Monday, December 2, 2013

The Arrival of Winter Aboard

The signs of winter have arrived at the marina...
From here on out we've got to haul the 1,000+ foot hose down to the docks to fill our water tanks, an unenviable task in the frigid cold & Ice...

This = icy, snowy walkways
Sails and summer fun are being being stowed...
Taking down the mizzen sail

Even Toby's sad the day the sails come off...Big Guys like sailing...and laying on the sail bag!

All the fun of summer - bug spray, sunscreen & fishing lures being stowed - sad day!

We've had our first snowfall...

 All around the docks the "forts" are being erected... 
The wooden frame that will will hold up the shrinkwrap - this year we're adding "windows"! 

This week or next "The Bubble" will be brought into creation yet again. The weather lately has been down right miserable and we never thought we'd say this, but we're sort of excited to get the protection The Bubble provides. Of course we'll also start the countdown until we hatch from the bubble in Spring. The winds have been relentless and the recent snap of bitter cold weather has us wishing for the greenhouse effect the shrinkwrap provides. 
BRRRR - an extra cold night aboard!

This year we're a bit wiser and we'd like to think better prepared for the onslaught of the Maine winter. With advice from our boat neighbors we've turned the boat around so she's stern-to the dock and this has helped tremendously with the rocking and rolling we get on the river. She's taking the waves on her bow and therefore cutting through them rather than having them slapping her hull - i.e. quieter in the aft cabin. We've also made our bedroom into a spaceship by insulating all the walls with the silver Reflectix wrapping. We're hoping this will avoid another "hair freezing to the wall" incident like we had last year! 

One lesson learned already...Don't store ALL of your wool sweaters in a musty, moldy trunk! 
The COLD salty air did the trick - all of my sweaters are as good as new! 
As for our heat, this year we've also put "Mr. Buddy" to good use. As an alternate source of heat to our electric heaters he's providing a VERY warm addition when we're home aboard. We won't use him when we're not there or sleeping just to be safe. We're hoping he can help us cut down on our electric bill this season. 
We had dreamed of adding a wood stove or more permanent heater this year but then we said, that's not getting us closer to our dream of the Bahamas! We made a pact that we're only adding things that we KNOW we'll need/use when we're in the tropics or sailing, because let's face it living aboard in New England winters is NOT the end game here! :) 

Another smart addition we made this year is a dehumidifier. It's been a game-changer in the battle with condensation. We got the 30-pint and it seems to keep up pretty good with the moisture. The amount of water we get from it every day and a half is quite amazing - no wonder our skin feels so moist! 

Probably the best success so far has been for Mr. Toby. He's so much braver and more relaxed now than he was last year this time when we moved to Badger's Island Marina. The marina is not the calmest port in the world and the boat gets rocked and rolled A LOT more than at the Wentworth. Last year Toby had to wear his Thunder Shirt every day and now he never needs it! He used to climb up on our faces and our laps every time the boat would move and now he just sleeps through it, snoozing away. I think all the sailing we did as a crew of 3 this summer helped him get his "sea legs" We're so proud of our little Boat Dog! 

Snooze City
So we're decking our halls for Christmas, finishing up the last of the winter preparation projects and hunkering down for our 2nd winter aboard in Maine. This year promises to be so much better not only because of our new knowledge but because there are  A LOT more boat neighbors on the docks this year! Other cool folks "living the dream" like us - kindred spirits! More life on the docks will definitely help the dark, cold months go by faster! Plus the awesomely gorgeous new Memorial Bridge is built so we can walk into downtown Portsmouth in about 6 minutes. The walk across the river is gorgeous and we're really loving living "downtown", not to mention living without relentless construction noise above our boat is quite lovely! So here's to winter - and to dreaming of moving to the Bahamas...some day! 
Our little Christmas tree & sailcloth stockings - love adding a little spirit to our boat's salon!