Archive:  Year 3 - November 27th, 2008 #32: "Gratitude"

As I write this it is 21 degrees, with a wind-chill that makes it feel like 9.  It’s a fairly clear day and the sun is shining, but the air quickly stings uncovered skin and the wind is biting.  

The River is rolling on completely open - little more than some frozen pebbles on the shore.  The marina, on the other hand, is almost completely frozen over – which happened at a startling pace.  

I have two aerators - or bubblers - that are dropped under the hull and tied to the dock on the port and starboard side.  With small propellers, they churn the water around the hull to keep it from freezing.  In the past, the bubblers have not been needed until mid-December and so I had gotten complacent about getting them tied up and in place – although they have been sitting on the bow prepared to go in for a week.  

Yesterday, with the always-useful aide of Captain D, I got them both dropped and in place just in time for this mornings total freeze… wphew.  Just in the knick of time, as it turns out, is still in time – but I’d rather not cut it that close again. 

The only element of the winter prep that is incomplete, is my furnace’s connection to the propane tanks… Compared to the other, often very complicated and technical elements of the season, connecting a furnace to a propane tank seems relatively simple.  However, nothing about my furnace has been simple – and, true to form, she requires a special regulator in order to function.  Such a special regulator was secured for me last winter, and has since gone missing.  If it proves to be pirates, my vengeance will be swift.  If it proves to be may fault, my apologies will be slow… In the meantime, I am currently heating the boat with electric space heaters, which, along with an extra pair of socks, are managing to do the trick.  Brr.

I have been assured that the old regulator will be found, or a new one acquired by the end of the week… tick, tock.

As for the rest of the dock, we have 8 live-aboards in the water this winter – similar to years past.  All are familiar faces, although some are wintering over here for the first time.  All-in-all it feels like a good, sturdy group and so far so good.  Captain D instructed the newbies on how our fresh water manifold works on the dock – this will hopefully prevent anyone from turning off the wrong hose and suddenly leaving us, for the rest of the winter, to carry our water down in buckets like pioneers… I’m not emotionally prepared for that.

And speaking of being emotionally prepared, I had a good amount of spiritual bolstering on my recent trip back to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  Staying three nights instead of my usual two, I got to spend time with Mom, Dad, Sister, cousins, babies… it was marvelous.  Every living room had a raging fire and my sides ached from the combination of over-eating and eruptions of laughter.  

If that isn’t something for which to feel gratitude – nothing is.  

Next Post: December 11th, 2008 "Wonderland"

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