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I'm losing interest in bees lately and Bee-related posts are infrequent these days, 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 fly to Victoria today and have a lot to do be ready to go when Bill gets here around noon.
I want to get back to La Paz soon, but I have other places to go and things to do. Also, I am told this is not the best time of year to be there due to the heat, but I am getting to like heat and find Canada ridiculously cold. I see that the current temps there are 32°C to 35°C max each day (90° to 95°F) and that is not too bad if you are out on the water. In fact it can be very pleasant.
I'm slowing down. I did not even launch my excellent little boat -- Carpe Diem -- here and now I am off to the Wet Coast to be on, Cassiopeia. I almost sold her this year but he broker screwed up the deal. I don't mind.
I packed, did laundry, and threw all the items I had sorted in the garage back into boxes, pulled the tarps over the boat, tied them down, and was almost ready when Bill came to pick me up. We drove to YSB and I cleared security without any hassles.
My flight to YYZ was routine. In Toronto I had almost three hours between flights, so I went to the Premium lounge and had another lunch and a beer, then went to the gate and asked if they could move me up.
I asked as I boarded and was moved up before take-off.
Up-front service was impressive. I was given a hand towel, a 'tablecloth' for the tray and my choice of meals and wine. Cool. It is nice to be Westjet Gold.
The business class service varies from flight to flight, but the steward on this flight took his job seriously and obviously enjoyed giving over-the-top service and made this flight special.
On touchdown I texted Rick and he came to pick me up. I'm on a roll today. At the marina. we went to the Surly Mermaid. I had a beer or two and he had supper.
Cassiopeia was at the dock, but the clients still had one more night until they had to disembark and all the other boats were out except Familia, a large, luxurious Sea Ray and Boogie Woogie, an old and weathered Cooper trawler. We chose he huge luxury cruiser, and each had a stateroom for the night.
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Yesterday was warm all day and Rick had run the air-conditioning on Familia. The cabins were chilly when we boarded and I found the night a bit cold down in the suite, but I survived under a pile of quilts.
We were up early. Rick had some instant cappuccino so that tided us over until we could make real coffee later on Cassiopeia.
We had to be off Familia to make way for the cleaning crew, so I moved to Boogie Woogie until my boat was available and Rick went to work on the dock.
It was a cold morning and all the hatches were open, so I put on my long underwear and shell and went to work on the United beekeepers of Alberta website. By noon that job was about complete.
I did a bit more web work in the afternoon and settled in. I'm a bit jet lagged. I've overeaten and over-drank a bit on the trip and last evening. Not a lot, but enough to think I'd better cut back.
Of course, though, I didn't and I went to the Chinese buffet with Rick for super even though I was not really hungry.
Rick is a very interesting person. He has been everywhere and done everything including owning a charter business in the Caribbean. What exactly he is doing here running the dock I don't know. He does not need the work and does not need the money but he works twelve-hour days seven days a week with only the occasional break. I'm told he is a long-time friend of Dawn's and she called on him after the last two dock men did not work out. It was driving her crazy as she is in sales and was making promises to clients and was then finding that the dock staff were no fulfilling them.
There is no surer way to discourage and disincentive a top sales person than fail to fulfill promises. In this business, like commercial beekeeping, there are too many moving parts and too many things to go wrong, plus we are at the mercy of the weather.
I returned to Cassiopeia, worked on some new details on the website, then found my SFTP client was acting up. I could not upload files reliably and was getting 404s on some pages. I at first figured it must be permissions on the server or locally and wiped the site completely off the server, hoping no one was trying to accessing it at that moment, then recreated it and managed to upload, but not without errors.
I had expected to be in bed at ten, but the unexpected last-minute glitch kept me up almost to midnight.
I reinstalled Filezilla before bed and we'll see if the problem repeats. I'll find out now when I upload this page.
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I slept until almost nine, having been up in the night for an hour or two. The day is dull so far.
I have a few repairs to do and have not decided if I am leaving the dock or not. Although it is dull right now, the coming week looks nice.
My FTP program seems to be working right today.
I went uptown with Rick for soup and a sandwich for lunch and found a show and shine taking place on Beacon Avenue.
I returned to the boat and spend some time looking into the leak-back in the fresh water system, the toilet leak and talking to Liz about the upcoming meeting.
At four-thirty, I am taking Fascination, a Catalina 32, over to Van Isle for fuel for something to do and takingg the cleaners with me. These girls spend their days cleaning boats, bit seldom get to spend time enjoying them.
We cast off for Van Isle. The girls were at the helm. They have zero experience, but learned quickly.
We fueled up, pumped the waste tanks and set out again. I realised we did not need to be back and suggested a trip to the Spit, so off we went. We motored in carefully over the sandbars. With a ten-foot tide, we were never in danger of touching bottom as we only need six feet to clear.
We tied up at the dock and went ashore. The girls went on a hike and I had a phone conference about setting up an interactive web form on www.albertabeekeepers.com for registration to attend the September 29th conference.
We returned to Port Sidney and that was my day.
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I'm up early today and planning to get some repairs done before Orams arrive tomorrow.
I'm doing chores on the boat and working on the United Beekeepers of Alberta website
I walked uptown twice to the hardware store and stopped at Fairway once and Save-on Foods once. I was looking for door stops and Varsol for varnishing a few things around the boat.
The oars for the dinghy needed some love, so I sanded and varnished them. Sanded and varnished the handle for the companionway slider, too. It has been bothering me for a while since it is something I handle many times a day and it had lost its varnish and a mechanic with green Volvo engine paint on his hands had left a green thumbprint. I and am considering refinishing the cockpit table. Several edges are showing white spots. My only concern is whether it will dry in time..
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Today Mainly sunny. Hazy this afternoon. High 28.
UV index 8 or very high.
The weather outlook is good -- not hot, but pleasant.
I was still tired, so went back to bed for two hours.
The morning is, as mornings often are, dull. The days here start off cool and dull, then brighten up and warm up.
Shane came by and had coffee. I mentioned the leak in the forward head (toilet) and we spent the next while disassembling and repairing it. The job is now done and I'm glad.
Colin came by and is busy, but we have some business to do today if it works out.
The rest of the time was spent dealing with UBAC business. There are several of us doing all the work. We have things pretty well lined up, except the people who are supposed to be recruiting interest from around the Province aren't.
Jean texted that they expect to arrive around four. I'm ready.
They arrived, we took their gear to the boat, parked their car, went to Fairway, and returned to Cassiopeia.
Immediately, we cast off the lines and motored over to the Spit where we tied up for a little while, then went out and anchored.
Jean cooked hamburgers in the barbecue, then we were all in bed around eight.
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I woke at seven, got up and started the furnace to take the chill off. The others got up after a while. The morning was misty and smoky and dead calm.
They ate and then went to the beach in the dinghy. They rowed in. I did not see the point in lowering the outboard from its perch for such a short row on calm water.
They returned and around eleven, we raised anchor and motored out around the sandbars into Haro Strait and headed towards Portland Island for a lunch stop. Ganges was our intended destination for the night.
We anchored in Princess Margaret Cove among the crowd of boats already there and had a lunch of spaghetti. We had bought whole wheat spaghettini and Portabello Mushroom Sauce at the store and found it made a very tasty meal. The ww noodles have more character than the plain ones and the sauce has subtle spices we all liked.
They went ashore and I napped. When they returned, we raised anchor and headed out, but as we exited, Jean heard a call from a nearby boat. We had left the dinghy behind. I had released it from where it was tied tightly, forgetting the the end of the line was not secured since they had been ashore and it was floating right where we had been.
I approached it and circled nicely so that Jean could snag it with a boat hook. She reached down and lifted the floating line and carried it aft and we again headed for the exit.
As we passed a large Beneteau, Jean hear a shout. It was my friend, Marla. I had heard she is back from her European travels. We came alongside and chatted a bit. She says she is doing trips for Nanaimo Yacht Charters and I gathered she was skippering this boat for the charter guests.
We continued on out around the reefs with Kenzie at the helm. She really enjoys the task and does it well. We dodged some debris and logs here and there and soon made Beaver Point, then turned west to Ganges.
The wind came up and we unfurled the genoa for a while, making only 4 knots at best before the wind died again.
As we motored in, I called Fisherman's wharf and asked for a spot on the commercial dock. That is my fave, seeing as it is right at the park, has a short walk to shore, has no security gate and is where all the interesting boats are.
We walked uptown in search of supper. We considered pizza, but what we saw on offer looked pretty skimpy for the $24 cost, so we we to Thrifty's and bought some flatbread and corn. That proved to be a very satisfactory supper.
I had called Bruce earlier and he phoned to say he was at the park with his dog, but Agent F is getting old and can hardly walk, so we walked up to the park, then we all slowly straggled down to the boat, where we all sat in the cockpit for an hour chatting.
Bruce left around 2030 and we all went to bed shortly after.
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I'm up at 0630. The others are still asleep. I started the furnace, had some eggs and coffee, and am thinking of walking up to the showers.
The others got up and we sat around a while, had showers, then left for Poet's Cove. The wind was against us, but we sailed most of the way. We hove to for a while for lunch, then continued and made good time. At one point the wind was strong enough we had to reef. Just before we got there and the wind died and we motored in.
At Poet's cove, we enquired about tying up to the dock, but at $1.80/foot we decided to anchor and did in 10 metres of water, not far from the resort. Once anchored, we dinghied in to reconnoiter and noticed there is no fee for the pool, so we decided to return to Cassiopeia to get swim suits.
First, though, we thought we'd go the two miles to Port Browning, and all got into the dinghy again. We went a third of a mile and decided to hike the beach so we stopped and walked up a trail a half-mile or so and back, then returned to Cassiopeia.
From there we went to the resort and the others swam while I sat on the deck, had a beer, and called my cousin for a chat.
We returned to the boat for supper and cooked up hamburgers again, then played cards until bed time, which is shortly after eight for this bunch.
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I'm up at 0700. The others are still asleep. I started the furnace, made coffee, and have to begin packing to get off the boat by noon in Sidney. We are in Bedwell Harbour at the moment, still anchored near Poet's Cove Resort.
I spent some time working on the United Beekeepers of Alberta website and the time flew by. Next I knew, it was nine and we had to get going and I had not really accomplished much. Anyhow, we raised anchor and motored out of the bay.
Once we turned west at the point, we pulled out the sails and were on a beam reach headed for Van Isle. The wind was strong and we made over six knots most of the time, but we did encounter holes where we needed to motor to be sure to arrive on time.
At Van Isle, we fueled up, then we returned to Port Sidney and tied up. Jean and kids packed and left, but I was unsure how to pack. I have an assignment in Vancouver, I think, but no confirmation or details. I'm told that there are parents and two teens. My job is to coach the teens. Do I have to go to Vancouver? When? I could not reach Dawn and I could not reach Colin. Dawn's phone went to voicemail. Colin's went to music on hold. What to do?
I did a quick triage and picked out the essentials, left two bags and a box for Rick to stash and Rick drove me to the ferry. I missed the two o'clock, but caught the three, took the bus and the Skytrain to Olympic Village and Colin picked me up and we drove to Granville Island.
So, now I'm sitting on Intrepid, Sid's Sceptre which was featured in my dairy a few years back, tied up at Granville Island, the heart of Vancouver on a Friday night. Colin wandered off, but promises me bedding. I am counting on that because the nights are cold up here in the Great White North. In Mexico, I would not care.
After I settled in, I went to the Fish Factory and had an excellent pilsner. It was so good I walked across the lane to Granville Island Brewery and bought a few of their pilsners. Big mistake. No comparison. I hate these small-time brews. They try so hard to be different and they are. Ugggh.
So, that was my week and my day. Jean and the kids had a wonderful time and so did I. If I had known this afternoon what I know now, they could have come here, too. But, they are camping near Eagle Lake on the Pat Bay Highway and probably having a lot of fun there, too. I'm lucky to have such great lids and grandkids.
I should maybe say something about the UBA project.
We are forming a new provincial umbrella bee organisation. After the Alberta Beekeepers Commission reneged on the commitment to represent all Alberta beekeepers that was made when they gained permission to take over the Alberta Beekeepers Association, Liz and I protested and met with the Marketing Council and the Alberta Beekeepers Commission board. It seems, however, that the fix was in. We were ignored, misled and stonewalled. Appeals to the ombudsman were unsuccessful.
So, we started a movement to recreate the Alberta Beekeepers Association and found some support in Edmonton with Malcolm, who registered the name United beekeepers of Alberta.
I've been retired fifteen years and this is really not my fight, but I figure I owe it to people like Don Peer, Roger Topping, and others who had the patience and took the time to guide and tolerate me when I was young and stupid. So I do what I can and hope the people who will have to lead the new effort will not repeat the mistakes that led us here to where we are now, recreating the Alberta Beekeepers association, an organization that degenerated into the current Alberta beekeepers Commission.
I've seen it over and over. Organisations that start open and meaningful degenerate over time to where a new start is needed. Reminds one of the Phoenix.
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I woke up at 0730, then caught up on email. Next, I have to find breakfast.
I stopped at the office to talk to Tara about the course I am teaching, then found breakfast in the Market, and returned to see if the questions had been cleared up.
She gave me the manuals and the instructors' materials and I returned to Intrepid to digest the material.
I spent the day getting on top of the material. Not only do I have to teach it and evaluate it, I should know it the way it is written. I've written the exams and received marks over 90% as required, but memory fades and when teaching, I need to toe the party line and teach how it is written, not necessarily how it is done in the real world.
At noon I walked to the Market again for lunch of pizza, then for supper, which was a taco salad. Now I am back on Intrepid with my nose to the grindstone.
It's 2000 hours and I'll go to bed soon.
I was feeling sticky so I walked up to the showers. Two loonies got me six minutes and that is far longer than I needed. I could have showered twice. Anyhow, I'm clean and fresh.
On the way back, I stopped to look at About Time, my charge for tomorrow and the next five days. This going to be interesting: me and seven people on a brand new 46-foot Catalina with me in charge and expected to make sailors out of them.
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My policy: When opportunity knocks, don't say, "I have plans. Come back Later". Say, "Okay. Let's go."
After my last few trips, I've been hearing nothing but compliments about my coaching. Just the same, this is a challenge -- five days to get them through the Basic course and also the PCOC -- Pleasure Craft Operating Certificate.
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(Left) Dolphins are dying in the Bay of La Paz, apparently from the dredging that has been going on. Many people are very eco-conscious there. Baja Sur is banning plastic bags, I don't know what I think of that.
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There is no air quality warning today at home, but my neighbour says she can barely see my house at times.
Today is the big day. I board the Catalina and meet my crew. I also have preparations to complete.
I went to the office, had coffee and found a small shop with a breakfast sandwich for breakfast. On returning to the dock, I checked out About Time and fond the charter guest was just leaving, so the clean-up had yet to begin. I was told I can board around noon, but that is looking less likely now.
Back on Intrepid, I have a list of things to do, including lesson preparations
The day went on. I did a wash, arranged a waste water pump out for Intrepid, helped move the boat and my guests arrived around four.
We still did not have possession of About Time, as the cleaners were still on board so the crew went shopping and to dinner. I stayed on board, figuring out the systems them went The Fish Factory and had supper on my own.
We all met back at the boat, stored things away and visited until bed time.
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