Monday, December 22, 2008

Shut down!

Sunrise this morning, looking toward Annicis Island, from our galley window.

We're officially having a winter here on the south coast AND a white Christmas. As is the thing when snow hits, it throws the whole place into a tizzy. This is the view from the kitchen window this morning. Check out our icebergs! We didn't get slammed again as it has warmed up to a balmy -3C this morning.

We ventured out into the neighbourhood yesterday. Tried to pick up some LED christmas lights at the Walmart but they were sold out. Reports on those trying to get around on transit were dismal. Some had to wait over 2 hours for a bus that never came. We saw one lone snowplow around Queensborough but I bet it was a private outfit.

So, Dillon and I made Butter Tarts (hey, I am Canadian after all) and shortbread cookies. We had much fun as this is the first time in many years since I've ever had any time to make Christmas cookies. Dillon rolled and decorated the cookies, which is the part I like the least.

Tobi supervised...

The water didn't freeze overnight either...

The news is urging people to just stay home if at all possible. We made it through the night without frozen pipes too and we figure we must have at least eight inches on the docks here.

Here are some more pics.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Playing icebreaker in Wee Orange Skiffy.

We froze up again last night and so we set about to get that all thawed and moving again first thing. The whole line didn't completely freeze this time so it was a bit easier to get it all up and inline again. Once again, rather than putting on pants he just doubled-up on the bathrobes and helped me start the wee portable genset so I could get heaters on the hoses thawing in the garbage can.

I dutifully called my mother to report in on our status here for she is freaking out and worried sick. I've gotten used to this with her for she ascertains its her job. They've got -18C in the interior and were sitting at -12C.

Of course she's is doubly-freaked out and worried because the news is saying that the Fraser River is currently completely unmanageable and won't it slice through our lines and have us drifting out into the river. Well, were a bit frozen in place, Ma.

Anyhow, it really never get that cold in this part of the world that we have a bunch of icebreakers about or on standby.

I reiterated that newsy bit to Greig and he said, "HOOEY, I can get out there and break up that ice with the wee skiffy!"

I said, "No you can't!"

"Watch me! Get the camera!"

So here goes him. Too bad you can't see his the big fat smug look on his oh-so-self-satisfied face. Crazy Viking!

All he needed was a ice-skier to pull behind him and don't think he wouldn't do it either.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ice, ice baby

So as I have been posting for the last week or so, it's kinda cold. How cold is it? Well, take a look. I am lucky I had had the forethought to grab my camera. Keep in mind this is a slower incoming tide. We'll be on yellow to red alert on the outflowing tide.

Oh, and please excuse my Captain's
(actually our) salty tongues. It was a dramatic moment! And it was a bit like from the movie, Day after Tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday's full of...ICE!

Yup, we left a tap running as is our habit all these winters of living on a boat. Still at -16C the darn thing still froze up on us. The whole works froze all the way up to the shut off valve up on the road. Greig brought in the hoses, stuffed them in a garbage can and brought the whole works inside. We took one of the little electric heaters and threw that in the can to thaw the hoses out. Greig went to check on the connection there and it burst apart on him. All in all it was a wee chore.

The connecting valve here on the float house was all frozen too. I took my hair dryer, layed it beside the valve and draped a bucket over the works for a few minutes to get that thawed out. All in all we had water again by 3:30pm. It is still freakin cold and has started to snow again. This cold front is to remain with us until after Christmas I expect.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Minor Sunday morning disasters

We are working hard trying to stay warm for another winter. Our first blast arrived on Saturday night with snow throwing the lower mainland into a complete tizzy. It turned cold by Sunday morning (-6 Celsius) and I woke up to the sound of gushing water again. This time a hose connection entering into the floathouse came apart. Inside damage amounted to the bulk of my clean towels on the shelves above the toilet getting wet.

Exterior only giving the outside of the house a good and thorough soaking and covering the bike and the breezeway there in a fairly solid layer of ice. Motivations to take the wet towels to the laundromat quickly fizzled due to other chores so I just hung the whole mess of wetness over the upstairs railing in the loft. I've still some drying out.

It is so cold we have been running the genset steady. At 3am, it stopped and Greig got up to check it. Dressed again only in his bathrobe,* he decided it need an oil change on the spot.

Forecast is for the temp to go down to -16 C tonight and we are slated for snow on Wednesday and this chill is suppose to last another week or so.

*Many a emergency has occured where Greig is often found to bolt out of bed, donning only a his bathrobe and slippers to spend two to three hours tending to said emergency. After, and only after when things finally get "under control" he realizes that perhaps it is finally safe enough for him to put on pants.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rumour has it

The shore power may finally be coming! Could it be that I actually get my Christmas wish? Please, oh Shore Power God, say it so please!

We have a family staying on the Sea Ferring for the time being and they are adjusting to living on the water. The father is quite a land lubber and his wife is loving it. He's going through the adjustments and quite undecided about it all. The kids, well, their two oldest are quite used to this as they are best friends with Greig's kids and so we actually feel more comfortable with the kids in charge as they've been in training for a couple of years. They have stronger sea legs, not that serious sea legs as much as a different mindset than on land.

We've been on that diesel genset for about a month and it suddenly started leaking oil. Greig picked up a cheap (*$850) gas genset from Walmart and promptly had to return that for another as it crapped out within the first 48 hours. He's taken the King back to KMS tools to see the what/where/why of this oil leak. (And Tim, you're probably right as it may be a piece if crap genset too for it works but poo's out oil.) Alas, Big Cheese had asked our guests on the Sea Ferring to plug his two sport fishers in occasionally as those bilges need pumping too but he didn't tell them HOW MUCH pumping would be required (nor did he chip in for fuel) and so guess what happened? Well, it didn't entirely sink, just all the new mechanical. Sigh. Well, if he wasn't so stubborn and cheap about getting that shore power in that would have been less likely to have happened 'cos his boat would have been plugged in!

Our man about shore, Len, says he over heard the Big Cheese on the phone the other day finally doing the deal and ordering the power. Yes, we know he's been blowing us off for months on this issue. Back in June we even told Big Cheese that we would pay for the shore power mast etc and since then we've paid that in bulk diesel in generators and so it seems like a waste of resources but such as it is in this boating life.

The Malacite has gone back down the river today as it does have a few charters for the meager amount of Carol Ships that are booked until Christmas. These are totally down over last year and I am so glad Greig has the new job. Phew. It will be back up again in the new year until the spring or depending how bookings go.

Here is hoping I can solely rely on electricity to heat the boats - enough so they are all relatively warm. There will be much more hydro available to us here than there ever was on Mitchell Island.