Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winter Weekend

The OAT gauge on the 'Z read 25 degrees when I pulled into the marina parking lot late Friday night. A "pop-up" trip had us in Natchez, MS Friday morning for a long day of sitting around. (Corporate pilots have a saying, "We fly for free; they pay us to wait".) Some airports have amazing places for waiting corporate pilots to hang out; theater rooms, work-out rooms, lounges with big screen TVs, coffee and sometimes fresh baked cookies, and a place to catch a nap. Sometimes the "airport car" is a BMW or Jag, and good eateries abound for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Natchez isn't one of them. It does have a good eatery for breakfast. The airport car is an ancient, green, SUV with springs sticking out of the driver's seat, a steering wheel that doesn't feel like its attached to anything, and precious little braking ability. It was a long day.

By the time I walked the pier to the boat my eyelids were getting kind of droopy. This in spite of a cold north wind gusting to 30 knots, snow showers, and ice coating the deck. Falling into the lake would likely have woken me up, but I crawled into the V-berth most of the way to la-la land already.

 This morning it was 18 degrees, wind still blowing, small sheets of ice forming in the marina. The air was brittle, like thin glass. A huge flock of seagulls swarmed around a patch out in the lake, a vanguard swooping around the masts of the marina. Winter has dropped by for a visit. With both heaters running Kintala managed to hold temperatures in the 60s, even in the dead of night. Midnight trips to the head though, meant layering up before heading out. We didn't do much work. I pulled one broken piece of trim off the companionway, Deb made cookies; mostly we kind of hibernated.

A walk through the campground gave cause to stretch and in a few hours we will head back to the city.

But maybe I'll take a nap first.

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