Tuesday June 10th 2014
I woke up at 0330 and noticed the temperature was down to three degrees and brought in the tomato plant. Then I went back to bed. I awoke again at 0730.
There is activity in the forum today.
The morning was cool and breezy so I spent the time catching up on the books. I was several months behind. Somehow I never seem to catch up anymore, even though I work at it from time to time. I have too many irons in the fire, I guess.
By mid-afternoon, I was exhausted again and had a nap. After that, around 1630, the day had warmed and I went out to start on the bees. I moved a few things around and realised that I was still fatigued, so came in for a coffee in the hope that coffee would perk me up. Sometimes, just getting active gets my energy up, but not today, but coffee did the trick.
I was not tired at all, and was pleased to see that the bees are finally drawing some wax and the boxes are full of brood. A few hives have made a full super standard of dandelion honey, but I am still not seeing a lot of white wax.
I'd have worked another hour or two, but around 1900, I noticed the bees were getting testy and, looking northwest, I could see black sky so I put things away and quit. Anyhow, I'm off to a good start.
I'm going to go to bed early tonight. I find the sun wakes me too early, so I'll go to sleep at sundown and get more rest -- I hope.
The CPAP people phoned today and wondered why I had not gotten a machine. To be perfectly honest, it is on my list, but I have been putting off phoning Blue Cross. I've had problems with them and hate phoning. I also am a bit uncomfortable dealing with a firm -- Funktional Sleep Solutions -- that does the tests and consultation, then sells the machine at twice the market price -- even if Blue Cross takes the hit. Seems to me to be an obvious conflict of interest.
Even if I do get one, I don't think I would take it on the boat this trip. These devices need 110 VAC.
If liberty means anything at
all, it means the right to
Wednesday June 11th 2014
I awoke at 0500. Seems my internal alarm clock is hard to turn off. I'd have liked to sleep longer. Anyhow, I am up, and I and have lots to do today.
Blood sugar on awakening was 4.3. That is very low for me. BP was 108/68. I don't know if I can guess the reason for such low numbers. Is it the exercise, or is it the pills I took before bed -- or something else completely? Whatever it is, the change is welcome -- I think.
I have some deskwork to start off the morning. With luck I can get the paper shuffling done and get back to the bees by noon. The weather looks changeable, but usually the late day is warm and good for bee work.
The dandelions continue to bloom. The apples are finishing off and the caraganas are nearing their end. Lilacs are still in full bloom.
How much side to side tipping is OK? Hard to say, but I doubt that we need to use a level. If the hive looks about right to a casual glance, it probably is.
You'll note that I am using old supers for hive stands so that all the hives are at the same height. Lifting the hives off the ground is beneficial to avoid the cold air layer that sits on the ground and to make things more difficult for skunks. In this case, I had to match the appearance of the adjacent hives so that the drifting will equalize populations.
I am not bothering to harvest the cells, but there are some beauties. Unfortunately, in my hurry, I am damaging some by brushing them against the next frame. Others are attached in both the top and bottom box and pull apart when I lift.
After supper, I bought some chicken for tomorrow's supper at Extra Foods, then I realised Zip was with me and I could drop her off at Ruth's which is more or less along the way home and cancel tomorrow's supper. People weren't sure they are free anyhow, so I might only have two or three and I am short of time.
I called Ruth and she and Dave were in Three Hills, so we met at the Morrin Bridge Campground and made the transfer, and that is one more thing out of the way.
I drove on home, arriving at 2100 and put cells into 37 hives. Half of them (approximately) have the original queens and the rest are queenless splits. It is easier to just put a cell into everything than look for queens.
Oh, yes. Somewhere during the day I got around to putting the makeshift deck on the yard truck.
And, I discovered my insurance does not cover CPAP machines but that I can buy the same CPAP machine that is $2,100 here in Alberta for $700 in Bellingham and have it shipped up. I think I'll get one. Although my stats don't indicate a strong need for CPAP, it seemed to make a positive difference. I was sleeping an hour longer and feeling more refreshed when I tested it out.
All in all, this was a great day!
Only those who dare to fail
greatly can ever achieve greatly.
Thursday June 12th 2014
Just one more day to get everything done. I slept well again, having taken a melatonin and two Benadryl again last night, awakening at 0530. I noticed that I was a bit stiff, took and aspirin and went right back to bed and slept until 0735.
My habit has been to take an aspirin before strenuous activity like a day of skiing, windsurfing, or box lifting. One aspirin every four hours seems to be all it takes forestall aches and pains, but I have not been doing much in the way of strenuous physical activity recently, and habits tend to fade if not reinforced by repetition.
An example of this flexibility and spontaneity is this trip I am taking to The Broughton Archipelago. I was offered the chance to go on a dream voyage on a dream sailboat for free -- with a shipmate I have never met. I had to rearrange my plans which were already demanding, then was hit with the sore throat which laid me low off and on for ten days. Stress!
Another example was that Chrysler convertible in my colour and my price sitting across from the local lumber yard with a for sale sign. It might as well have had my name on it, but I resisted a bit too long and it was gone. Just as well, really. I have five vehicles in the yard, but I just knew that the cosmic supply company had fulfilled a back order. I always hate to pass up an easy pitch like that. It seems ungrateful.
Enough of that. I now have work to do. I have more than I can get done by leaving time, but I will do what I can and make sure I do the crucial things. As my union buddies in the winding shop used to say, "Be sure to leave some work for tomorrow." That is good advice for those of us who always clean off our plate.
I am feeling philosophical today it seems.
For anyone wondering about when I will have hives for pickup, see Bees & Hives for Sale page. I update it whenever there is a change. Replying constantly to everyone who writes me about bees is beyond my capabilities and cuts into the time I allocate to bee work. I am referring everyone there.
* * * * *
I have now used up all the cells. I did not count them, but there were about sixty.
I'm discovering that the bigger hives plugged out on dandelion honey -- all four boxes and and am splitting them three ways typically and having to add foundation or empty brood comb. I should have split a week ago.
* * * * *
It's 1430 now and a perfect time to swarm if you happen to be a full, crowded four-storey hive in a hot yard in Central Alberta, and what better place to go than the stack of old equipment the boss (as he likes to think of himself) keeps in the yard?
I don't really mind swarms too much. They usually go into my bait hives and save me a lot of work. I seldom get swarm calls and when I do they come from too far away to be my bees.
I'm plugging away and won't be finished until dark. Then I'll have to pack.
* * * * *
It's 1657 and I'm in from the bees for a moment to talk to Elijah and take a break. He will be taking care of things while I am gone. After my break I have to get to work. I have no choice but finish tonight. Fortunately. the weather has stayed good - so far.
I have fourteen left to split, but thankfully, they are not four-high. Some are two.
should have done this a week ago. Having the hives this
strong, has resulted in super after super of dandelion honey, lots
of burr comb and comb in feeders and two swarms. Some hives
have cells starting (right), and that is ideal for my purposes.
Although I left some in singles, and any with bees at the entrance like this got another box.
* * * * *
I beavered on and finished at 1918.
Then I went around and photographed all the groups so I can count at my leisure. I count exactly 100, but three weeks today on July 3rd, I'll be lucky if 80 are queenright. I just hope his flow ends soon or they will all be plugged.
Of course, one hive had to have collected a beard and it was the west-most hive in the North Yard. Even though this split is now about eight feet west of where the biggest hive was located before splitting, a lot of bees wound up in this spot.
Here (right) is what happens when you drop a BeeMax box off a truck. Look closely and you can see this box has been repaired before. It is just a matter of glue and screws.
When I got in, I had a shower, sat down and watched another episode of The Guardian and wrote more in this diary.
My plan was to pack and do other 'important stuff', but I had a good day and enough is enough. I'm not really tired, but I think I'll go go bed early, get up at 0300 as is my habit on days when I make the jump and pack then.
I always have a plan, but following it is always optional.
You can't shame or humiliate
Friday June 13th 2014
I awoke and got up to check the time. I felt it might be 0130 or so, but wanted to know. It was 0300.
I had intended on the conscious level to sleep until four, so I went back to bed and listened to a train coming. At night, in the silence, I can hear them almost from the time they leave Calgary. The sound is an almost imperceptible rumble and clatter that grows louder when they reach the grade four miles south of town, by the cemetery hill.
By 0315, decided I might as well get up. I wasn't tired and I was awake. My mind was getting active, so I got up and had breakfast.
Now, at 0400, I hear rain on the skylights, drowning out the sound of the distant train. If I were to be home today. I'd go out and put on more boxes, but I think I should be okay for the next two weeks, especially if the flow quits. Surprisingly, I'm almost out of brood chambers, but I have lots of new Pierco foundation and empty boxes on hand.
The sound of the rain is getting louder now. I have four hours left until I must leave. Time to pack. Oh, and here is the train, finally, howling and clattering as it passes through the town. Trains are much longer and heavier these days, but they travel at slower speeds than in the past. Trains used to shake the town and rattle windows, but not any more. This guy is running faster than most, though.
I packed, watered the plants and drove to Airdrie. Mike drove me to YYC and several hours later, I was on the ground at YQQ, waiting for my bag. The first person I noticed was Esther P-S, a close family friend, and Fen's step-daughter. She had been on the same flight. She and her husband have a place on Denman Island but she lives and works in Calagary. Neither knew the other was on the plane.
I had forgotten to confirm my arrival with Don (Turner), and he took a while to get to YQQ, but he arrived after a while and we went by the local marina to admire boats, then up to Oyster River where he keeps his sailboat.
Don has a Cascade 38 he is outfitting for a trip to Mexico this fall and possible continuation on to the South Seas later. We had to wait for the tide to rise so we could get out over the bar, but left the marina about 1530 and sailed until 1830. Afterwards, we had fish and chips nearby and returned to his place in Comox. I turned in early. I was exhausted.
Be not ashamed of mistakes and
thus make them crimes.
June 13th 2014
I'm presently on the Queen of Burnaby bound for Powell River and another adventure. Into the unknown!
* * * * *
We docked at Powell River and I dragged my bag across to the marina. The boat was where I expected and Syd came up to let me in the gate. I boarded the boat and we started working it over, stem to stern, to examine the systems.
Syd just bought the boat and has yet to master much of it, but a few mysteries remain and we were busy all afternoon except for when we borrowed the Cooper truck and went uptown for a few items we needed, like bug repellant and a toolkit.
Our fleet has been split since there is a lack of space at the normal docks. The second group is a half-mile from us. At 1800, we were due at a skippers' meeting up at the other marina. We made it there in time and found it was mostly just socializing.
The flotilla leaders did not have anything planned for Day One except the destination, Rebecca Spit. Everyone was sitting around eating appetizers and drinking wine. We stayed a while and Syd returned to the boat. I ran uptown again for a few more items.
I was in bed by 2300 and that was
Any discovery made by the human
June 15th 2014
I'm on Intrepid this morning. First thing, I see that the remaining coffee is entire beans. Do we have a grinder? Dunno. May mean another trip uptown.
Weather here is overcast with strong northwest winds predicted. We are to be thirty-five miles northwest tonight. In a sailboat. That means upwind sailing all day.
Yes, we do have more coffee, and it is ground, so we should fine.
We anchored without incident in 70 feet of water off Rebecca Spit with the other boats, many of which were already in, having motored most of the way. (We only motored for a half-hour when the wind died to nothing for a while mid-afternoon).
This anchorage is well sheltered and has good holding and we got a good set first try. Soon, a dinghy came by and we learned that Raven Magic is in a marina nearby, having found that their windlass was not functioning properly and in need of a little tweaking, and more odds and ends of news.
Around 2000 hours, after lowering the dinghy and figuring out the outboard's quirks, we motored ashore to meet the others who already had a roaring fire going in the pit. When it died down, the food was placed on the grill and we visited until dusk.
The Park closes at 2200, and we were back on our boats by 2230. By then the breeze had died to nothing and we spent a quiet night at anchor.
I look to the future because
that's where I'm going to spend the rest of my life.
June 16th 2014
After an undisturbed seven-hour sleep at anchor, I awoke at 0630. There is slight breeze and the temperature is mild. The sun is just coming up over the trees on the Spit east of us.
We turned in early, before dark tonight. We have to be up early tomorrow.
Expenditures rise to meet
June 17th 2014
Contrary to our expectations, the night was dead calm. I slept well, only awakening twice to glance out to check our position, and was up with the sun at 0430. I like to get an early start and have some time to myself.
Corus called on the radio at 0600 and all the boats checked in. We left the anchorage at 0630 and motored up through the Lower Rapids. As usual, one boat had some issues getting under way but soon we were all steaming north. Currents ran up to five knots against us and we were stalled down to a knot or so some places in the rapids, but got through in short order.
Oh, Goody! Here come the Frankenbees.
From there, the group motored into fifteen knots of wind on the nose until we arrived at Port Neville. A few tied up there, but the rest of us went on to Baresides Bay and anchored.
Port Neville is not much, just a dock and a small store. The whale watcher tours from Campbell River show up here sometimes.
Some in the group dinghied back to see the historic site. Others enjoyed the day on deck and on the beach. I heard a report of a cougar sighting..
Moments after I posted that picture from one of my home cameras, I got a call from a neighbour asking for help cleaning up malware on a computer. Of course I recommended Malwarebytes.
Should be an interesting night. I have an anchor watch setting on my GPS that screams if we move farther than we should, indicating that the anchor has lost its grip and we are adrift. We're also anchored so that if the wind does cause us to drag anchor, we'll go out to sea, not into shore. Water is soft. It is that hard stuff around the edge that hurts boats and sailors.
She had an unequalled gift... of
squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities.
June 18th 2014
Click here for current conditions in my back yard
I'm up at 0515. The tide turns at 0600 and is in our favour for six hours. We are off to Port McNeill and our trip today is seven to nine depending on how we progress.
Although the winds were blowing 25 knots when we went to bed, the night was quiet and in the morning the wind had dropped to nothing.
As it turned out, we dawdled over breakfast and finally pulled out over an hour after tide turn, then motored at low speed out to the Strait, so we are two hours behind our ideal timing and will be fighting the current on the last leg.
The Strait is dead calm, too, so we are motoring directly to Port McNeill. The captain is eager to buy more food at the supermarkets there, even though we have stacks of food on board. There are ten days to go after today, but we are never far from a marina with a store. Even if prices are high and selection low at the outports, I am sure we won't starve, even if we skipped shopping here.
We've finally officially arrived at The Broughtons, even though we going past them to the south and spending the rest of the day and night at Port McNeill, just south of the area.
The plan is to provision and rest up tonight, then travel the 30+ sea miles to Turnbull Cove tomorrow. The next day we only travel an hour or so.
We all arrived at Port McNeill mid-afternoon and tied up at the North Island Marina. At 1700, we had a skippers meeting and the plans changed. The decision now is to stay in Port McNeill a second day, then cross to Claydon Bay.
Few things are harder to put up
with than a good example.
Click here for current conditions in my back yard
We are tied up at Port McNeill for the day, and it is raining off and on.
Everyone is cheerful, though, and happy to have a day in town. Port McNeill is a small town, but has good grocery stores and restaurants -- and facilities for boaters.
Out in Queen Charlotte Strait, beyond the breakwater and the island, the wind is whipping up the waves with winds estimated to be over thirty knots.
At 1700, the weather turned sunny and everyone gathered for a party on two of our trawlers located beside one another at the dock, then held a skippers meeting to confirm the destination, and to determine the departure time and route for tomorrow.
Claydon Bay, some 30 nautical miles away from our present location, is the confirmed destination and departure is at 0800, with a radio roll call at 0730.
Sullivan Bay, nearby, is planned for the next night, and some boats may go directly there to have two days at that marina location. Claydon Bay is a wilderness anchorage. After that, Waddington and Echo Bay.
Make the people sovereign and
the poor will use