Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The First Real Test of Winter

It was cold and the winds were blowing. No, not blowing, gusting at 46 mph. Finding the pin-sized holes in the zipper of my jacket and chilling me to the bone. And I was grateful.

Grateful?!?!? Yes, grateful. We've had a little bit of ice around the marina this winter. Icicles on anchors:
Frozen dock lines:
And a bit of surface ice; a thin layer that doesn't cause issues. But last night they were calling for record low temperatures and I didn't want to worry about more ice, thicker ice. Ice thick enough to cause hull damage.

Granted, we don't live far enough north to worry about docks being destroyed or ripped out due to ice. We don't even live far enough north for everyone to have an ice-eater/bubbler/de-icer. (The units circulate the deeper, warmer water toward the surface to help keep ice from forming.) A couple boats in the marina have one but we were able to depend on mother nature's de-icer last night --- the wind. Water in motion takes longer to freeze. The possibility of damage was probably minimal but it sure was nice to have a rockin' and rollin' insurance policy in place (honestly, the boat was rockin' and rollin' last night).

Now to the real story from last night -- the temperature. We've been able to keep the boat at a comfortable 65 degrees so far using three electric heaters. They had a bit of trouble keeping up last night. The temperature outside was 3 degrees at 5:19 this morning:
Another clue as to why there are so few de-icers around. Did you look at the forecast for Saturday?
61 degrees! We should all go sunbathing!
The radiator in our stateroom was set at 70 degrees and the Acu-Rite Thermometer one foot above it read:
Before you freak out -- the BOTTOM number is the temperature.
The TOP number is the humidity.
We were able to bring one more heater into the stateroom to help but that's also why they invented blankets. I was quite toasty. At least one cat was smart enough to snuggle under the blankets with us. The other kept showing up but probably slept right next to a heater.
Remember the condensation issue that everyone kept warning us about? It's safe to say that it showed up last night:
That is frost on the inside of my salon windows this morning. As I sit here writing this post at 10:30am, almost all of the frost on the sunny side of the boat has disappeared.
The farmer's almanac predicted a cold and wet winter for us. So far, they've been right on target. Many friends have said they hoped the almanac was wrong. They didn't want us to have to rough it out during the winter. My response has always been "Bring It On." If I'm going to do this boat thing, let's see what winter can throw at me. (And by winter I mean the Maryland definition of winter, no Great Lake winter, no Canadian winter, and certainly no Russian winter. Kudos to my Boston and Detroit colleagues that are truly roughing it.) Back to MD -- Don't give me some mild winter and a false sense of security, then freeze like mad a few winters later. I guess I've gotten my wish.

So, thank you to all of the friends that have offered couches, guest rooms, and guest houses. I really appreciate knowing that the option it there but I still don't want to leave my marina paradise.

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