Saturday, December 21, 2013

Making Mittens & Dreaming of FlipFlops

Michael on the frozen docks.

Gabe's toes, Bodega Bay
The weather here dropped 15 degrees putting us close to 20 for over a week. Twice we, I being one of responsible parties, forgot to leave the water running at the sink. Oops! (Currently we are directly hooked into the marina's fresh water, an on-board water system is on the short list.) Peter went out to thaw the 70 feet of hose with a heat gun which isn't the pleasantest of jobs. I made sure I had fresh coffee in hand before venturing out to help him. It took us almost two hours before the water started trickling at the sink. Thoughts of warmer climates were running through our heads and wishing we could have been taking the same trip south as Del Viento this year.

When was the last time we'd actually had our feet in sand?? Reading the question aloud, Elaine piped up "Bodega Bay, mom!" Which was the same conclusion I was coming too... but then I remembered when we were on the Columbia a few months later we actually moored at Sand Island where the kids had a ball jumping off a sand bank.

leaping, rolling & covered in sand
After last winter we told ourselves that one winter in Alaska was enough, this year we would be somewhere south. That was the plan, and we almost made it. The sad thing is that last winter was very mild, few storms, little snow and only a few days of freezing temperatures. Our boat's primary heat are two diesel heaters; a cookstove in the galley and a smaller heater in the aft cabin. Last spring Peter looked at how much diesel we burned to heat the boat and then did some quick calculations.

"So we burned 700 gallons of diesel this winter heating the boat."
"Wait a minute... how far is it to Baja?"
"Let's see, it is about 2400nm from Ketchikan."
"And we get about 4nm per gallon of diesel at cruise."
"You're kidding. We could have motored to Baja with less fuel than it took to heat the boat this winter!"
"I must be crazy; even the birds know to go to warmer climates in the winter."

Of course our decision to stay was a bit out of our control this time around...

When my parents came up to visit last week, my mom left me the book Little Things to Sew that had a cute & simple pattern for mittens. Earlier this year I had bought and felted a pair of wool slacks from the thrift store that made the perfect material to use. Now the next time the big puddles freeze they can join in sliding on it a bit longer.

It's warmer in the boat now, can you tell?


  1. Long time - No hear! Sorry for not writing sooner. Life gets in the way sometimes. I sure don't miss the cold! As I write this, it is Dec 30th. I am looking out the windows (no glass in the windows here) at the clothes fluttering lightly in the warm breeze coming in off the blue Caribbean here in Belize. The kids are swimming in the sea and having a good time. Except Rebecca that is. She is laying here in bed with a freshly broken arm after having fallen from a Coconut tree she was climbing. We have water system problems here also - the village water system fails periodically as it has today, but that is ok. The trade off is bathing in the sea and drying in the warm trade winds.
    The kids love snorkeling in the Caribbean here or paddling our outrigger canoe around the bight.
    Hope you guys can come to this side one day for a visit!
    We don't miss Oregon so far :)

  2. So good to hear from you!! I was very excited to hear such a wonderful report on your move. Molly and I were just discussing yesterday how we thought Latin America would feel more like home to us than Alaska and how we probably won't miss Ketchikan to much. Glad to hear that has been your experience. We will look forward to seeing again when our path cross.