Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ice in the Drink...

We drove to the marina yesterday (actually Tim drove and I rode the bike after picking it up at the shop where it had been for the last 2 weeks undergoing a major recall inspection) and when we crossed the bridge right before the entrance to the marina where you can look left off the bridge and down the creek all the way to the docks, we were a little shocked to see that the whole creek was frozen over. It's been uncharacteristically cold this November, hitting 17 degrees 2 nights in a row. This was a little discouraging since we hadn't had a chance to finish winterizing Nomad 2 weeks ago due to the family events and a rather unexpected date with the flu. We were greatly relieved to find that the head had not frozen but the batteries were dead so we weren't able to finish winterizing the engine fresh water circulating system. Fortunately it's warming up this week which will give us a few more days to tackle the problem. After spending a few hours tending to all of this, hanging out in Nomad in the darkened cabin (the winter cover is over all the hatches) with the heater on, and traipsing back and forth from the dock to the clubhouse to retrieve things, I discovered that a marina in the winter is a very noisy place. A good bit of the water in and around the docks was frozen, not too thick but probably 3/4" or so, and it turns out that when you walk on floating docks that are surrounded by ice it puts pressure on the ice and makes this very eery high-frequency twang / crack noise that travels along the ice and then echoes into the air, reminiscent of some sci-fi flick. The wind was blowing at a pretty good clip as well, so the rigging of the few boats left in the water was clanging pretty good against the masts. Then there was the sailor trying to move his boat a little closer to the main dock who was grinding through the ice to make the slip of his choice. Some of the ice had managed to break free from the slips that open onto the channel, so those pieces of ice were banging against the boats on that side of the dock. Dominating everything though was the sound of the few bubblers that some had already installed. Noisy creatures they are. It was an unfamiliar place, one that Old Man Winter surely ruled, and I felt a little displaced.

Since I was on the bike and needed to get home before the sun set and the thermometer dropped into unacceptable riding range (At 34 degrees I realize that's up to interpretation), I took off and left Tim to continue to battle the charging issue. I rode the whole 67 miles home thinking of white sandy beaches, warm blue water, and ice in its proper place, floating in fruity drinks with little umbrellas, feeling quite resentful that Old Man Winter had kicked me out of my favorite place to be. It was my first experience with winter in a marina and I have to tell you, I'm not too impressed.

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