Liveaboard challenges: Wintering on the Chesapeake Bay

Honey, why do we live where the wind hurts our face?

This winter season is our second aboard SV Shindyah. Not only have we dealt with some bitterly cold temps, like -4F, but some rather intense tide swings as well. High tide on Sunday was lower than low tide typically is. Low tide, well now, what more can I say but ‘Nothin’ but mud, baby!’. Yep, that’s right. Our keel all snuggled into the Chessie mud; which makes for some creative ways of getting on and off one’s sailboat. Or, in this case, staying aboard. Either way, such adventures are par for the course for those who choose the liveaboard lifestyle.

SV Shindyah winter 2018
Is it low tide, or high tide?!

 

With the frigid temps, which brought snow with them, not to mention nicking our tub water and dumping it around the Boston area for a holiday, our hatch kept freezing. Guess what that means – you got it! A wee bit of trouble getting OUT or into the boat. More so out, of course. Who would’ve thunk you’d ever need a heat gun for a door key! William got crafty and stuck one of the small space heaters on the top step and left the hatch cover snapped only at the very top to provide a comfy blanket of heat for said hatch. It worked, for the most part. What we need is a decently warm day to melt the ice and wind to dry things off a bit. One more challenge under our belts as liveaboards.

 

SV Shindyah wintering on the Chessie
Is this high tide, or low tide? Low tide! About an hour before.

The water is starting to return to Lerch Creek. Burst fenders are getting replaced (a friend of ours whose on another dock here at HYH experienced this), boats returning to more reasonable boarding levels. The bubblers are no longer churning the top four inches of water.

Life has returned to winter normalcy at this point.

Back to the usual turning off a space heater to run the coffee pot and water heater. It’s just like living on the ship Serenity. And here I thought we were on a 1991 Morgan 41′ Classic, not a Firefly Class vessel. Then again, I am lovingly referred to as Kaylee after all. So maybe Shindyah just might be a TARDIS powered by Firefly technology, stuck as a sailing vessel. With broken time circuits.

The temps here will reach almost 60F by Friday. Crazy, ain’t it! It’ll be warm enough to beak out the bikini and boat drinks. I still think it would have been a hoot if William had gotten a piccie of me ‘snowbathing’ with a boat drink whilst it was snowing. Would make a great GISHWHES item! Hmmm, maybe I should suggest this idea to Misha Collins …

 

Locker and mattress condensation issues thwarted
Den-Dry Condensation Products
Got condensation issues?

 

One thing we’ve found incredibly useful the past two winters is Den-Dry. Ravenwolf Marine’s mattress underlay and locker liner products have helped to keep our clothes dry and our aft cabin mattress free of mildew funk. Considering my allergy to mildew, this has been a godsend at keeping my headaches to a minimum. If only it would help the hatch drips over my laptop. Alas, that is a propane heat byproduct in the severe cold.

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