January 2020





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Taking a spin around La Paz Bay


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Monday January 20th 2020

Today Mainly sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High plus 1 except 6 over western sections. Wind chill minus 17 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 14. Wind chill minus 7 this evening.

Having gone to bed early, I am up at 0330 for the day. I have two days until Aaron arrives: about forty hours in truth.  In that time, I need to organize so that the two of us can live on this boat.

At home, we each tend to be somewhat disorderly, but in a small space everything has a place and has to be kept there immediately after use.  Electricity and water are limited resources and the transmission, filters, tanks, etc are located under bunks, so bunks have to be kept somewhat neat to allow access to these vital locations at any time.  The cooking area is small and has to be kept neat and wiped down frequently. This should be interesting.

I am running BlueStacks on my laptop.  BlueStacks is an Android emulator that is designed for gamers but runs any phone and tablet app app that is on my Google account on my laptop which is very convenient.  As handy as phones and tablets may be, there are things that are much easier on a keyboard with a large screen.

An example is the tides app at right. The same data is available on desktop websites, but not nearly as perfectly and clearly as on this phone app.  I also use it to monitor my security cams as the phone app is quick and simple and the large screen gives good detail.  Having this app handy on the laptop has helped me spot several issues and headed off what could have been big trouble.

At home, the temperature is still minus fifteen, but a warming trend is underway. Here, it is fourteen and promising twenty-six.

Another ten diary days has passed.  I've been here since the seventh, almost two weeks now and still trying to get the dinghy and outboard working reliably.  Two weeks is a typical holiday for many.  For me it is just a preamble. Tempus fugit.

Bob phoned first thing and wanted to bring the 15 by. I had arranged to meet Jimmy at coffee, so I said okay, but figured I'd have to duck out to coffee at least for a minute or two.

I had lifted the 6 HP off the dinghy in prep for the 15 and was busy airing up the dinghy when Bob arrived on the dock with the motor.  We put it on and went for a ride.  We got as far as the breakwater and had to be towed in. I went to coffee to see Jimmy and soon Bob came along, too. Everyone had coffee and Jimmy handed me my carb.  I handed him $500 (pesos).

We all went back to the dock except Jimmy who promised to follow in ten minutes and look at Bob's motor.  Ten Mexican minutes.

I put the carb on the 6 HP while we waited.

Jimmy came and tweaked a few things and the 15 was ready to go.  Bob went for a spin, but warned me when he came back that the engine was spraying  water up since the transom on my dinghy has been cut down and the leg on the 15 is too deep in the water. 

I went out with him and he was right. The transom will have to be built up if I buy the motor.  I asked Bob how much to do that and he said $400 additional.  I suggested he include that work in the $1,000 for the motor but he would not budge.  I said I'd like to try out my 6 before I make any decisions.  The Nissan might prove adequate and I am not about to spend $1,400.

He took his 15 off and I put my 6 on.  He left and I went for a spin around the Bay.

6HP is plenty for one person and the motor ran well, but stumbled when I increased the throttle and quit dead at one point.  I may have crimped the fuel line under my feet. Otherwise it was stellar.  The 6 is lighter to put on and off the dinghy as well, but the Novalift makes the job easy regardless.

I came back and got to work again moving myself from the forward cabin to the aft cabin. I don't want a guest living in the aft cabin if I have to tear up the bedding to get at the filters or some other engine job on short notice at sea.

At four, I ran out of ambition, with stuff scattered about the boat everywhere.  I walked up and got rid of the trash and returned some beer bottles.  In exchange for the bottles I got a family sized Pacifico. I'm stalled for now, but imagine I'll go shopping tonight.

Right now, I am cooking beans.  These are the bargain beans from Chedruai.  Last time I cooked them I noticed they had an unexpected crunch and had to spit out a stone, so I am wary this time and looking.  So far, I found two stones in two cups of beans.

I'm cooking rice, too, since rice and beans make a complete protein, but when i go shopping, I'll get some meat, too.  I'm having trouble convincing myself that rice and beans and spices alone are enough.

Quote of the Day
The size of your success is measured by
the strength of your desire;
 the size of your dream;
and how you handle disappointment along the way.
Robert Kiyosaki

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Tuesday January 21st 2020

Today Clearing this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. Temperature falling to minus 10 this morning then rising. Wind chill minus 13 this morning and minus 3 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Increasing cloudiness. Periods of snow mixed with freezing rain beginning late this evening. Snowfall amount 2 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 6 with temperature rising to minus 1 by morning. Wind chill minus 10 this evening.

I woke at three-thirty and got up for a few minutes, then went back and dozed.  I guess I slept because next I knew it was 0605.

I have to do some shopping today and maybe we'll go out for a sail. If not, we'll maybe dinghy along the Malecon. 

At 1715, I expect to be at LAP to meet Aaron.  It appears that Uber will pick up there and deliver us to MLP for about $7, something that surprises me as Uber is not permitted at SJD. It certainly makes the pickup easy.

I listened to the net, then went for coffee where I met a fellow who is involved in Rotary and the same water project that Dhorea was describing. That interests me. I asked Jimmy if my fuel pump on the Nissan might be the cause of hiccups and he said unlikely, but I disassembled it anyhow and put it back together just in case.

I spent the rest of the day until three re-organising the boat. Aaron has an empty forward cabin as his domain and i am settled in the aft cabin.  I am so comfortable back there I am wondering why I have not been there all along.

The forward Cabin

Where to store things on a sailboat is always a puzzle, and finding them again another puzzle.  Storage is under benches with cushions that have to removed and placed somewhere for the moment and replaced.  They are velcroed down for security when underway and that makes them awkward to remove and placing them when replacing them must be precise.

At three, I went to the RO water tap and filled my five-gallon drinking water bottle, returned it to the boat, then started walking toward the airport, planning to call Uber after a reasonable stroll.  I had considered taking a collective most of the way, then Uber, but Uber was only 78 pesos, so why bother?

I stopped at Bandidos and had a leisurely beer, then Uber took me the eleven kilometers to LAP. I arrived a half-hour early and waited.

LAP is a nice, small airport.  It is all on ground level and easy to access. Boarding and disembarking is done from the tarmac.  There are no tunnels and enclosed ramps.

Aaron appeared and we walked the hundred feet to the curb.  Uber was five minutes away and pulled up surreptitiously at the curb. 

Uber is not allowed at the airport and there are signs warning to only take approved cabs, but I prefer Uber.  Not only is Uber much cheaper, but language is never a problem and payment is done through the app at a price quoted before the ride is confirmed. No surprises.

Our driver dropped us at the marina and we settled Aaron in on Baja Magic, then went to Chedraui for groceries, returned, and sat in the cockpit a while enjoying the mild evening.

Bed time was about nine.

Quote of the Day
The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man's.
Mark Twain

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Wednesday January 22nd 2020

Today Periods of snow ending early this morning then mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Clearing this afternoon. Risk of freezing rain early this morning. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High plus 2. Wind chill minus 10 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 13. Wind chill minus 9 this evening and minus 16 overnight.

I slept well and woke at 0510.  The night was the warmest since I arrived and no heat is needed in the cabin.

Today I must go to the bank.  I'm down to my last twenty pesos. That means either the coffee klatch at nine-thirty (10 pesos each) or the collectivo to Intercam Banco (10 pesos each).  Not both.

I have a bit more non-urgent shopping and maybe we'll cast off the lines and go out. The tides favour leaving and resist the return until mid-afternoon, then favour a return around dusk.  Could be we'll just kick around town or even swim with the whale sharks.

Aaron doesn't know if he gets seasick and I've discovered a surprising number of people do, so cannot take a 'no' to that question for granted.  We also have to find out if Aaron's CPAP machine will run on this inverter.  If not, we'll only make day trips from the dock.

We tested the CPAP and it works, then went to the bank and back.  Next we went to the Club for coffee and decided to leave for the day.

We untied and found we were pressed to the dock by the tide. After some fooling around and with help from standersby, we made it out the narrow channel and motored out to Punta Prieta.  The wind was against us so I motored to Playa Pichilingue and dropped anchor is 20 feet of water.  Aaron wanted tacos, so we went ashore in the dinghy to Restaurante Playa Pichilingue for tacos, beer, and tequila as it turned out.

That is Baja Magic off the end of the dock and our dinghy tied to a post.

We sat in the shade of the palapa, then out in the sun for a while, then went back to Baja Magic and had a nap.  We had decided to spend the night here at anchor, so I called in to inform the marina.

Meantime, I had called Mom and she said she had been visited by social services for assistance and qualifies for the max.   As I had mentioned previously, she has a hairline fracture in her leg, just as I had suspected but had been unable to convince the doctor. 

I have lost my respect for most doctors in Canada at this point.  Most can save your life in  a pinch, but the rest of the time are IMO, verging on incompetence.  The problem is that our publicly funded system is run by doctors for doctors and costs more and more and does less and less of value.

We returned the boat for the evening. I  was in bed around nine.

Quote of the Day
The interesting thing about coaching is that
you have to trouble the comfortable, and comfort the troubled
Ric Charlesworth

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Thursday January 23rd 2020

I got up at five.  I would have slept longer but was having one of those annoying, repeating dreams.

Apparently I had somehow borrowed or stolen a helicopter. I flew it around, mostly over Minnehaha Bay in Port Carling and everyone knew I had it and thought it was mine, but it seems that maybe it wasn't.

Maybe it was mine at the start of the dream, but you know how dreams are.  Anyhow, it seemed later in the dream that it was not mine and I had had it long enough that I could not afford to give it back, given the accrued maintenance and depreciation that would have to be paid.  There also seemed to be a hint of probable criminal prosecution which was somewhat off-putting.

I got up, knowing this bothersome dream  would just go on and on and come around again and again a bit different each time. 

Aaron got up a while later and I made scrambled eggs for breakfast, then we set out in the dinghy to explore.


We motored across to Hotel Cantamar and walked around for a look, This is off-season and no guests were in evidence, but we the came across some young people who turned out to be dive instructors, so we priced a dive.  $160 for everything and two tanks. 

I think the dive company right at MLP is cheaper and probably just as good.  Here, we were told out day might be four hours and it might be eight. Big difference.  Same price.

We returned to the boat and moved to anchor off the point nearby to snorkel. The water is brisk at 70 degrees F but pleasant after the initial splash.


From there, we motored and sailed back to MLP and backed into the dock nicely.  It was not a gong show like our departure.

I was pleased to see that there was only a few oil drips and one drop of antifreeze under the motor.

We went to The Dock Cafe for supper at six.  I warned Aaron about Mexican beef, but he ordered the steak.  Of course it was tough and stringy.  I ordered chicken corn tacos and they were good, but not the same as the last time I had them there.

We sat until seven-thirty closing time. Just before closing, a woman sat down at a table nearby and overheard our conversation about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China that is spreading fast. (Here is a frozen copy of that page as i suspect it will change and may be sanitized in future if this thing continues to spread exponentially as it now appears to be doing).

Aaron was saying it might be a good thing, but I said that even a small change in population and slowdown in economic activity in today's interconnected and just in time world can be cataclysmic.

Between November 2002 and July 2003, an outbreak of SARS in southern China caused an eventual 8,098 cases, resulting in 774 deaths reported in 17 countries.

Regardless, it caused economic slowdown and even brought some activity to a halt in places distant from the epicentre like Toronto. That one was contained but times were simpler then.  It seems these pandemics can be self-limiting, too, but we can't count on measures we take or good luck every time.

Anything that alters demographics, reduces population, or destroys confidence can have ripple effects. When people stop traveling, buying, or lose a bread-winner or a child, behavior changes and if that happens throughout a population, the results are devastating.

She chimed in and conversation shifted.  Turns out she is the niece of a man who owned land where Aaron kept bees in Upper New York State.  Small world.

Aaron and I went back to Baja Magic.  I watched an episode of Cheers. He went to bed. Somehow he had wrenched a knee when snorkeling earlier and was in a bad way.

Quote of the Day
The interesting thing about coaching is that
you have to trouble the comfortable, and comfort the troubled
Ric Charlesworth

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Friday January 24th 2020

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind up to 15 km/h. High plus 3. Wind chill minus 14 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Low zero.

Miguel came by at ten and we discussed some small issues that will need attention after I leave here.

Aaron and I decided to go to a museum, so we walked up the ramp and out to the street to call Uber. 

Before summoning a ride, though, we stopped at the dive shop to enquire about swimming with the Whale Sharks, then I went into Eco Naviera and bought a park pass, required for the Islands.

Uber dropped us at Museo Regional de Antropología E Historia de Baja California Sur.  We spent an hour or two there enjoying the excellent ezhibits  Everything there is in Spanish and I was able to get the gist of most but I told Aaron about Google lens and soon he was aiming his phone at the information posters and getting a complete and accurate translation on the phone which was most helpful.

We then walked to the curb and caught the first collectivo passing and rode up Altamirano to the hill, up the hill and back down to centro, then called Uber to take us to Tailhunter.  We had nachos and beer, then Uber took us to the cow store, Aramburo, where we bought groceries and then home to Baja Magic.


I made fettuccini and we listened to Spotify in the evening dusk. Hector, the owner of the boat ahead of us at the dock came over and we showed him the tides and chart apps I use.

Quote of the Day
Communism is like one big phone company.
Lenny Bruce

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Saturday January 25th 2020

Today Partly cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers early this morning. Clearing this morning. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light late this morning. High plus 4. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 13. Wind chill minus 3 this evening and minus 16 overnight.

I'm up at 0745. The morning is bright and warm. Today is the Club Cruceros Beach Party at La Costa Restaurant.

On the net this morning, Diane on the sailing vessel Moondance asked for some assistance carrying water to fill her tanks.  This  requires a dinghy with an engine to make several trips with several jugs per trip to where she and her husband are anchored at the Magote.  The jugs then have to be lifted up over the side and the husband apparently is too ill to assist her.

No one else responded, so we offered.  That should be interesting. We'll fill five-gallon jugs here and take them out to where she will pour them into her tanks.

Diane brought the tanks over, then Hector decided he had better go out to the end dock before the current got serious.  He had been waiting for his passengers to finish breakfast ashore, but while he waited, the current was building to where getting out would be difficult. He asked me to assist so I went aboard.  Aaron pushed the bow out with a pole and Hector made a clean escape up the narrow channel. He dropped me at the end dock, but scuffed the hull a bit docking. Fortunately the docks here have rubber stripping everywhere and the scuff will rub off.

Aaron and I filled jugs and have been sitting waiting for Diane to finish her shore chores but getting bored, we're going to dinghy over to the party.

We went over and spent a few minutes and when I glanced at my phone, I saw I had missed a call.  Diane was ready, so we went out, Aaron went on board, and emptied the jugs into her tank and we proceeded to the beach in town to look around. 

We beached the dinghy near the Reina del Mar sculpture and walked around as far as the ice cream shop, then back as I was concerned that with the tide going out, the dinghy could be stranded a hundred feet from the water.

We motored back to MLP and returned two borrowed jugs to their owner, then returned to the party. 

We stayed a while but found it uninteresting and the auction started and was noisy, so are now back at Baja Magic.  We had more fettuccini for lunch, then I lay down at three and slept for an hour.

Next, I washed off the steps and a fender and now we are off to supper.

We went to Bandidos.  I had chicken tacos. Aaron had a chimichanga.  Neither meal was stellar.  Aaron likes to eat out.  I'm more inclined to eat at home.

While we were waiting for the meal, I reserved a flight to Victoria on Feb 4th.

I had hoped to fly direct that date all along, but waited until now to reserve as I was unsure if my home would be okay, especially with the minus forty weather we were having, but lately it has warmed and today I saw it was ten degrees in the hall.

I should reserve my flight home from Victoria now, too.

We returned to the boat and by then it was nine and I turned in for the day.

Quote of the Day
Men occasionally stumble over the truth,
but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
Winston Churchill

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Sunday January 26th 2020

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud near noon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High zero. Wind chill minus 14 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 9. Wind chill minus 7 this evening.

I woke at one and got up for ten minutes then returned to bed.  I dozed and slept poorly until six and got up. 

Weather at home is predicted to stay moderate, so that is a relief.  I should not need to worry about the house freezing up so my plan to go straight to Victoria should work out okay. I should now reserve a flight to Calgary from Victoria on the 11th.

Oftentimes, the first week of February can drop to minus forty and at minus forty, everything is at risk, and things freeze up quickly but around zero, there is little risk as the ground heat and inertia reduce the cooling.

Should I go to BC?  There is a large Chinese population in the Lower Mainland and if we get the coronavirus in Canada, that is a likely early hotspot.  The Vancouver Boat Show is in downtown Vancouver.

Aaron leaves on the morning of the 29th.  I leave on the 4th for Victoria and head for Vancouver on Magic Moments.

The Vancouver Boat Show is on from the 5th through the 9th and I fly home from Victoria, probably, on the 11th.

> Hello Allen,


> [We] were discussing the merits of older comb and he mentioned that you might has some perspective as to why bee colonies winter better on older comb.

> As you may be aware there is some debate as to when it is best to turn over combs and replace them. I imagine that the exposure to pesticides may be less in your neck of the woods than ours and perhaps this would allow you to keep the combs in service longer.

> Besides the point of any residual toxins I am interested in the functional benefits of the layers of cocoons, etc on a wintering colony.

> Thanks for any perspective you are able to offer.

Dr. Don Peer, a commercial beekeeping guru in Saskatchewan, another cold province like Alberta, warned me when I began about fifty years ago that I would need dark comb for wintering when I proposed stating on foundation.

I have had good results on both new and old comb, but more consistent success with older comb and I suspect that the reasons vary.

One is that new comb may be less well completed and filled than comb which has been used a while. New comb may be less likely to be used for pollen storage as well.

Another possible explanation is the pheromones and the coating of propolis on cell walls in comb that has been used a while. Marla was going on about the importance of propolis some time back but I have not been following beekeeping much lately.

Mention is made of disease buildup in comb as a reason for rotation. Personally I am not sure that is a bad thing in moderation as we have found in mammals at least that, contrary to what might have been expected, lack of challenge by disease and allergens at sub-clinical levels can result in an underdeveloped immune system and vulnerability in individuals.

As for chemicals, I have always avoided using coumophos which was the worst of the bunch and only used small amounts of Apistan and Apivar, so have been less concerned about chemical residues than those in the US who were using Tactik in high doses or multiple annual strip treatments or subjected to spraying in pollination settings..

Yogi Berra said, "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Beekeepers and researchers -- and humans in general -- are much too quick to construct mental models and believe them even when the evidence before their eyes casts doubt or even contradicts the predictions.

There are many reasons that the belief that comb should be rotated has caught on and AFAIK most or maybe all are largely theoretical and not based on actual observation and measurement. There are specific cases like Pettis' work on chemical contamination and queen cells where contamination was known and measurable that tend to support the idea where that chemical is known to be present,

It is really hard to know the truth in beekeeping because there are so many confounding factors and controls are very hard to establish and maintain. Even when results are obtained, interpreting the data and dealing with dropouts and outliers is subjective. Frankly I am very suspicious of the modern habit of using statistics to tease a signal out of noise to justify and 'prove' a pet theory and am very certain that many apparently clear results are questionable if only the assumptions, methods and data are examined.

All that said, my main position is that rotating comb for rotation's sake is a waste of a good resource and the normal replacement that we do for other reasons than general principle probably accomplish enough change for many beekeepers, especially those who avoid accumulating chemicals either applied as treatments or from the environment as in pollination settings.

Around ten, Aaron summoned Uber and we rode out to Playa El Tecolote.  On arrival, we were accosted by hawkers wanting to take us to Isla Espiritu Santo by panga but we declined and walked west along the beach to a beach restaurant and sat under the shade of a palapa.

We ordered cerveza and at noon, tacos de camararon and chatted with a neighbours.  At one point along came a young lady with two small dogs.  We all got to talking about rescue dogs and it turned out she had rescued the two she had on leash.  As a Mexican, she was unaware of the expat English-speaking Baja Dogs group and seeing as I just happened to have the founder's contact info, I passed it on.

Around three, we decided to leave and went looking for the bus.  A fter a short wait, I asked a cabby what the cost is to MLP and when told $300 MXN, we decided to take up the offer.

We arrived back home after a pleasant ride and went to our bunks for a nap.

 Awaking at four or so, I heard Hector retuning on Plan B and tying up behind us.  He had followed my advice to come in at slack tide and docked most uneventfully.

We had supper of leftover fettuccini again and then Aaron spent hours trying to arrange a whale shark trip for tomorrow, asking me questions, then becoming impatient with the answers.  We were both tired.

I put on my headphones and watched two episodes of Altered Carbon, having read a review on the Forbes website.  The name makes no sense and the premise is odd, and it is too soon to say if this is worth my time, but it got me through until bedtime.

I hit the hay around ten.

Quote of the Day
In Westerns you were permitted to kiss your horse but never your girl.
Gary Cooper

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Monday January 27th 2020

Today Fog dissipating this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. Wind up to 15 km/h. High plus 2. Wind chill minus 14 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 13. Wind chill minus 6 this evening and minus 15 overnight.

I'm up at five and finished breakfast at six-fifteen.  Now I am going back to bed.

I got up again around seven.   Aaron was still wanting to go swim with the whale sharks, so he walked to the dive office, but learned there would be no excursion today.

We listened to the net, then went to coffee. 

After coffee, we walked out and caught a colectivo to centro, looked around and caught another marked Pedregal in hopes that it might go to Lomas de Palmira as well and leave us close to Marina Palmira where I intended to buy a Canadian flag.  At the the end of Altamirano, we decided to bail and call Uber.

Our Uber took us up through Pedregal and down to the marina. I bought my flag and we walked back towards town. When we got to the El Terraplen Restaurante we stopped for tacos.

From there, I called Uber to take us to Tailhunter to skip the long walk past nothing special since Aaron is somewhat lame for twisting his knee snorkeling the other day and walking is slow and painful for him.

Regardless, he wanted to find some souvenir shops and see the sculptures along The Malecon. 

He is not inclined to just go places by himself and is somewhat insistent about what he wants to do and I can understand this is a strange town for him with a language totally foreign, so I've been going along with his wishes. 

However, he is on holiday and I am not.  My chores are building up but I've extended my stay after he leaves and will have some time alone to catch up.  I may also get out to the Islands for at least one overnight before I go to British Columbia. 

We had a beer at Tailhunter, then called Uber again to go to centro.  We walked around there while Aaron looked for gifts for his cat sitter. He finally gave up and we called Uber to take us back to Baja Magic.

On arrival, around three, I had a nap. 

At four-thirty we went to the spaghetti supper at the clubhouse.  It was well attended and ended with a T-shirt race, which turned out to consist of two lines of people, each with a large t-shirt.  The first person in line put on the t-shirt and the next in line had to take it off him/her and put it on, then the next in line repeated the process.

I assume whichever line completed first was the winner.  I don't know as we went back to the boat before it ended.

I finally received the results of my cardiology report, demanded by Transport Canada and which was like pulling teeth to obtain.  The report does not indicate any unusual risks beyond age.  I'll be submitting it when  I have a few undisturbed hours.  The deadline is approaching and TC is demanding an occupational therapists report as well.  I don't know how to get that.  A cursory search earlier did not turn up any OTs. This demand seems abusive to me.

I watched Joe Rogan and Bernie Sanders on YouTube, then a Jordan Petersen lecture focusing on The Gulag Archipelago and the inevitable end point of communist systems. 

Although the segue was unintentional. somehow these two apparently unrelated videos came together in my mind.  I had quit the Bernie interview halfway through.  Although Bernie quotes facts and numbers that make sense, I could see him become possessed as he spoke.  Identifying the problems is only the beginning.  Disturbing a working system is risky and requires more than high-sounding ideas.  Although his fanaticism does not seem obvious or disturbing to most, I could clearly see as I have seen before in clips that he is a zealot and a zealot is the most dangerous sort of person. 

People dislike Trump, and for good reason but he is a pragmatist and unlikely to do anything rash.  Ideologues on the other hand focus on their ideals and act without any regard for unintended consequences and push on even harder when their ideas turn out to be destructive.

I then watched more of Altered Carbon, but think I will have to give up on that series as it appears to be degenerating into the usual 21st century meme with the next episode devoted to the hero being tortured.  The Wild District went the same way at points.

Heaven help us all.

I was in bed by ten.

Quote of the Day
We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.
Ray Bradbury

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Tuesday January 28th 2020

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Clearing late this afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 1. Wind chill minus 17 this morning and minus 3 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clear. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 14. Wind chill minus 9 this evening and minus 17 overnight.

The spaghetti sauce from supper had me up after midnight and I had to take an antihistamine to get back to sleep.  Sometimes some tomato sauces do that to me.

The morning began with hoisting the new Canadian flag below the Mexican flag and noting the heavy dew that suggested early morning is a good time to wash the decks--when they are already wet.

I checked the progress of the Wuhan virus and it appears to be going exponential.  The authorities everywhere are fumbling this.  A returning Canadian with symptoms walked through the airport screening and went home unimpeded the other day, only returning to a hospital to self-report after getting worse.  Who knows who he might have infected in the meantime?

This could be The Big One.  Maybe I won't be going to the boat show a week from now.   Aaron flies out tomorrow, but if this continues apace, flights and mass events like the boat show will be cancelled.  Only time will tell.

Coronavirus Is Worse Than You've Been Told: Scientist Explains
(4 days old)

Aaron  wanted to see La Catedral de La Paz and went off on his own this morning, allowing me enough undisturbed time to assemble the material for Transport Canada and to submit it. Now it is up to them.

I was nicely finished when he texted and suggested lunch down on the Malecon where he had ended up, so I caught Uber to El Rancho Viejo and ate far too many tacos.

We called Uber again and returned to Baja Magic for a nap.

My Spanish is getting better to the point where drivers can understand me when I give directions, but I am still a long, long way from competent in the tongue.

A response to Sunday's email:

Hello Allen,

I love Yogi Berra, So true about humans in general being too quick to construct mental models to support their own biases.

I also agree with you about how difficult it is in beekeeping to tease out the truth in a experiment due to all the confounding factors. For example one may perform an experiment and get certain results in one setting and get completely different result in another.

I believe that rotation of comb for the sake of rotation is a waste of good resources.

We will be testing out (small sample sizes) the performance of three groups of colonies this summer. One will be established on foundation and the other two will get two grades of used comb. Good and questionable.

The effort is to see if the general practice here at the lab of tossing "questionable" (a subjective measure) comb is a beneficial one. We are still working out the details.

Marla is still a proponent of propolis.

That reminded me.  We did a small such test years ago. https://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/articles/fdnvsdrawn.htm

Quote of the Day
A learning experience is one of those things that say,
'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that'."
Douglas Adams

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Wednesday January 29th 2020

Today Mainly sunny. Increasing cloudiness this afternoon then 30 percent chance of rain showers late this afternoon. Risk of freezing rain late this afternoon. Wind becoming south 20 km/h this afternoon. High plus 1. Wind chill minus 19 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of rain showers this evening with risk of freezing rain. Clearing before morning. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this evening. Low minus 7. Wind chill minus 12 overnight.

I'm up at four.  Aaron leaves today around six-thirty for his flight out of LAP at 0825.  He is flying via Mexico City, back to Albany, NY.

All flights from LAP come and go to Mexican destinations.  There are few, if any, commercial flights from outside Mexico and although that makes getting here a pain for foreigners, it also discourages Americanization of the city and that is a good thing IMO.  Cabo has been destroyed as a Mexican community, having been corrupted by the constant inflow of tourist money and expectations of short-term visitors.

I'm here until the fourth according to current plans, but at the rate the Wuhan virus is spreading and the temerity of our governments, I fully expect Vancouver to be a risky destination by next week.  We'll see.

Today, I am alone again and have a chance to re-centre.

I am always drawn off-centre by others and now I have a chance to concentrate and get the various things I need to do here finished before leaving for YYJ on the fourth.

I'm thinking I'll go grocery shopping, then maybe leave for the bays and islands at the turn of the tide, around eleven.  If I do, I'll anchor out overnight and return tomorrow.

I summoned Uber and rode to Chedraui Colima and bought groceries.  The one good coffee I had found previously was nowhere in sight so I settled for another and hope it is as good.

Back at the boat, I was in time for coffee and went down and sat a while, then returned to the boat, rolled up the cords and untied.  I was underway by ten-thirty, right at slack tide.

I motored out the channel and set sail for Caleta Lobos.  After a while, the wind dropped and I motored the rest of the way to my favorite spot and dropped anchor. 

I was intending to snorkel, but was weary and checked the weather for the expected wave direction tonight instead.  No Internet.  That is odd, since I am sure I had a good connection here previously and can see a tower.  I wondered if it is the new phone and switched SIMs into the Pixel XL and still had no luck.  I was surprised that it matters so much. I guess I'm addicted.

I cleaned off the solar panels and checked the charge. For some reason, I am not getting the same level of charge with these two batteries and new controller that I was getting with the setup before.  I wonder if these batteries are much good.

I lay down and had a nap.  I know I'm going to need a while to unwind.

Next, I made spaghetti.  Counter-intuitively, spaghetti agrees well with my digestion as long as certain sauces are not involved. It is usually the homemade variety that get me.  The bottled sauces seem okay.

I'm still not getting a large charge on the batteries, but it won't matter since Aaron is not here running his CPA machine all night.

I did go for a dip.  I checked the water and it was 72.5 (left) and that is warm enough, I figured.

I did some laundry in the sink, then sat down to think what to do.  I had not looked at my lists lately, so got back to that. 

I also realized why I need Internet.  I check my house twice a day.  The neighbours are on watch but I like to keep track, too.

I'm realising that I am jumpy lately.  I sat down and could not stay still. Too much coffee?  Or maybe too many balls in the air?  Six days from now, I'll be landing in Victoria. and a week later, I'll be home in Swalwell again.  That's the plan.

Meantime, I'm worried about my marine medical.  Obviously I am a victim of capricious bureaucratic age discrimination and it only gets worse from here on out.

No matter what, people just won't believe an older person can be competent or live another decade. The un-thought assumption by young folks is that everyone over sixty-five is at death's door, and everyone forgets that young people in apparent good health die, too, often suddenly.

My drivers license is only renewed a year at a time now.  My mother had to attend sessions every two years from eighty on and prove she was competent. She, of course was more competent than some examiners after about the fifth time.

I could do something useful tonight like the books or work on lists or fixing things, but usually by this time of day I'm ready for something mindless.  I have movies on USB stick. Maybe that is it.

I found The Rockford Files, watched several episodes and went to bed.

Before I lay down though, I discovered that my anchor had dragged and was continuing to drag. 

When I anchored originally, I had let out I reckoned eighty feet of chain with twelve feet of water under the keel.  Conditions were calm. Tides are not extreme and that gave me a scope of about four to one which is adequate in moderate conditions with a good holding bottom. So, I went up and let out another forty feet.  Meantime the anchor alarm was screaming and it was dark and windy, making the job annoying and difficult  I was glad that the seas were not heaving and the temperature was mild. 

I did not want too much length since I am not too far from the sandbar.  I reset the anchor alarms and watched a while, then let out more chain.  By lengthening the chain, the angle of pull on the anchor becomes more parallel to the bottom and the anchor digs deeper into the sand. 

By the time I was done, it appears I have two or three hundred feet out. There was not much left in the locker.  200 feet in twenty feet of water gives plenty of scope and if anything will hold, that will, but that also gives me a large swing.  I consulted my charts carefully and figured I'll be up a time or two, but should be fine.  Worst case, if I touch on the bar and find I am stuck, the tide will be rising after sunrise and lift me off.

My alarms went off around two and sure enough, the wind had shifted, blowing me east toward the bar. I turned on the depth sounder and went up top. I still had at least five feet under the keel. That is okay, but is also cutting it close, especially if I swing further around the circle.

The batteries are holding well, with 12.7 volts on the house batteries even under 5 amps load.  That is a relief.  I wonder why they were down last trip? I wonder if they were a bit sulfated from sitting and needed to be cycled?

I went to bed around eight-thirty, but was up at ten and midnight checking the anchor.  At times, the wind was blowing hard, but the waves were never very big.  They did come at an angle at time, though..

Quote of the Day
Women and cats will do as they please,
and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
Robert A. Heinlein

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Thursday January 30th 2020

I was up again every two hours until two.  I stayed up until three and and after that the next I knew it was seven forty-five. 

I got up, turned on the VHF and instruments and went up top to check. I see I have 6.9 feet under the keel according to the depth gauge. I can see the bottom clearly.  The sky is light overcast and the breeze is light. A slight swell arrives from the west.

That was the wildest night I spent here in Caleta Lobos so far, and all because I had not anchored well to begin with.  The drag pattern is at right.

The bottom part is dragging, and some of the upper portion is movement after letting out a great deal of chain.

I had assumed I would be moving before dark and did not let out enough rode to begin with.  As a result I became worried after dark when the conditions worsened. and had to fool around in the dark when judging position is deceptive.  Thank heavens for GPS and anchor alarms. 

Lesson learned. Know how much chain is out and test the anchor well.  I had an anchor drag here once before, but not like this.  The holding seems variable here.

My phone is getting enough Internet sporadically that email comes in.  It does not come in  on demand, but appears from time to time. Can I send email?  It appears I can, but

The net came on at eight and I could barely hear net control.

I'm anchored nicely near the bar and the best snorkeling in this part of the bay and have the day ahead.  What will I do?

I had imagined I would organize and maybe troubleshoot the electrical issues and return this afternoon around slack.  I need to wash the cabin sole (floor) again.  I'll dinghy ashore, too, at some point and hike a bit and snorkel the shoreline nearby. Probably.

First, I'll tidy and reorganize after my guest's departure.

I had lunch at eleven: spaghetti eaten cold since the microwave will not heat with power from the new modified sine wave inverter.  The day is cool and snorkeling looks less appealing then sailing back towards La Paz on the fresh breeze currently blowing from the west and favouring my route. 

It could change later, so maybe now is the time to depart.  I can always stop along the way. I have always wanted to anchor in Bahia Falsa which likely has internet and is about one third way back.

I had another migraine.  No headache, but visual disturbance, and it passed. I've had several lately and wonder what that is about. Could it be the brand of coffee?  Citrus?  Tomato sauce?  I'll have to try to find an association.

At 1225 I wrote in the ship's  log that I was leaving, then when I went out to arrange the dinghy. It was so nice out that I decided to go ashore to the mangroves and the beach and then run around the bay. The Nissan is running wonderfully now, with only a slight hesitation on acceleration. Having Jimmy soak the carb has paid off. I must remember to run the gas out of the carb and drain the bowl each time I plan to leave the outboard unused for more than a few days. Otherwise, the gas evaporates and gums up the needle valve and clogs the jets.

I really don't need a 15 HP it seems now.  This one has more than enough power for one person.  It is a bit slow for more than one, but then maybe running at speed with a load is unwise, especially with this old dinghy.  The dinghy seems very solid, but hammering over waves and flexing could challenge it and besides, the bouncing can be dangerous to passengers.

It is funny how I get obsessed with an idea that I need something and then find later, either after getting it, or not that it was an obsession.  The 15 HP was such an obsession.  I spent hours and days searching and imagining, then today realised that the need was all in my head.  The reality was different.

I'm no different from the rest of humanity that way. 

Around three, I finally did pull up the anchor and set sail out of the caleta powered by a gusty east wind. 

The true wind was northeast, but it gusts through low places like the caleta from the east.  Once out a ways, the wind is very gusty, with gust coming from the north, then the east as the wind alternately finds passage across and around the headlands.

I intended to go to Bahia Falsa for the night, but found I was being carried home with a favourable wind at a rate that would get me there exactly at slack and just before sundown, so I ran for home.

Conditions were gusty and as I passed each bay, the wind shifted, at times overpowering the autopilot steering to the point where I had to reef and hand steer.

At one point, I was making seven knots over the sea bottom.  Considering that I had current against me with the falling tide, I may have been doing eight on the water and that is the max for this boat.

I sailed wing-on-wing down the channel, snuffed the sails, dropped the fenders and backed down the narrow channel to my dock.  It was dead calm in the channel but I asked neighbours to catch my lines. My mistake.

I am used to docking alone and could have done so easily, but the man who took my stern line tied it ahead of me instead of behind and with a large scope, so the process was a bit of a mess, but no boats or boaters were killed in the making of this movie.

The lesson here is to give very clear instructions and not assume the person on the dock knows anything at all. When I said to take the stern line and tie it down hard, I did not mean to take it forward up the dock and tie it with ten feet of scope. That committed me to losing control of the boat.

Once back and tied up, I was exhausted, and after settling in I went to bed around seven.  My digestion is not right and I still have a touch of migraine.

Quote of the Day
But suppose we were to teach creationism,
what would be the content of the teaching?
Merely that a creator formed the universe and
 all species of life ready-made? Nothing more?
 No details?
Isaac Asimov

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Friday January 31st 2020

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light early this morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 this afternoon. High plus 5. Wind chill minus 9 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Clearing early this evening. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming southwest 20 gusting to 40 overnight. Low plus 2.

Having gone to bed early, I am up a little after four again.  I feel fine, but have a slight headache when I cough and thought for a moment that I might be having the migraine visual disturbance, but that passed.

I have a few days until I fly out.  Colin finally responded and mentioned that Magic Moments, the boat I plan to take to Vancouver has water in the transmission and that he needs me a day earlier than I planned.

Frankly, the charter company is in disarray.  I had written him when I could change reservations without penalty, but his response is days late. He personally has been dragged down by inventing a new website, something that is seven years overdue and is bogged down because he is bent on inventing a Swiss Army Knife instead of a number of modules that each specialize.

Website development is s moving target.  There is no such thing as 'finished'. The demands and challenges keep shifting like the gusty winds yesterday that blew randomly from different directions, sometimes overpowering, then dying back.

As for the transmission, the staff was to manage that.

What to do today?  More of the same, I guess, starting with filling the water tanks, the net, coffee, and maybe shopping.

Jose writes:

Hey Allen,

Funny how a gross error in assumptions is the basis for this report, and then they go straight to accepting the predictions of other models, likely produced by the same people.


Sounds like you are going expat....


How true.  What is a 'scientist' these days anyhow? A journalist?  The bar gets lower and lower. The words lose their meaning.  Now everyone is a scientist and everyone a journalist.

Over time, words lose their meaning and even take on opposite meaning.  An example: the word 'decimate' once meant to execute one in ten in a battalion that disgraced itself as punishment, but now is taken to mean lose nine out of ten of whatever.  'Literally' actually means 'in a literal manner or sense; exactly', not 'figuratively' as people assume. 

Will I be going to Victoria as planned?  Good question.  The epidemic is now being seen to be spreading exponentially and even the most reluctant are now admitting it. 

Exponential growth starts small and slow, but avalanches when the tipping point is reached.  We may be approaching it.  In the initial stages news changed weekly, then daily, now hourly...

This may indeed be The Big One as I previously suspected. Don't look to the mass media for the facts or the authorities to stay ahead of it.

The authorities are known for closing the barn door long after the horse is down the road. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't, so take the easiest path which is to delay and not face public outrage for shutting down transport, quarantining drastically and the economic hardship that would cause.  They would much rather be accused of ignorance and incompetence.

Here is some insight, though. and here is a chart from the New York Times.  It is not all that reassuring.

And from Endless Metrics:

Am I going expat?  Hard to say. Wherever I am is always the best place to be until I go somewhere else.   I like it here and am enjoying the social life at this marina so far.   I'd like to get permanent residency and may apply but will still be Canadian and spend time in Canada.

Nicole called and sewage is overflowing in Mom's basement and coming up in the bathtub. 

This has happened before and is due to tree roots.  They have to be cleared every few years. I have nagged Mom to call the roto-rooter to clear the drains proactively every time I've been there but I guess she ignored my advice.

I called Ron who is on his way there and he will see that something is done.

Here is an interesting article.  Lots of speculation presented as fact, but what else is new? Nice to see bees get some respect for individuality and intelligence.

Secrets of Math From the Bee Whisperer

Yes.  Maybe it is time to panic.  Did anyone really believe the early reports or consider what happens when something grows this large? As it is, the wait in a Sudbury emergency waiting room can be six hours.  Wait until TSHTF.

Is The True Number Of Coronavirus Victims Far Larger Than We Are Being Told?

--- Tin hat on ---

If you think this is coming to your town, the time to stock up is now, before the panic gets going.  Who is going to restock the grocery shelves? And do you really want to go to crowded stores and line-ups if it gets bad?

--- Tin hat off ---

A few extra bags of beans and rice on hand never hurts at the best of times.  Even if the disease does not actually get here, the measures required to ensure that it does not will be highly disruptive. Think about it.

That's enough procrastinating for today.  Computer off!

Okay. the updates are coming minute by minute now and It is looking as if the authorities do have the balls to act. Good to know.

Update (1245ET): New York City has reported its first case of Coronavirus according an unconfirmed report in the NY Daily News.

Update (1315ET): In a historic move, the CDC has issued an official federal quarantine order for the Americans who returned to Alaska then California, on a chartered Boeing jet. The 195 passengers were mostly diplomats and other professionals living in Wuhan. The quarantine order will keep them isolated for 2 weeks - the same length of time that evacuees in the UK will face.


Its the first time such an order has been issued in 50 years. The CDC also warned that the virus continues to spread rapidly in China, appearing to contradict their international partners at the WHO.

I feel tired today and nothing interests me. I walked down to coffee and came back.  I lay down for a while. Now I am drinking coffee and doing some research.  Think I'll go shopping.  Could use more beans and rice...

I have a lot of research to do and spent the day until three looking up manuals, etc., then decided to take the dinghy out for a spin. 

I left the  channel and found the water was rough and I wasn't having fun, so I went  back in.  I am not feeling very well today.  Slight headache.

I see the Sea Shepherd gang are here at our docks.  There has been a lot of illegal fishing in the Sea of Cortez and efforts are being made to discourage it.  As a result, there are occasional dust-ups between the eco-warriors from elsewhere and hungry local fishermen.  They both have good arguments to be made for their case.

*    *    *    *     *

Okay. Here it is.  We all knew it was had to be coming.  A conspiracy theory -- and it has been officially denied, so it might true.

Coronavirus Contains "HIV" Insertions, Stoking Fears Over Artificially Created Bioweapon

It is actually plausible given the level four virus lab in Wuhan and the expulsion of two Chinese scientists not too long ago ...   I don't know about the HIV insertion.  That sounds a bit strained and bears checking. As for Kyle Bass, he just happens to be someone I do respect. CBC, not so much. At one time a great news organisation, our state-funded national broadcaster has become home for too many 'useful idiots'.

As for Zerohedge, ZH published geniuses and loonies indiscriminately in the knowledge that both are entertaining and have a following, and on the assumption that no one can tell the difference until too late.  As a result, we hear it here first. 


What happened to building seven anyhow?

Oh boy!

Engineered bat virus stirs debate over risky research

Lab-Made Coronavirus Triggers Debate

I think the debate is over 10,000 times over and counting.  This is not the first time, either.

How DNA Evidence Confirmed a Soviet Cover-Up of an Anthrax Accident

Read it while you can Kyle Bass on Twitter.  ZH was banned today.  Who is next?

Well, so much for the coronavirus story. 

I spent an hour or three studying solar panel controllers and organising files.

I'm off to bed at ten.

Tomorrow's post

Quote of the Day
It really seems to me that in the midst of great tragedy,
there is always the possibility that something terribly funny will happen.
Philip K. Dick

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