North Pier Marina Winter Freeze
The winter of 2012-2013 here in Delcambre was very mild, and it served to give us a false sense of winter weather. So how bad could another winter in South Louisiana be? Well, that question is being answered for us, and in a not very pleasant way.
Winter storm Kronos of January 22-24, 2014, was a real wake up call. The forecast was for snow, sleet, or freezing rain, depending on your location and what exactly the coming artic air did. We did not have snow, but we did have sleet and freezing rain. I am not an expert, but the difference between sleet and freezing rain seems very minute! For me, the result is the same. The forecast for the 23rd was a low of 23° and a high of 36°. I was inside DREAM AWAY most of the day, and the temperature outside never got above 31°.
I actually had to go outside on the 23rd, twice! First time was in the morning, right after a short power failure. All was good on DREAM AWAY, but I was concerned about the shower trailer. I went out on our floating dock and walked up to the marina parking lot. All was well, and I had taken my camera along, so that is how I got some of the pictures. The cement on the dock and the parking lot was not frozen, but the floating dock sure was. I was very careful.
Later that same day, the WiFi in the marina decided it did not want to connect to the Internet. I had to go out to the the parking lot, to the north side electrical panel, and do a Microsoft reset to the WiFi router. That is a power down and a power up! That fixed the connection to the Internet problem, and also gave me an opportunity to take some more pictures.
This COLD winter weather is getting old! Not even seven days since the last winter storm, we were hit with Winter Storm Leon. The precipitation in this storm was not as bad as Winter Storm Kronos, but the temperatures were much lower and lasted much longer.
On January 28th, I pretty much stayed on DREAM AWAY all day, with two exceptions.
The first time I left DREAM AWAY, was to make sure the water was still dripping out of the faucets on all of the docks. Let me make note that the temperature was 28°, and at the same time it was 70° in Marathon, Florida!
I did not want the pipes to freeze. Pier “A” and Pier “B” were fine, but the water left dripping at the end of Pier “C” had stopped. Johnal, from yacht RUTHIE, had noticed the water had stopped at the end of Pier ”C”, and gave me a call. Johnal got his heat gun out, and I met him at his boat on Pier “C”.
Water was not coming out of his power and water pedestal, so we hit the water faucets with the heat gun. After about five minutes, the water was steadily dripping out of the two water faucets. We opened both faucets wide, and moved down to the next pedestal. No water at this pedestal, so we hit one of the faucets with the heat gun until the water started trickling out. We opened that faucet wide and moved to the last pedestal on Pier “C”.
This pedestal was not not dripping at all, and it was the one I had left open. We hit the faucets with the heat gun, and after about 10 minutes, there was a drip in one of the faucets. I had not dressed to spend a long time outside, so I left Johnal with the heat gun at the pedestal, and I went back to DREAM AWAY to get warmer clothes and to put on socks. Do not even think it. I am out in 28° weather, and I should be on a mooring in Marathon. Who is the brightest light in the attic??
On my way back to DREAM AWAY, the two faucets at Johnal's boat were running wide open, so we had good water flow at that point on the dock. I backed off the watwer flow on both faucets, and just left them steadily trickling. I continued on to DREAM AWAY, and put on warmer clothes and socks, and went back out to the end of Pier “C”.
On the way, the next to last pedestal was running full blast, so I backed off the flow to that faucet to just a trickle. When I met Johnal at the last pedestal, he had water coming out at a steady trickle on one faucet and a drip on the second one. We agreed to leave both faucets wide open, and I would come back and check them in about two hours to see how much water was coming out.
When I went back out to the end of Pier “C” around 1600, the water was flowing full blast out of both faucets at the last pedestal. I backed both faucets down to a pretty fast trickle, and left them that way for the night. I will check them tomorrow morning when it gets light and safe to move about the docks.
On my way back to DREAM AWAY, I stopped at Hollis’s boat. He had asked me to run both his engines for about 30 minutes to get all of the systems up to temperature so that none of the pipes would freeze over night. I got the keys and started both engines. I ran them for about 45 minutes, and both engines got up to 180°. I turned them off, returned the keys to the secret spot, and went back to DREAM AWAY for a hot coffee with honey and rum added.
That was about all of the excitement for Tuesday. It did not start sleeting until very late in the day, but it was not really bad. The temperture did drop during the night. When I woke up on Wednesday January 29, at 0530, the temperature was 25°. In Atlanta it was 14° and in Albany, New York, it was 2°! To really rub our noses in it, it was 70° in Marathon, Florida, and 70° in Boqueron, Puerto Rico! By the time I started writing this, the temperature had dropped to 24°, but the sun was out. The high temperature for Wednesday January 29, was 34°. The wind was blowing 15-20 knots out of the northwest, so it was great to stay inside.
Thursday the 30th of January started out just below freezing, but got steadly warmer all day, even up to the mid 50's. Do not have many pictures as a picture of cold weather doesn't really show much!!
Kitty and I have decided that is this is our last winter in Louisiana. As much as we love living here, it is just too cold. By next winter we will be in the Florida Keys, or on our way to either Puerto Rico or Guatemala. Our mantra from now on, is to spend next winter much closer to the equator!