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 June  2016 

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: Looking east toward Stuart Island from a cove on Rum Island

Friday June 10th 2016

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

Today Becoming cloudy this afternoon with 60 percent chance of showers later this afternoon. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 21. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers this evening. Rain beginning near midnight. Amount 5 to 10 mm. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 11.

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

I slept well, again. 

Today I actually have nothing at all pressing to do.  Actually, I have everything to do -- far more than I could do in a lifetime -- but nothing particularly pressing, other than finding Ruth and getting Zippy over to her before I go away and I might as well get that done soon.

The bees don't need any work.  They got along fine for a few million years before we came on the scene, so I think they can go another week without my interference.

I split the ones that needed it two days ago, so now it is just a matter of waiting for the rest to get to that point.

I could do yard work for the rest of my life and never get it done, so why start?

Hubris is one of the world’s greatest renewable resources.”
P. J. O’Rourke

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Saturday June 11th 2016

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

Today A few showers ending this morning then a mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm this morning and early this afternoon. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this morning. Wind becoming southwest 20 gusting to 40 late this morning. High 19. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight Clearing late this evening. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light overnight. Low 7

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

I slept well, again. 

Today I plan to get the pool ready to fill, tidy the desk and pack.

The pool needs leveling and it is just a matter of placing shims under the edge where the ground has been soft, but the grass is tall around it and I have to clean out the grass before proceeding. So, I have to get the weed whacker out and deal with it first. .

Hubris is one of the world’s greatest renewable resources.”
P. J. O’Rourke

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Sunday June 12th 2016

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

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. Wind becoming west 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning. High 22. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight Clearing late this evening. Wind west 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this evening. Low 6.

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

My alarms went off at 0400, rousing me from a deep sleep. I got up, and spent the next hour waking up, then packed and was ready to leave at six.  Seeing as I was not in a rush, I took my time and drove out the driveway at 0612.  It was then that I realized that my flight was at 0755 and that I should have left at 0500, not 0600.  Duh!  I was very sure I would miss my flight, but drove on anyhow.

It is a one-hour drive to the airport, and, once there I have to park and get to the gate through security -- and the plane boards at 0725. 

The Park and Jet shuttle usually takes at least twenty minutes to drop me at the terminal from the time I enter their gate, so the bargain lot and a short walk was my best option, but sometimes it is full.

I broke some speed limits on the way, making the trip in 48 minutes, and then lucked out finding a space in the bargain lot near the airport entrance.  I was at the gate by 0725 and one of the first to board seeing as I had been assigned an exit seat.

Arriving in Sidney, I decided that instead of taking a cab for $15 and getting to the marina in ten minutes, I would take the bus that stops right at the airport curb for $2.50 and see how that went. 

The bus came after a ten-minute wait and dropped me four blocks from Port Sidney Marina exactly a half hour from my arrival at the bus stop.  Not bad!

I got to my boat and spent the next three hours sorting and getting the dinghy and other things ready, then cast off the lines.  Once clear of Dock Island, I called Bruce and we agreed to meet for supper, either at Fulford or at Ganges, depending on my progress.

I soon decided on Ganges, although it is quite a trek, and after some good sailing, some calms, and a shower, I arrived there just before seven.  I found a spot in the harbour and anchored, then dinghied in to the dock. 

Bruce was there, waiting.  We had supper at a nearby restaurant, then walked around a bit before I returned to the boat around nine.

I watched some video -- The Code -- and went to bed.

I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.
Woodrow Wilson

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Monday June 13th 2016

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

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 23. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming southwest 20 gusting to 40 near midnight. Low 10.

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

The tide changed overnight and the boat swung around, but the wind was light and the boat did not move far.

I got up at 0600, made coffee, then dressed and made ready to leave.  There was no wind and at first I motored out of the bay, but then the wind picked up and I sailed until it dropped again, then motored the rest of the way back to Sidney to meet up with my friends. 

They were due at 2 PM and 3:30 and I was back around noon.  I napped and did more tidying while I waited. 

Doug showed up at 1400 and we arranged to park his car underground nearby while we waited for John's flight.  At 1530, we went to get John, then shopped for groceries.

Once back in the boat and after the men had settled into their cabins, we decided to get away from the dock and sailed to the Sidney Spit for the night.

Anchoring was a bit of a gong show.  After anchoring the first time,  I found we had anchored with only a metre under the keel.  That should be enough, but I like more safety margin in case we swing or drag anchor, so I pulled it up.  Right about then, a squall brought wind and rain, driving us back, and once I retrieved the anchor, I found I had snagged a rope from the bottom as well, complicating the matter of relocating.

I had merely to touch the taught 3/8" nylon rope with my new rigging knife and it parted instantly, releasing us.  I'll have to remember that  this knife is sharp!  Knives are supposed to be sharp, but most are not. 

Thinking back, I should maybe have pulled the rope to see what was on the end.  I might have retrieved a spare anchor, but we were being buffeted around by wind gusts and pelted by rain, and were more intent on getting free and properly anchored.

Wise sailors carry a knife when on board since ropes can snag and endanger the boat or the sailor.  A quick cut may slice a $300 rope, but prevent disaster.

Some wag said that sailing consists of hours and days of sheer boredom punctuated by moments of utter panic.  There is more than a little truth in that.

Once anchored to my satisfaction and the with anchor alarm set, we settled in.

The night passed without incident.

A lost election can have the jolt of a drop through the gallows door, leading to a dark night of the soul in which the future presses down like a cloud that will never lift.
James Wolcott

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Tuesday June 14th 2016

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

The morning was cool and rainy, but Cassiopeia is comfortable in any weather.

Victoria was our destination.  We had breakfast, raised the anchor and motored out into the strait.

Once out, we cut the engine and raised sail.  Our first few tacks were restricted by the islands, but once we were clear, the rest of the trip was simply a matter of time.

Sailing upwind necessarily means that the best we can do towards our destination (velocity made good) is sin(45) x V or about three quarters of however fast we can go since we are travelling at an angle.  If the tide runs against us, we do much worse.

As often happens, we were lucky and the wind shifted, we found tides in our favour, and we made good progress.  It was a lovely day and we did not care as long as we arrived in Victoria at a reasonable time.

Why go fast, when can go slow?  Smell the roses... If merely getting to Victoria were our goal, we could have driven there from Sidney in twenty minutes.

As we had hoped, we found space at the Causeway dock and tied up, right in front of the Empress Hotel and the B.C. Legislature.  You cannot get more Victoria than that, 

My friends paid the dock fees (Thanks) and we settled in, then dinghied over to Barb's Fish and Chips at the Fisherman's Wharf.  We tied up and went to order, but soon were accosted by a jitney operator.  Apparently we were tied to their dock and even though we were not interfering, he wanted us gone.  I tried not to give him too much attitude, as we shifted down the docks.

On returning to Cassiopeia , we ate, then hiked uptown. When we returned, the gate to our marina dock was locked.  John had put the secret combination into his Blackberry, but where???

I spotted a jitney on a nearby dock and told the captain our story and asked if he could ferry me across the thirty foot gap to our dock.  He contemplated the chances I was telling the truth and the potential consequences of dropping some old guy onto the secure marina dock.

Judging by my dress and unshaven face, except for a North Channel Race Week ball cap, I could pass equally for either  A.) a homeless panhandler or B.) a locked-out rightful owner of a yacht tied up in the marina.  Often there is little difference in appearance.

He decided in my favour and moment later, I was on the marina dock and letting my crew in. Sometimes, wearing the right hat makes the difference, or maybe it was my charm?

I'm thinking it was the hat.

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.
Albert Einstein

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Wednesday June 15th 2016

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

The morning dawned sunny and warm. 

We motored out of Victoria Inner Harbour, past the reakwater, raised sail, raised sail, and headed for Sidney.  My friends had limited time. John's flight east was mid-morning Friday, so we wanted to be near the airport by nightfall.

Even after sailing five hours and covering the twenty-five sea miles between Sidney and Victoria, in truth, at the Empress, we were a mere twenty minute cab or bus ride from YYJ, but the illusion of distance persists, so we headed back.

We made good time and could have anchored at the Spit again, but had time to find a more isolated spot. We wound up at Rum Island.

Rum Island is only five miles away from Sidney, but seems a world away.  We were alone there and saw no one. 

Anchoring was a bit tricky as the bottom is rocky and getting a good set took two tries.  Once anchored, we dinghied in and landed on the beach separating Rum Island from Gooch Island. Doug and I walked around the margins of the island on foot.  John's hip kept him on the beach.

On returning to the boat, Doug and I had a quick swim off the transom.  I was wearing a wetsuit shorty, Doug was in a swimsuit.  The water was brisk.

A happy childhood has spoiled many a promising life
Robertson Davies

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Thursday June 16th 2016

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

The morning was bright and clear.  We set out for Sidney under power as soon as we were up and about, but soon found wind and sailed back most of the way.

The wind died as we approached the marina.  We snuffed the sails and motored to the dock.  Doug drove John to the the airport and left for home soon after.

I rested a while, then cast off again, this time for Bedwell Harbour -- maybe -- or perhaps Roche Harbor...  Any way the wind blows.

I stopped at Moresby to anchor for lunch and a nap, but could not find a good spot, decided against and proceeded. The wind was decent and favoured my route as far as South Pender Island.

The wind dropped an, sitting there in 500 feet of water, I decided to rinse off my anchor chain and began to let out the anchor chain. 

Normally, we let the chain out in a few fathoms and the chain lies on the bottom, limiting the load on the rotating teeth but not out here. I soon discovered that the fast-rotating gypsy could not grab the passing chain when pulled down by 100 feet of dangling chain and it began to skip.

If I kept up, the chain would jump off the gypsy and the entire chain could run away, dropping suddenly, followed by the 200 feet of rope.  It would all end with a jerk that could break the attachment point, damage the boat and send $1,800 worth of anchor, chain and rode to Davy Jones' Locker. I thought better of the idea, stopped, and wound in my ground tackle.

I started the engine and motored east.  By then I had decided to carry on to Port Browning.  I had been there once before, motoring from Bedwell Harbour through the cut and Shark Cove in my dinghy.

As I passed south of South Pender and Bedwell Harbour, I spotted a dinghy drifting along, unattended.  I considered capturing it, but figured the owner would be looking and find it soon enough.  I announced the spotting on VHF 16 and figured I had done my part.

The wind came back up as I rounded the point and turned north to Port Browning.

As I was entering the bay, 'Raven' called "All Stations" on VHF channel 16, saying that they had lost a grey dinghy.  I replied, saying where I had seen it last, off South Pender, drifting towards Stuart Island.  Cool!

I should know who Raven (the boat) is, but do not.  We all know of Raven, the Trickster, though.  For some reason people feel free to appropriate his name.  Not cool.

An hour later, I was anchoring and shortly after, I dinghied in to the beach, hauled the dinghy up and walked to the deck for a beer. 

I had one, then returned to the boat and set the anchor alarm.

If God had really intended men to fly, he'd make it easier to get to the airport.
George Winters

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Friday June 17th 2016

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

Cassiopeia danced around the anchor all night, but stayed within the alarm boundaries.

When the sun came up, I had breakfast, raised anchor, then motored and sailed out of the bay into Plumper Sound.

The day was brilliant.  Winds favoured me down to the narrows where I raised the spinnaker, only to be headed by nasty gusts that threatened to tear it up.

I managed to snuff it and soon was out into the Strait and turned towards Sidney.  I have to be there.,  I fly tonight at 2130.  Once clear of the turbulence, I again raised the sock and ran down to Portland Island at about 3.5 knots.

As I sailed, I watched another boat with spinnaker flying sail past me, She was on the other side and in better wind, plus on a tack and I was on a run.

Around noon, I reached Portland Island and was in the mood for a nap, so I turned in to Princess Margaret Cove. (What's with these British [brutish] names?)

I dropped anchor and had a rest, then continued on, arriving at Van Isle Marina for fuel an hour later. After fuelling, I pulled out and passed Peter Simpson on Tula.  We waved and said hello.

I returned to Sidney, tied up and did all the various tasks to put the boat away, then packed.  I called a cab and was told that cabs were in short supply. "It's like New Years", I was told. Get a grip.  I'm a regular and I can't get a cab?  Apparently not.

I finished packing and called again.  I got a different dispatcher. No problem.  The cab was there as soon as I got to the circle. 

I went through security at YYJ and they tore everything apart since I had too many toys.  No worries.  I was early.

Soon I was airborne, and not long after, I was walking to my van in the bargain lot.

I arrived home a little after midnight.

 

Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men;
although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.
 Bertrand Russell

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Saturday June 18th 2016

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

I mowed the lawn and caught up on odds and ends.  In the evening, I drove over to Ruth's to pick up Zippy.

Half of the American people have never read a newspaper.
Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
 Gore Vidal

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Sunday June 19th 2016

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

Today A few showers ending this morning then a mix of sun and cloud with 40 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm this afternoon. Amount 5 mm. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning. High 25. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers this evening with risk of a thunderstorm. Clearing overnight. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low 6.

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

I slept poorly, probably due to the dust from mowing. 

Although I was very tired in the morning, I had promised to be at Orams' for lunch and drove up.  We had hamburgers and a visit, then I drove back home, stopping in Sylvan to shop along the way.

It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing,
but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
Robert Benchley

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