“If you don't like the weather … wait a moment, it'll change” is a quote attributed to Mark Twain about New England, but it seems to fit here in Virginia, as well ... except for the “moment” part. The bitter cold weather we recently experienced is history now. It was 17F / -8C outside a week ago today (and 49F/ 9C inside!) and 70F/21C by last Thursday. The temps have been hovering primarily in the 50s and 60s (10-15C). Needless to say, we appreciated watching the river ice melt away. We have definitely embraced the change.
Keeping warm a week ago was a matter of triple and quadruple layering, wearing a scarf, mittens, heavy socks and hat … indoors! Our flannel sheets and bed warmer kept us comfy at night, except our ears and noses always seemed cold. We groused over morning walks up the dock. We had three small electric heaters on timers churning out BTUs day and night. It was uncomfortable, but not untenable. We ate bowls of hot oatmeal for breakfast and homemade soups for lunch and dinner. I happily baked a lot … and at times seriously contemplated jumping into the oven myself.
All bundled up on the saloon settee with a heater at our feet, we busied ourselves with writing and reading. David fixed the old alternator that had crapped out last autumn. He removed the forward head and began sanding the sole in preparation for varnishing when it warmed up and the installation of a new head. He's also involved in an alternator evaluation study and worked on test jigs and protocols. I got an article or two sent off to SSCA. We climbed into our bunk early in the evenings and stayed in our warm bed as long as we could in the mornings.
Now the heaters are off, the temps are mild and our spirits have warmed up accordingly. The gentle sound of melting snow trickling from the boat and wharf into the river below was music to our ears till finally the snow and ice was all gone. David has continued work on his alternator project, but much of it now entails working outside on the dock … a bit easier with no snow and non-frigid temps. I should be working on either the book I'm writing or the website and, of course, I'm doing neither. Instead I've been doing some sewing. Awhile ago I made some curtains for the aft bunk and bought enough extra fabric to cover some pillows which I've never done. This week, I ferreted out the fabric (that took a couple hours since it was well stowed … read that “lost”) and made the pillow covers.
We also needed some replacement fender covers. I searched on-line for either a pattern or instructions and David found one on a sailing forum that made so much sense and was so easy, I'm sorry I didn't think of it myself. A how-to blog will follow in a few days. In the meantime, the fender covers are done and on the fenders and look great.
We hadn't been walking much lately, neither in Boston nor here, due to cold temps and inclement weather and I've regretted it. With the return to reasonable weather, we've been walking daily and feeling all the better for it. We're energized! Having no car handy to get to the supermarket or hardware store and having to walk to the toilet several times a day facilitates our achieving the goal of 10,000 steps a day, believe me.
There's been a bit of social interaction. A few cruisers have passed through on their way south and stopped for the night at AYB. One couple came aboard for drinks and we've chatted with others. A Canadian couple has been living aboard here since late last autumn trying to sort out multiple engine issues. We see them quite regularly and empathize with them about their boat problems. Otherwise, we are pretty much left to our own devices at the far end of the dock and, quite honestly, it suits us just fine.