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Drones are almost ready to emerge.

Sunday Saturday May 10th 2014

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I have three four full days before I leave for a week.  Can I get everything done by then?  Probably not.

> Your diary says it is Sunday. But it is Saturday. Not a big deal. I hope you are doing well.

Thank Goodness!  I lost day and just got it back.  Am I doing well?  I'm starting to wonder <G>.

Forum activity has really picked up lately. Check it out! (This link to a 'most recent' search only works if you are registered and signed into the forum.  If not, use this one.)

Yesterday, I intended to start on the forklift, and, indeed I did lie under it for a few minutes, studying the job, then went to find my tools.  When working on a job outside, I hate having to run in and out for tools, so thought I'd take a completes set of everything I'll need.

My wrenches are a mess.  I have about five or six sets of box ends and the same number of socket sets all mixed up.  I thought I had a complete socket set but could not find it, so began sorting.  I soon gave up and went out and cut wire for my ham radio antenna. 

That job is something else that I have been putting off and seeing as one end of the old ham radio antenna I am duplicating was tied to the forklift as a handy anchor point so I could stretch it out and measure it seemed somehow logical to get that job out of the way.   That took longer than expected.

I never did get back to the forklift job.  That is for today.  I will be working by myself and am wondering how I'll lift the transmission down and the new one up without help.  I don't have a transmission jack.  I've done this job before, but I am not as strong, or as stubborn as I once was, and I usually had an assistant.

The bees were taking feed from the drums yesterday when I checked.  Every day I put off splitting or reversing is a day the hives are building up.  I see no signs of swarming yet, but drones are emerging...

I'm realizing that my heart is not really into keeping this many bees or into selling hives on a schedule.  I am putting pressure on myself and should not be.  Having a hundred or so people wanting hives from me as soon as possible makes me feel I should work harder.  But I don't.  I just worry harder.

There are easier ways to do what I am doing, so I am going to have to streamline things.  Having a forklift is pretty well essential.

Lat year, Meijers brought over some supers and when they were full, I took them off, put them on a pallet and they took them away.  That solved the honey problem.  I also sent some newly drawn Pierco frames for extraction, but the uncapping process ripped up the tender comb and I decided that is not an answer.

They say now that they won't have extra supers this year, so I have to find another plan.  I have quite a lot of older drawn comb, but the combs are not flat.  I really should run them thru an uncapper, but don't have one.  I'm also thinking that I should use boxes of foundation under the splits instead of drawn comb.  Keeping the hives from getting honeybound is always a problem if I don't extract. 

Honey is such a nuisance. 

Our favourite "Bee Scientist" (not) is at it again.  See if you detect the fallacies and oversights in his latest attempt to drag science and Harvard into disrepute.

Here is some more hard-hitting BS (Bee Science) of at least equal value..

After noon, I got under the forklift and drained the pan.  Right about then the wind picked up and rain began to fall.  Maybe it was snow, but things got cold and I went inside for a while and had  a nap.

I'm seeing dandelions blooming today.  They are still small, but they are coming out fast.

The afternoon turned out to be alternately blustery and calm.  Between showers I went to work on the forklift. 

The replacement transmission I have is not the same as the defective one in place currently.  I'm told the replacement will bolt up, but the shape is different and the rear mount will need to be altered.  Although I could have just tried to drop the transmission and fit the new one, I decided the job would go much better if I did some chassis alterations and cleaning first, so I cut out some tin  that was in the way with my handy Sawzall and pressure washed the deck.  I may need to do some oxy-acetylene cutting to fit the new transmission and the grease build-up could have been a fire hazard.

By the time that was done, it was already after six and I called it a day.  I have been very tired lately.  I'm afraid I've let myself get out of shape. 

The sleep problem has not helped in that regard.  I'm beginning to realize that the two are related and form a vicious circle.  I am coming to think the congestion may be related to shallow breathing which is partly a result of lack of aerobic exercise and the lack of aerobic exercise is partly a result of lack of energy, which is partly related to poor sleep.  It takes will power to break out of this cycle.

Can I blame only shallow breathing?  I used to smoke 3 packs a day.  I worked in the mines.  I worked in the smelter with S02 so thick I could hardly see 100 yards at times.  I taught welding and at the end of the day, if I blew my nose, out came tar.

Then I made candles for a living with dense wax fumes in the air. I almost killed myself tuning vehicles indoors.  After that came woodworking and all that fine dust.  I followed all this with coal smoke from stoves and furnaces and more welding. 

Then, with beekeeping, came clearing up deadouts with toxic molds and fungi that develop in dead bee dust. 

I'm sure I forgot a few other insults to my lungs.  Back then living to 60 seemed a remote possibility.  I live(d) in the now.

It's a wonder I can still breathe at all, but I can.  So far.

Even though I saw an ENT and he examined my sinuses, nobody has yet been able to explain why I get congested after a few hours of sleep.  The problem is less pronounced and sometimes absent with the CPAP machine and humidifier, but still there.  With CPAP, if it happens, it is in my nose, but without CPAP and the humidifier, it was in the upper sinuses.

My Internet is down again.  It went down at 1830 and did not come back on before bedtime.  I watched some Netflix on my phone.  That costs money and is a nuisance when I am already paying for Airenet, but Airenet was down and I felt like watching something.  I watched an episode of Republic of Doyle and one of Covert Affairs.  Both are silly and light.  I like light entertainment.

Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.
 Friedrich von Schiller

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Sunday May 11th 2014

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Internet is still down this AM.  I'm beginning to think these guys at Airenet couldn't  run a lemonade stand, let alone an ISP.  I quit them years back, but came back to them after they had a year or so of almost perfect performance as the alternate I used at the time was more costly.

Airenet has become flakey again lately.  There are more competitors these days and some of my friends have switched to another ISP.  I may follow, but there is a cost to switching and I have been away a lot, so it has not mattered -- other than when I repeatedly found my remote surveillance disconnected at random times without explanation when I checked it from B.C. or Ontario.

I've decided to take the pressure off myself and just take my time working with the bees.  There is no rush. People will just have to wait.

There is a good article on hauling package bees in the forum today.

After deciding I am out of shape, I did the one-mile walk and proved my suspicions are correct.  Too much sitting.  I'll have to start an exercise routine and stick to it.

Later, I went out to work on the forklift and cleaned off the truck deck, screwed the pan back on the new tyranny and decided I would rather work on bees.

I worked thru the "South of the Hedge" yard and wound up with nine hives.  I found another drone layer (left) and just combined it with another hive.  The bees are queenless, but look healthy.

One thing this yard has shown to me (again) is this: If in doubt about hives in the fall, just stack them up.  The resulting hive will really rock in spring.  The proof is on the left in this picture (right).

The birds are back.

Although I am sitting here on my deck, looking at the ducks, the redwings, the larks, the pigeons, the robins, and the muskrat, with my cat and dog close by, I'm beginning to think about the Coast.  I'll be there again soon.

Then Ontario, not long after.

I can write better than anybody who can write faster,
and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.
 A. J. Liebling

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Monday May 12th 2014

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I only have time to check the hives and replenish the patties before I go.  I had more ambitious ideas earlier, but right now, my plan is to just feed, make sure they have room, reverse some and give them another week to build up.

I see that good bee weather is predicted and I expect to see some swarming signs when I return.

After my enjoyable amble down the property yesterday, I think I'll begin the day with a walk.  I need to get back into better shape.

I went for the walk, then went out after 1000 and worked through the North Yard, reversing and adding boxes.

Interestingly, I am seeing that the hives that were strong enough that I gave them two Apivar strips six weeks ago were no stronger now than the ones that got one strip.  That could mean your choice of any one to three of the following three things:

  1. Early strength does not guarantee strength later on
  2. I was poor at estimating colony strength when inserting strips.
  3. Apivar weakens colonies and two strips doubles that effect

I tend to favour the first two explanations and discount the third. 

After that, I checked the Quonset West Yard and now, at 1530, I am working through the last of the hives in the Quonset Yard.

I finished the job by 1630 and count 46 remaining good hives.  I thought I had 53.  Must have made an addition or counting error, or combined down seven hives after the last count on April 28.  Or both.

I am quite ruthless with poor hives about now.  If they are not performing, I want them out of the way, so I stack them up.  Weak and non-performing hives are a distraction from the work of maintaining the good hives.

At any rate, half of the 46 should be ready to split into halves next week, and some should make three.  The rest should be ready the week after, at which time I can begin selling hives.  For now, though, I am finished and it is just a matter of waiting.

North Yard
South of the Hedge
Quonset West
Quonset
9
9
8
20

I had a nap after supper, then drove Zip over to Ruth's.  I went to bed at 2115, figuring to get a head start on the night's rest, but although I am tired,  could not sleep.  So I got up again.

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it
 Henry David Thoreau

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Tuesday May 13th 2014

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Time passes and the day of departure is here.  I'm off to Sidney today.  I'm ready, although I have not accomplished some of my more ambitious plans.

Lack of energy was one excuse, but the other is simply that the bees were not ready for what I had thought I might be able to do by now.  It is a mistake to split too early, although every day courts in spring.

I recommend others read back in previous years at this time to see what is possible and what I have done.  I should do the same, I suppose.

My criteria for splitting are based on colony size and weather outlook.  Looking forward from today, I can see that there is a good stretch expected in the next few days, with daytime temperatures around twenty and nights above freezing for a change.  This is the kind of weather that allows bees to build up quickly, not just survive and any good queens should expand the brood drastically in the next few days.

There is no sense splitting a hive in which the queen is not the limiting factor. If the restraints on brood rearing are lack of population and weather, a larger colony will do better than two smaller ones.

If, however, the queen is laying to the max and that same population would be able to raise more brood in two colonies with two queens, it is time to split.

Of course, nothing is that simple, since the second queen takes time to begin laying and there is the risk she will fail, wasting time and bee power.

It seems to me that this spring and last that my hives have not been as good as sometimes and I attribute that to splitting a bit too ambitiously and too late.  I also did not feed patties as heavily last year, although judging the effect of patties is not a simple task.

I slept fitfully last night, or at least for the last hour or so.  I can't see it on the CPAP machine's data stream, though.  The whole matter of sleep is far more complex than we realize, it seems.  I see the technician this morning and take back the machine as the trial is over.

I did that and returned home.  I stopped at the recycling to drop off a perfectly good 26" TV.  Nothing wrong with it except it is obsolete and weighs ten times and uses ten times as much space  as its replacement.

At home, I packed, watered the plants and drove to Airdrie. 

A few hours later I was getting out of a cab at Port Sidney Marina.  My boat was ready, clean and ready to go.  I decided to walk uptown and get provisions for the next day or two. 

I'll be picking up Darazs at Steveston dock Friday at noon and we'll re-provision then, but I need to  eat tomorrow and the next day. 

That job took until 2030.  It is still light and I am not tired yet.  Tonight I sleep without the CPAP machine for the first time in two weeks.  Should be interesting.

It was downright hot here when I arrived and the boys have stripped the enclosure off the boat,  That surprised me and I may have to put it back together if the weekend is as rainy as promised.

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
 Albert Einstein

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Wednesday May 14th 2014

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The days and nights at home are about ten degrees above what we have been experiencing.  This is the sort of weather that accelerates build-up as the bees are able to warm more of the combs. 

If they can get more of the hive close to brood temperature, wax softens and is easier to work, and granulated honey softens, allowing the bees to move it around to organize the brood space more easily and to empty more cells and move the nectar further out from the existing brood.  More cells become warm enough for the queen to lay further out through the brood chamber.

Here on the Coast, I see that I can expect twenty-four degree days with sun.  I was advised to get sunblock.  I think I had better do that.

This was the first night I have slept without the CPAP device.  I did awake after a few hours sleep, stayed up a while and went back to sleep.  Was my sleep any better or worse?  I can't say.

It is 0730 and I have to decide what to do today.  I could go uptown and get more anchor rode or just shove off and go sailing.  For anchoring, I have 165 feet of chain on the Rocna anchor on my bow roller and nothing on the Fortress spare in the lazartte. 

I have several hundred feet of shore tie line, but it is too light for anchoring.  If I buy 150 feet of 5/8 line, I'll have rode for the Fortress and can use it to extend the chain, need be, to allow anchoring in deeper water. 

At 5:1 scope for overnight, I am limited to 165/5=33 feet (10 metres) from bow roller to sea bottom.  With a metre of freeboard and a 2 metre tidal range, that chain limits me to 7 metres depth and puts me closer to shore and the other boats than I like, and reduces my options in spots where there is plenty of good ground between seven and twenty metres depth.  In this mountainous area, there is very limited space in shallower water.  Being able to anchor safely in deeper water triples the available space, at minimum and opens up some attractive and safer anchorages. 

The other aspect is that if I am in an anchorage and the weather gets worse, if I have all my chain out I cannot increase scope and have to bite my nails or leave.  At night, that is not a good plan.  Nylon rode also adds some elasticity to the anchor line and reduces the probability of dragging.

Winds Today Tonight and Thursday: Strong wind warning in effect. Wind northerly 5 to 15 knots becoming light early this evening then increasing to northerly 5 to 15 overnight. Wind increasing to southwest 20 Thursday evening.

Sounds perfect.

The tides are huge today and I waited for enough water to get out of my slip.  In the meantime, I went up town for a while, then had a nap.  The day is calm and sunny.

Around 1400, the water came up enough that I left the marina and motored over to Portland Island.  I've seen boats anchored there each time I passed and intended to stop there, so today I did.

Along the way, I noticed a huge log floating along.  Out here, a boater has to be very alert.  I forgot the sunblock, so was careful to limit sun exposure on this first sunny day.

I seldom use sunblock after I have a base tan, but try to do so on my first exposure in spring or on going south in winter.  I've been out working the bees already, so maybe I've already built a bit of tan.  I don't seem to have any red skin at the end of the day. 

Avoiding skin exposure during the hours when the sun is directly overhead probably is the best way to prevent sun damage, and this boat has a bimini.  A bimini does not prevent the effects of sun reflecting off the water, but does shield from the direct sun. Swimming in cold water also seems, in my experience, to mitigate the effect of the sun on skin.

At Princess Cove on Portland Island the anchorage is fairly large, but the part that is deep enough for a deep-draft boat like mine is limited.  Of course, that area was where most of the boats were anchored, even shallow-draft craft that could anchor anywhere.

I slipped in between two boats, estimated where their anchors were and dropped the hook and fifty feet of chain with 5.9 metres of water under the keel at high tide. 

The anchor set immediately and held.  The space between boats was a bit tight, but my guess was good and I did not have to change the arrangement, even for overnight.

Once anchored, I launched the dinghy. mounted the outboard and -- as I had resolved previously -- had a swim.  I wore my shorty, but the water here is brisk.  I went in twice, but was not tempted to stay long.  Refreshing!

After a rest, I went ashore and had a hike. That is another resolution I made recently.  I don't know if I walked a mile; I doubt it, but I did stretch my legs. The Island has an amazing variety of plants and lichens.

Once back aboard, I decided to test the barbeque. and eat on deck.  After that, I watched an episode of Republic of Doyle and went to bed.

Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.
 Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Thursday May 15th 2014

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The sun woke me at 0545 after a quiet night in this open anchorage.  The only disturbance was a wake occasionally from ferries passing in the distance.

At home, I see perfect bee weather: Sun, rain, and temperatures well above freezing. 

Rainy days between foraging days keep the bees confined to the hive and, contrary to what many think, these breaks in foraging actually encourage buildup. 

When the bees have hot sunny days and nectar bearing flowers are blooming nearby, they expand the brood nest and fill the cells next to the brood with nectar and pollen.  If the foragers bring in pollen and nectar faster than the nurse bees can consume it, the food plugs cells near the brood and even in the brood area and restricts the queen's ability to find open cells.

At night and on no-fly days, the bees condense the nectar to require less space and nurse bees consume the honey and pollen near the brood, opening up space for the queen.

With a surplus of nectar coming in, over immediate needs, house bees will sometimes store nectar in cells that already have eggs! Whether this kills the egg or not, I don't know, but it seems obvious that even if the egg survives and hatches, if it is under nectar, it is doomed. 

Too much feed coming too quickly actually slows build-up.  As with many things, there is too little, just right, and too much.

During no-fly days, the foragers get to rest and consequently live longer, extending their contribution to the colony.  Their presence in the hive expands the cluster during that time, encouraging the house bees to clean and condition more cells.

Then the process repeats.

Here, I am expecting sun, but not much wind.  Here is the local forecast:

A mix of sun and cloud. High 24. UV index 7 or high.  Wind light becoming northerly 10 knots early this morning then becoming light this afternoon. Wind becoming southwest 5 to 15 after midnight then becoming light Friday morning. Wind increasing to southwest 15 to 20 Friday afternoon.

I'm headed to Vancouver, but I'm in no rush.  I think I'll take my time crossing through to the Strait.  I could have gone through Active Pass at sunrise, but I think I'll kick back and make my way up Trincomali Channel to Porlier Pass, then go through at slack around noon.  There are large tides today with currents up to 6 knots, so timing is important.  Then, I am thinking I may go to Vancouver.  We'll see.

One has to wonder what everyone does on the boats drifting around me at anchor.  Some anchor here for a days or weeks at a time.

I see people on deck occasionally and most have grey hair.  I see a dinghy go ashore from time to time, and one dinghy ran the three miles across to Orca Bay and Back yesterday on a flat sea.

I also wonder about small craft running around on these big waters.  I see some, but not nearly as many as one might expect.

It is 1605.  I am two hours out of Vancouver and there is no wind.  I'm motoring.  The day began alright, except I really should have left earlier.  I was fighting a tide all the way to Active Pass. 

I chose Active Pass rather than Porlier because there was better chance of wind in the Strait and the wind in Trincomali was on the nose.  There was, but it died. 

I'll be tied up at Granville Island for the night.  Hope I'm not too tired to enjoy it.  This is a long and mostly uninteresting trek, but I did detour to explore Whalers Bay.  I found it to be a good anchorage for stopping along the way in future while waiting for slack water.  I dropped the hook after lunch and slept a while, then continued on.

I was an hour after slack this time and had a two-knot following current.  That did not create any issues, but with much more current, the turbulence can be hazardous.  Debris accumulates in eddies and one has to be alert for logs and weeds. 

Going against the current is much worse, and, worst case, I would make no headway and just sit there burning fuel until the current waned.  That reminds me of the Fraser River trip I made a while back.

On the way over, I had nothing to do except watch for logs and so I corresponded with Jean and the monument suppliers, and we settled on a gravestone and paid for it by email.  I don't write cheques anymore if I can help it.

I motored into English Bay and up False Creek to my appointed berth, and backed into my slip in the farthest corner of the marina without incident.

Conditions were calm until I was well into the Bay, at which point, I encountered fleets of sailboats heading out for an evening of racing in light winds that were picking up enough for evening sailors, but were from behind me and not strong enough to get me to the dock in reasonable time.  This was more like a day on delivery than a day of recreational sailing.

My brother arrived at 1900 as planned and we went to 'Cats' for supper.  I had a burger and yam fries and three beers, then returned to the boat, watched an episode of Republic of Doyle and retired for the night.

Republic of Doyle is a stupid, harmless sort of entertainment that is just that, entertainment and nothing else.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C.S. Lewis

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Friday May 16th 2014

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I'm tied up at a prime dock under the Granville Street Bridge this morning, waiting on guests.  I'm only footsteps from all the GI action, but I have things to do to get ready.  It doesn't to take me long to unpack and spread my gear around the boat, but takes a surprising amount of time to reorganize it when getting ready for visitors.

At home, from the weather reports I see that the week of great bee weather continues more or less as forecast.  Colonies should be booming on my return.  With any luck, a few should be thinking of swarming. 

Contrary to what many, if not most beekeepers think, some of us old guys think swarming can be the sign of a superior stock.  Not necessarily, but often enough that I would not reject a colony from the breeding pool for being early to start.

Granted, sometimes early swarming can be a sign of an uneconomical stock, but more often it is a sign of a slow beekeeper.

Bees naturally swarm if they are not properly managed and if the beekeeper does not stay ahead of a good colony and anticipate the need for space early enough, it will naturally make preparations to reproduce itself.  The colonies which reach swarming readiness first are often the best bees in the yard.

While nothing much happens for long periods of time in spring, at swarming time, often the dandelion flow, a colony's population  can suddenly double and triple, seemingly overnight.

A day in the life of a human is like a month or maybe even a year in the life of a bee, and that May long weekend that takes the beekeeper away from his bees can be enough time for an expanding colony to get well on the way to capping queen cells if the beekeeper did not allow lots of room in advance, and they can be gone a few days later!

Beekeepers think that using swarm cells for cells in splits breeds for swarming, and maybe if done long enough or intensively enough, it could, but what we have learned by all humankind's attempts to breed bees is that fixing any attribute is difficult and temporary due to the complex compensating mechanisms in the bees' makeup.

If only breeding bees were that easy.

If I found a colony with twenty cells built, I would not hesitate to use one in a queenless split nearby.

Swarming was the principal method of reproducing colonies from antiquity until about a century ago.  Only in the twentieth century have people begun to regard swarming as an undesirable trait. 

Swarming is not desirable, but it is natural and a good beekeeper can prevent most swarms by being alert to the space requirements of the colonies. 

Elaborate manipulations have been devised by overly inventive beekeepers who are always dreaming up new ways to torture their bees, but all that is usually required is to know the bees and provide adequate space at the right time and to remove or move excess feed if it is limiting the colony.

Cutting cells is a waste of time and may leave a colony queenless.  Once queen cell building -- beyond a few cells, which could just be for supersedure --and the cells are about to be capped, the surest way to prevent swarming is to split the colony, leaving cells so they will soon have a queen. 

Exchanging the colony for a weaker one or moving it to the back of the yard may deplete it of flying bees enough to forestall swarming.  Sometimes, just spreading brood and removing some brood and feed to use in other colonies or reversing will stop the impulse, but sometimes nothing works an d the beekeeper should have plans to catch the swarm, which usually lands nearby for a while just after midday or have attractive bait hives nearby.

Then only 'sure-fire' method of preventing swarming is to weaken the colony, but even baby mating nucs have been known to swarm.

There are other causes of swarming, too, but lack of space is the main one.  The other swarming causes are difficult to deal with and a good beekeeper has ways to deal with swarms like bait hives set out at least a month before swarming.

The grass at home already was needing cutting in spots when I left, so I expect it will be ready for mowing everywhere by Tuesday night.

I had an early breakfast and coffee and did a bit of planning, then got a text from Colin.  Breakfast at 0830?  I said yes and a while later had another breakfast with Colin and Paul at The Market. 

My friends showed up around noon and we went to The Market for lunch, then decided to go to Snug Cove for the night.  I called and they had one space.  I took it and we sailed and motored over, arriving around 1700.  The group went uptown and I enjoyed a few minutes of solitude then joined them for supper at Doc Morgan's.

I had two beers with supper and when I returned to the boat, I lay down for a nap.  An hour or two later, I woke up and found my friends playing crib in the salon.  We sat for a while, then went to bed early. 

Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
 Henry Louis Mencken

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Saturday May 17th 2014

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After a good night's sleep, the best in some time, I awoke at 0545 here at Snug Cove.  The sky is overcast and predictions are for cloudy weather and rain.

The others got up before long  and we had breakfast aboard Cassiopeia, then the others went ashore to shower and shop.   I showered on the boat. 

At 0900, we cast off for Silva Bay, motoring out through accumulated debris and logs that had blown into the Cove overnight.

I had called ahead and both Silva Bay marinas are full tonight, but I asked to be put onto the waiting lists and plan on anchoring if we can't get a place on a dock.

The winds favoured us right from the start.  We tacked south to clear Bowen Island, then set course on a close reach straight for Silva Bay.  Mike and Attie are quite happy and competent at the helm and at 1122, I am below in the nav station, writing.

*   *   *   *

The crossing has been uneventful, with fair winds carrying us along at six to seven knots.  We have not seen any wildlife, but are hoping to find harbour seals at Silva Bay, as I did several weeks back.

*   *   *   *

We did see seals, as we entered the Bay, right at low tide.  We were early, so we anchored and waited for a slip.  In the meantime, the boys and Mandy went out, two at a time on excursions in the dinghy and explored.

At 1500, I got a call and was assigned a slip.  We motored in and tied up at B4, right in the middle of a powerboat party group.  The party is pretty sedate, though, and they are grey-haired guys playing 70s and 80s music at low volume, with no drunken shouting or maniacal laughter -- so far -- and nobody has fallen into the water or had a fight, so that's not too bad at all.

We are planning on a restaurant supper, but the restaurant is very busy and they don't take reservations, so we will see.

*   *   *   *

We went up for super and the found that place was half empty.  We were seated immediately and had a great supper.  Seems  they held tables for people who did not bother to come and turned away some who would.

We had a good supper and returned to the boat.  Again, I went to bed early.

A consensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively
what no one believes individually.
 Abba Eban

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Sunday May 18th 2014

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I slept about five or hours and woke up with congestion.  It was not really bad enough that I could not sleep, but I've learned that if I get up for a while and then go back to bed, I sleep better.

I usually sleep about seven or eight hours a night, so I'll go back to bed in a while.  Seeing as we are on a holiday, I'm trying for nine.  I managed about ten the other night, I estimate and that is a record for me these days.  During the sleep tests, I came in consistently just under eight, usually in three segments.  I would not have guessed the total would be so consistent since my hours of sleep are not at all regular.

Today we return to Granville Island.  From the forecast, earlier in the day promises better wind, but it seems the forecasts lately have been off by more than a bit.  We'll go when we go and take whatever wind we get, but I would far rather sail than motor, and it is not a matter of the fuel cost, which is minimal for a boat like this. Sailing is just much more pleasant.

The nights are mild enough now that we are not using the boat's furnace.  Even though the days are warm, the breeze is cool out on the water and we enjoy the greenhouse heat of the enclosure, opening and closing appropriate panels for comfort as the winds and sun change over the day.

Sometime around 0500, the silence was shattered by the sound of unmuffled exhaust.  The boat next to us started up to leave. Such boats are illegal within a mile of shore and a general nuisance.

We had breakfast aboard and the crew all went up to the showers.  By 0900, we were ready to go and we headed out the same narrow passage, hoping to see seals, but they were gone. 

Predictions were for five to fifteen knots dropping off by midday and soon we found there was not enough to sail.  We entertained ourselves by circling in the dinghy to take pictures, then snuffed the sails and started the engine.  Next stop, Vancouver.  ETA, 1430 hours.

Along the way, we saw dolphins twice, and at one point out in the Strait, we had to stop so Attie could check out the swimming.  We kept him on a rope as we were far from shore.  He reports the water is cold, but he did not say how deep.

We arrived at Granville Island at 0230 and tied up.  The others went ashore to explore and had supper at a restaurant.   I really don't care for restaurants that much, and I had fresh food that needed to be eaten, so I stayed on board, rested, and made my own supper.

An expert is a person who avoids small error as he sweeps on to the grand fallacy.
Benjamin Stolberg

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Monday May 19th 2014

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Everyone was up at 05330 to get ready to go.  We had time for coffee, then my crew left the boat in light rain at 0600 to catch a cab to the airport.

I'm now alone on the boat again, with two days to get back to Sidney.

There are things to do in  Sidney, so I set out across the Strait for the Gulf Islands.  The thing about sailing is that arrival at the passes is unpredictable.  I can plan and hope, but the forecasts and ocean buoy reports only tell so much.  The wind you get is the wind you get, especially when  the reports say is blowing 15 from the east at Sand Heads, 8 from the south at Point Atkinson and something else entirely at Entrance Island and Halibut Bank.

I was able to raise sail by time I reached the Spanish Banks and the wind carried me along at seven knots for a while then died back.  I had considered either Active or Porlier for getting through the currents and found time was too short for Active and I was starting to be late for Porlier, so I motor-sailed to Porlier just to get through near slack and get to the other side.

Porpoises joined me for a while along the way, playing in the stern wave.

I arrived at Porlier just before slack and went through with a two-knot ebb.

Once out the other side, the wind died completely so I decided on Montague and alternately sailed and motored the six miles or so to the anchorage.

This time, I figured I would go to the marina and try the restaurant, so I anchored a few hundred yards off the docks and dinghied in.  The restaurant does not open until June, it seems. I took a run around the bay in the dinghy, walked up to the park and back, then returned to the boat.

I ate my steaks and vegetables yesterday, so had a dinner of rice and beans, which is probably much healthier than what I had in mind for supper.

I tried watching Seven Pounds, but the Internet is poor here, and I couldn't figure out what the movie is about without reading the web reviews and it seems lame anyhow, so I gave up and went to bed early. 

I'd like to leave tomorrow at first light to get to Sidney around noon.  I don't fly until 2100 hours, but have things to do.

Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
 Ralph Waldo Emerson

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