Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ice Bound

Coming home to the boat last night after listening to music at Oly Underground, we found ice on the deck. "Be careful honey, it's slippery."  Snug below, we checked the two heaters and went to bed.  This morning we found that Traveler was ice bound.  Yes, "pack ice" had formed here in Budd Bay, locking all the boats into the marina.  Instead of calling for a USCG icebreaker, we stayed in bed until ten when the flood current was at its highest and the sun shone brightly.  With a mighty creak and a moan, the ice began to fragment and melt along the sunny side of the boat.

I'd never seen salt water freeze.  28.4 F is the threshold freezing temperature for sea water and, as we all know, fresh water freezes at 32 F.  I was dancing a jig heading down the dock, dodging the frosted-over sections, and marveling at the frozen surface water.  I think it may be true that at this point of the tide, and here many miles from the ocean, the salinity of the water is quite less than that of the open ocean.  Fresh water coming in from nearby creeks might be floating on top of the salt water and freezing somewhere above 28.4 F.  Whatever the reason, it is a pretty site.

Our Festivus pole is our mast.
Just a few miles west of here in Mud Bay, folks are taking precautions because of an anticipated glacier moving slowly down McLane Creek.  That's how cold it is here.

Inside the boat, condensation is forming on the windows and the inside of the hull.  We've put out three Dry-Z air dehumidifiers and take care when cooking to vent the galley area.  You see, we are trying to fight the onslaught of mold and mildew.  It's tough here but, come to think of it, not as tough as it was on the high seas so I'll stop my complaining.  Actually, don't expect me to stop complaining.  I can see by my page hit counts that the blog entries where I whine and complain a lot get the most traffic.  So don't blame me if I stretch the severity of the situation a little bit. I'm giving you want you want and it's not fake news, just enhanced.

Now, Scott... Don't get started on the "fake news" problem we have today.  This is not a political blog.  That's what Facebook is for.

Our plan is to winter over here in Olympia.  Connie can play music here with friends and I can frequent the local used bookstores, walking around town with my hands in my pockets, along with the rest of the whistling unemployed.  We planned on getting jobs here to boost our cruising kitty but we've put that on hold for a couple of months because...... wait for it....... we're going cruising in Mexico for two weeks in January!

Mmmmm, fried Hama Hama oysters
After spending a few nights shivering around the portable heater, I got online and found an old cruising acquaintance in Guaymas who agreed to let us sail with him from there to La Paz. We've been saving our Alaska Airlines flyer miles for a while now so I cashed them in for tickets to Tuscon, with a return from San Jose del Cabo.  We'll fly into Tucson and get on the Tufesa bus that will take us across the border and south to Guaymas, about 300 miles.  Oops, sorry, that's 480 kilometers - Mexico doesn't have miles.

We've got 140 pesos left in our cash stash, that's about 7 bucks USD so we'll have to buy more at the border.  The exchange rate is crazy low right now - a dollar gets you 20 pesos so we'll be living high on the hog for our three week stay in Mexico, three weeks because we're tacking on a week of travel to go to Cabo Pulmo for snorkeling and diving at the reef there.
Passing a ferry while sailing near Elliot Bay

What a wimp I am.  A few weeks in 40 degree temperatures and I go running back to Mexico!

The boat show is in January and, once again, we will miss it.  I'd hoped to take that opportunity to corral a few vendors and get great deals on four major purchases:

Marine wood stove heater
New toilet
20 x 20 overhead hatch
Comfortable custom bed for the captain's cabin

I guess I'll call a few folks and see what kind of deal we can arrange to get the boat show price before or after the boat show.  Pleezzzzzzeeeee!  Give us a deal.
Californica:  Connie just fed the varmints our food scraps

On these cold days we look back fondly at our recent time in California.  It sure is pretty there.
Oh I'm a solitary man... yes I am, walking the golden hills of Californica.

It's 35 degrees headed down to 28 tonight so we'll be sleeping in our long johns again.  I'll be listening for that pack ice forming. Get the boat hook ready!
Shackleton had the same problems.

Scott and Connie

Two more pictures taken two days later.......



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