So the Northeast just got hit with a blizzard. Not totally uncommon but we don’t get them every year. All that a blizzard really means is a snow storm with winds greater than 30 knots for 3 hours or more with low visibility due to the snow. Typically its a nor’easter, like the one I previously wrote about. The big one that still comes up whenever you try to compare blizzards is the Blizzard of ’78. I was about 3 years old when it hit but still have stories of hanging out at my Grandparent’s house on Pearl Street in Brockton. My Mother was 8+ months pregnant during the storm and the big concern was that my sister would be born during it. She was born just after all of the roads had been cleared.
Blizzards will typically send people into a panic running out to get bread, milk, water, eggs and snow shovels. Now mind you it snows all the time in the northeast, why don’t these people already have snow shovels?!
As a liveaboard our prep isn’t that different. We need food and water, so we took a trip to the store over the weekend and picked up some stuff so we had enough food for a week plus. The water is easier than being on land. Dirt dwellers will stockpile bottled water and even fill up their bathtubs to have 20 or so gallons on reserve. This is much easier on the boat. We just fill our tanks. That gives us 55 gallons and we typically go a week once topped off.
Power outages are typical and can last several days. On the boat we run almost everything on our 12volt system, that gives us a redundant system without doing anything. We have a small inverter that will power laptops, we can charge phones, the iPad, Kindles etc. We always have plenty of flashlights so that was a non-issue but the shelves at the stores were cleared out of batteries. We also charged our handheld VHF radios. The liveaboards monitor channel 72 throughout the storms as a local net for help and support when needed.
The biggest issue with power loss for us is that our primary heat source is two electric heaters. But we have a propane heater as a backup so all we had to do was make sure we had all of our propane tanks topped off. That gave us fuel for heating and cooking.
The rest of our blizzard prep is the same as any major storm. Tend to dock lines. Check fender placement. The canvas is either down or covered by the shrink wrap.
Around 4 pm the snow started coming down. The winds were light in the early evening, 20-25 knots. Snow wasn’t really accumulating. It was light and blowing so there wasn’t much accumulation. I went to take Summer for a walk at 7:30 pm.
The snow started to fall a little heavier and the winds picked up. We ate dinner and cleaned up. I then went back out before we went to bed around 10 pm. Snow was still not accumulating very much but drifts were getting up to 10 inches in places. But the wind continued to keep the snow from accumulating on the shrink wrap.
Throughout the night I got up several times to check on the snow accumulation on the shrink wrap. I didn’t want to risk a collapse of the shrink wrap. But we never had significant accumulation on the shrink wrap. The wind had picked up to about 35 knots.
At around 4am we heard the VHF net come to life. Someone on our dock was asking if the rest of the marina had power. Boaters from all of the docks checked in that they had no power. Soon the answer came that the marina had cut the power due to the storm surge. A quick peek out showed that we were getting very close to the top of the sea wall. Seemed to be a prudent move to avoid some potential disaster. We simply set up and turned on the propane heater and went back to bed. The power came back on after the storm surge receded. While we stayed warm we lacked the fun of baking cookies to keep from freezing during the blizzard ala Tom and Nancy on Sunshine.
In the morning we decided to venture out after a cup of coffee. After all, Summer needed to get to shore. Snow drifts were as deep as 4 feet in places but total snow fall appeared to be around 2 feet. The winds were 25-30 knots at the boat. But once we were beyond the protection of the surrounding buildings and the seawall, winds of 45 knots were encountered.
We made our way around to where the USS Constitution and the USS Leyte are docked.
We could hear the Navy officers barking orders at the crew of the USS Constitution as they cleaned the snow from her decks.
One Thought on Dog Safety
When we went to take Summer up for a walk it was a little windy. Not to mention the dock being slippery with snow and ice. So we thought it was best to have her life vest on and the leash attached to the vest. If she slid off the dock we wouldn’t be choking her and we could get her out of the water quickly.