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 February  2016 

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: A surviving winter cluster

Saturday February 20th 2016

Today Flurries. High minus 3.
Tonight Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries this evening and after midnight then partly cloudy. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h after midnight. Low minus 12.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

We're back at Songbird Lane again. I drove down for some sand and sun. I doubt I'll stay long.  I have business in Vancouver.

Liz called from the Calgary Beekeepers and is planning for some hands-on bee events this summer.

Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.
You must make your own map
Joy Harjo

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Sunday February 21st 2016

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries near noon. Clearing this afternoon. High plus 3.
Tonight Clear. Increasing cloudiness overnight. Low minus 14.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

Extremes for February 21

Highest Temperature (1994-2015)

10.0C

1995

Lowest Temperature (1994-2015)

-25.4C

1994

Our days in Central Alberta are now over ten hours long and the sun is higher in the sky, meaning snow does not last long and the bees are getting more active. 

It is still early for feeding, though, and feeding this early is likely to do more harm than good.  Note the temperature extremes possible from the table above.  A week of minus twenty or thirty is not out of the question.

Emergency feeding is the exception, and is best accomplished by placing frames of honey in contact with the cluster.  The honey should be liquid or soft set and scratched to expose it for easy consumption.  Failing that, fondant, preferably in candy boards can be a good feed that is not stimulative, but also should be of a sort tested for bees.

The worst choice is syrup, but sometimes syrup is all that can be fed due to constraints and it will prevent starvation, but is a stress and a stimulant that can come back to bite us.  Syrup should not be fed until the end of March in my region. 

Patties can be placed on now, but it is still a month early and the stimulation can be harmful IMO, but if they are fed -- and many beekeepers cannot stop themselves -- patties should never be allowed to run out until mid-May and any areas eaten out must be replaced promptly.

Bees will not walk more than an inch or three from open brood for protein at this time of year.  In the picture, they have eaten out the closest patty and the beekeeper may think they have lots left, but they don't -- not that they will use until their brood area increases.  A wise beekeeper would rearrange this feed so that the unused parts are moved in to where the patty was eaten out. Otherwise these bees are out of feed.

Daisy and I went to Aliso Creek Beach this afternoon and stayed an hour.  Having a dog along really cramps my style, so I did not stay longer.  I took her along because she really wanted to go and I am a sucker.  I tried some other beaches, but today was amazingly busy along the beach and I knew I could park at AC because it has pay parking and that keeps the parking hogs at bay.

I'm getting used to being here and a bit less jumpy. This area is a second home to me, but the way I arrived here this time was different and stressful compared the usual jet jump.  I had planned just so far as Mammoth and I ran off the end of my agenda on Friday and I find I am without a plan.

I'm a planner and a counter.  I plan and count everything. 
That is my nature.

I have business in Vancouver, but with no timetable. I am in the process of buying another boat as an investment.  I looked at the Vancouver weather and the next few days look great there, but then the rain returns.

Do I want to rush twenty hours up I5 to spend the weekend on Cassiopeia at a max of twelve degrees in rain?  Probably not.  It is plus twenty-two to twenty-four here in full sun.

Once I leave Van, my intent is to stop at Kicking Horse, Kimberly and/or Fernie and use my ski passes before this very short winter is gone.  I have my kites along, but no opportunity to use them so far, but maybe on the way home? 

I have an ultrasound in Three Hills on the 29th, but that can be cancelled with one call.  It was ordered by the locum who was more interested in thinking my pains were internal than skeletal.

I never like to believe the other person is wrong, and suspending judgment pays off sometimes, but more often than not, my instincts are correct.

I wrote Frank today and maybe will join him on the return trip from the Caribbean or the New York Canals again.  We'll see.

I like Frank, but not his friends, at least the misogynist egotistical one I met last year.  If I'm Frank's  friend, though, what does that say about me?

If my bee losses I've seen so far are indicative of my entire outfit, I'll be short of bees this spring, but long on equipment. I'll have maybe twenty live hives.

I'm cleaning up and cutting down. It occurs to me to buy some packages, install and care for them, and sell them as turnkey hives in June now that I have managed to convince people that don't have to learn everything about beekeeping the hard way the first spring.

The areas of consensus shift unbelievably fast;
the bubbles of certainty are constantly exploding.
Rem Koolhas

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Monday February 22nd 2016

Today Mainly sunny. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 early this afternoon. High plus 5.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 13.

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm still here in Aliso Viejo, sitting in the back yard, shaded by the canopy.  The sun is shining and the temperature is somewhere around 80F.

I extended my phone and insurance and figure Vancouver is my next stop, several days from now. 

I've reached a point where there is absolutely nothing I have to do and nothing seems important.  That state could be pathological, as in depression, or it could ideal as in being the goal of meditation.  I just find it curious to find myself with a list of potential priorities and no way to sort them except by proximity and ease of accomplishment.

  1. Go home, clean up the yard and resume my Swalwell existence, work on the bees and the buildings...

  2. Rent the Canmore condo and spend another week in the mountains.

  3. Go to Vancouver, complete the purchase of the second yacht and sail Cassiopeia or the new boat over to Snug or Gibsons for a night or two.

  4. Fly east to see Mom and do some kite skiing on the lake then drive down to see Aaron. 

  5. Maybe go to the Caribbean from there and see Frank.

  6. Maybe do the passage from Antigua to Canada with him again.

  7. Maybe fly to La Paz and look at boats with an eye to maintaining a charter boat there.

  8. Maybe sign up for the Vipassana meditation ten-day course.

  9. Maybe something else will emerge and I'll do do none of the above.

The way it looks now, my choice is number three, then one, then four and on down.

All this seems a bit too personal, internal, and revealing but what the heck, this is a diary and it seems nobody reads it lately, so I am hiding my 'secrets' right out in plain sight.

I'm so emotionless that I am wondering if I have had a stroke or am depressed.  Nothing looks the same although it does, and I don't seem to have forgotten anything.  Not that I can remember anyhow.

Meaning seems to have gone out of things and I am suddenly over things that worried me in the past.  That worries me.

Changes and lapses are nothing new, though. Sometimes names take a moment to recall.  For years, decades, I've had momentary or temporary lapses in remembering names.  Years ago, I had an episode where I could not remember about half the names of acquaintances for a half-hour.  I knew some of the names when I listed people I knew, but had no confidence that I had them right and others were just missing. 

Weird!  That was worrisome; it turned out that it may have been related to migraines but at the time I wondered if it might be a TIA.  I had an uncle who got pretty silly and an aunt on the same side who developed Alzheimer's.

Okay.  I have word that there are deliveries to do out of Vancouver, so I'm headed north tomorrow. 

I made another vegetable stew to keep me fed underway.

Wheresoever you go go with all your heart
Confucius

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Tuesday February 23rd 2016

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I woke up at 0255 and was out the door and driving north on Songbird Lane by 0337, then onto the freeways. Just after midnight, twenty hours and 1300 miles later, I crossed into Canada. 

I drove the remaining thirty miles to First Avenue in Vancouver, lay down in the van and went to sleep.

Not I not anyone else, can travel that road for you.
You must travel it for yourself.
Walt Whitman

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Wednesday February 24th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h late this afternoon. High zero.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light after midnight. Low minus 12.

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I woke up at 0630 and heard construction machinery.  I looked out and was next to a construction zone. 

I pulled up the covers and slept until 0805, then drove to Granville Island, chatted with the gang, looked over my 'new' boat and had an omelet for breakfast at the Market.

The boat is a 2002 Jeanneau 35 with dodger and no bimini, and not my ideal boat, but I am assured I can charter her profitably and then flip her for a profit.  We'll see.

Now I am on Cassiopeia catching up on email and having to form a corporation.  That is a simple job, but one I don't enjoy.

I spent the day at the dock, then met Colin and we went to the food fair at the Market for supper.  We ate taco salads and discussed taking boats south to Mexico in future.

Wheresoever you go go with all your heart
Confucius

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Thursday February 25th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming sunny this morning. High plus 4.
Tonight A few clouds. Low minus 12.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I slept well in my Custom Woolen Mills sleeping bag and awoke at 0700. 

I brought this sleeping bag with me in my van on my 3,000 mile road trip and have been using in it in the van, at Mammoth, at Jon's in Aliso Viejo and on Cassiopeia where I am at the moment, tied up at the Granville Island docks.

I can't recall when I have slept better.  It's good in the cold and not too hot in a warm room and unlike many sleeping bags, it is also big enough.

I looked it up online and was surprised.  I cannot recall if we bought it or if it was a gift, but they are $390 CAD!  ($285 US) Not cheap, but totally worth it.

The day is bright and sunny, but rain is predicted in coming days.  I'd like to take off for Snug, but have some work to do first.  I also have deliveries coming up later so will get some time on the water then.

At home, the grass is looking green. 

I did bookwork and read.  My crew for the delivery came by and I think the delivery will go well.

I was going to go to the improv in the evening, but when I went online, they had suspended online ticket sales and the price was $58 for who knows what so I decided against. 

Websites are terrible these days.  They do not tell us what we need to know or do what we expect them to do.

I never travel without my journal.
One should always have something sensational to read
Oscar Wilde

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Friday February 26th 2016

Today Mainly sunny. High 6.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy overnight. Low minus 6.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I slept until nine and began planning the delivery.  Getting on a strange boat and traveling seventy sea miles requires some advance thinking.  The boat may not be ready to go.

I meet my brother at noon for lunch.

We met at the Net and two hours later, we parted and I met with Colin  briefly.  I also managed to contact the lawyer and get the corporate logjam cleared.  That is done.

I further clarified the trip on Sunday with Colin and did some research online, then met John and we went to Cat's.  He had supper and cider.  Since I had eaten and am still wanting to keep losing weight, I only had a few beers.  Three.

Travel, like dreams, is a door that opens from the real world into a world that is yet to be discovered
Guy de Maupassant

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Saturday February 27th 2016

Today Cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers this afternoon. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 near noon. High 8.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of rain showers or flurries this evening. Clearing near midnight. Low minus 9.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I woke up at 0411, so I got up, made coffee and ate breakfast.  I have lots to do today to get ready to go north at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor.
Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

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Sunday February 28th 2016

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Mary and I were to meet at the office at 0600.  She was a bit late but we had plenty of time and arrived that the pickup point to meet the other two and continued to the ferry.

At Langdale, we left the ferry and drove north to the next ferry where we waited an hour, embarked, and rode to the final leg and the twenty-minute drive to Powell River. 

When we arrived, a gale was blowing rain across the docks.  We looked at the boat we were to deliver and an alternate.  Each had an issue, and the local dock manager was sick in bed.  One would not start and the furnace on the other was not working.  Moreover on the latter, the dodger and bimini were off as was the main.  Mary said, "No", to both and I said lets wait until the rain stops.  Everything looks bad in the rain and wind. We had a third choice, but that one had a shroud to fix and we needed a ladder for that.

I drove to Canadian Tire and bought a can of ether and started the recalcitrant engine.  It seemed okay once it ran and maybe the glow plug relay is shot.

I got the heater going, decided the boat was good to go and moved aboard.  Meantime, Mary was visiting a friend. I bought groceries and returned to the boat at about 1900.  Mary the friend were there by then.  We visited a while and that was the day.

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step
Lao Tzu

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Monday February 29th 2016

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We were up with the dawn and cast off at first light.  The engine again required an ether shot to start, so I was quite wary of it for the first few hours and babied it. 

We motored around Grief Point, then followed Texada Island in pleasant, semi-overcast conditions.  The wind was light and on the nose.  Our plan was to motor to make some miles and get a good part of the trip behind us.

As we approached the south end, the wind appeared good enough to sail.  It was still on the nose, so we would have to tack, but should make good progress.  I asked for a starboard tack to pull away from the turbulence near the island, but she set a port tack towards the island and we were not making progress until we tacked again.

It turned out that she had her way of setting the sails and we had to do it her way.  We made five knots in wind that should have been good for six.

After a while we discussed where to spend the night and ruled out the Vancouver Island possibilities since there was risk of being stuck there.  If the promised gales materialized, crossing the Strait which takes five hours would be unpleasant at best.

On examining the charts, it was clear that our best chance was Gibsons and a calculation indicated that we could just make it by dark if we motored flat out into the winds and chop, so that became our plan.

I had taken the helm mid-afternoon while Mary went below.  She slept longer than I expected and I was in the wind longer than I should and got slightly chilled. I was dressed for the conditions thus far but should have added a layer, so was happy to have her take the helm which she did until we reached Shoal Channel.

I had noticed a very slight headache and that my balance was off a bit when I got up Sunday, but thought little of it.  By now, though, I realised I must have a a low-grade 'flu'.

Along the way we decided on Plumper Cove rather than Gibsons, since it is about the same distance, sheltered, and the access is simple.  We did not need the facilities in Gibsons.

Along the way, Mary had decided we could make Snug Cove, but that is two hours further.  She insisted that it would only be an extra hour, but by then it would be dark.  She was kidding herself.

There tend to be logs floating around in the region, so the rules are no night sailing and I nixed the idea.  She was not at all happy when I explained that as the captain, I was responsible regardless of how she promised to be responsible in case of an incident, and night travel was out of the question.

Besides what was the hurry?  Why go fast if you can go slow?

We had supper and called it a day.

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving
Lao Tzu

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