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I slept right through until 0430, and got up.
I did go back to bed and slept another hour and a half. I dreamt my cat, Amos, was still alive.
I got up again for the day. Looking out, I see steady rain and the grass is already growing so fast I can almost see it getting taller. The trees are leafing out, too.
I have to figure out my plans for the month now. I had been itching to get back to La Paz but the forthcoming sale of Cassiopeia, if it completes, and the delivery of Just Do It! have come between me and that plan.
To get to Powell River, Westjet to Comox is the most direct way and Westjet pilots are threatening a strike (red dot is the first possible day), so even if I get to Powell River, getting back could be difficult. Of course, at this point I do not know how long I'll be out there. The delivery takes a day to three, the repair two days I figure, and the return trip takes another day to three. Once south, I may also divert to Sidney to show off the boat to the charter agents there to boost bookings, visit Cassiopeia before the closing, and to complete my instructor qualifications.
Here is an excerpt.
My mother is in her 100th year and in light of the article snipped above, I realise now that she has always eaten an early supper and never eaten in the evenings. She naturally fasts from 5:30 PM until 7:30 in the morning. Always has.
The thing is that she eats muffins and a lot of sweets during the day, at least a lot by my standards, and has a clear mind and long life. Hmmm.
I wonder how weather compares between my favourite places. Factors that affect comfort are daily highs, daily lows, and the range between them.
It looks to me that BC and BCS are the winners for warm and dry this coming ten-day spell, but BCS will be uncomfortably hot in the marina.
Around five, I decided to drive to Airdrie to do a little shopping. I had ordered a pair of Birkenstocks and they had come in a while ago and there were a few other things as well.
After I picked up the sandals I had a burger and went to London Drugs to get a can of coolant to use in assessing electronics.
My 587D ham transceiver has a temperature-sensitive part somewhere on a circuit board. When the radio gets warm, something generates noise in the speaker, To track this down, the trick is to spray cold air various parts in succession until spraying somewhere alters the sound. Then the part is replaced or the solder joint re-soldered.
I found what I needed, then decided to buy an underwater camera and decided to buy a Finepix XP-130.
I had assumed it would be similar to the simple ones I've owned in the past, but it has wifi and Bluetooth -- and is somewhat larger. Oh, well. One feature important to me is size, since I need to carry it in my bathing suit pocket. I think this will be fine.
I got home and put things away, then unpacked and charged the camera, then went to bed at midnight.
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This morning I decided to compare the camera I bought with the camera in my phone. I expected the phone, a Pixel XL, to be the winner. Here are some pond shots I took this morning and two random shots I took last night when I was unpacking the camera. Try to guess which is which. The shots in each pair are in the same camera order. These are thumbnails and a larger version is linked. In neither case, though is the image full size or resolution -- they are too big to post.
What did you guess? The answer is farther down.
I decided yesterday to cut back on the eggs and today I cooked steel-cut oats. In the past, I found that even slow-cooked oats raises my blood sugar unacceptably after eating whereas eggs do not, but I thought I'll give it another try and watch the portion size. I'm taking a bit of glucophage and that may make a difference. We'll see.
As for the pictures above, the first shot in each pair is from my Pixel XL phone and the second is from the Fuji XP camera. Which is more accurate? Neither, really. Images are an optical trick where dots of ink try to fool our eyes and minds. As for which resembles my impression of what I was looking at, I'd say that neither gets the misty morning wide shot quite right, but the camera wins on the zoom, and the phone does a far better shot indoors at night.
I measured my reaction to the oats and found that an hour after, BG was 8.7, but two hours later it was 5.7. (Mirkin considers 8.9 to be the threshold for damage.)
That is interesting because if I wait two more hours, it may be back up over 6. In fact, I wondering if my low morning BGs have been due to the midnight snacks and my body's insulin reaction, a reaction that wears off after a while.
I notice now that the labs expect a twelve-hour fast before a BG blood teat rather than the eight hour that was standard a decade ago.
The explanations we hear don't seem to fit what I see. Of course everyone is different.
* * * * *
I spent much of the day arranging to get the necessary work done on Just Do It! At first it all seemed easy but reservations to get drydocked proved hard to get, and the long weekend comes in the middle. So, I found myself phoning various parties in BC, waiting for responses, making decisions, consulting...
I was feeling doubtful and a bit stressed until I hit upon a solution that does not mean delivering the boat 100 miles south and back, with potential delays at Shelter Island. Right now I have a lift reserved at Jack's in Lund and a backup reservation at Shelter Island.
I decided I need exercise and since the day had turned nice, I peddled out to Elliotts' and back.
After that, I texted Larry and we discussed the matter. Whereas Fraser had though the boat need polishing and painting, Larry said he had done that last season and it should be fine. We also discussed the seeping and concluded there is nothing that requires immediate attention. At this point, I really don't want to go to the west coast.
My 587D ham radio acts up when hot, so I took off the covers and used the cold air spray all over the printed circuits and could not find any component that responded. The thing is maze of logic components so I have no clue., It'll have to consult the Internet or maybe send it out for repair.
I watched more of Rosewood and went to bed. I did not eat after six thirty. Blood sugar was 5.7 at bedtime. It will be interesting to check in the morning.
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I'm up at 0830, feeling very groggy. A cup or two of coffee fixed that, but I wondered if it had to do with not eating after supper and looked up being groggy. This is interesting.
I decided yesterday to have oats again for breakfast, as there are continuing suspicions about eating as many eggs as I was. My concern bout oats is the blood glucose response, so I have been watching. Although my BG was 5.7 last night at bedtime, it was 6.1 at rising and 8.4 an hour after breakfast. An hour and half later, it was 5.7. That is acceptable.
I spent the morning worrying about details and trying to plan a trip to the coast. I really don't want to go as I cannot envision how this will work out at Shelter Island and I really would rather be in Mexico. Just the same, when I look, I see I'd only have two weeks in Mexico as my eye doctor made an appointment for the 28th.
Maybe after that I'll go to Mexico. I planned to only be gone a few weeks when I left, but I may have another eye appointment shortly after the first, so it is hard to plan.
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Today Sunny. High 25. UV index 8 or very high.
I rolled over and the clock said 3:27. My alarms were set for 4:30 and I went back to sleep. They roused me at 4:30, and I set up the coffee and stepped into the shower.
I'm writing this without reading glasses. It's slightly blurry, but for some reason my eyes focus better today.
It's five now and I have to be out of here by seven. I think I'll park at the airport today. It costs more, but also is convenient. I don't know how long I'll be gone. Could be a week. Could be two weeks, but it won't be longer. I have an appointment on the 28th.
The sky is brightening in the east and I'm fully awake. Now, I'll go find my reading glasses and see how this looks and get packing, Seven hours from now I expect to be met by my friend, Don, in Comox, and twelve hours from now, at my boat, Just Do It!.
With any luck, I'll be sleeping at anchor in Sturt Bay on Texada Island tonight.
Into the blue unknown... Another adventure begins.
* * * * *
I left the house a bit after 7 and drove to Park and Jet. Minutes later I was in the airport passing through security and walking to my gate. For some strange reason they did not insist on inspecting the contents of all my bags. I must be losing my mojo.
The flight was uneventful. My friend Don met me at the airport. We had three or four hours to kill until ferry departure at 3:25 and I needed supplies, so we went grocery shopping and had lunch.
Around three, we drove to the ferry terminal where we learned that the ferry was broken down would not be going for a while. IN fact, it might not even be repaired by the the next scheduled sailing at 7:10.
About eight would-be passengers were stranded so we phoned around looking for a water taxi. Some of the group found a friend with a small speed boat and that solved their problem but I decided to wait until the 7:10 sailing, seeing that by then the ferry staff had confirmed that the 7:10 was going to go for sure. Don and I drove back to town and stopped at a friend's place the visit.
We sat down to chat and Flo's wife set a beer in front of us. I said to myself, what the heck. It's been six months and I can't see any real benefit from not having had a beer, so I drank it.
He, Flo, was trying to take some shipping pallets apart and needed tools, so he dropped over to Don's to borrow a crowbar. We sat down again and on got out the whiskey and poured us each a finger or two with water and ice. Then, after a while, out came the white wine and we each had a glass. I did not notice much effect, but it did lift the mood and my mood needed lifting.
After visiting a while, we all -- Don and I and Flo and his wife, Helen -- went for supper at a local restaurant (I see the voice recognition wasn't working well and corrected this) and had fish and chips. It was some of the best fish and chips I've had anywhere. By then I was a bit giddy,.
Then it was time to catch the ferry so Don drove me to the terminal and sure enough it was boarding. I bought my ticket, walked on board and two hours later I was walking to my boat at Westview.
I arrived at the boat and settled in. By then it was just about dark. I watched a bit of video and went to sleep.
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I woke up at 4:30 and got up. The sky was already starting to get brighter. I was still tired but I figured that in a in a while I'd wake up and I do want to get underway early to catch the tide.
It took me a while to get things organized but around 5:30 I pushed away from the dock and backed carefully out through the narrow space between the boats and the breakwater and set my course for Grief Point.
I soon rounded the point and turned south southeast on my course for the next 60 miles. There was no wind at all and the water was as flat and slick as a mirror.
* * * *
I am making over 6 knots under engine power and that means I'll get to my destination sooner than expected unless things change. Right now I'm riding the ebb tide and that's probably adding a knot to my speed but after lunch the tide will turn and I will be fighting incoming tide.
As a result I expect my speed to drop as much as two knots and my ETA which now calculates to take me to Shelter Island by dark will change and I will find myself stopping along the way and finishing the trip tomorrow.
By mid-day, conditions changed and I could see that if I continued, I'd arrive at the river mouth today, but just after the flood tide and I'd encounter currents that this boat cannot overcome, so I diverted into Gibsons and tied up at the marina for the night.
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At seven, I backed out of the slip and motored out through Shoal Channel, then turned south on a 138 degree course for the river mouth. There was no wind and again, I was motoring.
I arrived early and even before I got to the river itself, I found the current was running at least four knots against me. I found huge rips of turbulent water off the north arm as the fast moving fresh river water joined with the saltwater and I encountered logs, debris and entire trees with roots flushed down the river and into the sea by the spring floods upstream.
I anchored on the delta near the entrance to wait for the tide to turn and had a nap. From time to time debris bounced off the hull.
Around two, I woke up and got underway. I had expected the current to drop to zero or near zero starting about then as the scheduled tide supposedly rushed in but the tide never did overpower the spring flow and I was lucky to exceed three knots against the current, even at 3,000 RPM. I raised sail to assist for a while and that helped, but all in all, this was not an enjoyable trip.
I had supper in Tugboat Annie's pub and laid down for a nap. Before long, my phone rang and I met Colin at the top of the ramp. We chatted and I went back to bed.
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At eight, the lift operator arrived and said that he had a fish boat to lift first if that was okay and I said, sure. After that, out came Just Do It! After a quick pressure wash, we went down the long alley to the Sceptre shack and my boat was deposited right next to it.
Colin had given me a number for a friend here who would help me with the stern tube, so I phoned and shortly, Barry showed up below the boat. He is a take charge sort and although he was just to help with tools and supplies, pretty soon he was doing much of the work.
We cut off the rubber hiding the seeping fitting and soon discovered the problem was not structural and merely poor sealer application at the factory. It took us an hour and we were done.
I was feeling poorly again and had a long nap, then wandered down to Tugboat Annie's Pub for supper. Then I returned to the boat, watched some video and found I was shivering uncontrollably, but not feeling cold. I wrapped myself up and went to sleep for the night. During the night, I had some pains that I imagine came as close to angina as anything I have experienced, so I chewed an aspirin and and went back to sleep.
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I woke up at 0735 and I'm still here.
I'm living up on stilts in a sailboat here on the hard at Shelter Island. That was never on my list of must-dos.
It was cool and overcast and I ran the furnace when I got up. I'm not feeling great, but went out and met the fellow, Vaughn, that Cooper sent over to touch up the bottom.
He got started then Colin called and sent me on a short errand. When I returned, I learned that Vaughn had fallen off the scaffold and hurt his backside. He looked okay, but we sent him off to seek attention. Now nothing is happening.
I had a nap and wandered to the marina shop where I ate the worst pizza ever for lunch and returned to the boat.
By then I was feeling awful again (not due to the pizza) and returned to my perch to nap. I woke up feeling better again and walked around. If I'm feeling better, I might even get to like it here, but it is definitely not near the top of my list of vacation spots.
The afternoons here have been pleasant. It seems that after lunch the place comes alive. After my nap, I felt better and wandered down to the store. It was closed. Four-thirty already. Time flies. I walked around to Tugboat Annie's, had two lagers and a Cobb Salad and returned to the boat, chatting with the workers and owners along the way. You can never go wrong admiring a person's boat.
I'm feeling much better. Up and down, but at the moment I'm up. No aches. No headache. Clear vision.
Long weekend is coming up and I'll be trapped her if I don't splash this afternoon. I begged a lift and was promised a launch by closing. Maybe.
Nobody has shown up to do the bottom painting so I was it. Barry had the paint and brushes and a suit, so I got to work. The paint is supposed to dry for a day before being wetted, but I have seen that nobody worries about that and went ahead.
Colin had talked about touching up along the waterline and I had not understood seeing as there was scum there and chipping, but decided to paint it under at the last minute. It worked out okay. This paint is ablative, i.e. designed to slew off the outer skin to lose any marine growth that tries to attach, It is more if a whitewash than a paint. When I was done, the job looked good. Would the slings rub it off? We'll see. It dried very quickly.
The Travelift showed up and took the boat to the water and launched. I checked for leaks and found none, moved to another dock and checked again. I could see the shaft seal leaks when the shaft turns but stops when the shaft stops. The leak was minor. Oh, well. Maybe it will settle in and stop leaking. At any rate, I'm not going back.
I joined Barry for a beer and then headed downriver, making ten knots while dodging debris and fighting standing waves. As I proceeded, I was surprised to notice steam from the exhaust. Steam is a sign of less than ideal engine cooling. This was new, but things were running fine. Just as I exited the delta, however, an alarm went off. I checked high and low and found it was an overheating alarm. I checked for cooling water in the exhaust and there was none, so I shut down the engine and raised sail.
I happened to be far from any real refuge, subject to strong currents, and it was about six by then. I had roughly three hours until dark. The wind did not favour making Whaler Bay, my preferred destination for the night. I could make Porlier, but did not want to venture though under sail alone and there is no refuge on the Strait side, so I decided to try for Whaler Bay at Active Pass and take my chances. it was a bit of a Hail Mary.
At first I was making six knots close-hauled and prospects looked good for making Galiano and maybe even Whaler Bay if the wind shifted as predicted, but my current course took me to the bare steep shores of Galiano. In case I did not make the bay, I scanned the charts for a ledge to anchor if things did not change and figured it would work out.
Then the wind dropped and soon I was drifting along at a knot of two. I went below and began working on the cooling pump, popping up now and then to scan for hazards. I was miles from anywhere, hardly moving, and there were no boats anywhere nearby or on a course to intercept. Hitting a log at that speed would be harmless.
Time passes quickly when distracted, and after a while I felt a strong urge to look around again, and climbed up the open companionway. Right ahead, a tug was pulling a barge right in front of me and if I continued as I was, within minutes, I would have hit the tow cable, stopped dead, then been hit by the barge. Wow!
The tug seemed totally unaware of me and maybe the captain was distracted, too. Anyhow, I did a quick 360 and passed behind the barge, then continued west. At my rate of progress, if I did not become becalmed, I was likely to arrive at shore right around dark. I have good plotters and instruments that show my position accurately in relation to contours, hazards, and depths so I could anchor even in the dark, but it is better to be able to see land and rocks.
Just as time passes fast when distracted, when making the last mile at two or three knots and racing nightfall, time passes at a glacial rate. That last mile took forever. As I closed in on shore, the wind became gusty and twisty. It was blowing offshore as i had hoped and that was a good thing. I don't like to anchor in an open sea off a lee shore. If drag, I'd rather drag out to sea than onto the shore.
When I finally arrived at ten metres depth, I dropped the hook and it grabbed right a way. That was good, seeing as I had no engine to test the holding and set the anchor or motor around looking for a better spot. I let out almost two hundred feet of rode to be sure of a a strong hold, set the drag alarm and went to to bed. I was in an cellular shadow. No phone. No Internet.
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The morning turned out to be overcast and when I got up, it was raining lightly. I started the engine, figuring I'd run it until the overheat alarm came on, allowing me to raise the anchor without having to pull up 200 feet of wet chain and heavy rope by hand. With luck, I might also make a few miles under engine, before the alarm started up. The sea was dead calm.
I had decided by then I was on my way to Sidney. Active Pass would turn soon and I wanted to be there while the current was going my way. Would I have engine or have sail through -- or push with the dinghy? The alarm had not gone off yet and I noticed water again coming from the exhaust. Maybe I had fixed the pump. It had been quite gummed up with waxy grease and I had cleaned it well.
Once through the Pass, I was again free of worry. The engine performed normally. I now had the day to spend as I pleased, so I called Bruce and diverted to Ganges. He had a dance thing happening, but we met for coffee first and then later for supper. In the meantime, I bought groceries and wandered through the famous Saturday market.
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I woke up to sunshine and dozed a while. At 0835, I got up and made coffee and ate the leftover pizza. Bruce called and came down for a visit.
At noon, I cast off with no definite plan. Once out of the harbour, I set sail for Montague, but then decided Montague would be a zoo and tacked up to the reef at Active Pass and then into Village Bay, where I am now anchored. There is absolutely nothing happening here. It is pleasant.
After a rest and before too late, I set out again, sailing south with no definite destination. I considered Bedwell Harbour to catch the end of the Bluewater Rendezvous, or maybe Sidney -- or maybe a stop at Portland Island for the night.
I decided on Sidney, seeing as I have a slip assigned there and I am going to wind up there anyhow. The wind dropped and I motored straight there.
I am amazed at how much I have learned since I bought Cassiopeia a little over five years ago. At that time, I was very green and cautious. Today, I motored right through and area that would have frightened me in the past, passing rocks and whirlpools and shallows along the way.
I motored into D2, docked beautifully in that difficult spot, stepped off, and tied up, complimented by passersby.
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I left home on the 12th. On the 26th, I'll have been gone two weeks. Today is the 21st
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