Winter She is A-Comin’

After visiting family for Thanksgiving, we arrived home last night to a storm. Just as we were unpacking the car, the raindrops started. They were intermittent, but then the wind picked up. Winds at 15-20 mph with gusts up to 30. I tried to step onto the boat with my hands full but couldn’t. The boat was moving up, down, forward, back; every which way. The fenders were doing their job but watching it, I was concerned they might burst as the boat was really slamming against the dock.

Rick gallantly went to get the balance of our things while I stayed on the boat to start unpacking. I was being thrown off balance at every turn. My suitcase, full size, filled to the gills, and heavy as hades, was impossible to navigate down the stairs. Our neighbor ran out to grab her aft deck pillows before they were lost to the sea. The docks were moaning up and down the marina. The waves slapping at the boat hull.

Because we are “transient” we have to take the slips that are available when we arrive. We also have a very tall boat so that tends to place us on the end of the docks with no cover overhead. What that means is we get the brunt of any bad weather or rolling seas. In addition, it was super cold. We generally pick destinations with warmth, but our circumstances (see previous posts) forced our hand. The heating on Nautical Dreamer is in zones. The main salon has heating controls, the main cabin has one, the forward cabin has one, the aft deck has one. Only one of those is temperature controlled to shut off and turn on based on the temperature you set. The rest are more like an old timey car heater. You regulate the temperature and the force of the fan, but it will only turn off when you physically turn it off.

On most winter nights I lounge at night in my footed onesie pajamas (so cute with little ducks on them). Recently, I have taken to wearing them to sleep as well because we keep the heat off in the bedroom (we both have serious sinus issues with the dry heat). So cool room + warm bed = good night sleep with no morning sinus headache. Lest you think everything is all cozy here, let me say this. My “outfit” includes thick winter socks and a t-shirt with the onesie over it all. Here’s the thing. I’m old. I need to get up a couple times at night for a bathroom break. Although under the covers in my onesie is warm, it’s not so great pulling it all down and sitting on an ice cold toilet. The T-shirt is coverage for when the onsie comes down but its flimsy coverage at best and the action necessitates top coverage only. It’s awful. It’s a wonder I’m able to go back asleep. It’s also a wonder I don’t have nightmares that I’m sitting on an iceberg waiting for a polar bear to come eat me. Don’t judge me by my strange dreams. And don’t judge me on the socks. I’m a woman and it is my experience that women tend to have colder hands and feet (my mom always said, “cold hands mean a warm heart” and I will take it). My point is, I am no exception to the cold extremities rule. So the socks stay on at night during the winter. But last night…ugh! I laid in bed unable to sleep. I curled up my hands in the blankets because I couldn’t face looking for my mittens in the cold dark. The blankets warmed my hands fairly well but my feet were icy. I laid there balancing the warmth of the covers/cold feet with getting out into the cold to put on my slippers. The slippers won and I spent the rest of the night in the warm bed with the slippers on wondering what kind of disgusting gunk I might have picked up on the bottom of my slippers that was now in my bed. (After all, we live in a construction zone most of the time.)

Eventually I fell asleep for a few hours. But I did wade into the frozen tundra twice to go to the bathroom during the night. And I woke up with a sore throat. The easiest solution would be to turn on the heat. So I think we will leave it off and travel to someplace a little warmer, ‘cuz that’s how we roll.

Side Note: Lest you think all I write about is negative, there are many wonderful things about living aboard Nautical Dreamer. The freedom. The ability to change your circumstances they don’t appeal to you. The camaraderie. The side effect of a tan without trying. The boat gently rocking you to sleep. On and on…


1 thought on “Winter She is A-Comin’”

  1. I’m so sorry you ended up in a storm. I’m sure you were really tired after a long day of driving and just wanted a warm bed. I hope you are dried out and thawed out and that the sun has managed to come out for a while!

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