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Mom and I are in Victoria, British Columbia.  While I am away,
my friends, my family and I monitor my home by video over the Internet.
So far, it works well.

Monday January 20th 2014
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We start touring seniors' residences today.

We visited one residence in the morning and one in the afternoon.  The plan is to visit a number of them before deciding.  Either one we visited would be fine, but one has no space right now and the other is going to have renovations soon and that will lead to disruptions and noise that can be avoided by going elsewhere.

After the visits, we drove back to the suite, stopping to buy groceries and a basket for her walker.

In the evening, I got an email with a picture of someone's back in my hall and wondered who it was.  I called my friends and found they were over checking the place and all is well.  That is Maddy watering the plants.

The surveillance system records any activity and sends me a picture by email when it detects motion, but I have it set to send only one picture every ten minutes during any activity so  my email does not get flooded.  There is also a lag before it snaps, so a person can walk through the field of view and be gone by the time the picture is taken.  That does not really matter, though, as I can view the entire video footage online, starting before the motion and continuing a while after.  It is a bit of bother, though and I find it just easier to call and ask.

Why was I born with such contemporaries?
Oscar Wilde

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Tuesday January 21st 2014
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We started the day with a call from Mom's doctor, then drove to The Berwick seniors' residence.  From the promotional material online, it has sounded a bit snooty, but the place is new and beautiful and Mom likes it, so we made a commitment for her to move in.

From there we went to Fisherman's' Wharf for lunch on the dock and fed the seals, then returned to the hotel.  We are both exhausted and I slept the afternoon away.

I now plan to go to Vancouver to the Boat Show.  I have friends and contacts there, and like to see what is on display.  Whether to go by bus or by boat is the question, and when.  We are waiting.

I was still tired in the evening and went to bed early.

My Grandmother is over eighty and still doesn't need glasses.
Drinks right out of the bottle.
Henny Youngman

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Wednesday January 22nd 2014
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Today I'll clean up some odds and ends of tasks and hopefully get to my boat.

*    *    *    *    *

We did get out to Sidney and Mom made it out to the boat with her walker but would not risk getting on board.  I leaned that a diver had noticed that Cassiopeia has a scrape down below. 

That mystifies me as I was the only one to use the boat, other than Dave, the head of maintenance, who took her out or a test run after the drydock to test the new propeller. 

I went up to Snug Cove and Gibsons and the only incident I can recall is a difficult docking at Gibsons.  It was not my best landing ever, and the fenders worked hard, but don't believe the hull hit the dock.  Even then, an impact then would have scuffed above the waterline.  I have no idea how damage could have occurred under the water. I'm waiting for the pictures from the diver, but they are making excuses, saying their computer is acting up.

From there we went to the nearby waterfront pub for lunch.  I had prawns and the best Caesar salad I've had in memory.

We returned to the suite and had supper here.  We're waiting to hear from Berwick on when Mom can move in.

Anyone can get old, all you have to do is live long enough.
Groucho Marx

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Thursday January 23rd 2014
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The dive report came in.  Still no picture.

"As previously stated in our conversations. The vessel is not seriously damaged. Certainly not to the extent that it was last summer. It has been in contact with something hard. The scrape is approximately 10 inches long, it is on the lower edge of the keel. Depth of this scrape at the deepest point might be 1/2 inch. As for the decision to remove the vessel and repair it again, this is always in the prerogative of the owner. As for the vibration, there is no damage to the prop and it looks like new. There is no reason this vessel cannot be moved.

"The vessel is not seriously damaged." is reassuring, but  "Certainly not to the extent that it was last summer." is much less so.  After that incident which occurred during a charter, the boat had to be hauled, and some serious glass work was required.  We'll see.

*    *    *    *    *

Well, here is the picture. It appears to be the bottom tip of the boat's keel, but it is hard to say exactly where on the keel it is, forward, or back.

It is hard to tell much as the image is blurry and does not show the whole area.  There is a small chip in the paint and filler on the bottom of the keel, too.  I really don't know what the cause is.  Could it be an old repair flaking off?  Or a light brush against something hard?  Could it be from the pressure of sitting on the keel at drydock?

*    *    *    *    *

Mom and I had lunch at her favourite tea house on Menzies then we drove by another seniors residence to take a look and returned to the suite for a rest.  We are both tired from the trip and the dislocation.

I called Berwick again, spoke with Helen, and learned that Mom can move in tomorrow.  We go over at ten.  That will be a big change from the pressure of the past two weeks.  We can relax.  I'll go to the boat show and Mom can start making new friends.

Joan, my brother's wife, called and we are going out for supper tonight.  We had planned to stay in, but we are glad to see her.  She works right across the road from where we are staying and has a busy schedule.

While we eating, my friends were at my place having supper, checking the furnace and visiting my grateful, lonely cat.  My cameras sent me a picture of Elijah shoveling coal in the bin. (right).

I send the dog to visit friends while I'm away, but relocating a cat is much trickier, so Amos stays in the house alone.  He is normally quite solitary, but likes to visit with people several times a day and be petted.

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life.
 Laughing at someone else's can shorten it.
Cullen Hightower

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Friday January 24th 2014
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Mom moves into The Berwick Royal Oak this morning.  I move onto my boat.  She has been out of her house since the 8th.  I have been travelling since the 10th, two weeks ago.

I had two glasses of red wine with supper last night and was up for an hour or two in the night. 

I have been sleeping better lately and, although I sometimes have congestion, it has not been as severe as it got last fall, and is not having much effect on my sleep. 

I have not had wine (or any alcohol) for a while and it is interesting how even two glasses affect me.

I don't mind being awake in the middle of the night.  It gives me a chance to do some work and catch up, as I am wide awake.

At 0330, I went back to bed and slept soundly until  morning

The day started with a phone call to Servicemaster regarding a pocket door and replacement flooring.

We then packed and drove to Berwick Royal Oak where Mom filled in some forms and moved in to her room.  We had lunch and I was on my way to Sidney.

I arrived at C22 at 1400, with three hours until sunset.  I had some provisioning to do, so went uptown, came back, got a parking pass for now until until Wednesday, and prepared to cast off. 

I was almost frantic to get away from land and pulled out at 1515 without belaying or stowing every last item.  It was a huge relief to get away and relax as I motored into the slight breeze.  The sun warmed the cockpit enclosure and I was quite comfortable in shirtsleeves.

With less than two hours until sunset, I could not make Montague, and headed for Fulford.  Any distance made good in the right direction will count tomorrow.   I'd like to get to Vancouver around noon.

As the sun sank toward the horizon, the breeze turned cool and I bundled up.  Motoring in the last mile, I called Bruce and invited him and Karen for supper. 

We met at the Rock Salt Restaurant only steps away from where I am tied up and had a good visit.  I was quite surprised at the menu and the quality of food in this small dockside venue.

I invited Bruce to join me for the trip to Vancouver, but he decided to take a rain check.

Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error.
Benjamin Disraeli

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Saturday January 25th 2014
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I'm up at 0500, snug in my boat at the Fulford Harbour dock, waiting for first light.  With no cellular data, I am without my usual easy online sources of sunrise/sunset data and may have to crack a book. I'm quite sure that the currents at Active Pass are light this morning and that I can go through anytime.  I'd like to get to Vancouver as early as possible.

*   *   *   *   *

At 1710, an hour before sunrise, there was enough light to cast off and I motored out of Fulford Harbour towards Active Pass.  I was comfortably warm in the enclosure even though there was frost on the life lines.

 

Halfway through the Pass, I encountered a fog bank.  Expecting it was just a cloud, I started the radar and Boat Beacon on my phone and continued.   The radar shows large objects like boats and land in the fog and Boat Beacon provides AIS receiving and sending functions.

The fog was more than just a cloud and blanketed my route as far as the Fraser mouth, dropping visibility to a few hundred yards.  I was grateful for radar and my AIS apps on my phone and tab.  At one point a powerboat sped past at 30 knots less than a quarter mile away, invisible to me in the fog.  I could hear and see ships passing and heard fog horns blowing at various points of the compass.   I blew blasts on my own air horn.

Just as I emerged from the fog into bright sunlight, one radar target I was tracking passed me only 300 yards away, travelling at six knots, and strain as I might, I saw nothing.  It could have been a small boat like me, or a large craft.  I'll never know as It did not show on the AIS.

I arrived at False Creek, motored in, and circled, looking for Raven Magic.  I had been advised to raft up to the trawler, but was not told where she was, other than Fisherman's Wharf.  Finally, I phoned Colin, followed his direction, and found her. 

She was rafted to another trawler across from the Travelift .  After several passes, I managed to come neatly alongside and tie up.  Either there was a strong current off the dock or my boat has more propwalk than I have previously noticed.  Now I am rafted to a rafted boat at a public dock.

The wharfinger came down and wanted to charge me $1.50 a foot -- $64 -- but I had my Cooper hat on and told him that this boat is part of the Cooper fleet and that we were displaced from our normal berths by the Boat Show.  I said I did not know what deal our boss had made, but the whole Vancouver Cooper fleet is at this dock and no one had said Cassiopeia would have to pay.  That satisfied him, so here I am -- tied up for free at a busy commercial fishing marina, for as long as I like -- or until the Show is over and the fleet is taken back across to the normal berths.

I walked to GI and begged a Show pass from the Cooper Boating office, then walked the docks and looked at the new boats.  The fog rolled in and the temperature dropped, so I caught a ride with Colin to the Stadium for the indoor part of the Show.

The Show is huge and I covered maybe 25%, superficially, and at 2030 I had had enough and caught the shuttle back to Granville Island, where I had a beer ($10) and walked to my boat, watched an episode of Covert Affairs, and went to bed.

Middle age is when you've met so many people that every
new person you meet reminds you of someone else.
Ogden Nash

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Sunday January 26th 2014
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At 0830, I woke up and looking out, I see fog.  I'll be walking over to Granville Island from my position here on Fisherman's Wharf, to have breakfast and to shuttle over to the Boat Show.

I called Mom and she is settling in okay but, I think she is a bit homesick.

Before noon, I walked to the Island, visited with Colin a while and took the sea jitney to the Stadium.  Around four-thirty I realised that the Show was ending and returned to the Cooper booth to help pack up.  We all drove back to the office and I went for a beer at the Brewery, then supper and a beer at Cats.  Supper was a rice bowl with veggies served with chopsticks.  They offered me a fork and I took it just in case, but what the heck, chopsticks work just fine -- as long as you don't try to eat like an Englishman.

From there, I went to the improv Festival at the Vancouver Improv Centre, right nearby on the Island, then returned home to my boat.

He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age,
but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.
Plato

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Monday January 27th 2014
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What to do today?  I'm thinking Silva Bay.

*    *    *    *    *

Nope.  Just before noon, I cast off for Bowen Island.  BI seemed the logical choice as it is the same distance from Sidney as Vancouver and Sidney is my destination tomorrow.  Mom is homesick, wants some items from stores, and is generally a bit lonely.

The two-hour trip was though dense fog and this time the radar was not working quite as well.  I was seeing illusary targets and the ones I did track seemed to jump around.  I'm going to have to read the manual.

I arrived at Snug Cove, tied up at A1, and walked up to Doc Morgan's pub.  Supper was two beers and fish and chips.  Not exactly what the doctor recommends, but just what this doctor (me) ordered.

I went back to the boat and looked at the Espar heating system, now that I spoke with the expert.  I was also going to research the alternator, and did study the circuits a bit, but felt uninspired about measuring voltages on the boat and watched Netflix for an hour and a half.  Basically everything regarding the Espar and the charging system is just fine.  Something I did notice though is that the cold air return is via the bilge and that can explain some smells I encountered previously.

The reason I go to the Boat Show now is not so much to buy things, but find it a good place to spend time with suppliers and repairmen.  (And, yes, they all seem to be men). 

I got to spend time off the clock with the guy who has billed me a thousand dollars for service calls to learn why my Espar has been costing money.  I also had a chance to talk to the electrical surveyor I hired when I bough the boat who had told me  the Volvo Penta D2-55 voltage regulator was internally sensing.  I bought a Echo Charge on that (mis)information and discovered that this alternator has remote sensing at the battery bank, contrary to what he had said.

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
Henry Mencken

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Tuesday January 28th 2014
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I slipped the lines and set off for Sidney at first light.  My early departure means arriving at Active Pass a bit early and during the flood, but the flood is minor and I expect maybe two knots against me.  I like to allow plenty of daylight for a trip like this.

There was little wind, and what there was was on the nose, so I motored directly to the Pass.  The trip under overcast skies was uneventful and I had lots of time to think and read.  I discovered along the way why my radar and chart plotter were not in agreement.  I had thrown some odds and ends into the starboard aft cabin and some metal items were near the flux gate compass all day yesterday.  I moved them and things returned to normal.

I did arrive at the Pass early and motored through.  Predictions were for a maximum of two knots against me and I encountered little turbulence.

The rest of the trip was uneventful and I pulled into the marina at 1530.   I motored to C22, and found another boat in my slip.  I called in and was assigned a space on the end of E dock. Once tied up, I hooked up the power, but found the reverse polarity light came on.  I reported that to the dock crew and they were slow to believe that the dock wiring was at fault.  They said two other boats were on the same circuit, no problem.  I said, yes that is a problem and not with my boat.  They checked and sure enough the other two boats showed reverse polarity, too.  They did something and soon the light went off.  Thus, a dangerous situation was rectified.

I drove over to see Mom. She had been sounding unhappy, but after a short visit, she seemed to be cheered up.  We agreed to go shopping tomorrow.

So, I'm tied up at the outer end of E Dock.  It's a long walk from the exit.

My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better,
they don't know anything at all.
Oscar Wilde

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Wednesday January 29th 2014
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I slept soundly, rousing slightly occasionally to the sound of heavy rain on the coachroof during the night.  For some reason, I experienced very little congestion overnight.  There just seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.

Mom and I went shopping today for some small appliances and groceries. The morning was rainy, but the sun came out in the afternoon.  She seems much happier now that the heat is working properly in  her room.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable,
but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw

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Thursday January 30th 2014
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I have nothing pressing this morning.  I plan to take it easy and do a few odd jobs.  One is to tackle the compasses.  The two do not agree and I have been told there is no way to adjust them.  We'll see.

I didn't do much of anything memorable today, but I did decide to go home by Sunday.  As can be seen from the forecast image above, the weather at home is not at all attractive.

The advice of their elders to young men is very apt to be
as unreal as a list of the hundred best books.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Friday January 31st 2014

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Mom and I go to look at flooring samples today, then I am free and will fly home soon.  First, I have to swing the compasses, though and do a few more odds and ends of work on the boat.

Mom and I went to look at hardwood flooring today so we can confirm her selection to the home renovation crew at home.  We also went by the Shoppers Home Healthcare store to look at walkers, etc.

We had lunch at the Howard Johnsons next to her residence and I dropped her off at home, then returned to the boat.

I began work on the compasses and discovered one was missing a part.  Apparently they sometimes come from the factory defective.  At any rate, I am missing a tiny adjustment magnet.  A trip uptown did not find one or a source, either.  I bought some small magnets at Home Hardware and figure I may be able to jury-rig something.  One of the twin compasses seems accurate, but the other is "off".

I fiddled with the compasses until the day began to grow cold.  I'm not sure I know how to do this compass job, but I'll figure it out.  Pros charge up to $500 to do this job, so it is worth some of my time.

After an early supper, I watched an episode of Republic of Doyle and went to bed around 1900 hours.

Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men;
for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools,
but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise.
Cato the Elder

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