Chilly Temperatures. Chilly? Cold!
We spent the last seven days huddled below decks following the chilly temperatures of Bomb Cyclone Grayson. We posted our preparation for the storm and the ice/snow it brought in this post. Immediately following the storm, the temperatures seemed to hover in the mid-twenties at the marina. The forecast, however, predicted that the temperatures for last weekend would be bitter. They were. We saw those mid-twenties plummet into single digits both Saturday and Sunday last. Factoring in the wind chill, we experienced -4℉ (-20℃).
Banjo Gets a Taste of Cold
Banjo does not have built in heat, except for that generated by running the engine. And she has spent much of her life in tropical climates where heat and A/C are unnecessary. Since none of us wanted to spend a week cuddling in the engine room, we made our way to a local store. There we picked up two free-standing oil-filled electric radiators. These little guys are great. They don’t take up much room, provide a dry heat, and seem to draw less electricity than the fan-driven models. One heater kept our cabin warm and comfortable, while the other was set forward to thwart the freezing temperatures from affecting any of Banjo’s systems.
We kept the Strataglass closed all week, and the cockpit was surprisingly comfortable, even at night.
The main issue we noticed was that of condensation forming inside the aft cabin. Due to the extreme temperature differential, and also partly because of the moisture in our breathing, we had condensation on the ceiling most mornings. We also found that condensation would actually form under our mattresses, causing the edges of the sheets to absorb water. When spending time on a boat, one must always be aware of areas of moisture, since these can lead to mildew and mold. We laid out some towels to soak up the mattress condensation, and set about to find a long-term fix to the problem.
A Night At The Hotel
Shannon and I decided to check in to the hotel at BridgePointe for one night this past weekend. The hotel offers a discount for marina residents, and a bath really sounded nice. We spent most of the night laughing, watching “that strange box on the wall,” cuddling, and having a couple beverages while enjoying fresh popcorn.
The next morning we awoke to find both Trent and Neuse Rivers completely frozen on the surface. The depth of the freeze around Banjo was only a few inches but the ice dampened the usual swaying movement of the boat. It was a little unsettling feeling Banjo sitting so still.
When our friend Lee, aboard Etoile De Mer, gave us a tour of his boat, he pointed out an interesting piece of gear. Under his mattresses, he had installed the Froli Star Sleep System. Basically, the Froli Star System was a series of plastic independent bed springs that were installed under the mattress. This would raise the mattress away from the berth platform and promote circulation underneath the mattress. Knowing how important it is to limit any potential sources of mold because of Shannon’s asthma, we decided to order the system to install in our cabin. We are expecting delivery within the next few days, and will do a full write-up once we have installed it to let you know what we think.
Finally, Some Relief
Yesterday was the first day in over a week that we have been able to enjoy being off the boat for more than a few minutes at a time. The temperature pushed up to the low 40’s, and we were able to see some of the river begin to thaw. Most of the snow and ice began to retreat. The water supply on the docks was activated and Banjo took her first drink in over a week. Banjo carries 200 gallons of water in her port tank, and has a water-maker that turns sea water into fresh water. However, due to the freeze, and the quality of the water in the Trent River, we decided not to try to run the water-maker. Our water supply aboard dwindled down to about 50 gallons before we were able to refill.
Today, the temperature made its way to 63℉ (17.2℃) which felt absolutely amazing in comparison. Almost all of the river, except in the shallows, has completely thawed and we only needed light jackets. I have always marveled at how much more simple things are appreciated when one has to struggle for them. This week was no exception. Both Shannon and I felt a huge sense of relief sitting in the sun and feeling Banjo’s starboard list give way as her tanks filled. Even the simple act of sitting in the cockpit and having the warmth of the sun on our faces was so much more appreciated.
The girls, Sagira and Venus, however, seemed to be a little irritated that, with all of the snow melting, their favorite field was flooded.
Taco Tuesday At Prohibition
So tonight, we made our way into New Bern for a little excursion off-boat. Every Tuesday, one of the local restaurants, Prohibition, has a reserved section for the local boaters and offers “Taco Tuesday.” Taco Tuesday at Prohibition features 3 beef hard or soft tacos for only $5. Its a great weekly adventure where boaters all get together to eat, drink and talk boats. You may remember that we had previously written a review on Prohibition where we were confused at best. We chalked that night up to just an off night, and we decided to give them another try. We were so glad we did. The tacos tonight were ridiculously good. Shawn ate NINE tacos! Shannon ate three and had had a Deep River 4042 Chocolate Stout which was a rich, sweet stout.
We hung out for a couple hours and enjoyed the smiles and met some new friends. We will be looking forward to Taco Tuesday next week at Prohibition. Oh, and on a special note, we wanted to thank Sierra for taking such great care of us tonight. She kept the food and drinks coming and kept us smiling and laughing! Thank you so very much Sierra!
We hope to have a few days of moderate temperatures to get a few chores done on Banjo. Today, our upgraded windlass chain wheel arrived. This will allow us to upgrade from the existing 5/16″ G-43 High-Test Anchor Chain to the heavier 3/8″ G-43 High-Test Chain. We are looking forward to the arrival of our new chain in the next few days. We may not get the delivery of the new chain before the next cold spell forecasted for next week. Once again we are expecting the mid-twenties at night and possible precipitation towards the end of this week. Once we have completed the fitting of the new ground tackle, we should be ready to plan our departure from New Bern. Most likely we will ride out the next month or two while we finish clearing out our storage unit.