Mid winter checkup

Actually after years at working in a greenhouse I tend to think of this time of year as spring — we’d have finished cleaning out the winter crop of poinsettias and well into planting and seeding crops for the coming summer. It’s stuck with me much to the consternation and confusion of friends and family alike. So, this past week the 2017 Waggoner’s came out — you can pick up your free digital version here and I also decided to take advantage of a Boat Show special and pick up the complete set of Salish Sea Pilots for only $34.95 CAD. And since it’s “spring” and we decided not to head to the Vancouver Boat Show this weekend, I thought I’d start on some 2017 cruising planning.

Our intention, now that the boat is committed to charter, is to try and sail as much as possible from the time exams are over (mid to late April) until the first of July and then leave the boat for charter clients in the high season: July, August and September. Our early season cruise last year turned out just fine and L and I don’t mind the cooler weather, especially since it comes with a dearth of crowds. The first hiccup in that plan however was a couple of weeks ago when NYCSS called me up and asked if they could have the boat for the 19th of June. And, since we had intended an extended cruise beforehand, could they have it several days earlier to do the extra cleaning needed for the turnaround. We talked it over and decided that we could make that work; luckily the exam schedule this year works so that we could head to the coast mid April if we do want full two months for ourselves.

How Long?

And that brings up the first question. Do we want to go cruising for two full months or do we want to just head out for shorter stints? So far I have no commitments that will stop us from heading out, but that also means I will have to turn down anything that comes up between now and then — something I am leery to commit to. If we only go for a shorter period we would likely stay in the Gulf Islands or maybe the San Juans, but there are still plenty of new places left to explore.

The 2017 Hunter Rendezvous is June 1–4 this year and it was a lot of fun the first time we went; I wouldn’t mind doing it again. I’ve also semi-committed the boat to a “boy’s weekend” in Schooner Cove in mid-May which would give me chance to show her off to a bunch of old friends and have some fun. If I did both of these things it would mean making at least two trips out if we didn’t decide to go for the duration. Driving over and over again can get wearying and flying gets expensive (although we would definitely have to drive the first time to haul our gear). For now all we are doing is marking dates on a calendar.

How Far?

Two months might seem like a lot of time to cruise considering we did Vancouver to the Broughtons and back in a 3 week trip a few years ago, but we’ve finally learned to slow down. As charterers ourselves we got caught up in the moving-to-a-new-place-everyday idea since time was limited, but there is a lot to be said of swinging on the hook for three or four days and leisurely taking in all the beauty that is the Pacific Northwest. We are definitely converts to taking it slow. I don’t think I would want to do the trip to the Broughtons in less than a month now and even six weeks seems like a minimum. But with potentially 8 weeks available, where would we like to go?

Exploring Puget Sound is high on my list, but preliminary research makes a lot of it out to be more marina hopping than anchoring out, and we are looking to maintain last year’s ratio of four or five to one (nights anchored to nights on dock). This is because we want to a) save money and b) get the aforementioned “slow” time in. I haven’t ruled it out yet and my visit to Anacortes on NorthWest Passage intrigued me so maybe we will at least give the northern reaches of Puget a try.

I also wanted to spend time in False Creek (Vancouver) last year and we never did. You can pick up a two-week anchoring permit for free online and it might be nice to hang out in Vancouver just for fun. We’ve only ever been at Specialty Yacht Sales’ docks on Granville Island and that was more business than pleasure. it’s pretty central and from there we could head up Indian Arm, Howe Sound, cross back to the Gulf Islands or cruise south into the U.S. All good possibilities.

Desolation Sound is also within pretty easy reach, although last year we were at least a month kicking around there and I enjoyed the pace so I wouldn’t want to do it any faster. But there are still plenty of new places to explore and tons of old ones that I would love to revisit. Definitely a possibility if we decided to take the whole two months. And staying in the Gulf Islands or revisiting Victoria whether we only have two weeks or manage an extended trip is a similar situation, still tons of places to explore.

And of course we could head north to the Broughtons. I haven’t yet looked to see who might not be open in early May and I know the weather would still be quite cold and wet, but if we commit to the whole two months I might be tempted to give it a try. I really love it up there.

Other, less likely, possibilities include circumnavigating Vancouver Island, Heading up the Strait of Juan de Fuca and visiting the Broken Group or Ucluelet or heading up to Bella Bella or Ocean Falls. Any of these might require some investment in equipment and a good weather window but I won’t say no just yet. My successful trip down the coast to LA has made me a bit more adventurous.

To Do’s

I will probably do another post on my “wishlist” for the boat as it is growing more and more extensive, but I do need to consider how much work I want to do on the boat at some point. The more work, the later we take off from the docks. One of the high points of having Never for Ever in charter is that she will be prepped and ready to cruise when we step on the dock. and I don’t actually have to do anything.

But having said that, I do want to do some of the work myself since there are still lots of things about her that I have yet to learn. Ian and the crew at NYCSS are working on my leaky windlass over the winter (they are still hoping to source parts to rebuild it so I don’t have to replace it) and I would like to reinstall it myself. She also has the wiring (and a dvd player) already installed for a tv so I am thinking of buying a cheap 12v unit and mounting it on the bulkhead. The rest of the projects come down to money and I will have to start budgeting.

Decision Time

Luckily we don’t have to decide anything final just yet. The boat is reserved for our use until June 17th and the only pressing thing to consider is registering for the Rendezvous. But Lawrence is adept at squeezing boats in and as much as he’d like us to register early I don’t think he would turn us away if we put it off.

So what does that mean? Well I (we) will continue to think up plans until the perfect one comes along and then we will head out and enjoy our first season as absentee owners. The only thing for sure is that we will go sailing for at least three weeks and then who knows…maybe will get stuck in some far off port. It wouldn’t be the worst thing.


—Captain Why #Posts

Twitter Digest

Twitter Digest

Twitter Digest

Book 2016…

Happy 2017! This is my fifth year of recording (and counting) my books read. Previous lists (and associated totals) can be found here: 2012 (85), 2013 (95), 2014 (106), 2015 (92). In 2016, I also tracked them by month although occasionally books would bleed from one month to another. The results were distinctly lopsided. So how many did I manage to read this year? Let’s find out…

January

The Happy Return C.S. Forester (1937)
Horatio Hornblower Book 5 – ebook;

A Ship of the Line C.S. Forester (1938)
Horatio Hornblower Book 6 – ebook;

Hornblower’s Charitable Offering C.S. Forester (1941)
Horatio Hornblower Book 6.5 – ebook;

Flying Colours C.S. Forester (1938)
Horatio Hornblower Book 7 – ebook;

The Commodore C.S. Forester (1938)
Horatio Hornblower Book 8 – ebook;

Today I Will Fly Mo Willems (2007)
An Elephant & Piggie Book – HC;

Lord Hornblower C.S. Forester (1946)
Horatio Hornblower Book 9 – ebook;

Bears Don’t Read Emma Chichester Clark (2014)
– HC;

Hornblower in the West Indies C.S. Forester (1958)
Horatio Hornblower Book 9 – ebook;

The Last Encounter C.S. Forester (1967)
Horatio Hornblower Book 10 – ebook;

Virtues of War Bennett R. Coles (2015)
Astral Force Book 1 – ebook;

February

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance Lois McMaster Bujold (2012)
Vokosigan Saga Book 13 – ebook; reread

A Book Editor’s Primer (What a Book Editor Does) Dr. Leslie Vermeer (2016)
-manuscript

Oath of Swords David Weber (1995)
War God Book 1 – ebook; reread

The War God’s Own David Weber (1998)
War God Book 2 – ebook; reread

Wind Rider’s Oath David Weber (2004)
War God Book 3 – ebook; reread

March

War Maid’s Choice David Weber (2012)
War God Book 4 – ebook; reread

Sword of the South David Weber (2016)
Nofressa Book 1 – ebook;

War Maid’s Choice David Weber (2012)
War God Book 4 – ebook; reread

Balance Point Robert Buettner (2015)
Janzen Parker Book 3 – ebook;

Fool’s Assassin Robin Hobb (2014)
Fitz and the Fool Trilogy Book 1 – ebook; reread

April

Fool’s Quest Robin Hobb (2015)
Fitz and the Fool Trilogy Book 2 – ebook;

Hell’s Foundations Quiver David Weber (2016)
Safehold Book 8 – ebook;

May

Unbreakable W.C. Bauer (2014)
Chronicles of Promise Paen Book 1 – ebook;

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Becky Chambers (2014)
Wayfarers Book 1 – ebook;

A Talent for War Jack McDevitt (1989)
Alex Benedict Book 1 – ebook; reread

Polaris Jack McDevitt (2004)
Alex Benedict Book 2 – ebook;

Seeker Jack McDevitt (2005)
Alex Benedict Book 3 – ebook;

Dauntless Jack Campbell (2006)
The Lost Fleet Book 1 – ebook; reread

Fearless Jack Campbell (2007)
The Lost Fleet Book 2 – ebook; reread

Courageous Jack Campbell (2007)
The Lost Fleet Book 3 – ebook; reread

Valiant Jack Campbell (2008)
The Lost Fleet Book 4 – ebook; reread

Relentless Jack Campbell (2009)
The Lost Fleet Book 5 – ebook; reread

Victorious Jack Campbell (2010)
The Lost Fleet Book 6 – ebook; reread

The Lion of Farside John Dalmas (1995)
The Lion of Farside Book 1 – ebook; reread

June

The Bavarian Gate John Dalmas (1997)
The Lion of Farside Book 2 – ebook; reread

The Lion Returns John Dalmas (1999)
The Lion of Farside Book 3 – ebook; reread

Madness in Solidar L.E. Modesitt Jr (2015)
Imager’s Portfolio Book 9 – ebook;

Alliance of Equals Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (2016)
Liaden Universe Book 19 – ebook; eARC

Cauldron of Ghosts David Weber and Eric Flint (2014)
Crown of Slaves Book 3 – ebook;

A Princess of Mars Edgar Rice Burroughs (1917)
John Carter of Mars Book 1 – ebook; reread

The Gods of Mars Edgar Rice Burroughs (1918)
John Carter of Mars Book 2 – ebook; reread

Warlord of Mars Edgar Rice Burroughs (1919)
John Carter of Mars Book 2 – ebook; reread

Dragon and Thief Timothy Zahn (2003)
Dragonback Book 1 – ebook; reread

Dragon and Soldier Timothy Zahn (2004)
Dragonback Book 2 – ebook; reread

Dragon and Slave Timothy Zahn (2005)
Dragonback Book 3 – ebook; reread

Dragon and Herdsman Timothy Zahn (2006)
Dragonback Book 4 – ebook; reread

Dragon and Judge Timothy Zahn (2007)
Dragonback Book 5 – ebook; reread

Dragon and Liberator Timothy Zahn (2008)
Dragonback Book 6 – ebook; reread

Terms of Enlistment Marko Kloos (2013)
Frontline Book 1 – ebook; reread

Lines of Departure Marko Kloos (2014)
Frontline Book 2 – ebook; reread

Angles of Attack Marko Kloos (2015)
Frontline Book 3 – ebook;

Chains of Command Marko Kloos (2016)
Frontline Book 4 – ebook;

July

Ring of Fire Eric Flint ed. (2004)
Ring of Fire Book 2 – ebook;

1633 Eric Flint (2002)
Ring of Fire Book 3 – ebook; reread

1634: The Baltic War David Weber (2007)
Ring of Fire Book 3 – ebook;

Cobra Slave Timothy Zahn (2013)
Cobra Rebellion Book 1 – ebook; reread

Cobra Outlaw Timothy Zahn (2015)
Cobra Rebellion Book 2 – ebook;

The Lies of Locke Lamorra Scott Lynch (2006)
The Gentleman Bastard Book 1 – ebook; reread

August

Red Seas Under Red Skies Scott Lynch (2007)
The Gentleman Bastard Book 2 – ebook; reread

The Republic of Thieves Scott Lynch (2013)
The Gentleman Bastard Book 3 – ebook; reread

Drifter William C. Deitz (1991)
Pik Lando Book 1 – ebook; reread

Drifter’s Run William C. Deitz (1992)
Pik Lando Book 2 – ebook;

Drifter’s War William C. Deitz (1992)
Pik Lando Book 3 – ebook;

Scholar L.E. Modesitt Jr (2011)
The Imager Portfolio Book 4 – ebook; reread

On the Trail of Space Pilots Carey Rockwell (1953)
Tom Corbett Space Cadet Book 3 – ebook;

Princeps L.E. Modesitt Jr (2012)
The Imager Portfolio Book 5 – ebook; reread

September

Imager’s Battalion L.E. Modesitt Jr (2013)
The Imager Portfolio Book 6 – ebook; reread

Antiagon Fire L.E. Modesitt Jr (2013)
The Imager Portfolio Book 7 – ebook; reread

Rex Regis L.E. Modesitt Jr (2014)
The Imager Portfolio Book 8 – ebook; reread

Revisionary Jim C. Hines (2016)
Ex Libris Book 4 – ebook;

Foreigner CJ Cherryh (1994)
Foreigner 1 Book 1 – ebook; reread

Invader CJ Cherryh (1995)
Foreigner 1 Book 2 – ebook;

October

Inheritor CJ Cherryh (1996)
Foreigner 1 Book 3 – ebook;

League of Dragons Naomi Novik (2016)
Temeraire Book 9 – ebook;

All my Sins Remembered Joe Haldeman (1977)
– ebook;

Old Man’s War John Scalzi (2005)
Old Man’s War Book 1 – ebook; reread

The Ghost Brigades John Scalzi (2006)
Old Man’s War Book 2 – ebook; reread

An Exchange of Hostage Susan R. Matthews (1997)
Jurisdiction Book 1 – ebook;

Prisoner of Conscience Susan R. Matthews (1998)
Jurisdiction Book 2 – ebook;

Angel of Destruction Susan R. Matthews (2001)
Jurisdiction Book 3 – ebook;

Sheepfarmer’s Daughter Elizabeth Moon (1988)
The Deed of Paksenarrion Book 1 – ebook; reread

Divided Allegiance Elizabeth Moon (1988)
The Deed of Paksenarrion Book 2 – ebook; reread

Oath of Gold Elizabeth Moon (1989)
The Deed of Paksenarrion Book 3 – ebook; reread

Citizen of the Galaxy Robert Heinlein (1957)
– ebook; reread

November

Oath of Fealty Elizabeth Moon (2010)
The Deed of Paksenarrion Book 4 – ebook; reread

Kings of the North Elizabeth Moon (2011)
The Deed of Paksenarrion Book 5 – ebook; reread

Echoes of Betrayal Elizabeth Moon (2012)
The Deed of Paksenarrion Book 6 – ebook; reread

Limits of Power Elizabeth Moon (2013)
The Deed of Paksenarrion Book 7 – ebook; reread

Crown of Renewal Elizabeth Moon (2014)
The Deed of Paksenarrion Book 8 – ebook; reread

Madness in Solidar L.E. Modesitt Jr (2015)
Imager’s Portfolio Book 9 – ebook; reread

December

Treachery’s Tools L.E. Modesitt Jr (2016)
Imager’s Portfolio Book 10 – ebook;

Far-Seer Robert J. Sawyer (1992)
The Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy Book 1 – ebook;

Fossil Hunter Robert J. Sawyer (1993)
The Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy Book 2 – ebook;

Foreigner Robert J. Sawyer (1994)
The Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy Book 3 – ebook;

The Magic of Recluce L.E. Modesitt Jr (1991)
The Saga of Recluce Book 1 – ebook;

The Towers of Sunset L.E. Modesitt Jr (1992)
The Saga of Recluce Book 2 – ebook;

Spellwright Blake Charlton (2010)
Spellwright Book 1 – ebook; reread

Spellbound Blake Charlton (2011)
Spellwright Book 2 – ebook; reread

Spellbreaker Blake Charlton (2016)
Spellwright Book 3 – ebook;

Legion of the Damned William C. Dietz (1993)
Legion of the Damned Book 1 – ebook; reread

The Totals

101 books read —8.4 books a month, 1.94 books a week, .28 books a day
46 new
55 rereads

January — 11
February — 5
March — 5
April — 2
May — 12
June — 18
July — 6
August — 8
September — 6
October — 12
November — 6
December — 10

Some Conclusions

Surprisingly my new books/reread ratio favours rereads for the first time —not the first time ever, but the first time since 2013 (2013 62/33, 2014 67/39, 2015 58/34). I attribute that partially to being on the boat half a year and also to the release of a lot of books at the end of a series—I often go back and reread the entire series if it’s been a while in order to get the full effect. Nonetheless it seems I did put off reading new titles since I have at least five or six in my library that have been there most of the year. I wonder what that means?

As you can see I have stuck mostly to fantasy and SF as usual. I did finish off the Hornblower books (very enjoyable) and read L’s manuscript for the Complete Canadian Book Editor (Woo-hoo! There is an author in the family!). Despite my reluctance to read any new fantasy (I am not a fan of the mega-series which seems to dominate the marketplace these days) I seem to be reading a lot more than I would have suspected. But new books are almost always from authors I already respect or as a result of recommendations by those selfsame authors. So I guess they have been more prolific than usual.

April was brutal. The month itself was fine but I chose to read two 1000 page+ books and Fool’s Assassin (another monster title) bled from March into April by a lot. As a result I technically only read 2 books. We did spend that month prepping the boat for departure from Victoria so that accounts for some of it, but I admit to a bit of shame when I look at the sparsity of titles. Ah well, c’est la vie… Other months made up for it though. We were in full cruising mode in June and the count soared, although I will admit that the Dragonback series is Juvenile SF and thus a bit shorter and of course Burroughs’ John Carter books are smaller than a modern book.

Speaking of Burroughs, I was astonished at how much my perspective has changed since Grade 8 when I first discovered and consumed these classics. It is so obvious to me now that they are such a product of their period, but none of that registered on me then. Like many others, Heinlein and Burroughs were my entry into the SF/Fantasy world and it’s a bit weird reading them now and reacting in such a luke-warm manner.

I had sampled a bunch of William C. Deitz a few years ago and am now making my way through a bunch more of his canon. Nothing spectacular but good solid stuff. And I’ve always liked L.E. Modesitt Jr, but for some reason had avoided the Recluse series (although I suspect I may have read the first book when it came out but it just didn’t ring any bells). So I made some headway there and will continue to work my way through the 19 titles that make up the (thankfully) non- linear series. It’s funny that he doesn’t really register as one of my “favourite” authors yet I consistently enjoy anything he’s written.

I also picked up a bunch of Robert J. Sawyer titles for free using my Kobo points, so I started my Sawyer introduction with this Canadian SF author’s Quintaglio Ascension trilogy. These were some of his first major works and the while enjoyable, the inexperience shows. I’m a bit ashamed that I have never before read any Sawyer, he being Canadian, a multi-award winning author and in fact the only SF author I have ever met in person. Funny story, I actually said something like “Wow, I am so excited to meet you—I’ve never read one of your books — but I am so excited to meet you!” Ask my brother, I have always suffered a bit from foot-in-mouth disease. I blame my not reading his stuff on his seeming focus on hard SF (not my favourite), a series of spectacularly bad (in my opinion) covers and that uniquely Canadian prejudice/insecurity that “Canadian”=The Beachcombers. Sad, I know. I will move on to some more of his recent stuff in 2017. I promise.

The Library

As for the state of the library, I am now up to 464 ebooks. Acquisitions have been slow but again, I have been sailing and not working, so expenses were definitely a consideration. 

I did give Shelfie a try. This is an app that allows you to scan your paper books and potentially download electronic or audio version for a much reduced price (or even, so they say, but I have not encountered, free). The software is pretty cool. You snap a picture of the spines of your books and it processes them — almost always accurately deriving the title and author — and then adds them to you library. You can also just go ahead and scan the individual barcodes, but that’s not as cool. Then it goes through the lists of publishers/titles it has deals with and tells you which books you can gain access to digital versions of. In order to use it you have to sign up for Goodreads (which was annoying since I was [sort of] already using Librarything as L is a big fan).

I have entered 70 books so far and it has let me know that 22 are available as ebooks and one as an audio book. The ebooks are almost all $1.99 (USD) and the audiobook is $8.99 (regularly $24.95). There are some old titles (the Rissa and Tregare books by F.M. Busby written in the late 70s) and some new ones (David Weber’s Safehold series) but it seems to be rather random. As an experiment I picked up Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades since I had some later books in that series as ebooks already. You have to sign the copyright page and submit a picture of it and a picture of the cover, then it charges your Apple account and sends you a link. The interface is a bit clunky and it can be hard to find the available purchases but all-in-all it works pretty smooth. I will start unpacking some books and seeing what’s available in the new year.

So there you have it. 2016. I guess it’s time to start reading….


Earl ( the cause of all this statistical nonsense) has his list up already here. Leslie’s can be found here.

 

 

Instagram This Week

Emily's new favourite lap.

Emily’s new favourite lap.
-30°C this morning on the prairie.  No walk today!

-30°C this morning on the prairie. No walk today!
Xmas morning carnage. Have a joyous day one and all!

Xmas morning carnage. Have a joyous day one and all!
The Xmas Norfolk pine at my parents. Merry merry to one and all!

The Xmas Norfolk pine at my parents. Merry merry to one and all!
Day 7: visiting neighbors. Kisses, not hisses!

Day 7: visiting neighbors. Kisses, not hisses!
Day 7: have found and lost tail several times. Still attempting capture.

Day 7: have found and lost tail several times. Still attempting capture.

Twitter Digest

My First Wikipedia Article

I generally use Wikipedia to look up pub dates for books I am reading and to keep track of series orders etc. Imagine my surprise when I looked up Blake Charlton — who has three books published by Tor — and there was no entry. While I have occasionally edited a Wikipedia article, I have never attempted to write one from scratch so this looked like a good opportunity.

I did a brief bit of research and outlined a brief entry (see below). Then I submitted it without creating an ID. This puts it into a hold queue waiting for review from more senior Wikipedians (Wikipediaites?) to review, approve or reject.

The interface is surprisingly easy to maneuver at first but it becomes increasingly more complex and arcane as you get down to details. Which is as it should be I suppose.

The queued entry can be seen here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draft:Blake_Charlton


Blake Charlton

Blake Charlton (1979-) is an American science fiction author. He is the author of the Spellbreaker series published by Tor books and currently a cardiology fellow at the University of California San Francisco. As boy Charlton had to deal with severe dyslexia but has he managed to overcome his condition and learned to read fluently by the age of 13.

Blake’s non-fiction has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, The British Medical Journal, and The New York Times. and his science fiction short stories have appeared in the Seeds of Change and the Unfettered anthologies.

Charlton graduated summa cum laude from Yale University studying English Language and Literature and went on to graduate from Stanford Medical School.

The Spellwright trilogy is set in a world where languages for the basis for magic. Nicodemus Weal is a cacographer (similar to Charlton’s own dyslexia), who nonetheless is talented in magical languages. But his disability that causes misspelling in any text he touches.

Bibliography

Series fiction

Spellwright

  • Spellwright (2010, Tor Books, ISBN 0-7653-8856-8)
  • Spellbound (2011, Tor Books, ISBN 0-7653-5659-8)
  • Spellbreaker (2016, Tor Books, ISBN 0-7653-1729-2)

References

  1. http://dyslexia.yale.edu/charlton.html
  2. https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blake_Charlton
  3. http://www.blakecharlton.com
  4. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/opinion/defining-my-own-dyslexia.html

This entry created and uploaded as a part of the Ulysses testing process.