Monday, March 16, 2015

Hello March, Record Rainfall, and lighting the Dickinson!

Trying to work our lives around the Weather Guess from NOAA is always interesting.  For example getting 'out guessed' Sunday and finding a strong Northerly wind had developed while we were hiding out at Coupeville.  Gusts peaking to 35kts had Viking Star chomping at the bit to get away from the dock  (seriously, she was jumping and bouncing around as we came back from a book review at the Coupeville library) we were happy to receive a future credit for our pre-paid night of moorage and got underway.  Viking Star took things like the Champ she is, though I suspect some of the crew is still working to shake off the Land Legs a bit :-)

Once in the shelter of Whidbey Island things calmed down and we made our way for an overnight in Everett.  Yesterday we continued our travels towards what we call the 'Mid Sound' and again were greeted with winds - but a more moderate 15-20kts; sufficient to bring out Small Craft warnings for the area as well as knock a few things around in the cabin for us (Live Aboard often equates to rather un-seaman like accumulation of Stuff).  But of more news was the rain, or more like, RAIN.    Typical NW winter day:  mid to lower 40's, and rain.  2-3" of it we were heading towards.   Keep in mind that much of the area we spend our Winter in benefits from a rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains - not so down towards the 'convergence zone' in the Seattle area.

Side note:  We do not worry too much in these 'protected' waters with winds up to 20-25kts sustained.  2-3' wind waves are no real issues, as long as we don't have to take them on the beam.  When the sustained winds get into the 35+kts we however wish to be out of them, lest we rack up one more day like our passing from Vancouver to Silva Bay back in 2013 (Another story, one I see we never did blog about. . . .)

Every cloud has a silver lining, or so the saying goes.  And in this case that Silver Lining was justifying the lighting of our Beloved (and at times hated) Dickinson stove.   Ah, the Warm, the Dry, the Warm/Dry.  Oh, and the quiet.  This morning I awoke to 82f in the cabin, so I adjusted the thermostat (aka, opened a door a crack) and am just basking in the nice dry heat.  Sadly, these cold / wet days are appearing to be coming to an end - with the latest Weather Guess calling for temps well into the upper 50's.  As such, the days of the Dickinson may be coming to an end.  Sigh...

And yes, it is that nice, this good old diesel pot-type stove.  So nice that we in many ways feel a warm glow and long for cold rainy days.  Days that justify the 'Lighting of the Stove'.  That justify the 1.5+ gals of fuel a day on it slowest setting, a bit of sooting at times, and its temperamental nature of if we are not careful with how the windows / doors are opened, we create a back draft.  All those downsides with the upside of a nice cheery dry inside - plus our favorite hot-cocoa recipe:

     Hot Cocoa            -  Double
1/4 cup - Water                 1/2 cup
2 TBL Sugar                     1/4 cup
2 TBL - Cocoa                 1/4 cup  (I like to use a mix of plain cocoa and dark)
1-1/2 cup Milk                    3 cup
1/4 tsp-Vanilla                   1/2 tsp

Directions:  Mix Water, Sugar, Cocoa into Syrup.  Heat over MED heat until boiling.  Boil for 2 minutes..
Add Milk - heat until hot.
Remove from stove, add Vanilla

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