Sunday, December 6, 2009

Can it possibly get any colder?

It has been a busy weekend so far here at the Pelican Marina-lots of old friends, a few new friends, lots of beer (and I am by no means an accomplished beer drinker) and the annual Lighted Sail Parade.

When Spook and I were caught out in that storm a few days ago, the entire contents of the cabin seemed to end up on the cabin floor. No matter how well you think you have stowed everything, something gets over looked, or something breaks loose and invariably it ends up on the floor. During that last storm lots of things ended up on the floor, and I had to rethink how I was storing things. One thing that I had thought I had tucked away quite well was my spare change cup - it was in a cubby hole in the galley, with the other cups and dishes, and previously they had all stayed pretty much secure and in place. Not this time though, the rest of the dishes remained stationary, but the change cup seemingly exploded, sending nickels, dimes, quarters and pennies everywhere. It seems that every time I look for something, or clean a bit, I find a bit more change. At first obviously it was lots of change in large deposits, now it has tapered to a dime here, a penny there, but I think there is a lot of unaccounted for loose change loitering about in nooks and crannies. I know the cup is not nearly as full now as it was before.

Saturday (yesterday) was cold, dreary and wet, it rained almost all day, and when it was not raining, it was still almost as miserable as it was when it was pouring down. I took the time yesterday to totally tear down and clean out the components of the cabin heater, which had burped, fizzled, smoked and made a complete mess out of the cabin on Friday night. I cleaned the heating element, the nozzle, blew out the fuel lines, drained and cleaned the fuel tank and cleaned out the fuel filter in the line. I found a bit of junk in the fuel tank and lines, and I hoped that I had at the least done something to improve the performance of the heater. I did. Tonight it is extremely cold, well - very cold, ok - just downright cold for me. I suppose the thermometer is hovering right around freezing, but that is just too cold for my taste. I refueled the heater, and fired it off, and it is performing spectacularly. I am under total kerosene power tonight, with the exception of the computer and the anchor light, all the cabin light is being provided by kerosene lantern, and the heat is by kerosene as well. Quite cozy on here to be honest, is much warmer inside than out on deck.

Despite being cold, it was a beautiful day today. Very sunny, quite a contrast to yesterday. I got a few things done on deck, but mostly it was a day of socializing and planning: comparing notes and ideas with some of the folks here that have made the trip south, and I have solidified my plan and my route. I have to stay in Ecity until Wednesday, when Beth will help me close down my storage unit here. I will weigh anchor, and sail out of Elizabeth City on Thursday, destination Manteo. Depending on the wind, I will make Manteo on Friday. Friday and/or Saturday will be spent being a tourist, as I have never been to Manteo, and then possibly having a cup of coffee with my friend Ali, who happens to live in Manteo. I will leave Sunday open, but when I leave Manteo, I think I will make a fast trip up to Edenton, see Gary and Alice once more, and then a day later, I will head back to Manteo, where I will head down the Pamlico sound to the Neuse River. Up the Neuse to Adams Creek Canal, down the canal to Beaufort/Morehead City, and then out into the Atlantic to the Florida coast. This route will eliminate miles of motoring down canals and rivers, and will allow me to sail most of the way - conserving quite a bit of fuel.

Tonight was the annual Lighted Sail Parade, as usual it was a cold night on the water, but this year I did not sail Arden in the parade, all my strings of lights are in storage, and even though they are Christmas colors, I don't think that red, green and white running lights count as sail parade material. Because it was originally scheduled for last night and wast postponed until tonight due to weather, the sail parade did not have nearly the number of boats in it as it did last year, and the number of spectators was lower as well. Of course, the very low temperatures may have had something to do with that as well.

I also made a new discovery by accident, and it did involve an accident as well. When lighting kerosene cabin lights on cold nights, keep the flame low initially, or you are liable to overheat the cold glass chimney, and cause it to break. I made this discovery the hard way, and am now going to be looking for a new chimney for a little Perko cabin lamp.

So here it is, Sunday night, the temps in the lower 30's, and I am nice and warm on the boat. Not a bad weekend, but a definitely a busy week ahead.


Anonymous said...

Dude, love the blog but not sure this entry will work. I'll give it a shot. Colder? I made another delivery today. From Mear's Marina, Annapolis, MD, to California, MD. This morning was 30F and boat was covererd with ice and snow at the start. It was blowing 15 out of the NW.....I hope you and Spook are warmer!!!
Capt. Glenn

efmclean said...

Cold here too. We miss you! snow is covering over your stuck in the mud with the hoopdy (sp?) but they are still there! Emily was fascinated by the ice in the birdbath this morning while we waited for the bus.