Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Floating in a Winter Wonderland

Photo: Kerry Christianson -- Brigadoon carrying a snow load -- at the beginning of the day long snow.

It's an interesting day on the boat.  We have 3-4" of snow covering Brigadoon.  I've noticed the lake level in the sink has raised about an inch.   The snow has pushed us down that much.

Can the snow sink your house?  It can mine if there is enough of it.

The winds have changed too.  Usually, Brigadoon is pushed against the dock by the prevailing southerly winds.  This keeps her pinned, so to speak, and pretty stable, unless it's really blowing.  However, today, the winds are from the north, so we float, ever so gently, away from the dock.  The only thing keeping us here are the dock lines.

We are also having to manage the heat in the boat.  It's about 32 degrees outside and snowing.  Our two electric heaters are currently drawing max and medium respectively.  That's 1900 watts of oil radiant heat.  It's not enough.  So we have fired up the Dickenson.

It's doing a great job of both heating the boat and drying out the humidity.  When we awoke, Brigadoon was 50 degrees.  We were cold.  After running this for a few hours we are up to a balmy 62 degrees.  That's actually comfortable.

It makes me think back to a time when people didn't live in 2500 square foot homes, with huge picture windows and central heating set at 72 degrees all winter.

They survived, even thrived.

I asked Kerry if she still liked living on Brigadoon.  She sipped her not tea, looked out from under her soft cap, smiled and said, "yes."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baking with Gas

Well, for the first time since we bought Brigadoon, I fired up the oven and cooked with it.  Said cooking consisted of warming up two slices of yesterdays pizza.  It was tasty.

I didn't turn Brigadoon into a smoking hole in the water.  That is a good thing.  :)

Hunkered Down and Making Plans

We've been quiet of late, having immersed ourselves on plans within plans, plotting, calculating.

There are conflicting forces at work here.

Get out of debt.  Upgrade Brigadoon.  Build Savings.  Simplify.

There is also the desire to cast off the damn dock and the weather keeping us here.  It's been miserable, cold, with little wind when the weather is nice.  We aren't complaining.  It's just something we note; the engine hasn't started, the lines haven't been case of, and we have not taken Brigadoon out, for months.  We've had a few overnight possibilities shut down by miserable conditions.  Why motor to Andrews Bay to sit there in a pouring rain and cold (even though we can heat with the Dickensen) when we can sit at the dock and do that?  So we have not been out.

It has, however, been interesting weather, like when the sun rises behind intense fog.

That's the sun hitting the high rises in Seattle, not an ICBM taking off from Westlake Park.
But we have been busy.

The boat was measured for sails in December.  Carol Hasse spent three hours with us, measuring every aspect of Brigadoon's rig, talking running rigging, ensuring they are making the right sails.  With that, Port Townsend Sails has started our sail order.  We have made the choice not to put this on credit.  The deposit was cash, and the payments for the balance on delivery will be cash.  It makes it harder but it's the best decision.  The Mainsail comes in February, the Yankee in April and the Stays'l in June. We will be fully rigged with brand new custom sails by the start of summer.  I can't wait.

Kerry purchased some great storage bins to organize our pantry.  She is very proud of them.

Lock n Lock bins.  A girls organizational dream.
There's a new punch list of maintenance items I need to address while I'm buried in the boat by the weather.  There are electricals that need upgrading, water systems to tweak, hose clamps on the stuffing box to replace (the boat can sink in very short order if the stuffing box opens up).  There are also various ideas to make some rigging upgrades before the sails are in place.  Then we can spend a good spring and summer sailing Brigadoon.

The Boat Show is coming up.  Lots of plans there shopping for deals, attending seminars, and just browsing.

There's also our Showball (the debt reduction method and philosophy Kerry has implemented) plan to become debt free.  That's one ticket that doesn't come cheaply but, it opens up some interesting horizons for us.

The good news is, boat-wise, there are few surprises from the last year.  While some upgrades are needed, the boat systems are in good shape.  We've really gotten into the day to day habits of living on the water.  We are warm and comfy in our floating home.

Now to continue with the plans within plans, plotting, calculating and the realization of The Freedom Project.