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 March  2016 

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: A good-looking overwintered hive near Round Lake NY

Sunday March 20th 2016
First Day of Spring!

Today Mainly sunny. Increasing cloudiness late this morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this afternoon. High 13.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Wind southeast 20 km/h. Low zero.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

Where did winter go?  I still have winter things to do.  Time flies.

I've been away from home for five weeks now and will be away for ten days more if my current plans work out.

My Sudbury scale says 216.8 today and Fatsecret.ca says I am losing weight too quickly.  Of course, the weight change is all water. 

When traveling, diet is affected.  On the road, if I don't have food packed and with me I tend to eat fast food for price and convenience, and FF contains lots of salt, white flour and sugar.  I also drink beer when at Aaron's and all these tend to disrupt my body's fluid balance, so my body takes a few days to a week to settle down after intense travels.

As I have discussed here previously, although I do watch calories, calories are not all there is to weight control and health, and I do not believe calorie counting is a practical long-term method of maintaining weight.  Calorie watching is, however, one important part of a practical approach to weight loss and maintenance.  Obviously eating 'calorie bombs' is going to have an effect on the body and watching calories reduces the likelihood of binging on calorie-dense foods.

Over time, I have searched for books and articles that make sense and have settled on two as being the most useful at present -- for me at least.  These two are also available as audio books and that is the only way I really consume books these days -- usually when driving.

The End of Overeating Here is the Huffington Post review.

Last week, Dr. David Kessler, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration under presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, published The End of Overeating. During a seven-year investigation, Dr. Kessler met with scientists, physicians, and food industry insiders to learn why humans cannot resist food. For many of us—myself included—the Pringles slogan, “Once you pop, you can’t stop,” is true of a variety of foods, from...

Always Hungry Here is the Amazon link

David Ludwig is one of the very few voices of true authority in the world of obesity. This book goes to the heart of the underlying cause of weight gain--being constantly hungry. If you care about your health future, then this is the one book you should read and pay careful attention to. -- Dr. Barry Sears, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Zone

Neither author is selling anything or prescribing odd diets although Ludwig  does suggest a somewhat bizarre (to me) regime for retraining fat cells and I wonder about that.  His book layout is also somewhat weird and bloated as well. Nonetheless, most of his message makes sense to me.

Is my selection due to confirmation bias?  Good question, really, and there is always a bit of that.  Having had a scientific and mathematical background, I am obviously biased towards fact and logic, so am likely to discard magical or rhetorical approaches.

The day is bright and sunny here in Sudbury and I should get out and be active.  Bill and family have the kids visiting and that is a big event so we won't be taking walks until later today or tomorrow. I have my van to organize and my boat to look over. 

At home, Global Warming is not working as it should.  The pond has frozen over again by the look of things and is three days late melting.  The auger has moved back over again.  Time to call Carolyn.

I did and she is on it.

"We are now in a world where principled politicians are called fascists, and fascist politicians are called principled. In most Western countries, we are one Reichstag Fire away from a complete up-ending of the core liberal principles of limited government and individual rights. At least the ascendant candidates on the right have the guts, for the most part, to wear their authoritarianism on their sleeves. The other side of the political spectrum, equally ascendant, is no less anti-liberal, they’ve just adopted the façade of smiley-face authoritarianism... "

Scary thoughts. Care to follow this guy down the rabbit hole?  He has 20/20 vision, is pretty observant, and his thoughts are most cogent. Not only that, he is a great writer.  Here's more...

But far more damaging is the impact of negative interest rates on these basic IDEAS about what it means to be an investor in public markets. If you see the world as principally a market of ideas and memes, rather than as a market of capital and labor – and this is exactly the perceptual lens I'm trying to explore with Epsilon Theory – then I don't see how you can't be freaked out by what's happening today. Certainly it's why I've gotten much more alarmist over the past few months in what I write. We are seeing huge chunks of stone being taken out almost daily from these central idea pillars of public markets. As market participants lose faith in the idea that time is on your side, as they start to question the idea that there's an inherent up-and-to-the-right arrow to any price-over-time chart ... (Emphasis added).

I've been seeing this for a while and we are clearly into the ugly phase of the long wave economic cycle.  All our notions are being turned upside-down.

I ended the day cleaning out the van and putting the seats back in.  I have that and some other chores to do before I go west.

The mind of man at one and the same time is both the glory and the shame of the universe.
- Blaise Pascal

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Monday March 21st 2016

Today Periods of snow. Risk of freezing rain early this morning. Snowfall amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h this afternoon. High plus 4.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Risk of freezing drizzle overnight. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 4.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I slept nine hours, plus.  Today, I weigh 216.2.

I'm starting to think about the West Coast.  I'll be there Wednesday afternoon.  I've been in touch with the maintenance people and learned the sail loft is not going to work out.  I'll have to approach one in Sidney, I think.

In Greater Sudbury, the day is bright and sunny, but around freezing, but the forecast promises snow before I go. 

Our plan is to go to the New Sudbury Shopping Centre for an outing and lunch.  That means pushing Mom around in her wheelchair.  We've done it before and it works out well.

We went out for a little shopping and lunch and returned to 1207. 

I see the ice on the pond still has not finished melting.

I spent the afternoon doing research and communicating, cooked supper, then went over to Bill & Faye's to spend time with them and with Myra and Brenda who were visiting.

I returned to 1207 around 2100 and am calling it an early night.

Both the cockroach and the bird would get along very well without us,
although the cockroach would miss us most.
Joseph Wood Krutch

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Tuesday March 22nd 2016

Today Light snow ending early this morning then cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. High plus 1.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Fog patches developing after midnight. Low minus 5.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

I slept fairly well from midnight to three, but poorly from three to five, so got up, ate breakfast, had coffee, did dishes, and went back to bed.  I then slept soundly until 0930. I weigh 216.4 at 0930, after the early five AM breakfast and coffee.

Today, I have to prepare to return to Vancouver tomorrow.

At home, The day there is dull and I see a little new snow. 

Viewing the bin auger via one of my many CCTV cameras, I am wondering if it is running.  I can see the coal has dropped down enough that I can almost see the main auger and maybe not enough to allow the ball to drop and activate the switch.  I'll have to check again later today. 

I happened upon a transcript of a Washington Post interview with Donald Trump and was surprised to see that he does not sound so extreme and crazy -- to me at least -- in this article as the media portray him. 

He is definitely not Politically Correct and knows how to get to the common people, and repeat the same gripes and perspectives that are a common thread throughout middle and working class America but are ignored or pooh-poohed by the Establishment. 

The mainstream media (MSM) seize on any little indiscrete thing he might say, take other things out of context, and edit video to make things look the way they would prefer, but The Donald seems to have a fairly clear and sober idea of what is going on in the world, and where things are running off the rails, so the MSM are actually playing into his hands by keeping him in the spotlight. 

Instead of finding him to be the buffoon he is made out to be, when people get past the antics and listen, he is attracting a following much larger than he might have otherwise. 

Ralph Nader and Ross Perot were nice sober, thoughtful people with a great message, but those messages were not heard.  Donald is a showman and gets people listening.

Watching this guy is like seeing The Emperor's New Clothes taking place in real life ...a demonstration the Common Knowledge Game in action.

I don't think he is half -- or even a tenth -- as dangerous as W was.  I'm not quite as worried as I was.

I hope I am right because, barring a miracle, he is going to win.

I went out shopping in the afternoon and bought some of the wide black Gorilla tape ($18) to do some repairs and picked up a number of other small items, then returned, made supper and cleaned up the van and garage, put in the back seat and now am ready to pack to go.

I had reserved a shuttle to the airport, but as I was finishing up, Bill called and wanted to drive me tomorrow in spite of the early start, so we'll have coffee here in the morning, then drive to YSB.

Flying east to west, I like to start early because I arrive mid-day.  Flying west to east, I must start early if I want to arrive at a decent hour -- all due to the three-hour time difference.

It began snowing here at 1900 as I came inside.  At this time tomorrow, with any luck I'll be on the Wet Coast in sun or rain, but much warmer weather. Here's the Vancouver forecast:

Tomorrow, in Vancouver, the refrigeration guy repairs my freezer at 0800 and I have meetings in the late afternoon and company in the evening.  Thursday is free until, in the evening, we have a skippers meeting for the flotilla.  Friday morning we leave on the cruise.  I have no idea who will be on board, if anyone besides myself, and how and when we decide on provisions or stock up before the trip.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I mention Dr. Mirkin from time to time because he presents his conclusions from extensive reading and careful analysis in easy-to-read short articles.  Here is an article of his along the same line as the two books I recommended recently: Ultra-Processed Foods.

Beekeepers might not like this one, but I have been of the same opinion for a long time and questioned the enthusiasts who attribute exempt status to honey. Honey Is Not Better than HFCS. I quote in part...

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture got a grant from the honey industry and gave 55 people daily doses for two weeks of each of three sweeteners:
* honey,
* granulated table sugar from sugar cane, and
* high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
At the end of the trial, all subjects had the same levels of blood sugar, insulin, body weight, cholesterol and blood pressure. Blood levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, used to predict a person's chances of suffering a heart attack, were the same for all three sources of sugar.

*   *   *   *   *   *

The new graphics are finally on the Jeanneau 35, formerly Aqua Libra, and she is almost ready to go to work. 

I have never sailed her and don't know if I will.  I imagine I will at some point.  I bought this boat for charter and resale.

When returning from the shopping, my doctor's office called wondering about the ultrasound I had cancelled a month back.  I said the complaint had disappeared. (I had cut back on my statins which had been overprescribed after reading the side-effects). She said my HbA1c was fine at 5.8. 

I consider that to be high, with an ideal being below 5.0, but I'll take what I can get, and besides the measurement is not known to be especially accurate. 

My cholesterol was fine.  Maybe a little over the ideal, but just fine.  I wonder about this because the significance of cholesterol in heart health has been questioned and deprecated these days.  But, as with many things, people tend to hold onto old ideas even after they are disproven, afraid to give them up.  Some say the cure (statins) is worse than the problem (cholesterol) and the web forums relate more than a few horror stories. 

Almost anything will have a few complaints if it is widely adopted, but when the proportion of sad stories to happy tales goes over 5% or so, to me that is reason for caution and statins have more than a few people online complaining about serious complications.

I went to bed early, to be ready for the coming day.

The advance of civilization is nothing but an exercise in the limiting of privacy.
Isaac Asimov

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Wednesday March 23rd 2016

Today Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries early this morning. High 7. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Low minus 4.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

I woke up at 0445, fifteen minutes before my get-up time and started the day.  My scale said 125.8, then a minute later, 116.4. 

Which am I to believe?  Neither.  I'm not inclined to believe things particularly strongly but, being human, I'll go with the answer I like better: 115.8.  It has to be right ...right?

Today, I fly west, expecting to arrive in Vancouver at 1424, then to take the SkyTrain to the Number 50 bus and be back on Cassiopeia at Granville Island by 1600.  That is 2,500 miles and two ground transfers from here.  I hope it is not raining for the 1/4 mile walk from the bus to the boat.

I'm up early even though all I have to do is eat, drink coffee, strip the bed, wash the sheets and towels, throw some things into my bag, and go.  I like to have lots of time to putter early in the day and spend time on things like this diary. As I so often do, I began by correcting and augmenting yesterday's post.

In my email this morning...

"Hidden sugar is everywhere. If you look at a Windsor salt box you will see sugar is listed as one of the ingredients. I personally think the sugar industry is no better than the tobacco industry. Both sugar and tobacco are addictive, both kill people and both have major corporations making boatloads of money while denying they do anything wrong.

I don't think it is a nasty conspiracy so much as an evolutionary inevitability.  Our history and our environment brought us here.

By evolution, humans evolved to seek sugars (carbohydrates) and fats, sources of quick energy and salt, an essential and sometimes scarce nutrient, and are bred by alternating food abundance and scarcity throughout history to prefer high energy foods and to store fat when times are good.  Those who did not had slimmer chances of surviving the periodic famines and thus the majority of us are too efficient in finding and storing energy for current conditions of food abundance.

As a result of our predilection for high energy, salty foods, when we are given a choice between 'healthy' foods and high energy, tempting snacks, most people -- even those of us who know better -- have a hard time resisting and it takes education and will power to maintain a healthy diet.  Choosing the best diet is far from intuitive.  In fact it runs counter to our instincts. 

Interestingly, studies have shown that babies and young children seem to know naturally what they need to eat, and how much.  Efforts of mothers to make kids eat things they don't like and to eat when they don't want to may be harmful!

Children in general suffer less from a bad diet than adults.  That does not mean children do not benefit from a good diet just that, as a rule, they are affected less than adults by carbs and fats due to their activity and growth stages.  People often marvel at how teenagers can and do eat large amounts of almost anything with apparent immunity, but as a result of this temporary tolerance, bad habits are often acquired in childhood and youth that start growing obese once adulthood is reached.

Although this tends to be true, we are seeing that there is a limit.  In the past few decades, the popularity and easy availability of high sugar, high fat, salty and ultra-processed foods is overwhelming that teenage tolerance and fat diabetic teenagers are becoming increasingly common.

 Oddly, however, some people, even adults seem to do quite nicely on a diet of snack and junk foods, but they are in the minority.

Manufacturers (and mothers) naturally prefer to make foods that people like.  The companies who don't make foods that attract sales fail and their products disappear. Mothers that don't cook meals like those in magazines consider themselves to have failed.

In the market, the products that are most irresistible -- salty, fatty, sweet, with a nice smell and mouth feel -- sell better and get better shelf positioning, make more money and can afford more advertising and distribution...

One of the books I cited recently -- Always Hungry or The End of Overeating -- includes a story about the author addressing food execs at a meeting.  They were mostly unaware of what they were doing and just going with what worked best and grew sales and profits.

There are not many really bad guys.  People's motives are usually mostly innocent and often the intentions are good.  Think of the moms making cakes and pies and other 'treats'.   Most people just don't know why they are doing what they do or the effects of their actions.

"We have met the enemy, and he is us".  (Pogo)

Bill dropped me at YSB and I had an omelet and a coffee, the omelet turned out to be more than I needed, but I ate it out of habit.

*    *    *    *    *    *

My flight to Toronto went uneventfully and I am now sitting at Gate 45 waiting for the next leg.

*    *    *    *    *    *

The five-hour flight from YYZ to YVR was went as expected.  I watched Sceptre, a James Bond movie to kill time, read The Marine VHF Handbook (hard copy) and slso a bit of Pride and Prejudice on Kobo.

We landed twenty minutes late at YVR.  I walked to the SkyTrain, rode to the Village Station, caught the #50 bus to Anderson Street, and walked the 400 metres to my boat in light rain.

When  I arrived, I found that Tim and Sam had my boat interior torn apart to install wiring and were still busy, so I went over to The Vancouver Fish Company for happy hour and had a beer.  I ordered a second, but decided after a few sips that I did not want to drink it, left it, and returned to the boat. 

Leaving a partial drink is unusual for me, as is not cleaning off my plate at meals, but this is a new phase in my life-long self-invention. 

I decided some time back that it is time to cut back on drinking.  Quitting entirely is difficult, but so is practicing moderation.  My rule in life is not to fight with myself, but a little self arm-wrestling is part of the action.

By the time I got there, the maintenance crew were finishing up and leaving.  I tidied up and settled in.

I was expecting a friend I have not seen for almost fifty years to drop by and he showed up after a while.  We had a good visit. 

He mentioned he had been reading my online diary which I found a little surprising since I find it too boring to read myself.  I manage to read a few weeks worth once in a while, but that is about all I can take.

Why do I write it?  Writing is a sort of meditation and perhaps an addiction.  I can't seem to stop.  It is also very useful if I want to know what I was doing at some time in the past.

He mentioned reading about my narrative and reflections on my recent delivery and crew and was wondering at my candor in  describing the experience.  He tends to be very diplomatic.  I tend to say what I think and set the cat among the pigeons.  Let the chips fall where they may.  Sorta like The Donald?

Regardless of how tactless I may seem sometimes, what I do not say far exceeds what I do write and I do try to avoid telling secrets, other than public secrets -- the sort of thing that is obvious and everyone knows, but nobody admits or acts upon.

The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on.
Joseph Heller

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Thursday March 24th 2016

Today Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers this afternoon. High 6.
Tonight Cloudy. 60 percent chance of rain showers early this evening then 60 percent chance of flurries late this evening and after midnight. Low minus 4.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

I see the auger has wandered across the bin again.  The coal is getting down and I guess the restraint got knocked over again.

I see that the pond is still covered with ice.

As I write, the Cooper crew are putting the sails back on the boat.  We took them off and sent them to the North Sails loft, but the sailmaker did not think they were repairable, and assumed they could sell me new sails.  Nope.  I will have to find a better facility to do the job.

I have lots to do today and at this point, I don't have  a list.

As I was finishing breakfast, Tim came back and we needed to pull out cushions again to finish one little job.  He finished and left, but during his time, we had a good conversation.  He is a jack-of-all-trades and knowledgeable on many topics.  Being of the same inclination, we swapped a lot of ideas on how to deal with little annoyances on the boat and on enhancements needed.

When he left the morning was almost gone. Time to clean up and organize my thoughts.  At this time tomorrow, I'll have people aboard and be on my way to Thetis Island.

I spent the day puttering and sorting , putting the cushions back, cleaning and doing boat things. Mid-afternoon, I tried the new outlets and, guess what, they did not work.  No power, no indicator light.  I called Dave.

Tim showed up shortly after and spent another half-hour finishing the job.

By 1800, I had finished and went up to the skippers meeting on shore.  There, I met my crew, Kevin, and suggested he stay on board overnight so we can leave early.  I then borrowed Colin's car and went for provisions.

The car is a hybrid Fusion and a sufficiently nice machine that I would consider buying one.  It is quiet and intuitive.  I won't buy one, of course, but I did like it.

I returned to the boat around 2100 and Kevin showed up shortly after.  He went right to bed, but I stayed up a while, then quit for the day.

Saint Laurent has excellent taste. The more he copies me, the better taste he displays.
Coco Chanel

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Friday March 25th 2016

Today Cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. 30 percent chance of rain showers late this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 9.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Clearing before morning. Low minus 5.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

I woke up and looked at my tablet.  '6:10' it said and I was grateful it did not say '3:10'.  I tend to awaken early on days when I plan to travel and 0300 seems to be the number burned into my subconscious.

I got up, turned on the lights, began making breakfast and coffee then glanced at my phone.  It said '3:12'.  The tablet is still on Ontario time.

I went back to bed.

At 0500, my phone, now at the bedside, chimed and woke me.  Notifications are supposed to sleep until 0700, but somehow this app had not heard the news.  I got up and had breakfast. 

My plan was to awaken at 0600 but 0500 is close enough.  Sunrise is at 0705 and I'd like to leave at first light or shortly after.  Taking a few hours to wake up, become fully conscious and prepare is a good idea.  Weather, tides, the course and more need to be considered before casting off the lines.

I was ready to go by 0700 and was casting off the lines when Kevin showed up on the dock, ready to go.  We motored out to the Bay and dropped the dinghy into the water at the green buoy and began towing it.

Motoring out of the Bay and for the first part of the crossing, we encountered very little wind, but once clear of land, the wind picked up and we sailed close hauled, then on a reach at up to eight knots.  It looked as if we would arrive at Porlier Pass an hour early, but an hour from the Pass, the wind dropped and we arrived a little before slack.

By then the others had caught up since they were motoring.  We dropped sail and motored through the Pass, then followed some sailboats north.  It turned out the rest of our group had gone south and we were at the destination before the others. I am a natural strategist.  As for tactics, I'm only so-so.  My strength is the long game.

The crossing had been perfect and the day had become sunny and warm.  We tied up and went for a beer, then I had a nap. 

Afterwards, at 1700, I fried up a salmon steak bought yesterday and which could not wait and some of the chicken stew I made yesterday, then went up to join the group at the pub.  There, I had two beers and sat through conversations, watching the people. 

I did not order food.  Seems I don't like restaurant food anymore, not that I ever did.  Burgers, fries, onion rings.  Nope.  The rest is not much more suited to my diet either.

I am realizing that I left home on the thirteenth of last month to go on a ski trip and am now have been away six weeks.

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

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Saturday March 26th 2016

Today Mainly sunny. High 12. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Clearing before morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h near midnight. Low minus 4.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

It rained overnight and the morning was sunny and calm.  We were destined for Newcastle Island via Dodds Passage.  At ten we left and motored as there was no wind.  I slept and left Kevin at the helm and awoke just before we reached Dodds.

We all went through Dodds a bit before slack and encountered two knot currents at the narrowest part.  Once in Northumberland Channel, we ran wing on wing to the point, and sailed right to our destination.

When we arrived and tied up, the weather had turned dull and breezy.  Kevin wanted to go into Nanaimo and I had discovered that my stern light was burnt out, so I called The Harbour Chandler.  They had LED replacements, so Kevin and I ran in with the dinghy and walked over to the shop.

When we left town, we agreed on the Dinghy Dock Pub and stopped there for a beer on the way back to the boat.  I had two and a burger. 

By the time we  were done, it was almost six and the others were coming over for supper as planned, but I was tired and went back to Cassiopeia.  Kevin stayed.

A campfire was planned for the evening at nine, but I chose to watch video.  The fact that it started to rain reinforced my decision to stay in, and I went to sleep early.

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything
without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
Robert Frost

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Sunday March 27th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming sunny this morning. Increasing cloudiness late this afternoon. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h near noon. High 13. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy. 60 percent chance of rain showers overnight with risk of freezing rain. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 2.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

In the morning, the weather had cleared, but the wind was gusting.  We all met on shore for the Easter Egg Hunt.  I watched. The kids went wild and so did some of the adults. 

Apparently the bonfire had gone ahead despite the rain, but the weather did dampen things a bit.

After the egg hunt we prepared to depart.  Strong, gusty winds caused concern for some in the group and departure was delayed a bit. 

I don't worry for myself and Cassiopeia.  We can usually handle 30+ knots of wind and swells without fear, but I do worry for my dinghy which follows on a tether and could flip in the wrong combination of wind and chop.

Kevin had received a call to go into work, so had to be dropped at the ferry terminal nearby, so we motored up Newcastle Island Passage to Departure Bay against a stiff breeze and dropped him at the gas dock.  Then I sailed back down the channel. 

I had planned to go out through Departure Bay, but from the gusting winds in that sheltered Passage, I figured it would be rough outside and retraced my path to take the inside route.

I joined up with several others in our group at Newcastle and we tacked out of the Bay, 50% reefed, then turned downwind.  I ran inside Entrance Island under full sail at up to eight knots to the entrance to Silva Bay, motored in, and docked flawlessly despite wind gusts.  I had to take the adjacent slip to my assigned slip since B18 was blocked by another boat's tender.

We all milled around on the dock a while, visited on boats and the kids in the group -- Colin's and Rob's -- borrowed my dinghy to accompany the kayaks they borrowed to play in the bay.  I lay down at five and slept 58 minutes, waking right on schedule for supper.

At six, we all went to the restaurant for supper.  Again, I gave in and had wings and seafood chowder.  That cost me $25 and was not as satisfying as my chicken stew, frankly, but the company was good.

After supper Colin and the kids borrowed my dinghy again to cross to the yacht club to play ping pong.  I was happy to stay back.  I'm still on EDST, it seems.

There is still ice on my pond.

Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God.
Heywood Broun

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Monday March 28th 2016

Today Increasing cloudiness. 60 percent chance of rain showers or flurries late this morning and this afternoon. Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 near noon. High 13.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers this evening. Clearing late this evening. Wind northeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 3.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

Today, it is all over.  We return to Vancouver, but the winds are high and the company would really like me to take Cassiopeia back to Sidney due to a shortage of dock space at Granville Island, so I turned southeast to Porlier Pass on the way to Sidney. I arrived there early, almost at full ebb, with four knots current pushing  me through. 

In the past three years, I have become a local,  so I sailed through, but with engine idling at the ready -- just in case I got turned around by the eddies.  At the rapids I gave a bit of extra push as a precaution and was soon out into Trincomali Channel.  As I went through, I spoke with Mom and learned she had has a bit of stomach trouble but was fine now.

I had phoned Bruce and we agreed to meet at Fernwood, so I pulled into the dock there and tied up.  The wind was quite strong at the moment and I had a bit of trouble docking.  I have to confess I stepped off onto the dock with the boat idling in reverse and therefore had a bad time managing to stop the boat and tie up.

I suspect I thought it was in forward to buck the wind, but I can be dyslexic.  When facing backwards, I sometime push the shifter the wrong way thinking reverse is forward and vice versa.

I think I may be getting senile -- except I have seen much younger people do the same.  At least, that is my excuse.

Bruce and I had coffee at the Fernwood Road Cafe then I continued on down the channel.  Drinking coffee made me tired and I decided on James Bay for a rest.  Before I got there, though, the wind dropped and I motored into Selby Cove, a bit south of there, and dropped the hook.

I had a nap and then decided it is so beautiful and calm here that I'll spend the night and go to Sidney tomorrow.

I had a shower and made some stew.  I see it is 1942 already and still light out.  Summer is coming.

I see today that the ice is now gone from my pond. 

Time to get home -- soon.

 

Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G. M. Trevelyan

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Tuesday March 29th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries early this morning. Clearing this morning. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 18. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy overnight. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low plus 1.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I woke up at 0430 and found I was wide awake.  I had gone to bed around 2130 last night, so I figured I had enough sleep.  I had napped yesterday, too.  I got up and began the day.

I see the boat has not moved much: just the usual motion around the anchor, and not enough to trip either of the anchor alarms I set when I went to bed.

Today my plan is to travel to Sidney, fuel up, tie up, pack, meet with a sailmaker and perhaps return to Vancouver by ferry, have meetings and head for the ski hills as make my way home. 

The weather has turned sunny and warm for the next little while, so why rush?  I'm tempted to stay longer since I am already in paradise, but reason overrides this impulse and I'll be lifting the anchor just after dawn and returning to civilization.

Riding at anchor here in  the Cove, I realize how tiring it can be to interact with people and keep schedules.  The flotilla was a pleasant experience.  It always is, but solitude provides relief from the pressures, both explicit and implicit in being with others we take for granted until we escape them for a while. 

Even my dog pressures me.

I arrived at Sidney around ten after refueling at Van Isle.  At noon, I met with the sailmaker and then went grocery shopping.  I had decided to take the opportunity at hand to enjoy nice weather. 

I could go home, then come back sometime to cruise and find the conditions rainy.  With assured good weather, carpe diem! 

By about two-thirty, I was ready and I cast off with no destination.  Butchart Gardens was one possibility.  I have an annual pass and the mooring balls are free, BUT there are crowds and far too many flowers.

I bought a bright red kalanchoe at Fairway Market and that will be enough flowers for me for now.  As for food, I mostly bought ingredients to improve the stew I made last night.  Without diced tomatoes, chopped onion and broth, the stew is decidedly lacking. (Ugggh!)

Once clear of the marina, I turned south.  I had considered going across the border, six miles away to Roche Harbor, Friday Harbor, or any of the cool stops on that side of the line, but was drawn by Sooke -- and Victoria, both in the same direction, meaning I could start with no need to decide immediately.  A March/Easter trip to Victoria is a family tradition that has died in recent years.

In Baynes Channel on the inside passage through the Discovery Islands, I encountered the predicted three-knot currents.  I suppose I could have waited for the tide to turn, but I'm getting rather cavalier about currents as I get to know the boat and the conditions better.  I've had this boat for three years and a bit now and am becoming more confident about what is safe and what is beyond my limits.  At first I was super-cautious, and that is a good thing.

I sailed into Cadboro Bay and dropped the anchor at 1730, well before sunset, and watched the locals wading, paddling SUPs, and hiking the beach. 

On the trip down, I discovered how great my new audio deck is.  Normally, I am not a fan of audio when sailing, but today I turned it on and found that not only does it receive FM well, but it also has clear sound. I listened to music instead of the talk that is my usual choice and found myself listening to new music on CBC Radio Two and the Victoria University station. 

Talk on CBC and NPR in recent years has become increasingly grim.  I just don't need it and wonder about the people who find such programming attractive.

Tomorrow?   Sooke is five hours away from here.  Port Renfrew is another six.  I have intended to go to both sometime and there is no time like the present.

Ten hours is a long trip and can be boring.  We'll see.  Maybe I'll tie up in town again, in front of the Empress, but I do want to see Sooke and Port Renfrew from  the water. From land, they are no big deal, but arriving by boat adds magic.

The days are getting long and outlast my energy.  I'm sitting here typing at 1922 and the sun is still high.  Having been up since 0430, I'm looking forward to the end of the day.  I suppose I should just adjust to west coast time.

When it becomes serious, you have to lie.
 Jean-Claude Juncker

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Wednesday March 30th 2016

Today Cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. Wind becoming north 30 km/h gusting to 50 this morning. High 14.
Tonight Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers this evening and after midnight. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low plus 1.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

I woke up at 0440 and got up at 0500.  First light is around 0630 and this allows me time to eat and do odds and ends before lifting the anchor. I've decided.  Sooke is my destination today.

I am starting to think I must be crazy.  I left home for a planned two weeks away and am now approaching seven weeks on the road, or at present, on the sea. 

The season is starting there and my bees are neglected.  Other than needing varroa treatment, though, they may be better without my interference.  They all have lots of feed.

No matter.  My job for the day is to explore beyond where I have sailed before.  The winds re expected to be light, so I may be motoring, rather than sailing much of the time.

*   *   *   *   *

I motored up to Sooke and around the Sooke Basin, then decided to return to Sidney. 

My heart was not into staying around Sooke and spending a few days exploring.  I have to finish my business and get moving east, especially if I plan to go away again in two or three weeks to sail offshore with Frank. 

Also, Jean says the snow at Nakiska won't last long, and I see on Facebook that the kiters are out on the lakes in Alberta.

As nice as this B.C. weather is, it is lousy sailing weather.  When a high comes in like this, the wind dies.  Sailing is better during weather changes.

I have now seen Sooke from the water and it is just as unimpressive as from the shore.  The Sooke Basin -- the waterway -- however, is impressive.

At any rate, I can scratch Sooke off my to-do list and now understand the area.  That will be important when I decide to circumnavigate Vancouver Island some day.  Charts and guides don't adequately describe the feeling of being there.

On the return voyage, I encountered some wind and sailed a while, but found myself motoring again when approaching Race Passage.  From there, I motored all the way to Sidney Island.  As I motored, I cooked the chicken and onion and added them and other ingrediets to yesterday's concoction and it turned out perfect.

Just outside Cadboro Bay, two orcas swam under my boat. It came as a total  surprise. I caught something out of the corner of my eye and happened to turn around, to notice them feeding right beside me. They then turned and dove under the boat, coming up behind me.

There are no whales in this picture.  It is a shot of where disappeared.  By the time I found my phone and shot it, I could only see dorsal fins and I did not even catch the fins as it turns out.  The whole sighting lasted, maybe, a minute at most.

Dolphins do this sort of thing often. They chase boats and play in the bow waves, and dive under, sometimes for hours, but I seldom see orcas and never this close.

They didn't even look at me. They were chasing something, and by the time I thought to take a picture they were gone. Besides, I had the window curtains closed, making photography difficult and blurry. 

It happened that fast. I've been over whale-watching across the strait from this bay and there the pod stays in one area for hours sometimes, but not here, this time.

An hour or two later, I arrived at the Sidney Spit, pulled in and anchored for the night after almost twelve straight hours at the helm and 66 sea miles traveled.

In my van, I traveled two thirds of the way from LA to Vancouver in the same amount of time a few weeks back -- 720 miles. 

I did dishes, had a shower and sat down to write. At 2008, daylight faded as quickly as if someone had flicked a switch.  I got up and looked out to see what happened. All I could surmise was that the sun went down.  Across water, sunset can be sudden. Sometimes people see a green flash at that instant.

Tomorrow, I have a meeting, fuel up again, pack, then catch the ferry and somehow recover my van and drive east.

By the time all that happens, it will be late in the day, but I'll make a few miles at least before sleeping and the next day, I'll ski somewhere or drive home.  We'll see.

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it
George Moore

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Thursday March 31st 2016

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers early this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 15. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Clearing. Low plus 2.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

My goodness!  It is Thursday already.  On Saturday, I'll be away from home for seven straight weeks!

I'm anchored a little over two miles from my dock at my home marina this morning.  I have a conference call at 1000, then I'll lift anchor, fuel up, and return to Port Sidney to get ready to take the ferry to the mainland and start the 670-mile drive home tomorrow. 

I had thought to try to cross today on the ferry, but I think I'll need more time to get packed and gone.  besides, it is much more convenient for Colin to meet me first thing in the morning since the ferry is much closer to his home than Granville Island is.

I motored over to Van Isle, fuelled up and returned to the dock, tied up and had a nap.  Then I borrowed the van and went up town to get some dunnage bags for the extra gear I would have to leave aboard and to carry the larger amount than expected of items going home.

On my return, I had supper, started sorting and packing, watched video, set alarms, and went to sleep early.

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
 Bob Hope

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