Tuesday March 10th
We are in Portsmouth today. The night was very windy and at least one boat dragged anchor. Several dinghies flipped in the gale.
Frank and Kevin went hiking this morning and I stayed home to finish my presentation... and I'm done!
There is talk of leaving today. With this gale, I figure it is folly, but we'll see what they decide.
By noon, the weather had calmed and we had a good passage to Roseau, also on Dominica, tied up to a ball, then went in for a beer and Internet.
Everyone rises to
their level of incompetence.
We got up early, listened to the weather, and cast off for Martinique. The trip was a fairly easy six hours, but I was feeling a bit under the weather, probably due to something I ate. Nonetheless, I kept up with my tasks and by the time we arrived in Port du France, I was feeling myself again.
Our other crew member somehow had injured his knee and was quite subdued today. He took some painkillers which slowed him down and I found that a great relief.
Frank went in to check us in and out of customs, then returned quite a while later with some groceries.
Tomorrow, Rodney Bay on Saint Lucia.
Man is the only
animal that can remain on friendly terms
Thursday March 12th 2015
I was sure the captain said we leave at 0600 today, so I was up and had coffee made and turned on the SSB to listen to the weather. Chris Parker broadcasts Caribbean weather predictions each day at 0600. I did not hear anything, however.
We are anchored at Port de France and headed for Rodney Bay on Saint Lucia. The passage should be about the same as all the others, I suspect, motoring down to the south end of the island, going through gusts and currents, then pounding across the twenty-five miles to the next island and then encountering turbulence and motoring again to the destination. No big deal. All in all, very pleasant and short days compared to my typical eight-hour passage on the West Coast.
We had a comfortable sail over and some of the time, the boat would sail itself with very little input from the helm.
We arrived, fueled up, checked in, and found our slip, then checked in with customs and the marina. We got an Internet code, but Internet is very slow. We hooked up to power, but someone ran over a pedestal and we have no electricity. It seems also that the Internet connection only allows three devices per code, and of course we have about five.
We came in for power and Internet and we sorta have Internet, but still no power.
We got power after an hour or two and the Internet seems better. We're having chili for supper on board.
The most likely way
for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident.
Friday March 12th 2015
I'm up after midnight, having slept four hours after supper. We had chili and I had some red wine with it. The combination has been known to cause me to awake for a few hours in the middle of the night.
Today we will vote and either stay here at Rodney Bay Marina another day or move on to Soufriere, where we will anchor. At this point, we are moving south to get closer to the airport. Both Kevan and I fly out Sunday afternoon and will take a cab from wherever we find ourselves Sunday morning.
I was told there was a blank page where this diary should be yesterday and, sure enough, when I looked I could see that Filezilla had reported success in uploading, but that the file size was zero. Oooops.
I've been up an hour and a half, now, and am getting tired again, so I'll go back to bed now.
Nope, I got distracted and checked for Filezilla updates and, sure enough, here is a new version with, among others, this fix: "...At the end of transfers, errors writing all downloaded data to disk were not always detected". That accounts for a success report, but a zero-byte file having resulted on the receiving end.
Well, I stayed up another half-hour, started Eset, then went back to bed.
The morning dawned sunny and breezy. Everyone slept well.
The scans came up clean, but Eset had issues with my bandwidth monitoring software and removed it. It's probably a false positive, but I seldom use the monitor, so let it pass.
We decided to stay here another day.
I had a swim in the pool, lunch, and a nap and then we prepared to go to the Old Fort and grocery shopping by cab. Along the dock, on the way to the shore, I encountered a water taxi driver and bargained a rate for the afternoon. It was a bit more money than by land, but bound to be an adventure, and besides we are sailors, not land folks.
Ryan took us to the Fort and dropped us, but did not point us to the ticket booth. We headed uphill to the Fort and were soon chased down by two park staff and chided for not buying a ticket. I accompanied one of the ladies to the booth, a long way in the wrong direction, paid, and met the others at the top.
It is a steep climb to the top, especially in Birkenstocks, but I was pleased that I matched or bettered the various younger folk along the climb and did not find myself panting. I did pause a few times to rest a moment, but was not winded. Maybe the exertion inherent in beekeeping and windsurfing over the years pays off in maintaining physical condition, even for years after.
We all met at the top of the hill, walked back down together, had a beer at Jambe de Bois, re-boarded our jitney ,and Ryan took us to the food mart.
We stocked up on food, I paid the $595 EC ($250 CAD) bill, and we are all back on the boat eating wings and garlic toast for supper.
Next we go to the "Jump Up", a Friday night street party in the wrong part of town.
We took a taxi to the centre of Ilet Gros and found the party. It was hard to miss. Several blocks were cordoned off and the streets were jammed with vendors, selling mostly liquors of every sort and barbeque chicken or fish.
We had eaten previously and I figure that drinking in a crowd is not wise, so walked around and watched a while. In the centre of action, a tower of speakers was set up and a DJ was blasting out music. Several young girls began dancing and soon a crowd joined in.
I stuck around a while and caught a cab back to the marina and went to bed. Frank and Kevan came back much later.
If you're ridin'
ahead of the herd, take a look back every
Saturday March 14th 2015
This is my last full day in the Caribbean before I fly to Albany.
We plan to leave the marina when the office opens and anchor at Soufriere today, then Kevan and I take a cab to the airport tomorrow. We leave at around the same time, so that is convenient.
So far this morning, at 0704, I see no signs of the others getting up, so we may be leaving a little later than planned. We'll see.
As mentioned, Internet here is terrible, and I wonder if that is why Windows offered me 25 updates today. Updates are usually on Tuesdays. I'm downloading now. We'll see if they complete.
Weather at home is mild and I imagine the bees are doing well, probably better than if I were there messing with them and fussing. I know that by working on them that I might save a few hives that will die without attention, but that the ones that do survive will survive better without being disturbed.
We were right next to a reef and the current was slight, so it was an easy swim and we snorkeled several times during the day. The reef was better and more varied than some we visited, but not as good as the ones I swan in the BVIs two years back.
Mid-afternoon, we cast off and motored across to look for a better location, but could not find a ball and returned to where we had been and swam again, had pain killers, more snorkeling and supper. Everyone turned in at 2100.
I've done the
calculation and your chances of winning
Sunday March 15th 2015
Kevan and I meet our prearranged taxi to UVF at 1230 on shore, here at Soufirere. We spent the morning snorkeling, cleaning and packing.
We also spent hours searching everywhere for my phone which has disappeared. I had thought that I plugged it in last night at the nav station, but maybe not. At any rate, it was never found in spite of everyone looking everywhere several times. I knew it had to be on the boat or in the water since we never got off the boat, but I could not imagine how it could have fallen overboard. A mystery.
I decided to suspend the phone and also delay my US plan which was set to start tonight about the time I land at ALB, so I needed Internet.
We motored in early and found a cafe with wi-fi, and I spent an hour getting checked in and dealing with my phone problems.
The cafe was empty when I went in, but as soon as I sat down, ordered a Coke and opened my computer, people cam in, turned on a soccer game right behind me and there went my peace and quiet. Anyhow, I got it done.
Our cab had arrived a half-hour early, but he did not know us and we were expecting someone else, so finally, we figured it out and set out for UVF.
It was a long and winding trip down the island, but in a new BMW, so we were in luxury.
When we arrived, we paid the cab, turned around, and Kevan disappeared. The cab driver did not offer me change for the $40 fare from the 50 I handed him and Kevan disappeared. Odd.
I caught my flight and had a pleasant trip to Charlotte, where I am waiting three hours for my flight to ALB. I have Internet and power to recharge, so I am quite content. This gives me a chance to catch up on email and things.
My next flight left for ALB at 2220 and we touched down around twenty after midnight. It was around freezing when I stepped outside, but Aaron was there, idling at the curb, with the heater on, so I did not freeze in my Caribbean attire. Aaron has been dealing with a very bad cold. I hope he is past the contagious stage.
We drove to Round lake, had a beer, and called it a day.
Either you run the
day, or they day runs you
Monday March 16th 2015
I'm in Round Lake today, scheduled to speak at a SABA meeting tonight. I'll be here for the week, with another engagement on Saturday.
At home, I see we are around freezing and there is new snow on the ground, with more promised. at 0918 here, it is still early there so the surveillance camera pictures lack colour. I see the system did not change for daylight savings time.
There is some remaining snow here in NY, and tree bloom is several weeks away.
I had one person express interest in reviewing my "Myths" presentation. It is still a work in progress, due on Saturday.
I worked on the presentation much of the day, partly due to problems related to having used LibreOffice or OpenOffice back in 2012 when doing some updates and improvements. Usually these programs can exchange files both directions with M$ Office, but for some reason, now the presentation will not run properly on M$ Office and I have been moving back to using M$ Office since it is found on all computers at conferences.
We went for supper at 'Augies' and then to the meeting.
The presentation went well.
I think that if you
keep your eyes and your ears open and you are receptive to learning,
Tuesday March 17th
I slept in today. When I got up, I noticed I still have my sea legs.
At home, I see the snow we got yesterday is gone again and that the pond is almost clear of ice, with no fear of overflow. I see a little early morning frost on the west view (right), but not to the south (left).
The forecast was for colder weather, so Aaron and I went out to look at a few hives before the snow hit. The yard was the worst he checked so far. It had been quite good in September when we looked at it. We fed patties to several and combined several others. Just before we finished, the snow came, with a hard wind and small sharp pellets.
The Roku 1 that I ordered for Aaron yesterday on Amazon Prime arrived and we set it up. There is a lot of choice.
I noticed today that my archive link strip was missing two years and corrected that error.
Now 2007 and 2008 are available. I took a break from the diary in 2006, 2007 and 2008, but in 2007 I did post a page with pictures of our trip to the almonds.
Traffic signals in
New York are just rough guidelines.
Wednesday March 18th 2015
I've just about forgotten the Caribbean by now and am settled into Upper New York State for the week. I still have slight sea legs, though.
I slept until 0730 and got to work on the computer. I have one presentation to finish and polish yet and another to review.
I began by posting to the forum.
We spent the rest of the day at computers and watching video, but did go out for lunch at the bakery down the street. It's too cold and windy to look at bees.
If you didn't have
the time or money to do it right in the first place,
Thursday March 19th 2015
We have nothing planned for the day, except Aaron has to bottle honey.
As it worked out, we went out and looked at two yards. There was quite a lot of loss, mostly due to starvation. The hives were quite heavy in September when I last saw them. The hives were lightly wrapped and should have been okay, but Aaron had left hivetop feeders on over winter and I suspect that caused heat loss. The most important winter packing is insulation overhead.
The proud man can
learn humility, but he will be proud of it.
Friday March 20th
Another cold day in Round Lake, not at all spring-like.
Tonight, we have a dinner with SABA members.
Tomorrow is the big day.
Aaron and I went out for lunch and met up with Pat, then went to another bee yard to check hives. Losses were high there, too, with starvation being the most common cause, followed by queen failure.
Aaron and I returned to Aaron's and Karen showed up shortly after. She stayed a while to chat, then left and Dick came by. He followed us out to the dinner location, running a red light along the to keep up, as Aaron was distracted and did not notice the light changing, as he passed through and Dick had no way to find the place if he lost us.
We all arrived without further incident and had an excellent supper. and a good visit with three tables of beekeepers upstairs in the pub.
I ordered malbec and the bottle said malbec, but it was cabernet sauvignon. I knew it, and knew that cabernet sauvignon sometimes gives me insomnia, but drank several glasses anyhow and that explains why I am writing this at 2 AM, hoping to get back to sleep soon.
I remember now that there were a lot of dregs in my glass, so the bottle of wine was probably not the best.
Stoop and you'll be
stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.