Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November - Ugh!

The wind is blowing a gale from the NW and it's raining hard. It's blowing so hard I'm having to hold on to my hat as I walk down the dock to where the Independence is moored. There's even one foot waves in the marina. Suddenly the sky turns pink and the houses above the marina which were so warmly lit now are now dark. I look at the marina and there's still power. Another gust comes and the dock is rocking from the wind and the waves. I make it down to the boat cold and wet. I check the air temperature and it is a chilly 45 F. I plug in a small space heater to provide some warmth to the cold boat. I check the bilge and decide to start the boat. I hit the switch and about 12-14 seconds later the diesel comes to life with a roar. I reduce the RPMs to 650 and put it in gear and let the boat run in the slip. I am so happy that she fires up so readily, especially on this cold, windy, and dark night - not that I'm going anywhere. I gently pat the helm and say, "Good dependable girl." I turn on some lights, pour me a couple of fingers of whiskey and ride out the storm. I am amazed at how much the boat is rocking even though it is in the slip. Even above the idle of the engine I can hear the wind and the rain hitting the covered moorage. I'm glad I'm in the Independence.

I let the boat run for about 30-40 minutes until the engine warms up. There's a forecast in the next few days for snow and bitter cold. I figure this little run in the slip will help. As I sit and let the engine run I once again dream of summer cruising instead of dark, cold November days. Outside the wind continues to blow hard, and the rain continues to come down hard. I'm not looking forward for the long walk up the dock back to the car. I re-checked the air temperature inside the boat and now its a balmy 48 F. The running of the engine has warmed the boat up 3 degrees. I take the boat out of gear, let it idle for a few seconds, then rev the engine up to 1,500 RPM for about 10 seconds, then back down to idle for 30 seconds, and then hit the kill switch. Silence except for the outside wind and the noise of the rain hitting the covered moorage. I decide to pour just a bit more whiskey into my cup - I'm not ready to leave. I notice that the rain has stopped. I quickly finish my whiskey and close up the boat.

I start my walk up the dock and look at the hillside, all the homes are still in the dark. I can see candles flickering in the windows. I hope the power is on at home. A gust of wind almost rips my hat off my head. Oh how I dislike November.

Stats: running time (idling in place in gear) ~30 minutes, ending engine hours 6077.5.