Monday, January 30, 2017

Brrr.. It's Cold Out There!

This winter (our first real winter aboard) has been . . . challenging.  While we are still enjoying living aboard winter in Alaska on a boat is not for the faint of heart.

The last 3 months it has been a roughly constant pattern.  Temps in the 30's and low 40's with lots of rain and heavy wind 40-50mph frequently for a week, then a sudden shift to clear and cold, along with more wind.  This week it is doing the same thing, just now shifting to around 28 for a high, 14 for a low, and heavy Taku winds.  For those not from the area, Taku winds are katabatic winds that affect downtown Juneau and Douglas, and the gusts can reach 90 miles an hour or stronger.  Two weeks ago, one of those windstorms with a steady 40, gusting to 80 plus took out our winter tarp cover.  We had used Scotch Tough poly and tarp tape where we had to have seams in the cover to allow the rigging and mast to pass through.  One of the strong gusts split the seam wide open, and was about ready to forcibly remove the tarp.  At that point, Kristen and I made the call to just cut it down before it did any damage, as the windstorm was supposed to last for another two days.

15 minutes with a utility knife and a full day's work from putting up the cover was undone.  The good thing is the windstorms don't really affect us much anymore.  The bad thing is we lost the still air inside the poly tarp which helped us retain heat a bit.  With the temperatures dropping again, Kyrie tends to do fine until temperatures hit around 25 as we are trying to solely use electric for our heat.  After it gets below 25 the three little electric heaters can't keep up, and we have to use the main boat heater - a Webasto hot water system.  With all three electric heaters running on low we don't blow electric breakers, and with the Webasto we are comfortable inside until temps get into the single digits.

We are fortunate that Kyrie is fully insulated, although not quite enough for Alaskan winters.   We are all anxiously awaiting the time we can pull her away from the dock again - hopefully sometime in March!

Friday, January 20, 2017

One year already?!

     I haven't written anything on this poor neglected blog in months, but today is a very appropriate day to pick it back up again. Much to my amazement, we have been living in our floating home for exactly one year today. How is that possible? I look back at the past year and can't believe everything that has happened.
     We left Juneau and picked Kyrie up at Point Roberts, moved in and moved her to Blaine, Washington. Joe worked in Bellingham and we tried to figure out where exactly we would be longer-term. We had a fantastic time cruising around the area before finally making the decision to take Kyrie north and back home.
      Kyrie has so far been a great home and we're slowly learning how to be a boat family. This winter has been a little rough, especially when a crazy windstorm hit and forced us to cut down that tarp Joe and I worked so hard to put up! Nevertheless, kids and parents alike are doing well and are waitng anxiously for warmer weather so we can put the sails back on, fire the motor up and go explore some more of Southeast Alaska in our floating home!