! If you are looking for bee information !
Bee-related posts are infrequent here lately, but at one time I was very involved. Just about every topic has been covered somewhere on this site some time or another. Best bets are: 1.) check back on today's date in various previous years 2.) visit the selected topics page 3.) search this site for keywords. 4.) visit bee-l.org
I slept until 0730 and on checking the cameras at home I see there is little change in pond level from last night, but today is expected to be warm and sunny, so we'll see a big change by tonight, I'm sure.
My mainsail is still stuck, but as often the the case, I had an insight overnight. I had noticed the riggers had tensioned the main to the point where there is a vertical wrinkle near the mast. That is right for a conventional sail, but caused the in-mast sail to roll up larger than normal and jam. I'll let off the main halyard and play with it and see if I can get it out now.
Today is the race and I was planning to meet up with the group at the starting line, but have decided I'll watch for them when they pass and join up here. After all, I don't have a working main at the moment.
Regardless, we'll all meet at Caleta Partida and have a meet-up and beach party. That should be interesting. I'm a bit of a loner, and don't drink anymore, but find these folks to be about my speed. One does not get to be a long distance cruiser and expat in a remote area of Mexico by being inflexible or conventional.
I seem to have a slight cold today unless it is an allergy. I noticed it late yesterday. let's hope it does not develop into something nasty. I've had two bad colds over winter and it took months to fully recover.
Around 0945, I heard voices and went up top to see. A group of Mexican tourists were out snorkeling nearby and were swimming near the boat. We smiled and waved at each other, but my Spanish is not up to casual conversation yet -- although I am getting to where I understand a little.
Seeing as I was up there, I decided to try the main and found it was totally jammed in the fully furled position. That could be serious. No amount of pulling would move it in or out and too much force could break or rip something. Applying the insight I acquired while asleep, I eased the main halyard and -- presto!-- the sail runs in an out perfectly without effort. Simple. And the riggers did not know.
So, now I have a fully functioning boat. and on channel 69 I hear it is five minutes to race start. I'll go out to join up but they'll be a while getting here. They are five sea miles away (right), so I have around an hour, depending on wind. So far it is southerly, but dying. I imagine the trimaran will get here first, being twice as fast as the monohulls. I'm the red triangle top right. They are the blue ball at bottom of the line.
Actually, the wind is dying now and will be coming back hard from the northwest and then northeast. I probably should have gone first thing on the strong southerly. I'd have had a sleighride all the way.
In fact, I'll leave now and not wait. I should have checked Windy earlier. This is going to be an upwind fight all day by the looks of things.
It started off with a downwind run. As the wind tapered off, I put up the spinnaker. That got me to the Lorenzo Channel where I became becalmed in a backwind eddy for a while. In the sun, with no wind, it was hot. I was about to go for a swim when I noticed whitecaps out further and could see strong wind coming, so I scrambled to snuff the 'chute and got ready to go.
Being in an eddy, the wind initially came in fits and starts from various directions. Meanwhile I saw the fleet further out and realised I had made a strategical error. While my track had been fine with the south wind, when the wind shifted north, I was left in a vortex and lost an hour or more.
Finally I got into wind and found it was very gusty and I was overpowered, then backwinded. Then the outboard dropped from the travel position to vertical and I had to heave to and fight with that problem in heavy swells. Underway again, I found i had to reef and was making up to six knots, but could not get upwind. I seemed to not make more than about sixty degrees on a tack where I would have expected ninety. That makes a large difference in distance made good each tack and I found myself at San Gabriel, two hours by direct route at the time I should have arrived. I started the engine, furled the sails, and motored the rest of the way.
When I arrived at Caleta Partida, the anchorage was fairly full. I tried anchoring among the other boats, but was not happy with where I swung and elected to go out into 35 feet depth and anchor away from the other boats. There was some chatter on the VHF, but I was not in a social mood and I don't know anyone.
Without Internet, I decided to read a paperback, Humans Bow Down, that happened to come with the boat. I almost never read fiction, but decided to try this one. It bragged about being a number one best seller, whatever that is. I read over half by bedtime at ten-thirty. It was shallow, but entertaining.
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I slept poorly. The other day I bought too much cheese and I decided to eat some last evening to use it up and eating before bed is a bad idea. At any rate, I was up around one for a while before going back to sleep and slept until seven-thirty.
I'm not exactly sure why I am here ay Caleta Partida. I am not in contact with the Veleros de Baja group so far, but I suppose I have to be somewhere, and I have volunteered to try to reactivate the Yahoo! group.
The morning was overcast and cool. I had thought to do some swimming or snorkeling but decided it was too cool. I took a trip in to the beach, then a tour around the bay looking for coral. The outboard is running well, but occasionally gets a little balky. I found some coral on the south shore for future reference and returned to the boat.
It was a lazy day so I decided to finish reading Humans Bow Down. I really don't know what to think. Language is so one dimensional and this sort of narrative is very narrow.
That took an hour, then I had a nap. I awoke to hear Jimmy calling me from his dinghy, just off my stern, reminding me about the potluck beach party and bonfire tonight. I'm not a fan of potlucks, and don't have much suitable food on board, but decided to make chicken fried rice.
The beach party started at 1800 on the west end of the beach. Over the next hour dinghies arrived, tables of food appeared and a bonfire was lit. I did not count but figure there were forty people. Surprisingly, no dogs, but this is a park and this group is law-abiding.
I left around nine and returned to Baja Magic, then went to bed.
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The night was calm and the morning is warm here in Caleta Partida.
The fleet leaves today with a race back to La Paz scheduled for after lunch as near as I can tell. Communication is mostly "Clear if previously understood".
At eleven, the 'race' back to La Paz began. Three boats went out and it is flat calm, so they won't get far under sail. The rest either are motoring back, staying here, or going farther north.
I decided instead to leave the bay and catch some Internet to see if I have any pressing business. There was a breeze out of the bay, but it was almost dead calm once outside on the sea. I sailed and drifted while I caught up on email and then found myself at the north end of Isla Partida with a decision to make. I could turn and go back, continue around the Island, or... looking north, I could see Isla San Francisco 16 miles away and the sea was dead calm.
A quick calculation and I could see I could be there in three hours for twenty dollars worth of fuel (return trip). The trip was bound to be comfortable as there were no swells and no north wind to fight. I has always intended to go there and had not so far, but going there would add another three hours to my return trip back to La Paz, and I do have to be there by Tuesday, preferably fairly early so I can get ready to leave for home.
As I approached the island, dolphins were surfacing near the boat and for a mile or more north of me, feeding. There must have been a hundred or more.
By five after six, I was anchored in the south bay at Isla San Francisco in thirty feet of water. The anchorage is quite full and I am the last one in. This is a very popular spot.
During the crossing I had noticed that there was no water pressure in the basin and turned off the fresh water pump, and on arrival, I found the floor mat was wet in the main cabin. Sure enough, a water line had burst and emptied one water tank into the bilge.
I cut out the blown section and reminded myself to turn off the pressure pump and bleed the pressure on the return trip --- and have a talk with Richard. I ran the bilge pump ran for a while and I hung out the carpet to dry. I noticed that the automatic bilge pump had been turned off and made a note to remembered to leave it on.
I was hot after the crossing, and as soon as I dealt with the leak I went for a dip. I soaked for a while before getting out and rinsing off and a neighbour passing by in a dinghy asked if it was cold, but I replied, "Just perfect for cooling down." For many, according to what I hear on the radio nets is that at 20° C it is too cool for swimming, but it's not for me, not after a hot day.
Then, since I still had two hours until sunset and should leave tomorrow fairly early to get back near La Paz by dark, I started the outboard and headed for the beach. I got a hundred feet away from the boat and the outboard stalled. I squeezed the fuel bulb and saw gas drip out from under the cowling. The carb float was stuck again.
I rowed back, much appreciating the oars a friend had donated a month back. The next hour and a half was spent taking the carb apart again and sure enough, the needle was glued again. I cleaned it and the jet again very carefully and reassembled the motor. The outboard now runs well again, but by then it was dark..
I wrote a bit and went to bed just after ten. The sea was dead calm, with no wind.
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I woke up just before four, wasn't tired, and got up. I realised that yesterday was the deadline for extending my medical insurance, so I'll have to be careful not to get injured or sick for the next few days, not that I would not be careful anyhow.
I see the boat has turned 180 degrees at anchor, but has hardly moved. There is now a gentle swell and a slight breeze from the south.
Navionics says the trip is forty-one sea miles. Motoring non-stop in a direct line at five knots would take eight hours. Sailing and making six knots -- or four -- and especially tacking off the rhumb line could alter that significantly.
I've been up an hour and am going back to bed for a while. After a dead-calm night, now, just before dawn, the boat is beginning to rock. The morning southerly is starting up on schedule.
I woke up at 0714 and got up again. By now the sun is shining in and the boat is rocking more definitely in a forward/back motion. I turned on the radio to hear the Sonrisa Net and found very weak activity on 3968. The net begins at 0730 local. I'd like to hear the forecast when it comes on at 0745.
Signals were poor and I missed Garry's forecast on Sonrisa. The forecast on Amigo was no better. but I did hear a lot of Northwest five to fifteen mentioned which is good and only a bit of southwest which is less good.. What I get is what I get. I'm on my own.
I made an omelet while I listened and coffee. I did not bother to check in.
Up top it was warm already. I was planning to swim and maybe snorkel, since I had only arrived last night and not done any exploring, but a glance at the water revealed bits of foam and I was also thinking of the trip ahead and my deadline, so I lifted the dinghy, outboard and all, lashed it and raised anchor.
At 0909 I was underway, pointed for La Paz at 2000 RPM and making five knots with an ETA of about 4 PM. Of course I probably won't go straight in and the sea and wind conditions are bound to change.
By nine-thirty, the wind was picking up from the southwest and I raised the main, not that it made any difference in speed. I raised the RPM to 2500 and maintained 5.3 knots. The swells were building from the south with then increasing wind.
At ten-thirty, the wind has picked up a bit and the main is giving some boost. I'm headed for Pichilinque as an initial destination with an ETA of 3:20 PM Pichilinque is still an hour out of Marina Palmira but will be a decision point if I have not decided to divert before then.
We were motoring right along when at 1105, then engine suddenly just shut off. There was no drama, just a stop. It could only be fuel. One gauge said full. so I checked the valve connecting the tanks and it was open. I tapped the top tank and it was empty, so I found the other tank and checked with flashlight. It was empty. Just a little bit in the bottom moved with the boat.
OK. What now? No wind. No fuel. No time. I had to adjust my expectations and realised that I don't really want to go home anyhow, so worst case, I just postpone my flight. That's expensive, but doable.
I drifted around a while and considered my options. I considered towing with the outboard, but that is awkward and I have limited fuel. I considered finding a cove eventually when the wind picks up and running to town in the dinghy for fuel. Doable, but time consuming and a bit risky. I finally decided that the northerly should show up on schedule and carry me to Pichilinque at least and that is near my destination and near roads. I also figured I can try to beg fuel from other boats once closer to land. At the moment, I was an hour from land.
The wind built a bit and I dropped the dinghy since there was no need to have it on davits and raised the spinnaker. That sail makes the best of light wind and soon I was on track and going five knots again.
At 1330, I am pushing six and will have to snuff the big sail soon or risk a roll.
Our speed dropped a knot and a half and I regretted snuffing the 'chute but I also knew I would regret not doing so more if the wind builds any more on the next gusts.
I'm twenty miles form Pichilinque and moving at 4.6 knots. ETA now is -- maybe -- just before dark unless we get more wind. Unfortunately, the wind tends to die around six, so I have maybe four hours left before I have to anchor.
As soon as I snuffed the big sail, the wind dropped and soon I was letting it out of its bag once again. Now we are moving at 3.6 knots with 17 miles to go and it is 2:48 PM, giving me at most five hours in the day. I've quit worrying about what comes next. We are moving in the right direction. Ideally, I'd sail up and anchor off Costa Baja, and dinghy in for fuel, but that right now is a dream and twenty miles away.
I have no Internet here although I did get two texts saying I have voicemail. I see a spot which has worked in the past just ahead, but am slowing to 2 knots. The wind has died.
As I reach Caleta Partida, I see the fishing camps in there and realise I could go in and beg fuel if I were closer, but from out here, offshore, it would be a fight to get there. Nonetheless if I make it to Pichilinque, I can beg a ride there or maybe some fuel.
No sooner was I pushing and the wind shifter 90 degrees to my starboard forward bow. I hopped back onto Baja Magic and fought the spinnaker down, then set the main and jib. Soon we were making five knots under sail again, right on the rhumb line.
I've been out of touch for over a day and now I'm looking at the forecast for home, Wow!
That is tomorrow's forecast. The bees will be out working, assuming I still have some alive.
Right now the wind is from the south against me, but I am making four knots. The day is beautiful and warm. I'm in my bathing suit.
At the Channel de San Lorenzo, I hit the back eddy again and was drifting but I could see wind ahead, so I pushed with the dinghy until I hit the wind line and was once again going three and a half knots under sail.
Out in the channel, the wind picked up and I sailed until the speed dropped to 1.8 and then started pushing again. It is an hour from sundown and an hour from Caleta Lobos, plus another ten minutes to Pichilinque. The last light is twenty minutes later, but there is half-moon tonight and it should be overhead at sundown, so I may carry on. We'll see. For this pushing to work, the sea must be flat and it fortunately is right now. It might not be later. This is quite an adventure and one I will not forget soon.
We'll see how the outboard gas lasts. My Hunter gets six miles to the gallon as I recall and I have about a gallon and four to five miles to cover until I anchor. This will use up this gas and hopefully clean out the carb, I added extra Sea Foam last night seeing as what I had added before had not done the trick. So far, touch wood, the outboard is running fine, but it was balky when I tried to get it going a little while ago to start pushing again.
* * * * *
By 8:30, just after sunset, I was anchored in twenty feet of water at Pichilinque, but after running into zero depth without incident due to the outboard being a bit remote and hard to control.
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I woke up at five. The boat was rocking on a gentle swell and something tapped on the hull occasionally. I could not guess what. When I got up a half-hour later and went out, I still could not figure it out unless the boat was coming up against the chain. My depth gauge says 9.8 feet and that is below the keel, so I'm not touching the seabed.
Wind is from the south, directly from my destination today. I'm still out of fuel for the diesel, but have several litres of gasoline for the dinghy outboard. There is a small marina here and a hotel across the bay so maybe I can get fuel.
Either gas or diesel would help, but diesel would be best. Then I can either continue to push Baja Magic to Costa Baja, some 5.3 sea miles away or simply start the diesel and motor back to the fuel dock.
Either way, I'll dinghy in the the marina/hotel and ask around. I can also catch a cab to Costa Baja and back. Things don't get going around here until nine generally, so I'm having breakfast and tidying up. We'll see.
At home, the snow is almost gone and the pond is almost thawed.
* * * * *
Its 1539 and I'm back in La Paz, tied up at Marina Palmira. It has been another one of those days.
I did dinghy over to the marina and they kindly sold me some fuel, even though they are not permitted to. I can't believe how nice people here are, and relaxed.
I took it back to the boat and siphoned it into Baja Magic's top tank, then tried starting. I almost got the engine to go, but it seemed still to be out of fuel. I looked at the tank and could not tell for sure, but it looked pretty empty. Another attempt convinced me that the 20 litres had not been enough to raise the level enough. I had run out under way, so the shaking and sloshing would empty the tank beyond what might be available sitting still, so I was back to pushing to get to the fuel dock at Costa Baja, five miles away. I doubted that I had enough gas, but figured to start and hope for wind -- and luck.
I did not get a breath of wind, but I had good luck. The gas held out and I even had a litre left when I arrived, so I could have pushed faster, but I had kept it down to three knots to conserve, I managed to pull nicely into the fuel dock
At the fuel dock, I was met by three hands and we filled the top tank. It took ninety liters and that was it. I went below and the bottom tank still looked quite empty but I could hear trickling, and after a while the top tank took more.
I called Steve, the former owner, and he said that maybe the moisture collector he had just installed was restricting the air escape, slowing the flow. He also said the other filler, direct to the bottom tank was untrustworthy so I should stick with the one I was using.
After a while, I paid the bill for the diesel and three litres more of outboard gas. It came to $150 and I tipped ten dollars because the three dock hands were so helpful, but afterwards wondered. If it was at ninety, then took twenty more and the fuel was a ninety-some cents a litre and gas was a dollar a liter +/-, how did that get to $150? I did not get a written bill, so maybe they had already tipped themselves.
It took me a while to start the engine and I wound up having to bleed the filter, and the injectors, probably because I had injected air when trying before the tank filled. I had to loosen the connections marked and crank the engine, turning off the cooling water while doing so, but turning it on as soon as I got the engine to run. The arrow points to the manual pump lever that moves fuel through the system without needing to crank the engine.
On return to the marina, I was hot. It is oppressive here, out of the breeze. I was weary, too, and things were looking a bit washed out. Mild heat prostration? I turned on the fans and had lunch then a nap. It was a great nap, lasting an hour, with dreams.
When I awoke, I did not want to get up or do anything, but figured I had rushed back here to get ready to go, so should get moving, but first I needed a soak in the swimming pool to cool off. The pool here is always cool. I did that and then felt more energetic.
I received an email to check in for my flight tomorrow. I didn't. No rush. I already have my seat reserved and leaving here is not something I like to think about.
I walked up to the tienda and got drinking water.
On the way back, I cooled off in the pool, then went back and got to work closing up.
I also walked up and checked out water systems and got preservative for the fuel. Then I lifted the outboard and dinghy, but first I ran the gas out of the engine. I was surprised that the outboard ran for several minutes with the fuel line disconnected. With luck this should prevent varnish in the needle valve next time.
I put in a wash and the washer quit before it finished, requiring a wait for it to release the load. Then the drier did not finish. In both cases, the staff were very helpful.
I still have a few hours work to get ready to leave but it is 2030, so I'll do the rest in the morning. Sunrise is at
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The alarm on my phone woke me at five with gentle, insistent chimes and a surf background. I lay there a while, not wanting to get up. I have a shuttle to catch at nine or a cab at nine-thirty to be at the bus station at ten for the three-hour ride to the airport and should hustle, but...
Being slow rising is most unusual for me on a flight day. I'm usually up before the alarm, but it is clear in so many ways that I really don't want to leave.
After a while ESET finished and reported it had removed four nasties, well, semi-nasties -- some sort of browser toolbar fro Google, apparently. That's fine by me. I recently removed Ad Blocker Pro and installed Ghostery, mostly because when watching the calls passing by on the status bar when loading pages, most of the URLs were for trackers and ad servers. No wonder my browsers were getting slow. Web pages these days are loaded with junk that eats data and slows browsing.
I finished getting ready to go and walked towards the taxi stand and on the way encountered Tom, and he offered me a ride. Soon I was at the Terminal Touristica and three and a half hours later, here I am at SJD, waiting for my first leg, to Vancouver.
Our flight took us over La Paz and the Islands I frequent, then up the Sea of Cortez and I was able to see some of the destinations I expect to visit some day. The shots above are La Paz itself, and Isla San Francisco. (the red dot is where I anchored in the cove).
At YVR, It was a long walk to the next flight and I had to go through security all over again. In Mexico, I went right through, but in Canada they always have to tear things apart because of the computer and other devices and wires in my gear. Carrying a Nexus card makes no difference, except sometimes it gets me top the front of the line. All these are good reasons to take the direct flight.
Eventually, I landed in Calgary and my taxi was waiting. In Airdrie it was too late for grocery shopping.
I was home by twelve and went right to bed.
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I woke up a little after seven and got up. I'm groggy this morning after all the travel.
The sun is shining and the light is brighter and bluer than at sea level. The house is at 21° C or 70°F and that feels cool. I'm used to 26 or warmer.
I have a headache today and am not up to much. I went back to bed and slept another hour and will nap again, I expect.
I need groceries, so I may go to town, but we'll see how I feel. I reinsured the Grand Marquis which had been reduced to fire and theft over winter and that will be my ride to town.
The red car is back on the road again, so I drove to town and bought groceries and picked up cigarettes for Carolyn while there.
The afternoon is warm and sunny and it is 25 in the house so I am right at home.
Although I hated to leave Baja Magic, once I am here, it feels good to be home. The coming weather may make me reconsider though.
By evening, I was feeling much better. I hope tomorrow I'll feel like working outside.
I don't see bees buzzing around and on a hot day I should. I wonder if I have any left.
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I'll go outside today and take stock of the yard and bees. Last time i was here there was too much snow to do anything, but now almost all the snow is gone.
I see the EU is going to ban neonics. I have mixed feeling about this as I am not sure what will replace them. Farmers are not just going to sit and watch insects eat their crops.
My plan for the day was to deal with small items like the tractor stalled on the driveway, blowing up the flat tires on the black truck, charging batteries, and maybe get the red truck going. (That's a propane tank being used as an air tank for inflating tires.)
I got the tractor going and I am not sure if it was because I fiddled with an interlock switch or just put the pedals in the right configuration. At any rate, it is out of the way now.
At five-thirty I came in and cooked a salmon steak for supper. The house is warm now from the sun, 27 degrees C.
I have three daylight hours left but not much ambition. I also have deskwork to do, so maybe I'll do some of both.
I ended up watching an episode of The Paper and went to bed early.
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The pond ice has melted and the ducks are back. Only a few small patches of snow remain, mostly where it was piled by plowing or drifts in the shade.
I am still not feeling very energetic, but should get the bee truck running and check hives. Ideally, I should work through them and remove unneeded boxes. I doubt any are starving.
I decided to change the oil in the van and went looking for my ramps. I cannot find them anywhere and I did look. Whatever did I do with them? I looked everywhere. Did someone steal them? hardly likely. They are old, ugly, and very heavy.
Than I decided to wash the van and in the process, discovered my 2009 T&C Limited is starting to rust. Oh. Oh! Oh, well.
It's a beautiful day and I then began washing my front walk. It's heaved and I have been putting off repairs, but will have to something before long.
I walked over finally and looked at the hives in the south and there may be five alive. I did not open any. Thing is, I just don't care any more and that is the problem. I should have sold everything last year, but didn't. Oh, well. Now I have a lot of equipment to sell.
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I slept poorly and got up at 0725. The day is dull and breezy. Temperature is down around seven Celsius. I am tired and feel crappy today, again.
I'm doing deskwork and tidying, plus a little ham radio. Very little, though as the bands are dead. I can't hear any stations so propagation is really bad at the moment.
I'm also looking at moving the Veleros de Baja group website from Yahoo!. Yahoo! has some daunting terms of service now and also the groups don't work. I posted a message last night and began uploading photos. The message still has not posted and the picture upload failed with an error message. This task is time-consuming since I have not found an exact replacement and if I do, can the previous content be transferred?
Calgary Beekeepers list is on Yahoo! Groups also and may soon quit working as well.
I spent a lot of time writing an email I'll likely never finish and trying to deal with the balky Yahoo! site. Then I watched three episodes of The Paper and went to bed.
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I woke up at six twenty, got up, lay back down and slept another hour. Now I am wide awake.
Today I plan to go to Jean's for supper and stay overnight. Tomorrow, I have an appointment in Red Deer. Jean's and RD are both in the same direction.
Red Deer is an hour and a half from here and Jean's is about forty minutes past Red Deer, so this plan saves on driving. With gas back up at $1.30 a litre, driving gets expensive.
Today is brighter and promises to be warmer than yesterday. I'll leave after lunch.
I left a bit late and arrived at five. We had supper, then went for a walk to the beach and back.
Everyone was off to bed early. These folks are early risers.
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