Monday, November 22, 2010

It's way to Cold to Kiss

A song for winter, sung to the tune of Sealed With a Kiss

Yes we had to say good bye to the summer,
And now it's come down to this
Minus twelve in November,
Now it's way too cold to kiss
Guess it's going to be a long nasty winter,
I'm huddled in bed writing this
Too cold to get up and start a fire
Don't know how I'll make it through this
The water pipes are frozen
The propane hose is cracked
Ice is on the docks
Not enough wood got stacked
I didn't want to say good bye to the summer,
Knowing the heat I would miss
If I could have left in September,
Then it wouldn't have come to this
Guess it's going to be a long nasty winter,
Promises of lots of ice and snow
If only I was was rich, I could get on a plane and go
to Mexico
Where it's warm enough to kiss
And away from all of this

Bah Humbug, I hate winter and more so with every passing year. There was a few years in my twenties and thirties once I had learned how to ski, where I found a modecum of enjoyment from the sight of fresh snow, but now that I am older, stiffer and poorer that small joy is forever gone. Now it's just a struggle to survive each day. Living on the water makes that job even harder.

It's a constant battle against the elements here. We are limited to one hundred amps of electricity for the whole marina and that has to be shared by everyone. That means there isn't enough electricity for everyone to run a million space heaters
24/7, so alternative sources of heat must be found.

First you have to insulate EVERYTHING! Seal all the windows with plastic, stuff all the cracks with insulation, and hang blankets in all the doorways. Our main source of heat is the woodstove which eats firewood in amazing quantities. We seem to spend a large part of each day chopping wood which then vanishes in a a few short hours and requires setting an alarm to get up in the middle of the night to stoke the fire.

Luckily we live in a climate where it rarely dips below freezing but when it does we are in trouble. All of our water comes to us through garden hoses which freeze solid. The regulators for the propane tanks also freeze meaning no hot water or cook stove. Any dampness on the docks turns to ice making them extremely treacherous to navigate. If the cold snap lasts long enough, the river itself freezes, sending large dangerous chunks of ice sailing down river to crash into us.

Over the last two years, so much sediment has built up under us, that Dave's house sits on the hard at an angle during low tide. With last night's full moon making an extra low tide and the extreme cold, his house was making huge cracking noises which sounded like all the beams were breaking.Thankfully they didn't but the noise was something fearful to experience.

Even with 4 heaters and a fire going for most of the night, when we woke up the temperature in the house was at zero, the water pipes all frozen and this is just November! Our really bad weather typically doesn't start until the end of December.

I wish I was a bear so I could just hibernate until this is all over! Or rich enough to just leave for somewhere tropical for the next four months.


bowiechick said...

I have to tell you that I don't miss that ONE IOTA. Even Greig is tired of it all now. I sleep through storms. I don't have the issues with my shoulder from overdoing it on the firewood. Liveaboard life is lifestyle, somewhere else! Good luck you guys!

cyberangel said...

Living on the water is as close to homesteading in the city as you can get I think. We seem to be constantly battling the elements and emergencies. I'm not sure how I can manage this in old age. I'm basically camping in the middle of winter. Three days now with no water, just barely enough heat to keep from freezing solid, even my vehicle has gone on strike and won't run in the cold. I wish I could tow my house to a warmer climate!

rob said...

If Only I had this hydrogen thing cracked!

cyberangel said...

Rob, I am so looking forward to the day you get that sorted out. I would love to have cheap unlimited energy to keep things going here. Good luck with that!