Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Boats and Bees

We enjoyed a lovely weekend, full of activity and fine weather. Late Sunday afternoon, Adam pulled out Julia's boat, "The Minuet," to look her over and start sanding again. On Monday he applied more of that blue stuff -- a leveler and primer to make a very smooth surface for later painting.
Julia finished her school work in record time Monday morning, so we went for a bike ride in the 68ยบ sunshine to the town marina. Many of our old favorite boats were still there from last fall.
Julia found this rounded wooden cockpit very beautiful.
This boat's name is "White Wolf." Another long boat was called "Shadowfax." I assume she's swift!
When you live near water you study reflections. Here the red band around the edge of a boat alters into a bloody swill in the reflection.
We've been eying two Cape Dory Typhoons at the marina, boats just like ours. They've been neglected, left to batter the dock during storms and be displaced from their bumpers during low tide. If you look closely, you can see that the rub rail on this boat has been bashed off. Much repair is needed. That fat bumper below was either inadequate or put there too late to prevent the damage.
Monday afternoon was so glorious that we just had to go down to our own boat while the rain held off. Adam had a few tasks to do. He put a lock on the motor mount. He also removed some teak wood so he can take it home and beautify it. He removed that little piece on the top of the companionway roof. It split in two, so he'll repair it while he has it off.
He also removed these two long teak pieces in the cockpit. They get a lot of wear. The screws were difficult to manage because the P.O. (previous owner, on whom boat owners can safely blame all things) had painted some sort of thin wood varnish over the teak without removing it, and clogged up the screw  heads.
Adam carefully removed both the rails. He'll need to sand underneath too, to remove the residual varnish on the fiberglass.
Then he applied teak oil to the companionway door slats to keep them healthy. These common repairs  and upkeep are constant on a boat.
Julia and Sandy came to play and frolic around the marina. I like sitting in the boat and watching Adam.
On Monday I also gave Julia the hair cut she's been begging for, for months. It's a short bob with a little layering on the bottom.

After we were done at the boat, we drove over to look at the bees. Adam worked on the hives in the morning, opening them and examining their health after the long winter. He removed some burr comb and placed it outside the hives for the bees to clean. Notice that some is almost black and some is fresh and yellow.
He has three hives now. Two of them are heavy with bees, brood, and other lovely things, and are very healthy. This is a big deal -- for the first time, Adam's bees survived over the winter! He says now he feels like a Real Bee Keeper :)
There are two advantages to this:  1) We won't have to buy new bees to replace dead hives. 2) The bees are on location at the earliest blooming days and get to feed through the entire bloom time in spring.  If we had to buy new bees, they might not be available until April (like last year), after much of the bloom (and nectar) were passed.
Our friends who allow us to keep our bees on their property have amazing blooming plants. Here's an interesting plant with about the most heady, sweet aroma I've yet experienced:
It has a dainty shape. The bees love it!
Here's another bush with heavy bloom.
And here's its attractive flower:
We dug our fingers into the burr comb to get a taste of honey, while the bees did the same with their little tongues. They were busy, huddled together.
Even the third hive, which is small, has brood and all the healthy components of a hive. Soon, Adam will be splitting the larger hives so the bees don't swarm and leave. He's hopeful that these splits and expansions will succeed. I'll keep you posted!

6 comments:

  1. I love this post. The photos of the boats, the bees, but my very, very favorite part is Julia's haircut. You did an excellent job and it fits her perfectly. I do love bobbed/shoulder-length hair with its crisp look.

    She's adorable. :)

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  2. So exciting, all the spring-y freshening going on around your place. Haircut, healthy bee check-up, messing around with boats...
    Those bee pics make me want to go and stick my finger in the honey jar right now.

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  3. Oh, SANDY is the perfect size, isn't she? Julia's hair is very cute!

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  4. Thank you :) I do think the hair is great on her. She loves Audrey Hepburn and wanted that adorable cut Hepburn sometimes has :)

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  5. What a fun way to spend your time! Cute hair (reminds me that I need a trim) and that first bush! What is that? So unusual. Actually, they all are. I love that you have some signs of spring.

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  6. What riches.. the beautiful boat along with the experiences that come with it, and beekeeping? Wonderful.

    And love the bob! I'll have to show it to Erin. I think she'd like it. :)

    Blessings, Debbie

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