Chesapeake Frozen Mistress

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Deep Freeze on the Chesapeake!

Happy 2018!

The rivers, inlets and marinas along the Chesapeake are frozen solid; the earliest deep freeze in decades! Most recreational boaters hauled out as soon as the temps dipped below the 60’s, but many working boats are still in the water… ice, until we see a thaw. Sanctuary and Sharps Island are among the frozen.

As fall set in, I debated whether or not to haul Sanctuary out. Last year I rang in New Year’s day with a sail on the Chesapeake, so I planned on hauling her out in early January; here we are on the third day of the new year and the marina is just as frozen as the rest of us! No haul-outs for the foreseeable future! I’ve been checking on Sanctuary every day. So far she seems fine with only a skin of slush against her hull. I winterized her, so she has storage anti-freeze running through her veins. The worst damage she seems to be suffering is a scraping of the bottom paint at the waterline. Still, I’ll be running down soon to make sure she’s safe.

Sharps Island is also in the ice. I didn’t intend to haul her. There’s a project out at Poplar Island and I decided I’d be at the ready in case a sudden need for another crew boat arose. I check her every day, too, and she’s also surrounded by slush. The tricky thing with her is I didn’t winterize the freshwater intake. I’m going down later today to make sure all the seacocks are closed and pour a little antifreeze in her strainer. She has a block heater, so she should be fine. I just need to take a spare electrical cord down so if the current cord fails for any reason, I can plug her back in and keep her core warm.

All the euphemisms about boats seem to live up to their reputation, but the one that’s always true is, “A boat is a demanding mistress!” It’s true! She’s always on my mind and she demands constant attention!

I need to go now and make sure she’s safe and warm…


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