Enough with the Winter already

The first day of Spring came and went.  It was hard to tell because a good 4″ of heavy, wet, mushy snow fell.  It dampened our chilled spirits and strengthened our resolve to sail South to warmer climes ASAP.

Although I’m not complaining about the cold (wait, yes I am!) and living on a boat, it was the sheer misery of Winter that bothered us.  Boat or no boat it has been a doozy.  We have had:

  • Two sunk boats in our “neighborhood”.  One at our marina and one at the next marina up the Hudson.  It’s pretty sobering to see a boat being pulled out of the water after being completely submerged.
  • Ice.  Now again, it wasn’t anything we couldn’t deal with but the ice in the river was completely out of control this year.  I particularly liked this picture (which is of the ferry I take to get to work).  We had ice in our channel, too, a big solid sheet of iceberg that would shift between docks.  It’s pretty monumental when a 30′ wide ice cube slams into you.  We could see 5 or 6 inches of depth at the edge and I’m sure it was thicker in the center.
This piece of ice ping-ponged back and forth.
This piece of ice ping-ponged from those guys over there to us over here.  This picture was taken before it got really thick…
  • Cooooolllllddddd.  We actually had frost on the hinges of the port lights a couple of times.  They’re aluminum and even though it was a toasty warm 73 degrees in the salon those puppies just froze right up.
Frosty the Hinge
Frosty the Hinge
  • We also had frost on the portlight in our bedroom.  This is how cold that was…
It was really cold if you stuck your hand next to it. Otherwise not bad at all.
It was really cold if you stuck your hand next to it. Otherwise not bad.
  • The snow kept falling from the sky.  It certainly wasn’t as horrid as New England but it got tiring and the Wonderful Winter Wonderland got old quickly.
From inside the plastic.
Inside the plastic.
Aaaannnnddd... outside the plastic.
Aaaannnnddd… outside the plastic.

Instead of making this about Poor Me and Winter’s Fury I’d like to balance the bad with the good.  Here are the good things we learned:

  • Devilfish is strong.  Yes, it was noticeable each time the iceberg shelf slammed into us but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was for other liveaboards we talked to.
  • Devilfish is warm.  I complained about the insulation when there was welding to be done and it had to be scraped away.  I’m not complain about the insulation now…  We have used one space heater to keep it a comfortable 73 degrees.  Ok, there were three days when one heater couldn’t keep up and we had to use two space heaters to maintain the heat.  Our electric bill is minuscule even in comparison to our last apartment where we had steam heat.  Friends come on board and they ask that’s all you are using for heat???  
Cats love heat. This is our "big guns" space heater. The regular one is just a low-profile boat heater.
Kitties love heat. This is our “big guns” heater. The regular one is just a low-profile boat heater.
  • Devilfish is comfortable.  We have had three dinner parties recently and it’s so nice to sit around and just talk.  I’m glad we held out for a boat that met our comfort and entertaining needs as well as our living/sailing needs.
  • Devilfish is well built for winter weather.  She was designed/built in Canada so we shouldn’t be surprised… but we were.

So there it is.  The bad and the good of living on our boat during the Winter.  We didn’t die, weren’t freezing, didn’t have to chop our way out of an ice floe, didn’t have our hull crack, didn’t have to pull a Donner Party

However, this does not replace the fact that I would still rather sail South until the butter melts.  As it is, c’mon Spring!!

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