The mooring permit arrived in the mail the other day. Despite the snow still on the ground I really had to get down to the boatyard to pick up some documentation for the application. Also because I had not been on the boat since late December I really wanted to make sure things were ok on board. We have had several winter storms during January and I had visions of an ice filled bilge or worse. In addition a Nor' Easter was expected the next day which would make getting to the boat even harder if not impossible. So for all of these reasons I put on some boots and headed to the boatyard.
Like Robbie the boatyard manager told me a few days before there was still some frozen snow drifts making for a difficult walk to the boat but, not too bad. I used the folding ladder like a crutch or walking stick to help break through the frozen drifts. Soon I was in sight of BIANKA:
Yeah, it's been a cold winter with very little thawing in between storms. I'm going to be doing a close inspection of the cockpit drain hoses when things warm up for sure. Just to make sure the ice build up has not damaged them. Climbing up the ladder I saw first hand how much snow we have had compared to previous winters:
Somewhere under all that snow is the cabin top and deck. Looks like it was a tactical error not to cover the boat this year. Previous winters for the past ten years had been rather mild and any snow did not stick around for long. Especially with the harbor waters helping to moderate the winter temperatures.
The cockpit was partially filled with snow. The solar panels on one side of the solar bimini were covered as well from the snow of last week:
So I was expecting the worse as I went into the cabin I had not seen since late December. But, to my surprise I found only about an inch of water in the bilge despite all the snow that hit the area:
The water was still way below the bilge switch but, unfortunately because of the recent below normal single digit temperatures the water was frozen.
So I added a little more spare Antifreeze to the bilge and hope to come back again soon to remove the water when things warm up a bit. I still was relieved to see how little water had actually ended up in the bilge in the month and a half since I was last on board. I also checked the cover over the mast partner area of the boat and it was secure and things were completely dry by the mast step:
Despite the solar panels having been partly covered by snow I was glad to see the batteries were still fully charged. Though I turned on both battery charges to make sure they would get a little top up too while I was on board. I also took out the small ceramic heater and fired it up:
Soon things were nice and toasty. I took off my boots and warmed the insides as well as my toes after trudging around in the 20 degree temperatures and snow drifts to get to the boat. This little heater works very well to warm up the cabin on a cold winters day. I stayed on board about an hour. Picked up the paper work I needed. I took one last look at the winter view of the docks:
The undisturbed snow on the dock makes it seem like spring is so far away. But, after the snow storm last night temperatures reached up to 40 degrees fahrenheit this morning and started to melt much more of the snow. This gives me hope that my next trip to the boat will be a lot easier and warmer.