all night and went for supper.  We all had fish and chips and beer.  Jack bought.

All enterprises that are entered into with indiscreet zeal may be pursued with great vigor at first, but are sure to collapse in the end.
Tacitus

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Wednesday October 16th 2013
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We made ready to leave Cowichan Bay by 0900, paid the wharfinger and motored back to Sidney.  There was enough wind to sail, but my crew wanted to be in by noon and we were.  We even had time to fuel up at Van Isle along the way.

I drove Jack to the bus and Jon to the airport, then returned to the boat to do some tinkering and fussing.  I rebuilt a pump for the aft head, found a fitting for the dinghy air pump, and went uptown to buy a tiller extension for the outboard, a screwdriver, some gas for the outboard, a tape measure and a mickey of rum.

As much as I enjoy company, it is nice to be alone again.

Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Ambrose Bierce

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Thursday October 17th 2013
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This afternoon, I return home.

*   *   *   *   *

I'm home.  I arrived at about 2100, after doing some shopping along the way.

The morning was spent cleaning, sorting and packing.  All in all, it took me about five hours and I did not get some of the jobs done.  At any rate, the boat is ready for a weekend charter.

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.
James Madison

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Friday October 18th 2013
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I'm home and thinking I'll get Zippy back today.  I need to look at the hives as well.

*   *   *   *   *

I spent the morning at the desk and in the afternoon, went to Drum to meet Ruth to get Zippy. 

In Extra Foods, I noticed a sign offering flu shots and so I asked, and a few minutes later I had the shot and was on my way.  In previous years I had to drive to town and line up.  This was easy and quick.

At six, I met Meijers for supper at Fred and Barney's, then drove home.

You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.
Ayn Rand

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Saturday October 19th 2013
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I have a buyer coming today for a hive of bees.

It seems that as soon as I left B.C., the mornings became foggy.  It is fortunate there was no fog the day we went from Cowichan Bay to Sidney to take Jon to the airport as that could have delayed us significantly.  Storms I had considered, but fog was not something I expected.  I am still learning about the unique weather conditions in the Gulf Islands.

My customer came for the beehive.  I picked out one I know was strong and we weighed it.  I decided this year to price according to formula as mentioned several pages back.  An excerpt follows:

Below is an example of a double brood chamber hive in average equipment with mature combs and a basketball-sized or larger cluster -- and 100 lbs of feed. This is an ideal case of a hive ready for winter that will not need to be looked at until April.
  • Two boxes with frames, floors and lid at retail:
    $15 X 2 + $2 X 10 X 2 + $20 + $10 = $100
  • Feed at $2/lb: $200
  • Bees at 2 x package price: $300
  • Less expected feed consumption by spring: (60lbs X $2) =-$120
  • Less expected risk of colony death: -$60

Total Value : $420

The above hive with 100 lbs of feed will weigh 160 lbs, made up (roughly) as follows.

  • Box weight c/w frames (2 X 20),
  • plus weight of bees (10),
  • plus floor an lid weight (10),
  • plus feed (100):

That adds up to roughly 160 lbs.

A minimum weight for good probability of wintering success, measured October 1st is 125 lbs. That hive would compute out to have a value of $70 less than $420, or $350 as the feed value is $70 less (160 lbs - 125 lbs) X $2

The hive I sold weighed 137 lbs, so I charged $375 for it, including GST on the hive parts. 

The buyer has not had bees before, but wants to try wintering bees.  That strikes me as a good way to start.  On a day like today, we loaded the hive with only a few coming out and then going right back in.  He can transport them open in the back of his truck without worry.  When he gets home, he can set them down and they won't bother the neighbours.  He can enjoy watching them on warm days, then see them build up in spring.

The hive is in two EPS boxes and he does not have to do anything to them except remove the top plug and add more top insulation. They are ready for winter.

He has a friend to guide him.  If all goes well, wintering can be a very satisfying experience.  The odds in favour of success when beginning with a good hive are about 4 or 5 to 1.  The buyer last year had excellent success with his hives over winter.

I sent this to the Calgary Beekeepers group today:

The summer turned out quite a bit better than expected and fall was almost as good as 2009.

I sold out of available hives this summer, but at present have ten or so doubles that I can offer for sale.

These hives are ready for winter, fed and checked. They are in EPS standard depth boxes that do not require wrapping or any further work this fall. Just set them down and watch them winter and develop in spring.

While this is not a traditional time to buy bees, it can be a very good time. A strong colony will winter well and make at least two and maybe three hives in spring with any luck.

Moving a hive now is very easy as they do not fly much most days, even at mid-day, and can just be strapped or taped to prevent shifting, and placed onto an open truck without being closed up, netted or even tarped. Putting them down at the destination is easy and they won't bother the neighbours.

The buyer gets to watch the bees fly in warm spells during winter and spring and watch them build up in spring.

There is always a risk of losing the colony over winter, but the odds are 4 or 5 in the beekeeper's favour and even in that case, the equipment is still good to have.

A number of Calgary beekeepers tried to buy hives from me last fall and winter, but the snow got too deep and only one buyer was able to get them. That buyer reported 100% success and good results in spring.

A hive left here with another buyer today, and that reminded me that others may be interested, so I thought I'd mention it.

I will have bees for sale in spring again and hopefully next spring will not be late like this year, but, while right now there is no rush or line-up, spring packages and nucs can be unpredictable and often late.

If the idea of getting a hive or two right now and avoiding the spring rush

Fen texted that there is a music night in Acme starting at 7, so I'll run down for the evening.  I figure I'd better make sure I get out often now that I am living alone, have more events here, or both.

I did a routine Malwarebytes scan today and found this:

Apparently it is no big deal, and probably harmless, but I am removing it now...  After a reboot, it was gone. 

I went out for the evening to the Acme Legion to meet up with Fen and hear some local talent.  The show was excellent.

I have not been to events Acme for a long time, so it was pleasant and I ran into old friends. 

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King Jr.

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