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Tuesday January 20th 2015

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This is my last day to get things done here before I fly, and I have a list.  The washing machine is still awaiting repair, so I am hoping the part comes today, while I am here.

I've missed mild weather in Alberta and I seem it continues this week, but I'll be in BC.  Here, the weather has been ten degrees colder than home most of the time.

Mom lost a hearing aid and we went to the audiologist to get her measured for a replacement, then retuned to 1207.

The part came for the washing machine and Imran brought it over, installed it and charged me $20 labour, plus part, plus tax.  The competition wanted $85 just to show up.  I was very pleased, and now I am washing clothes for my next trip.

I'm packing and getting ready to go.

Bill will come early tomorrow to help me stack back up the washer and drier and to do several other small fixes.

Authenticity requires a certain measure of vulnerability, transparency, and integrity
Janet Louise Stepenson

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Wednesday January 21st 2015

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I woke up at 0500 and had a hot shower.  Hot showers first thing in the morning are amazing.  I tend to be groggy sometimes and a good shower wakes me right up. Next, I stripped the bed and put in a last wash before I go.  Thank goodness the washing machine works again!  Two things to be grateful for first thing.  I suppose I should be grateful for the journey ahead, but it will be a long day and a jump into another world.

Makes me think of the old TV series, Quantum Leap with Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell.  (The Stockwells were/are? a well-known Arizona beekeeping family, BTW).

Bill is coming over after 0800 and I want to be packed and ready.  We have to re-stack the washer and drier and do a few other chores and then leave by 1015.

I have decided it is time to start working on selling The Old Schoolhouse.  I had been wondering how to get rid of the accumulation of almost five decades and then I remembered the farm auction. 

I always wondered why farmers, when retiring, would just put everything up for sale for whatever chance would bring them and now I am beginning to understand why they would take pennies on the dollar.  At a certain point, just being free is worth more than money.  Life is short.

I'm not going to rush, but I am starting on a plan that may take years.  In the meantime, I will work on making sure that owning the place does not pin me down as it has recently.

I see that the weather in Alberta continues to be amazing, with plus eleven predicted six days out.

Bill came over and we re-stacked washer and drier and pushed them into their cabinet, tested them and headed for YSB.

AC 7808 left on schedule at 1145 and seven and a half hours later I was walking to catch the Skytrain at YVR. 

The train dropped me at the Olympic Village station fifteen minutes later.  The number 50 bus came along shortly and minutes later I was walking onto Granville Island.  I found Cassiopeia rafted to a Hanse 47 right by the Farmers Market. 

I made myself comfortable and went for supper in the Market. Returning to the boat at 1800, I debated whether to go to the theatre -- there are five within a block or two -- a bar, write something, or have a rest.

I made the bed, lay down and went to sleep.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
Emelia Earhart

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Thursday January 22nd 2015

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I slept eleven hours and woke up early.

I had a bit of fruit from the market to last me until breakfast when the Market opened at 0900, or so I thought.  When I got there, I found they opened at 0800.  I had an omelet, then walked to the Cooper Boating office.  I had a chat with the maintenance manager and since one of the staff was going to my boat to service the winches, I went along to see how it was done.  At 1030, Colin and others were driving to the Dome, so rode along. I spent the day at the Show taking in the seminars and exhibits.  This show is maybe 20% the size of the Toronto show, but huge, just the same. 

At 2000 the show was over for the day and one of the staff and I walked down the False Creek Ferry to ride back to Granville Island.  On the way across, she discovered that she had lost her keys and would not be able to get into the office, her car, or her condo.

About then, her phone ran out of battery.  She borrowed mine and made some calls.  We arrived at GI and since it was raining, ducked into the Backstage Bar to wait for answers.  Meantime she borrowed a charger. 

Colin was almost home, but backtracked to the office and discovered her keys there, so all was well.   I returned to my boat, only 100 yards away from the bar, and went to bed.

There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
Nelson Mandela

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Friday January 23rd 2015

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I notice that the congestion that bothered me last year is returning.  I may also have a bit of a cold, but I took a Sudafed and slept well.  I don't like to take these drugs, though, since recent studies have associated their use with early dementia.  At this point, that information is somewhat sketchy, but nonetheless...

It'd raining again this morning.  I'll have breakfast, spend some time here on the boat, then go over to the Show again for the day.

I had breakfast and walked over to the office, then to the shuttle and to the Dome.  I stayed there until around 1530 and returned to the Island to walk the docks.

At 1630, I returned to the office and chatted with Aaron and Jeny, then had an excellent taco salad for supper at The Market and returned to the boat.

I simply cannot believe the weather at home.  It is raining and above freezing -- and this mild weather is predicted to continue.

In the forum, the regulars are debating whether it is wise to suggest creativity or inventiveness to second-year beekeepers.  Join in.  Along the same line, we are still accumulating a list of beekeeping myths.  I'm sure we are just scratching the surface and we have at least ten obvious ones.

The stories we tell literally make the world.
If you want to change the world, you need to change your story.
This truth applies both to individuals and institutions.
Michael Margolis

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Saturday January 24th 2015

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The congestion I experienced last year has returned over the past week, interrupting my sleep at night.  I also have a dry cough at the end of the day, and I still have not been able to pin down the cause.

The rain warnings continue here in  Vancouver, and at home, the snow has been melting away. (right)

Alberta weather is quite balmy for January.  So far, we have not blown snow from  the driveway even once.  Last year, we had deep snow and had to clear the driveway numerous times.

Some people will blame this warm spell on "Climate Change", but this winter is not unusual in my recollection.  I have spent 46 winters in Swalwell, and this winter is more like the winters we had several decades back.  I recall how we were often unable to hold our curling bonspiel on natural ice due to weeks of weather so warm the sheets melted.  I also recall the years when the bonspiel was held on nights when the mercury dropped to minus forty...

   
Pictures from last winter around this time

I'll be here in Vancouver a few more days, but this will be my last day at this boat show. Tomorrow, I'll visit my brother and his family.

Next week, Colin is talking about driving down to the Seattle Boat Show and after that, I'm planning to make an overnight trip to Snug Cove.

I talked to my Mom on the phone just now and she asked if I have a cold.  I guess my voice is different.  If I do, that would explain the stuffiness.  Oddly, I don't experience congestion during the day and my nose is not blocked.  In fact, it my nose is clear and the only hint that something may be happening is that it drips occasionally when I lean forward.

I also spoke with Carolyn and she says that Amos ran out of food and she had to fill his dish. 

I guess I have been gone longer than I thought.  I went to Sudbury on the 6th and today is the 24th, so I've been gone 18 days.  At present, it appears I will be home Friday, so that will total three and a half weeks away.

I walked over to the Market for breakfast and then on to the office where I met up with Aaron and Jeny.  We drove to the Dome and went to the booth.  Then Aaron and I drove to Coal Harbour where we looked at a boat Aaron and Colin want someone to buy.  I looked it over and that someone is not me.  The boat is newer and bigger, but for sale for double what I paid for mine and I don't like this one half as much.  No sale.

We went back to the office and I walked the docks, then we drove back to the Dome and hung out there a while, took in some seminars and by five I was ready to catch the shuttle to Granville Island again.  I've now spent five days at boat shows and Thursday Colin and I are going to Seattle to take that boat show in as well.

I had supper at The Market and came back to the boat to organize my thoughts.  Tomorrow, I will spend with my brother and family and then Monday I'll be back on G dock with nothing to do but organize some upgrades and maybe sail a bit.

I checked the flights home since Westjet has a 24-hour sale.  The prices are 50% higher than when I checked before the 'sale'.  I think I will wait and buy a ticket last-minute.  The price won't be much, if any higher.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand;
they listen with the intent to reply.
Stephen R. Covey

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Sunday January 25th 2015

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Today I visit my brother, but I'll start with breakfast at The Market first.

In Swalwell, I see it is windy and warm this morning.  On the cameras, it looks like spring, but I know we have a few more cold months ahead.

I was asked for some pictures from 2014 and shared this folder online. Many of them are already shown in the 2014 diary.

I had breakfast and then cast off the lines and motored out of False Creek for a sail on English Bay.  There was a fresh northwest breeze on the Bay and I pulled out all the sail.

As usual on any decent day, the Bay was crowded with small craft, and the usual freighters were anchored all around the Bay, meaning I had to be on constant watch for boats changing course and crossing my path.  Sunday races were on and a fleet of sailboats with spinnakers flying presented me with an obstacle course.

I prefer the open sea, but it takes and hour to get out of English Bay and my intent was to just sail two or three hours.

Cassiopeia, in spite of being a cruiser and with a reduced mainsail area due to the furling main, and my inattention to sail trim, managed to sail faster than some of the racers.

They say whenever two sailboats are within sight of one another and going the same direction a race is on.  Having other boats around to compare to improves any sailor's performance.

I returned to my position at Granville Island, and casually rafted up to the Hanse 47 again.  That tricky maneuver -- fitting the forty-two foot boat between two others single-handed with an outgoing tide and fair breeze, and with only six feet to spare -- went off well and I had to think how much I have learned in the two years I have owned this boat.

From there, I caught the shuttle to The Dome and spent the afternoon there.  I returned to Granville Island in time to meet Carling and ride to Ron's for supper.  We visited a few hours and she dropped me off at my boat around 2200.

The art of conversation lies in listening.
Malcom Forbes

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Monday January 26th 2015

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In Swalwell, the warm trend continues.  If the forecast holds, I'll get home just in time for the cold weather to resume.  Very little snow remains and the pond has flooded itself.

 

Here in Vancouver, we are promised another dry day with a little sun.

I have some work to do returning Cassiopeia to her slip and arranging some repairs, but mostly I am hanging around until the trip to Seattle this Thursday.

I returned her to the assigned slip, and was

It is sunny today and downright hot for a guy who was out kite-sailing on frozen lakes at minus ten and colder a week ago.

I should have bought groceries when I arrived, but with the rain I was not too anxious to go for a walk.  Today, I went to Alfie's No Frills and bought some provisions for the coming days.   I love shopping for food, but today the job is not easy since I will be alone and I eat less these days.  I found myself putting food back on the shelves.

When I was done, I had a heavy knapsack, but figured some wine would be nice, so I walked another mile up Granville and added  more weight to my pack.

Then I went back to the boat and zipped up the enclosure so I can sit in comfort and watch the sun go down.  At the moment, I am frying chicken.

Joe had heard from a dealer that Pierco and Acorn are made from different plastics, so I called Nick.  Nick was in charge of Pierco before he left and started Acorn a while back, so he was able to assure me that the products are made of the same material.  He also explained that he is working to make his product the best on the market using customer feedback as a guide.

Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.
Judy Garland

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Tuesday January 27th 2015

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I have work to do today, but I think I'll take a cruise to Snug Cove.  It's an easy three hours sail from here and much of the work I can do at the keyboard anywhere.

At 0600, I checked the forecast and the best winds are expected this morning, so I'll prepare and leave by 0900.

I left the docks at 0902, motored out to the bay and raised the sails.  The wind was light and directly behind me, but picked up and carried me to Snug Cove by noon.

I checked in at the Union Steamship Marina and walked up town, then visited in the cockpit with a sailor who had pulled up behind me at the dock.

I'm wearing a cotton track suit with a  $30 Wal-Mart shell jacket and pants over top.  The weather is mild and I find I am too warm more often than too cool.  I brought a heavy fleece and a winter jacket along, but find not need for them.

I was planning on going to Doc Morgan's for supper, but decided that I should eat up my groceries and had supper on board and went to bed early.

If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following:
anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage,
 blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.
Brene Brown

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Wednesday January 28th 2015

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I slept through to 0521, got up and had breakfast. 

Today, I return to Vancouver.  The plan is to drive to Seattle tomorrow with Colin.

The wind forecast does not look too promising, so I may be motoring much of the way.

I worked on the maintenance list for Cassiopeia and lubed the toilet pumps.  (That job takes ten minutes annually and saves $100 in expense per head. That is $200 for ten minutes' work or $1,200/hour.)

Then Dave came down and we discussed maintenance and upgrades.

After, I went for a walk and bought the cheapest bottle of red wine at the snobbish wine store here on this trendy island, returned to my boat, ate supper, reserved a flight home Saturday, and invited my friends over for supper Sunday night at The Old Schoolhouse.

Remember teamwork begins by building trust.
And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.
Patrick Lencioni

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Thursday January 29th 2015

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I got up at 0500, had breakfast, and walked up to the car that Colin had left for me and drove to the bus  loop in Langley where I met up with Colin for the drive to Seattle.

We followed Interstate 5 south to Seattle, arriving at the Boat Show around theopening and spent the day there, with a shuttle bus side trip to the floating show in the afternoon.  We stayed until the show closed at 2000, we found our car in the parkade and made the three-hour trip back to Vancouver.

I defogged my car windows -- it's a hybrid, so I had to figure out how -- and drove back to Granville Island.  When I reached the security gate to the dock ramp, I discovered that I do not have the gate combination.  Maybe the one I had used previously had expired.  Colin did not respond to a text, but fortunately I remembered that I know a back way in.

That work-around involves climbing fifteen feet down a wet chain ladder at low tide in the semi-dark and stepping across a two-foot gap over frigid water onto the dock with my hands full.

By this time at night, after seventeen hours constantly on the go, I was feeling my age, but I managed task the without mishap and returned to Cassiopeia, turned on the heat, went to bed, and pulled up the covers.

If you haven't done much giving in your life-try it and see how you feel afterwards.
Michelle Moore

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Friday January 30th 2015

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I slept soundly and awoke at 0730.

At 1000, I drove to get groceries and a USB power supply.  I returned at noon and did a P&L for my boat.  As suspected, revenue was down by a third last year.

Then I took a walk and bought some flowers and returned to catch up on deskwork.  I meet Ron at 1900 to have supper at the Arbutus Club.

We drove to the club and had supper, then returned to GI.  I had no problems with the gate this time.

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
Benjamin Franklin

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Saturday January 31st 2015

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At 0525, I found I was wide awake and I also realised that a number of issues I had been mulling for months had clarified overnight. 

I got up and had breakfast and coffee, but a half-hour later, I was dead-tired and went back to bed until I awoke again at 0815.

I see we have a fresh fall of snow at home (right).  Maybe the skiing will be good.

Today, I fly out at 1605, so my day's tasks are to pack and tidy. 

If things go as planned, I should be in my van in Airdrie by 1800, go grocery shopping, and be home by 2000.

I'll need groceries for tomorrow as I am expecting the usual suspects for supper.

Everything went as planned and I arrived home shortly after 2000.  The walk was shoveled and the cat was glad to see me. I've been away since the sixth of the month, twenty-five days.

It's good to home again.

We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
May Sarton

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