Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Canadian Winter Aboard

I've had gentle reminders from my friends down south that I have been slow to update my blog, so here's a little taste of our winter adventures for William and Judy in Florida.

Our boat is snugly wrapped in plastic, looking more like a covered wagon than a boat. We're keeping quite cozy inside with the help of five electric heaters. It has taken a lot of trial and error using extension cords and pony panels for Andy to find the delicate balance between internal and external power sources so that I no longer have to turn off heaters to run the water heater or kettle or microwave. Of course I still can't run all three at once!

This winter has been on the extreme side, with overnight temperatures regularly reaching -20C (-4F) and several storms yeilding 9" of snow in 24 hours. The snow has been here to stay since before Christmas. Despite all of this I continue to love living aboard. I said to Andy just the other day that I couldn't picture us living in a house. This lifestyle suits me perfectly. Besides, after living aboard Sassy II last winter, Island Eclipse feels more like a condo on the water than a boat! There's room for Henry to run up and down the hall (giggling all the way!). My fridge is big enough to shop weekly! We have our own bedroom, the dogs have their own bed, and Henry is down the hall, through the salon and all the way at the front of the boat in his very own bedroom! Life is good!

Henry's is a deep thinker. He comes out with some of the funniest things! We were eating dinner one day last week, and Andy and I had salads. Henry doesn't like salad, but loves croutons, so he had a sprinkling of croutons on his plate. When he got down to the last one he looked at me with all sincerity and said, " he's wondering where his friends are." What a way to ask for more croutons! He was in the washroom with Andy and flushed the unused toilet. Andy told him not to flush unless he had used it because it is a waste of water. Henry said, "That's a funny word, flush. Flush! Flush! Flush!" It's hard to believe he just turned two! If you tell him he's funny, he'll say, "Sometimes." I could go on and on about that kid. He's really something.

In other news, I have a new neice! My brave sister-in-law had her at home. Abigail Anne Francey was born, in the bathtub at home, January 6th at 9:00pm weighing 8bs 2oz. She is a beautiful little girl, and I'm a very proud Auntie!! My hat is off to Crystal for her bravery/craziness in bringing her baby into this world without medical intervention. Wow.

I was also reminded by William that our friends in warmer climates don't see the same things we do. Yesterday we saw our neighbouring policemen doing rescue exercises in our basin. They were slithering along the ice on their bellies to try to pull their team mates out of the frigid water without plunging in themselves. The ice is treacherous in this basin because the ten boats docked here each have a couple of bubblers drawing warm water up from the bottom to keep the ice from forming around our hulls. Unfortunately I didn't think to take pictures of the policemen in their extreme weather suits bobbing in the freezing water. It was quite a sight.

Speaking of extreme weather suits, poor Henry looks a lot like the little brother on that movie 'A Christmas Story' a lot of the time these days. He is bundled up in snow pants, snow boots, long sleeves, a sweater, a down jacket, a hat, and mitts, and sometimes I even add a blanket and his plastic cover to his stroller! Poor kid can hardly move....but he's warm! Most days, though, we skip the snow pants and just wear long-johns instead. :)

Well, that's about all for now, but I will keep you up to date a little more diligently, I swear!
Keep warm until next time.


  1. THANKS love the pics and story, that Henry is really precious, you need to write down all the things he says before you forget...what an adventure for all. Glad you share it

  2. What great photos of your boat wrapped both inside and out. Henry sure is a cutie. We have been traveling with Ken Blythe on S/V Sail Away down the ICW and in the Bahamas since first meeting you and him at Sylvan Beach on the other side of Lake Oneida.

    s/V Changes