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Chiberia 2: The Return of Polar Vortex

We blame Canada.  Don't misunderstand, Canadian people are just fine, but the country they live in is a harbor for Old Man Winter and his ilk and this just can't go on anymore.  Every time we turn around there is something migrating down from Canada and stealing OUR heat.  Do you know what this bitter cold does to people?  Millions of American Dollars lost in productivity and millions of AMERICAN WORKERS stayed home from their paying jobs to avoid this migration of cold weather.  It has to stop.

What we propose is a border wall to keep these migrant weather patterns out of OUR COUNTRY!  Sure we have natural barriers in some places that can help (thank you Lake Superior) but the only thing that will keep these unwanted patterns out of America is a Yuuuuge wall that they simply can't get over.  We've talked to Justin Trudeau (swoon) and think he'll even pay for it!  In the meantime we will set up a Go Fund Me page to buy every Lasko fan available and place them at the border to help blow the weather away.  Congress needs to take action and fund the wall so we have a permafrost permanent solution to this icicle crisis.  Make America Heat Again!


Unless you've been under a rock for the last week you probably know that it was colder in Chicago than Antarctica, The North Pole, and Siberia.  We had low temperatures of -25ºF (-31.7ºC) over two nights with high temperatures of -15ºF (-26.1ºC) this past Wednesday.  Sure, it is technically summer in Antarctica but that's still damn cold.  We aren't the only boats in cold climates, there are folks in Canada (shakes fist) and areas of the Midwest further north than us.  We know parts of Minnesota were ten degrees colder than Illinois so we don't want to pretend like we had it the worst but it was very cold.  Most businesses were closed Wednesday and not a single school was open to regular classes.  Mail wasn't even delivered for two days.

There is a person in there.
So how did Cygnet fare?  Not that well.  We didn't have failures of systems, although it's still warming up and sometimes those failures take time to show, but we did have cold.  In the beginning we were able to keep a bit of heat in but as the temperatures fell and the wind picked up Tuesday night the numbers on our thermometer started dropping like Jack off the piece of wood that Rose was floating on with obviously enough room for him!  Sorry, Titanic rant.  Anyway, the wind cared little for our plastic wrap and found any way it could to infiltrate the vessel and bring the temperatures inside as close as it could to the outside.  By Wednesday morning it was 50ºF (10ºC) in the Salon and 38ºF (3.3ºC) in the bedroom.  Sure that sounds uncomfortable but we dressed for it and were OK under the flannel sheets and heavy down comforter.

Don't worry, that is just frozen condensation on the mustache, not snot.
We had three heaters on high, two on low, candles, 110V vanity lights, and our bioethanol fireplace kicking just to keep Cygnet from getting below freezing.  Our neighbors who each have houseboat style vessels with insulation kept much warmer.  Eventually after all the sinks stopped working due to frozen lines we caved and plugged another heater into the boat.  To keep the amps as low as possible we turned off the water heater that was useless without sinks and the refrigerator which barely needed to cycle on in the cold.  Through the early Thursday morning the outside temperature hovered in the negative 20s and it raised our bedroom up to nearly fifty.  A big improvement which made getting up for work a bit more comfortable.  Now that the deadly cold has broken and we're hovering just above the zero mark with a bit of sunshine the temps are rebounding.  All the sinks began working and we even ran the dishwasher today!  This weekend is supposed to be seventy degrees warmer, so we are sittin' pretty for the short term.

Even the bubblers were having a hard time keeping up with the ice as you can see in the open slip on the left side and the ones just under the building.
So Water We Thinking about this winter?  Overall it has been very mild and we have had no issues.  This extreme cold snap only lasted a couple days and we have a quick and dramatic warm-up happening now.  We're going to be fine in twenty-one-nine!  Our new setup of heaters hasn't worked as well as we had predicted or hoped - but we've had no electrical issues, just lack the heat we need to stay warm.  We're already planning what we'll do differently next year.  Many people who live aboard in cold climates use diesel heaters that will keep the boat very warm.  Unfortunately we're a gas engined boat and that's not an option.  We've though about a pellet stove and that may still be a winter only option but are considering the other options before making an investment.  Stay strong fellow winter liveaboards, we're halfway through winter already, the temps are on the rise and this will be a distant memory soon.

Geese.  From CANADA no less!


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