"You Haven't Yet Seen Cold"
February 7 to March 23, 2006
A beautiful winter scene – warm, cozy homes nestled amongst tall trees, whose drooping branches are lightly tipped with freshly fallen snow – brings a glow to one's heart. Visions of lounging before a toasty fireplace, feet propped up on a cushy pillow, float serenely in front of the eyes. It's Valentine's Day, dreams of champagne and soft music, a lover snuggling...Wake up! You are really in that boat anchored out in the ice-covered water in front of those cozy homes! There is no fireplace, no champagne, and you get to bundle up, go out on deck and remove the heavy load of snow that has covered the solar panels, clogged the access to the hatches- your frozen fingers aching. Your lover, however, is with you and she hasn't yet threatened to abandon ship, so it's not as bad as it could be! So get out there and shovel that snow with your little plastic dustpan while she takes QuickTime® movies of you doing it! On your way out, turn up the cabin heater so icicles stay on the outside of the boat. The foreground reveals the true nature of the situation. Photograph of Rikki-tikki-tavi anchored in snowy Port Ludlow Inner Harbor by Del Jacobs. As a weak sun begins to peer over the trees, we awake to find Rikki-tikki cloaked in soft white snow. Okay, so it wasn't a lot of snow that fell that night, just over an inch or so. And the previous week in Port Ludlow had been sunny and clear. We'd gone shopping with Dave and Marcia in their little Honda, had Polish sausages at Costco, were able to get in some computer time on the marina wi-fi, where Juniata was moored for the winter. Best of all, we delighted in some great camaraderie with our friends. We were enjoying our first week at Port Ludlow quite a bit. The Inner Harbor is lovely and very protected, with sticky mud on the bottom- all the better to hold you with, my dear. We liked the Inner Harbor. Marcia unloading the latest goodies from the trunk. We loaded the Honda so tight we had to hold stuff on our laps! We were soon to discover that the snow was only the beginning of our winter fun in the Inner Harbor. The VHF weather announcements gave little warning of what was to come. The electronic voice said the night temperatures would fall into the 'teens. The voice didn't say our little watery parking lot would freeze over, so we blithely hung on our anchor and watched the hail and snowflakes blow by. In the middle of the night two days after snowy Valentine's Day, we were awakened by loud sounds very much like the squelch on the VHF gone into overdrive. Immediately, we knew it was the sound of surface ice being crunched and broken up against the hulls as the breezes gently pushed the boat from side to side. No worries, it was thin ice. The low winter sun just couldn't seem to warm up the air during the day and temperatures barely reached into the 20s, then dropped again into the 'teens night after night. On the morning of the 17th, we awoke to 18 degrees. Lucky for Rikki, there was no wind because he was frozen in place- solidly. The ice was so hard that Clark couldn't punch through it with the boat hook. The entire Inner Harbor was frozen over with about 5/8" freshwater ice- and Rikki-tikki was stuck in the middle. Darzee to the rescue! Clark got the outboard started, let it warm up, then managed to break a hole large enough to back up a little way. It was easier to go backwards because the spinning prop helped break up the crust of ice. While I attempted some video clips of the action on my Canon PowerShot, Clark ran our Porta-Bote-turned-icebreaker up on top of the ice a few feet at a time, waited for it to break, backed out, took another angle of attack, and then ran up on the ice again, repeating this action many times. It took about an hour to make a narrow cut completely around our trimaran. Then he took Darzee on a few merry-go-round turns to widen the ice-free circle. The hard, freshwater ice laid thickly on top of the saltwater of the Inner Harbor. Dave and Marcia were expecting us to arrive at the marina, a half-mile away, for a car trip into Silverdale for shopping or, as we call it, provisioning. We hailed them on the walkie-talkie over the racket of Darzee breaking an icy highway for us to get out of the Inner Harbor. There was no way we could move Rikki-tikki until the ice softened a bit, which we hoped the sun would do during the day. The shards of broken ice were sharp and we feared damage to the paint. So we went shopping. Little Darzee broke a path through the ice. Wow, what a racket! We returned from our excursion into Silverdale just as the sun was touching the tops of the trees. We rounded the tip of the island into to our bay and saw that the highway Darzee had forged remained unchanged. The ice around Rikki was as hard as ever. Clark dropped me and our goodies off at the boat, then turned to run Darzee back and forth along the edges of the path, widening it enough to drive Rikki out to the main harbor. With just enough light left to see, we anchored in liquid water to wait for warmer weather. We were determined to go back into our private bay as soon as it was possible, we liked it that much. A few days later we found ourselves sitting in the Honda again. We were just leaving the marina parking lot for another trip to the shopping center. Marcia's cell phone rang. She missed the call as she searched inside her backpack for the phone and the call went to voicemail. Unable to retrieve the message, she merely returned the call. A friendly female voice answered but said she hadn't made the call. She asked where Marcia was calling from because the area code showed California. Marcia explained that they were aboard their boat in Port Ludlow at the marina. The woman exclaimed, "We live in Port Ludlow!" After many questions, Shirley realized that her husband, Del, had called the marina trying to find the owner of the trimaran that had been anchored in snow and ice in front of their home on the Inner Harbor. Would Marcia know these people? Yes, we know them, and they are with us right now. Would you like to talk to them? And so we met Del and Shirley. Del had taken photos of Rikki-tikki-tavi over the last week and he wanted to make sure we received copies, so he hunted us down! He owns the only trimaran in Port Ludlow, an F-31A, and was very interested in our multihull. We invited them to dinner aboard Juniata and a tour of Rikki-tikki when we came into the fuel dock. We sure enjoyed their company! Shirley and Del treated us all to a lovely dinner at their fabulous home. Listening to Del's wonderful stories, we were fascinated by the rich and adventurous life this couple has led. We are grateful for the photos but the real pleasure resides in meeting such interesting and generous folks. Thank you, Del and Shirley. Frozen solid. Photo by Del Jacobs. Our enjoyable memories don't end there! Del invited us to attend a meeting of the Northwest Multihull Association in Seattle as his guests. It was a great day to ride the ferry between Eagle Harbor and Seattle- the views incredible. Del took us to Fisheries Supply, where we found a couple of terrific rain hats, and REI's flagship store, where Del bought a tent (we just browsed). The NWMA meeting was great fun. Del introduced us and passed around an 8 x 10 photo of our iced-in trimaran. We met a whole roomful of multihull enthusiasts, some cruisers and a lot of racers with "F-boats", most of the names fleeting. We were invited to write a story of our trip up the coast for their April newsletter, which we did. It is available online from the NWMA website- http://www.nwmultihull.org Thank you again, Del and Shirley. We hope to meet you on the water, sailing your trimaran. The rest of the story is that our heater decided to quit just as the cold weather was at its coldest. We had just spent, you may remember, about $500 to have a new fan installed in Vancouver. They did other maintenance too while it was in the shop. Clark reinstalled the overhauled unit in January before we returned to the U.S. Now it was only mid-February and the heater was belching blue smoke in attempts to fire up. We sent for more parts from Seattle. A tiny zipper sandwich bag with a little screen and a couple of gaskets arrived in the mail- $120! Clark took the unit over to the marina and, with the blessing of the staff, he disassembled the entire heater, part by part, on their worktable. After cleaning the burn chamber and installing all the new parts, he hauled the heater back to Rikki in the Inner Harbor to see if it would fire. Yes, but our confidence that we had reliable heat aboard was considerably eroded. By now, we were making regular trips in Darzee across the 1/2-mile of harbor to the marina. Some days it was very choppy with wind-blown waves. The wind never bothered us in the landlocked anchorage behind the Twin Islands. Other days we were assailed by sleet, hail, rain– you name it. We wanted kayaks and were spending time researching online for what was available at a reasonable price. I remembered that Costco in Sacramento sold kayaks last year, but we'd been to Costco in Silverdale many times- no kayaks. Then, one day, we went to Costco with Marcia and there, stacked up high, were bright orange kayaks! The one-person sit-insides came complete with paddles, spray skirts, and a cartop carrier (smart of them to include this!). Guess what we loaded onto the car? We went back to Costco and bought another kayak! After a bit of practice, my kayak became less tippy. I devised a way of safely getting into and out of the kayak from the stern steps. Two lines, one fore, one aft, tied onto the handrails, keep the kayak from scooting out from under me! We are going to enjoy having these and, Rod, we now have a way to rescue Darzee if he ever decides to go on walkabout again. In March, Dave and Marcia took Juniata to Port Townsend for a haul-out. We visited them with Steve and Myndy from "Enchantress". Dave was lucky to have good weather for painting the bottom and removing a thru-hull. I took a walk around and shot some photos of other boats there for work. Port Townsend has a very busy boatyard, there are vessels of every size and description, commercial and otherwise, though we saw no trimarans. Juniata on the hard in the Port Townsend boatyard. Boatworks in the boatyard. One of the murals in the Port Townsend boatyard. We began getting ready to leave for our Spring Cruise of South Puget Sound. The weather was definitely showing signs of improving! Just to remind us that winter wasn't yet over, it snowed again on March 8th. March 27th, we would head south into Puget Sound to meet Juniata in Port Madison.