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The Park at Bedwelll Harbour

Sunday October 20th 2013
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Nothing planned for today. The morning was spent writing a survey and an article for the Sailing magazine, "Currents".  In the mid-afternoon, I went out and moved Orams' tent trailer to the quonset, then cleaned out the crabapples from the Crossbow sailboat and washed it out in preparation for bringing it inside for some work. 

I've been tired since I got home and took it easy otherwise.  Oh, yeah.  I had a flu shot the other day.  Maybe that contributes to the laziness.

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly,
while bad people will find a way around the laws.
 Plato

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Monday October 21st 2013
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Today: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning. High 17.

I am ambitious today and hope to get some outside work done if the wind is not too bothersome. 

I am thinking I should put in some entrance reducers and check hive weights.

I did get out, and did not get around to the bees, but did continue washing the sailboat.  I finished that job and brought it inside.  I think there is some ice between the hulls.  There is not a lot of work to do to get it ready to sail.  I need to change a spring and a wheel bearing on the trailer, then re-bed some fittings.  I could paint both the boat and trailer.  Then it is good to go.

I started yard cleanup, too and began draining the swimming pool.  I was going to conserve the water for setting up a pool in the basement, but decided it is not worth the bother.

I've been having problems with my sinuses lately.  They are OK all day, but block up at night, interrupting my sleep.  Today I decided to flush them with saline and also take some 10mg of loratadine.  I even took a Benadyrl before bed.

Victory goes to the player who makes the next to last mistake.
 Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower

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Tuesday October 22nd 2013
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I slept well.  Today is expected to be warm, with wind gusting to 40 KPH in the afternoon.  I'll get out and do some outdoor chores.

I last shoveled the ashes in my furnace on October 6th, before I went to B.C.  I was concerned that they would pile up while I was away and had friends check often in my absence.  As of today, the ashes still have not gotten to the point where they need shoveling.   It has been almost three weeks!

While I was away, I left the thermostat turned down to 55 degrees F. (Some of the houseplants bloomed as a result).  The weather was mild during that time, and since I have been home, I have been keeping the nighttime temperature at 65 and only warming the house to 70 in the mornings. 

During the day, solar gain from the south windows takes the south room up to 76 at times.  I am not heating the studio, and that seems to make a big difference.

This morning, I did bookwork but did not finish.  There is lots left to do. In the afternoon, I emptied and vacuumed out the swimming pool. I still have to take it down for the winter.  It took a while to remove the water and accumulation of leaves that built up while I was away.  The wet-or-dry vacuum came in handy.

While I was vacuuming the pool, I saw a few bees coming for water.

I should put entrance reducers on the hives, but don't feel like it.  I don't have reducers that fit well with the EPS boxes on the pallets..  A friend just used shopping bags stuffed into entrances and that worked well, except for excluding mice. Mice are usually not a huge problem. Other than that, I just need to put on more top insulation and pull off a couple of supers that had brood some time ago.  I have been waiting for it to hatch out and be replaced with honey.

Here is what my entrances look like.  I had reducers that fit into notches, but the EPS boxes sit too far forward for them to work well, especially if I put telescoping lids on the hives.

I have been feeling tired since I got back.  I'm feeling a bit let down after all the excitement of the summer and time on the boat, I guess.  I'm home, the days are getting shorter, and I am alone with the dog and cat.

I'm thinking ahead to the winter and would like to get south a lot more this year.  To do so, I need to find ways to leave the house cared-for and safe from freezing.  Ideally, I need someone to live in it while I am away.  The problem is that I need to return periodically but then I have a housemate or tenant to deal with.

The Alberta convention is coming up, but I think I will skip it. The cost is close to $1,000 after paying for a room, travel and meals and that is enough to take me to my boat and back three times -- or some place warm. 

I really doubt that the convention would be of much value to me other than providing a chance to visit with old friends. 

The Internet brings me all the latest information and misinformation that used to be available only at the conventions and then in the trade magazines some time after.

As far as I can see, even after all the turmoil and large expenditures of money since 2006, nothing of real practical value has been learned.  Sure, we have a lot better understanding of many bee phenomena, but I think that the exact same principles and practices that were required for successful beekeeping ten years ago are unchanged.

Scientists and extension people attend conventions and recycle their talks from previous years, generate new acronyms and continue to speculate, but as far as I can tell, there is nothing earth shattering that comes anything near being a magic bullet.

New treatments come out and are hyped, but when the dust settles we find that either they have serious flaws, cannot be proven to have much effect in the real world, do harm to colonies, or have no advantages over existing solutions.

The weather on the Wet Coast is looking poorer daily. I have been thinking of going out, but we'll see.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
 Oscar Wilde

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Wednesday October 23rd 2013
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More bookwork and more outdoor work are in my plans today.  I also expect company for supper.

*   *   *   *

The swimming pool job took several hours. Taking it down is not all that easy.  Finally, it was folded on the ground and ready to put away.  Then I began supper.  Fen and the girls showed up a while later and we had a good supper, then looked at the furnace.  I still have not shoveled the ashes, but must soon.  I'm just wondering how long it can go without.  I'll be looking at the weather history to see if I can predict.  Seems to me that in past falls, I have had to shovel a lot more, but in the past, the studio was heated every morning.

Everybody pities the weak; jealousy you have to earn.
 Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Thursday October 24th 2013
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I am still working on getting my bookkeeping up to date and plan to get outside to finish with the pool and maybe do a little bee work.  The days have been windy lately, making the work tiring.

Vaughan called and has repaired the enclosure on Cassiopeia again.  I'm up to $370 in repairs in the past few weeks.  I can see that this will be a continuing expense, as the boat gets a lot of use and the canopy is tight.  We're expecting the boat to be out again this weekend.

The bookkeeping drags on.  At 1530, the monitors suddenly went black.  I killed the computer before I realized that the power had gone off and the laptop was running on battery.

Anyhow, it was a good excuse to go outside and I did.  First, I folded the pool and then pulled the two shallow supers that are still on hives.  One of the hives sure looked queenless.  It had been made up of two weak hives, so maybe the clusters have no merged?  I don't know.  There are lots of bees.

Bees were in the feed barrel.  It has gone down a bit, but they have yet to take the one 2/3rds-full drum of feed I gave them a month or more ago.

I thought I'd put out another drum but found the forklift cannot lift the tote of syrup and that I'll have to get out the pump,  or at least a hose to fill a tilted drum to lighten the tote.

Stacking up the pool parts took until sundown and I came in for supper and the evening.  Going to Airdrie in late afternoon had been an option, but I did not feel like the 50-minute drive each way and wanted to make use of the good weather.

The fundamental cause of trouble in the world is that the stupid are cocksure
while the intelligent are full of doubt.
 Bertrand Russell

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Friday October 25th 2013
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Snow is expected Sunday, so this is an opportunity to do some yard cleanup.  I should get a leaf blower, so I may go to town at some point.  Until the day warms up, the bookkeeping continues.

There is activity on both the  Honey Bee World Forum and the HoneyBeeWorld List today.

I have had spontaneous nose bleeds lately and just before noon, one started up, so I went to town to see a doctor.   He really was not much help.  At any rate, I did a few other errands while there and returned home.

After that, I did some yard work.

Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.
 George Burns

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Saturday October 26th 2013
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Elijah is coming over this morning to shovel coal and ashes and to blow leaves.

*   *   *   *   *

Elijah started blowing leaves, then discovered that the blower would not keep running.  It was one that I  had bought for a bee blower years ago and I recalled it had problems back then. He discovered that raking was just as easy and spent a few hours raking and hauling leaves.

I had bought an electric blower/vacuum, and assembled it, but decided it is too elaborate for our needs.  I'll take it back.

I did some outdoor tasks.

I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure
that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.
 Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Sunday October 27th 2013
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           WEATHER WARNING IN EFFECT         

Rain changing to snow this morning. Rainfall amount 5 mm. Snowfall amount 5 to 10 cm. Wind northeast 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this afternoon. Temperature falling to minus 4 this afternoon.

I stayed in  all day and cancelled my helper who was to have come at ten.  I could have given him some indoor work, but t at would have kept me busy, too, and I am cleaning up the last of the books.  There are some things I have been putting off, like billing customers and reconciling the charter account, and then there are estate details to manage.

I spent a relaxed day and got s lot done, but it looks like there is no end.

The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs and ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' the pig was 'committed'.

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Monday October 28th 2013
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Today I am waiting to hear when I'll go to Sidney to deliver Cassiopeia to Vancouver. 

The sun is out, the day is bright in spite of fog, and we have about five inches of fluffy snow on the ground.  I see the deer have been in the yard.

Home tidying and paperwork continues.

Meijers came for supper and took Zippy with them when they left, to drop her off at Ruth's on their way by.

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
 Napoleon Bonaparte

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Tuesday October 29th 2013
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I'm set to go to Sidney today.  Earlier would be better and today would be better weather for the trip across to Vancouver, but I am lazy this morning. 

The day is sunny and bright, but the temperature is minus six and there is a 15 MPH SSE wind, making my perch at the south end of the building a cool spot in spite of the solar gain from the big windows.

I know it is much warmer in Sidney, but cloud and rain is predicted for the next few days.

I have a few things to do, then will head to YYC after lunch.  I don't have a ticket and that is strange.  Usually I reserve well in advance, but this time I was waiting for the go-ahead and am going to be a walk-up customer -- almost.  I'll buy a seat online to be sure of the deal, and I found a fare on Air Canada, but wanted to take Westjet due to their larger seats, but it seems the WJ site is not working today.

I managed to book and flew Westjet to YYJ.  I was on the boat by 1900.

It is good to be back.

Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down.
 Jimmy Durante

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Wednesday October 30th 2013
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I discovered that my spinnaker was still in storage on shore, so if I had been thinking of leaving early, that was out.

I bought some groceries, retrieved my sail and am now preparing to cast off.  Where to?  I don't know. 

Any way the wind blows.

I left Sidney around noon, with about six hours of daylight left. A strong southeast breeze carried me out past Dock Island and into Moresby Passage and Swanson Channel. I ran straight downwind at 2 to 5 knots in sun until, at Beaver point, a decision had to be made: go by Ganges, or continue down the channel to Trincomali Channel and then on to Montague. 

I was of two minds.  By then the sun had hidden and rain was starting. The wind was dying and I considered motoring into Ganges for a night at the dock and an evening in town.  Off-season rates make tying up cheap right now, but I am also fully self-sufficient, with a furnace and big batteries.  Ganges would take me two hours out of my way and the wind picked up favoring Montague, so Montague it was.

Crossing Tricomali, the rain began again and the wind dropped.  Visibility was getting poor, so I activated the radar.  Passing Julia Island, the plotter again gave me the same unsettling artifacts resembling tiny islands where there were none that I saw last time I was here, but I knew they were illusory.  For one thing, there were no shallows surrounding them.  For another, they moved when I zoomed.  It just goes to show that even the best plotter cannot be trusted 100%.  I am afraid I am very reliant on it and have a backup handheld on at all times.  I have the paper charts out and ready, too, but seldom use them.

I seldom use the radar and am impressed by how detailed it is.  There is much talk about some boats not showing up, but this radar was showing everything I could see and more.

I motored around Montague, found a ball and settled down for the night, alone in the bay.

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone
who can do him absolutely no good.
 Samuel Johnson

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Thursday October 31st 2013
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Which way today?

I slept in until 0830 and then played around until 1300 hrs.  I had a few things on my to-do list and got started on them  At 1300, I finally decided to get underway with an uncertain destination. 

My progress up Trincomali Channel was slow, all downwind, with only five knots of breeze at best behind me.  Around 1630, I realized I'd better find a place for the night as sundown is at 1800 and there will be no moon.

Wallace Island looked promising and I went so far as to begin entering Conover Cove, but did not like the depths, especially as there were no other boats around and it was just past high tide.  I was fairly sure that the cove was OK, but I really did not want to find out the hard way, all alone at the end of a day. I continued on up to Princess Bay, but a fishing boat with nets spread out was blocking the entrance and I was running out of daylight.

It was now an hour from sunset with no time to waste. I thought of going to Thetis Island Marina, which was barely within  range, but phoned and found they close at six.  No point going there, as it is an hour out of my way and I don't need the dock -- or the expense -- just to sit on my own boat.

Clam Bay was the next best bet.  We anchored there in 2003.  It has good holding, but is open to the SE and the wind is predicted to be from the SE.  No matter, Clam Bay it is.  If it turns out to be exposed, I can motor to the other side.  Even in the dark, the plotter will provide guidance.

I anchored in the fading light and got a set of sorts after several tries.  The first try was a dud and I pulled up the anchor to find weeds, so I tried again.  I'm not getting the kind of set here in the NW I am used to from the Caribbean sand, even with this fancy Rocna, but I suppose it will have to do. 

I'll set an alarm.  If there is any wind, I'll be awake, anyhow.  Now at 2005, there is a breeze from the north and that is my sheltered direction, so I'm OK for now.  I can feel some swell, though, so we'll see how the night goes.

I cancelled my ticket for the Glenmore Yacht Club banquet.  It is Saturday and I cannot see the point in rushing back.   I told my base that I'll be a  day later than originally planned.

All told, today I covered 13.2 nautical miles.  That is hardly two hours of good sailing, but it took me three+ hours of sailing and an hour of motoring.  I enjoyed it, but learned to watch the time and not assume an untried hidey hole will be as expected.  Yes, there are sailboats in the Cove in the picture, but who knows how deep they are and if they are still there at low tide, or if they can get out? 

On the way up the channel, right at high tide, I was listening on channel 16 to some poor guy in a 40-foot power boat who just got stuck on a rock near Pearle Island at Roche Harbor, calling for assistance.  I know the spot.  I would not want to be in his shoes.  If I get stuck, please let it be at low tide.

I have been a bit concerned about the anchor and also tomorrow's plans, so I checked the tides and the weather.  Not much tide tonight, so that is little worry.  The winds tonight and tomorrow are predicted at 5 to 15 from the SE, so I could have some wind.  I should be protected from swells by Kuper Island.  I have my handheld GPS beside me and the alarm is set and tested.  As far as I can see, I have not moved since the wind and tide turned me 180 and swung me into place.  I'll swing twice more during the night.

Seems that gale force winds are predicted for late Saturday, so maybe my plans to hang around the Gulf Islands an extra day or two could be subject to change.  I charted my course to Vancouver for tomorrow and see slack at Porlier is at 0929 and 1500 hrs.  Porlier is a serious pass, and tricky.  I see the currents run up to 5 knots and my boat does 7 max, so so I had best time it right.  It is a half-hour from here, so if I plan to go, I have to leave before 0900.

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

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