Friday, December 08, 2006

Knapp Narrows, MD

0 nm
Wind: NW 25-30 knots, gusting to 45

We woke up this morning to icicles on our windows, formed from our own condensation. Icicles. Ice. In the boat. Not outside. Inside. Which means that (not only do we have a condensation problem, which we knew already) but that it was less than 32 degrees in here last night. Yikes. I keep saying that we’re preparing for our transit around Tierra del Fuego, but the joke is ceasing to be funny.

We used to say that we sailed no matter the temperature, that all that mattered was the wind, but that is ceasing to be true as well. Karl, who used to work making snow on Mount Killington in Vermont, where temperatures often reached forty below, has begun to refer to overnight sojourns in this kind of weather as “life-threatening.” I’m sure they wouldn’t be life-threatening if we were prepared for them, but the fact is that we don’t have the necessary gear.

It’s been in the twenties the last couple of nights, with daytime temperatures in the thirties. The typical wind-chill they give on the radio is in the teens. Now, think about a ten-degree wind-chill, and then think about the added apparent wind as we got straight into the wind. (As usual, the forecast is for wind directly in our faces.) That’s got to get down at least to zero. Which, if you think about the tropical clothing we came prepared with, puts us in severe danger of hypothermia.

Today wasn’t so bad. I refused to go outside to get water to do the dishes with, so they sat in squalor. We ran the oven all day for heat, and used up our first tank of propane. Other than that the day was spent reading and listening to the wind howl around in our rigging. We had thought about leaving tonight and doing an overnight straight to Norfolk, but even though I’m kind of gung-ho on the idea, I admit that Karl’s thoughts about our impending deaths by freezing warrant some consideration.

No comments: