Tag Archives: winter

Cold, yes, but beautiful too

As a Californian, I sometimes wonder during the winter months why I’m still living in Michigan. And then Michigan does something like this, and I’m entranced.

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Freeze Frame

So, after I said that this winter hasn’t been as bad as predicted, the cold hit. We’ve been in the low single-digits the past two days, with more cold to come. Even though I’m not a big fan of the cold, I love the satellite images we get from this time of the year. This image was taken yesterday:

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Winter Diversions

Contrary to the predictions, this winter hasn’t been as bad as last year. I’d heard that we were in for either more snow than last year or less snow but colder temps. I’d say it’s been warmer (for the most part) with a lot less snow. Last winter the majority of the Great Lakes was covered in ice. This year we’ve had far less ice coverage, which makes me a little sad because a lot of ice coverage means a lot less evaporation during the winter months. And that, of course, means more water during the summer months!

Here’s something a little interesting. I visited the Great Lakes Water Level Dashboard to see what Huron/Michigan are doing. Things are looking good! The last time Lake Michigan reached this level was in 1998.

The red portion indicates forecasted water levels advanced six months.

The red portion indicates forecasted water levels advanced six months.

And here’s all of the Great Lakes’ levels:

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So what’s happening on the boat front? Not much. I removed Ariel’s two forestays (and furlers) in preparation for replacing some of the rigging. The plan is to replace the bobstay, headstay, staysail stay, backstay, and cap shrouds. Then next winter I guess we’ll replace the lowers and intermediates, since replacing all of it at once is just too expensive.

Anyway, that’s the big project for this season. Fortunately, she’s looking good and just about ready to go. She’s got a newer jib and a brand spanking new staysail. Her main is hanging in there, but might be replaced in the next year or so.

Like a lot of northern sailors (I suspect), I sail vicariously during the winter months through a few blogs and YouTube channels. Here are two blogs: A couple sailing their Westsail 32 out of Louisiana for points south (Sundowner Sails Again), and another couple sailing their Cape Dory 30 (Sea Changes). Check them out – you might be glad you did.

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