Friday, March 23, 2012
Winter, Such As It Is
So this was the view from the decks of Galactic today, after the weather had cleared. That white tint on the top of Mt. Wellington isn't really snow, but it's something cold - a bit of residual sleet, perhaps. In Alaska people call that 'termination dust', as it means that summer seasonal employment is coming to an end. Winter is on its way here in the South.
One of the things that we're looking for from this upcoming winter is the chance to figure out how to live aboard Galactic comfortably in the cold. The southern hemisphere is just awash with splendid high-latitude sailing destinations, and one of the main projects that we've set ourselves for the coming years is figuring out how many of those places we feel comfortable visiting with the little fellas on board. And we figure that getting good at living on board in the cold will be good preparation for whatever high-latitude sailing we eventually take on.
Now, winter in Hobart is nothing to impress an Alaskan. The average low temps are around 4° or 5° C (low 40s F), and the record lows are -1° or -2° C / high 20s F. But still, it'll be raw, and rainy, and we'll need to put in some effort to making sure that the boat is comfortable. We know a lot of tricks from other people who have lived aboard in the cold. So far Alisa has covered the sole with carpet scraps that she scavenged (below), which makes the boat much cosier ("co-key!", Eric says), and will really insulate us when the water temperatures start to drop. And I've done a little modifying so that we can plug the boat into Australian 240 volt shore power, but still run our 110 volt US heaters down below.
Right now a heater is humming along at the medium setting between my knees as I'm writing this at the chart table, and the cabin thermometer is reading 20° C / 70° F. Things are off to a good start.