We were treated to a sight we had read about, dreamed of, and longed for. The long curling white sand beach wrapped around the boat as the clear blue water rippled at the shoreline. The air, crisp and clean, smelled strongly of pine, reminiscent of a remote northern lake. There was only one other boat in the anchorage, and nobody ashore.
Even with an abundance (relatively speaking) of power, there are still some things we just can’t do. One of them is to heat water with an electric water heater. Before I get into the nitty gritty of our situation, I’ll give you a spoiler: we have found a way to make hot water with little electricity or fuel. It is incredible. We now have electricity, refrigeration, and hot showers. This must be what yachting is like!
This is supposed to be the time of year that we are sanding and painting, cleaning, rigging, and finishing up projects before the sailing season begins. Yet we’ve felt delayed, if not downright bummed out, when the majority of our available work days are fraught with cold, dark, damp or downright wet weather.
On December 15, 2016, an arctic chill snapped us into winter mode with subzero temperatures and gale force winds. Wind chill values dipped to nearly -40 degrees Fahrenheit, freezing the surface of the bay around us in a matter of hours. Comfortably warm below, we settled in for a movie and listened to the wind’s harmonic resonance in the mast and rigging.
The final post in a four-part series explaining how we stay warm while living on a sailboat through the long Maine winters. I have written extensively in the past about the selection, preparation, and installation of our Olympia OL-60 heating system, but today I am going to tell you how it performed during its first winter of use.