September 2019





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Breakwater Island Near Gabriola Passage


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Note: I have been doing a bit of bee writing lately and there is some mention here and on recent previous pages, but it is mixed in with my daily life.



Sunday September 1st 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers this morning and early this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h near noon. High 21. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. A few showers beginning this evening and ending before morning then 30 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm this evening and overnight. Local amount 10 to 15 mm. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 12.

I woke at four and can't sleep, so I am up.

I stayed up a while and went back to bed, intending to waken at seven. I slept until 0849.  If Rick came by to get me for breakfast, I did not hear him knock.

From Calgary Beekeepers:

We extracted the ripe and ready honey from our hives at the end of July replacing all the drawn comb in the hope that it might get refilled again while We were away on vacation. Some frames needed more filling and capping time were left also

Returning a month later our hives had done reasonably well and it looks like we have another extraction ahead of us with some good production from most hives

Where it gets interesting and puzzling is one hive it our five hive apiary was completely vacated of all bees brood and honey. All honey frames and honey in the brood boxes completely cleaned out and I mean 100%. A handful of dead bees on the bottom but other than that no evidence of a well populated hive four weeks ago

Has any one experienced something similar?

Pretty normal.

Hive goes queenless or goes downhill for another reason, then the other hives start taking the honey away and eventually the remaining bees in the hive join the robbers and move out with them to a better home. Robbing starts progressively and you may never actually see signs of intense robbing until the end, if ever.

I wonder what your varroa mite situation is like? If it's not under control this might just be the first in a series of your hives going empty especially if that hive went down due to mites

This is the time of year that mites start showing up in large numbers as the amount of brood for them to hide in becomes less and less.

As for wasps and hornets, with some exceptions they are mostly opportunistic and show up the numbers that appear to be an attack when the hives are otherwise compromised. In fact and he hide this being bothered a lot by wasps should be examined carefully for other underlying problems.

I think the mite scenario is the most likely cause of the decline or
weakness of this hive. It seemed ok a month ago and we were reluctant to do treatment prior to final harvest. Lesson learned about planning to be away and not being able to tend our remote hives

All the bees joining other hives also makes sense but is a concern also as the mite problem would also go with them.

We pulled the remaining supers off all hives to end the harvest and put in Apivar strips and put on feed for fall. I will be following up with oxalic acid treatment as well.

Seeing all the cells in brood boxes and honey supers completely cleaned out and empty was astonishing. I guess we have some drawn comb for next year

Any advice on treating for mites mid season?

If you have started to treat with Apivar, you will want to test for mites when the treatment is complete to see if the treatment was successful. You would only have to treat with oxalic acid if you still have mites.

Regardless of your treatment method, test, treat if necessary, and then test to see if the method was effective.

If Apivar does not successfully kill the mites, the interim provincial apiculturist, Samantha Muirhead, has asked us to contact her because they are watching for mite resistance that might develop with Apivar.

All treatments impact the bees as well so only treat if you have mites after testing again.

Good advice, Liz.

I should also mention that as I interpreted Medhat's testing results two? years back, Apivar was definitely showing its age even then.

Although the average efficacy had only declined by fairly small amount over a decade, results were becoming spotty.

In individual cases the efficacy was low enough to be a concern and on a par with Apistan.

Although one treatment a year was sufficient when we began using Apivar, either larger doses -- more strips -- and/or two treatments annually were becoming necessary.

Add to that the importance of placing the strips carefully to be sure to treat the small region of the hive where the mites concentrate -- the open brood -- and we can see the importance of monitoring after treating.

Although it may seem cruel to kill a sample of bees in a test, the entire population may well perish otherwise.

Here is an interesting article. The title is misleading. It is more about some supply and disposal issues around electric cars.  I'm expecting the next big issues lurking in the background to be electricity supply and road taxes.  Don't get me wrong.  I've always been a fan of the idea, but a little skeptical about the claims regarding the environment and the costs.  A car is a car, and AFAIK, these will be made of plastic and metals and run on a bituminous surface. They will require greatly increased electrical supplies as they become dominant.

China is already winning the next great race in electric cars

I walked to Fairway and bought groceries, then returned and made an omelet.  I have been trying to reach Doug, since he and Denise were wanting to cruise a day or two with me, but his phone does not answer.

I have a lot of planning to do.  Rick and I need to equip the boat for Sailing School use.  I need to plan when to do furnace work at home, when to go to Sudbury, when to go to La Paz, pay some bills, and more.  I have the afternoon to work on these things.

Charging Your Phone Overnight: Battery Myths Debunked

My phone battery is losing capacity.  Time to change the battery?  It is down to 83% -- 2,880 mAh--  from 3,450 mAh new.

I drove Colin to the ferry, arriving five minutes before sailing, so I don't know if he got on or not. At any rate, there is a ferry every hour.  Now I'm back on Etisian, trying to get down to work.

First, I ordered a new battery for my phone.  For $23 cost, I see no sense in putting up with having 80% of a phone, and the battery life will only decline from here.

From my boat to the parking lot is 1/4 mile, and Fairway Market is even further, so I have done a mile today without even trying.

I spent the day doing research and Rick came by at suppertime, but I begged off and cooked some salmon I had bought for supper.

The deskwork continued to bedtime and I went to bed at ten.

Quote of the Day
I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer
Douglas Adams

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Monday September 2nd 2019

Today Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High 21. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Clear. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low 7.

I slept fairly well, but was up at least four times.  I dozed from six to eight when I got up.  I've been tired lately and hope to be rested in the next day or two.

Cassiopeia is back and I expect to board shortly, but first have to have breakfast and pack up here on Etesian.

Seems Doug has been called to Africa on a job and won't be cruising and I have not heard back from my cousins.  I had written them suggesting supper a cruise tonight.

I am falling behind on my Spanish study, but do listen to the Pimsleur lessons when I have a chance, especially when falling asleep.

Here is a surprise for EV buyers who don't do their homework first and count on using the full range regularly

You Should Set EV Charge Limit To Just 60 Percent: Here's Why

The actual useable daily range is about half what is advertised, and that is if you are willing to run near empty.  Personally, I always like to run with a full tank.

Rick came by around ten and wanted me to move Cassiopeia from the end docks, but then did it since I was making an omelet. After, I went and did the check-in  for him, then boarded the boat. My plan was to leave pretty much right away, but things dragged out and Rick and I walked uptown for a sandwich.

After, we measured one of my old dinghies since Colin thought he could sell it, but we decided the plan was not plausible and around four I cast off for the Spit to spend the night. I had had enough of life on the dock.

So, here I am, anchored on Cassiopeia at the Spit. I cooked beans and rice and ate more of the salmon. It is only 1805, the sun is bright, and I am tired.

As much as I like other boats, I am always happy, and relieved to be back home on this boat with her bright portlights and cheery blonde wood interior.

I spent some time paying a Mexican bill and got that done.  Then I did a bit of Spanish practice with Lingvist and was pretty terrible.  I thought that some time off might improve me.  No luck.

It is gorgeous out here on the hook.  I'm far from other boats and the anchor set the moment I dropped it. The night is calm (so far) but I'll set my alarm just the same.  I don't even bother checking the forecast. Forecasts are so often wrong.

Quote of the Day
I have learned from my mistakes, and I am sure I can repeat them exactly
Peter Cook

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Tuesday September 3rd 2019

Today Mainly sunny. High 26. Humidex 27. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight Clear this evening and after midnight then partly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers overnight. Risk of a thunderstorm overnight. Low 10.

Again, I slept fairly well, but was up at least four times.  I'm up at 0600 and dawn is just breaking. I plan to be back at Sidney dock by eight or so.  Rick wants me to check a client out on Mistral.  The Spit is only two miles from my dock, but from the quiet, I could be 1,000 miles away.

I figure I could learn something and the client may need a babysitter if the checkout does not go well. I've got nothing better to do. Also, Dawn mentioned going cruising today and tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.

Here is an article that shows once more that we should never believe much of what anyone in the entertainment business claims about complex matters. 

Why Everything They Say About The Amazon, Including That It's The 'Lungs Of The World,' Is Wrong

Don't ever forget many if not most are actors whose dominant talent is posing and pretence.  Many have no training at all in science or critical thought.  Also remember that they profit from any mention in media and many of their high profile performances, even if sincere, are a deliberate exploitation of free media coverage.

Don't go by what they say, go by what they do, and most live very large, consuming resources lavishly, and the very industries where they work are among the most wasteful.

This has been quite a day. I sailed, then motored back to Port Sidney Marina before eight, then found Rick did not need me.  I had noticed last night that my batteries went down more than I thought they should and decided to replace them, and also look into replacing my rusty anchor chain. 

It turns out the old batteries are ten years old as best I can tell.  One was labeled 'charge by Aug 09', so I assume it was made earlier than that. I know I have had the boat six and a half years and they were not new when I bought the boat, plus it sat at least a year unused before then.

I began by removing the old batteries and carting them to the van.  They weigh 66 lbs each and although I could lift that weight all day long years ago, and could still lug them I found it a chore. Five batteries in a cart with flat tires going a quarter mile down the dock, then up a steep ramp at low tide gave me a workout.

Once that was done, I drove into Victoria to Trotac Marine and bought new batteries and a new gypsy for the windlass. I'll try it for a fit before having them cut chain. Then I drove back and installed the new batteries.  I called Doug and cancelled our supper tonight in Fulford.  There is no way I'd make it.

Barb sent me pix of her progress in restoring my gardens.  I had let them lapse after Ellen died and after Elijah went on to other things.  Barb is a hard worker and loves gardening. 

The new batteries were supposedly charged, but I installed them two hours ago and they are still running the charger flat-out.  The monitor says 76%. More to go, I guess.

Rick was called to Vancouver to cover a staff shortage and was catching the seven tonight so he drafted me to take over shepherding the folks on Mistral that he had briefed this AM for tomorrow.  Mistral is a a Grand Banks trawler and Bob and I delivered that boat to Powell River two years ago, but the electrical panel is a puzzle. There must be thirty switches.

Their plan is to go to Poet's Cove and I am to go along and instruct/protect.  If they can handle the boat, I catch a ferry back here tomorrow night from North Pender Island.  If not?  Who knows?  Their charter is for two weeks.  Can I stay with them two weeks?  Rick says that worst case a few more days will be enough, but I know better.  Rick tends to con me.  Not in a bad way, though.  We'll see.

What an adventure!  I knew if I showed up things would happen.

Quote of the Day
I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you.
Robin Williams

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Wednesday September 4th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers this morning with risk of a thunderstorm. Clearing this afternoon. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 late this afternoon. High 27. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low 11.

I woke at 1230 and heard a halyard slapping.  It was mine. I tightened it and that was that.  I woke again at 0130 and, after 6 hours, the batteries are still charging.  The charge rate is down to 10 amps and the monitor says 100%, but the fan is running and it is loud.

I didn't really get back to sleep and am up one more time at four.

I went back to bed at five and slept until eight, made breakfast, tidied and walked to the end of F Dock to meet Al and Judy.  The plan was to go for the day, but they wondered if I could go longer. I said yes and went to pack.

We left the dock around ten, bound for Poet's Cove. The trip was uneventful and once Al got used to the boat and the hair trigger controls, he was fine.  When we got to the mooring field, they caught he mooring ball without any problems, so they seem to have the boat under control.  Tomorrow we will do some docking practice.

Once we were tied to the ball, we had lunch and decided to go to Port Browning in the dinghy.  Three is too much weight for the boat to plane, so we putted along through the cut and over to the dinghy dock.

Al bought a hat and we motored back to the boat, had cocktails and supper. We lifted the dinghy alongside before dark. I went to bed just before nine.

Quote of the Day
If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?
Albert Einstein

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Thursday September 5th 2019

Today Clearing this morning. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 25. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight Clear. Low 8.

It is two AM and I'm awake, as usual, and up for an hour or so before I go back to sleep. I'm on Mistral, and I don't know for how long.  I agreed to a day and then several and now it seems they would like me to stay for perhaps the entire charter.

The couple are very pleasant and we have much in common, including time at cottages in Muskoka near Port Carling. I have a comfortable forward cabin and am fed well and entertained , plus I even get paid. What's not to like?

I have a number of places I really should be, but this is just fine for now and we'll see how it plays out.  The couple has this boat for two weeks, so that runs to the 16th+/-. I have an eye appointment in Calgary that day.  Moreover, I need to install a furnace at home, and I should get Cassiopeia ready for the cruise and learn I teach the last week of this month.  Plus, I should go to see Mom.  Westjet's sale ends today and I have not reserved anything.

Oh, well, go with the flow. It is too much to contemplate in the middle of the night.

I'm going back to bed.

I was up at eight.  We had breakfast, then Al did docking practice at a little dock nearby until he got a feel for the boat.  We then set out for Ganges.  The trip took about three hours and we docked at my favourite spot, Fishermans Wharf (Centennial Wharf).

I had a shower on shore and we had barbecued lamb chops for supper on board. 

 After supper, Doug and Denise came by to visit.

Quote of the Day
We are all here on earth to help others;
what on earth the others are here for I don't know.
W. H. Auden

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Friday September 6th 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. Clearing near noon. Wind becoming south 20 km/h near noon. High 24. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness after midnight. Low 11.

Slept until seven. We had breakfast uptown in Ganges, then left for Montague and arrived around noon and caught a ball in the shelter of Gray Point.

Gray Point                                             The shell beach

Judy made a lunch to go, then we lowered the dinghy, motored to the dock, and hiked around the Gray Point trail.

Along the way, I had a dip at the shell beach we passed as we crossed the lagoon.  The water was chilly, but I had been hot and that kept me cool for the rest of the hike.

We spent the afternoon on the boat, resting and reading, then dinghied over to the marina and walked up to catch the famous bus to the Hummingbird Pub in Sturdies Bay. 

The bus ride is an adventure, with a manic driver who hands out tambourines and maracas and plays drum and cymbals while he careens up and down the hills and around curves on the twisting road to the pub.  He has been driving buses, including city buses, for twenty years, so I guess the wild ride is safe enough.  You'd never guess though, if you happen to be a nervous passenger.  We hit the narrow shoulder on the narrow road at least once.

We had supper and returned to the boat around sundown.  Al and I started lifting the dinghy, but fouled the cable on the sheave at the end of the boom and quit for the night.

I slept well.

Quote of the Day
A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists.
Don Marquis

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Saturday September 7th 2019

Today Mainly sunny. Wind south 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 25. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight A few clouds. Fog patches developing before morning. Wind south 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low 9.

Al and I both were up at seven and went out to fix the problem.  It took a while, but we managed clear the line and lift the dinghy.

We had a breakfast, then Al took the helm and took us to Annette Cove where we anchored.  We had some difficulty getting a good set on what seems to be a rocky bottom.

Dawn texted, wondering when I am coming back to Sidney and at present it seems like maybe Monday or Tuesday, depending on weather.

Al and Judy went exploring and hiking.  I could have gone, but need a bit of time by myself, so I'm here on Mistral, catching up.

i reserved a flight back here a few days before I teach the course and a flight to SJD for the first of November with a three week stay. I didn't reserve a flight home because there was little cost advantage in committing now over buying last-minute.

A&J returned from their hike and we sat around a while, had supper, watched a seal and a heron, and are off to bed at nine.

Tomorrow, Roche Harbor.

Quote of the Day
The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.
Frank Zappa

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Sunday September 8th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. High 22. UV index 6 or high.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Low 11.

We were up at seven, raised anchor, and set a course for Roche Harbor. We had 150 feet of chain out and in retrieving it we had two chain castles in the locker, requiring me go below each time and reach into a cabinet at the head of my bunk and pull the chain down.

Once underway, we checked the weather, and as almost always got conflicting forecasts but nothing too daunting. In the night, I had realised I might have issues going into Roche seeing as I am working as an instructor so we called Friday Harbor, then Nexus and were told to go ahead in.

Once out into Boundary Pass, the swells were larger, but we made good progress and were through customs and tied at dock five near the shore at Roche Harbor Marina by noon.

We tied up at slip five on the visitor dock and went for a walk up to the sculpture park.  It is an open pasture of maybe twenty acres with  a pond on centre and paths cut though the wild grass and weeds to each sculpture. Plaques with poems are scattered throughout.

The sculpture and poems are mostly unremarkable, but there were a few pieces I found intriguing.

We returned to the boat for a rest, then went for supper in the restaurant at six.  I had the seafood pot which our server said was, "To die for."  It was okay.

We returned Mistral, sat around a while and were off to bed by nine.  The sunset was spectacular.


Quote of the Day
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.
George Bernard Shaw

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Monday September 9th 2019

Today Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Wind east 20 km/h. High 12. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Periods of rain. Local amount 5 mm. Low 8.

I slept better than I have for a while and woke at eight.  The morning rain was just ending.

We had breakfast and headed for Stuart Island for our last night before returning to Sidney.

The passage was short, picturesque and uneventful.  We found space on the dock at Stuart and tied up.

After lunch, we walked through the rain forest up the island to the school and back.  The hike was 2.9 miles according to the Alltrails app.

I recorded the trip on my phone with Alltrails, but yet to figure out exactly how the app works.  The trails we were hiked did not seem to be listed, and methods for adding them to the collection did not seem easy or obvious.

We returned to the boat had supper of pork tenderloin, cooked on the barbecue, visited until eight and went to bed at sundown.

Tomorrow, we return to Sidney.

Quote of the Day
I don't believe in astrology;
I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical.
Arthur C. Clarke

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