The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2019.02.03 - Braving the Cold

My weather station in the field behind the house read -4 Celsius when I left to go down to Naiad. Other than to check her ropes during some very windy weather I haven't been to down to visit her for nearly two weeks. The forecast looked like it might be good sailing weather but just a tad cold and I don't do cold very well.

Nevertheless, I donned Ushanta, Polar Buff, gloves, fleece jacket and thick soled shoes, de-iced the car and drove down to the mooring. I was delighted to find that the boat was ice-bound! Well, not really, the ice was not very think but it was surrounded but ice.

This was the view from the top of the steps over the bank. It's not that easy to see but I think you can see the ice in the empty mooring.

This is a closer look at the ice around Naiad.

And here is a better one still.

Here you can see the thin sheet of ice extending down river.

And up river although not so clear.

A little while later and you can see from this photo that the ice is already starting to melt away and you can also see from the three photos above that there was little wind, so no sailing today.

The rubberised canvas cockpit cover was also frozen and I had to be a little careful when folding it back not to damage the canvas.

It will not surprise you to hear that the first thing I did was to light the heater. Even with gloves on my fingers were getting cold and there was ice in the cabin. The two bowls I put down to catch the rainwater from the leaks in the hatch both had ice in them.

There is something very comforting seeing the smoke from the chimney. I suppose it is because there is that mental associated between the smoke and the warmth below. It soon warmed up in the cabin and I sat inside to drink my cup of tea as it was just too cold to sit outside. I did try but despite being well wrapped up with warm clothing, I still got cool. In hindsight I should have put on my arctic coat as soon as I moved outside instead of just wearing the fleece. After all, what's the point in leaving a down-filled, wind-proof jacket rated for temperatures well below zero on the boat if I don't wear it when it''s cold? Stupid boy! What little wind there was went through the fleece and made me cold. Still, it was warm enough down below.

I read for a while and drank my tea and once the tea was gone I packed up, left the heater going on low and went home.

A very pleasant start to the day albeit a very cold one.