Whether you’d want to extend your cruising period in to the colder months or make a voyage towards the wilds of the high latitudes, there’s extra planning involved. (posted June/July 2016)
You’ll check over your rig, your steering, your engine, your systems, your electronics, plus ground tackle to make sure everything is in good working order; you’ll overhaul your security gear and possibly atart exercising . equipment, such as for instance success matches; of course you don’t have a heater you’ll install one. All that’s the important part. However, if you’d like to make your winter sailing comfortable also safe, listed here are ten items that goes quite a distance to keep up crew morale.
1. A DESALINATOR for a long time I happened to be a proudly primitive sailor whom hefted buckets of water from shore to dinghy to boat, and whom took saltwater showers. Since 2014, I’ve been a watermaker convert. I’ve a Katadyn 40E PowerSurvivor (now offered by Spectra) that creates one and a half gallons each hour at four amps. It’s great: We wash my cookware in fresh water and they don’t corrode; I take (brief) fresh water showers and I don’t must fill my tanks with water from coast if it’s at all questionable. Plus, i could run the desalinator off my solar power panels. Clearly this will be a ‘great to possess’ product for almost any latitude, but there are two reasons it’s specially good for cold weather cruising.
First, it may be difficult if you don’t impractical to fill from coast within the high latitudes. The Arctic is just a desert without much drinking tap water to start with. So water there may be expensive when you can even obtain it at all. Plus, it could be tough to carry it to the ship. Including, there are not any ports north of Nome, Alaska and north for the Bering Strait it is just exposed coastline with surf breaking on beaches. Getting ashore requires persistence. On my recent voyage up there, we additionally had to anchor several kilometers from the nearest village on a few occasions. I happened to be happy not to have to heft jerry jugs then! As an alternative, We spent seven enjoyable months without filling from shore and without rationing. In sub-Arctic latitudes, it can also be challenging to fill from shore, either because you are far from civilization or as the ports are designed for commercial and fishing traffic so that the docks are high piling piers, maybe not well suited for a sailboat.
2nd, you won’t be doing much swimming through your cold-weather cruise, nor do you want to especially wish to take a bucket bath on deck. So that it’s actually nice to be able to make fresh water to bathe in. It cann’t need to be much—We usually just warm up a kettle for the sponge bath—but it creates a positive change in morale.
2. SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS If you’re venturing toward Arctic, where HF signals are weak, an Iridium set-up (other providers have spotty protection up there) might be your only option for getting climate information. On my voyage toward Alaskan Arctic, we used an Iridium Extreme phone having an outside antenna and OCENS software and not had a dropped connection. It was essential for receiving climate and ice information. In fact, i might put this within the ‘essential for safety’ category for anybody venturing to your Arctic.
Outside these extreme latitudes, satellite communications fall more to the ‘great to own’ category. We find the ease and speed with which a satellite connection downloads GRIBs and emails a genuine luxury after having spent years fiddling with my SSB. Plus, it’s nice to learn i could in fact phone or text those in the home from anywhere. This provides real reassurance in every situation, but particularly when you’re going to cool climes. And don’t your investment satisfaction thus giving to those kept on shore!
3. A SLEEPING BAG If you’re regularly resting in sheets and blankets on your own cruises, you could disregard this incredibly cozy item. If you don’t have limitless fuel, your cabin will still feel cool even with a heater operating. I really like my sleeping bag: I heat up quickly when my watch has ended and thus fall asleep faster. I personally use a resting bag liner in order that I just launder that as opposed to the entire case. Truly the only downside is that you won’t need to get out of it for your watch.
4. ALPINEAIRE DISHES cold temperatures sailing can be rough weather sailing, and only probably the most iron of stomachs can joyfully prepare coq au vin in pitching galley. I used to consume U.S. army rations during gales but they aren’t especially tasty, therefore I now consume AlpineAire meals. They’re natural, freeze-dried, instant dishes that really do taste delicious. They certainly were created for backcountry hikers, but they’re similarly good for a stormy evening at ocean. You simply add boiling water toward pouch, stir it, wait ten minutes and consume it right out of the pouch. No cooking, no dishes. Wonderful for nauseated or tired watch-standers. My favorites are most likely the vegetarian Mountain Chili, the Mac and Cheese (convenience food!), and Pineapple Orange Chicken. There’s additionally some very nice gluten-free options like crazy Quinoa Pilaf.
5. FISHERMAN’S GLOVES I’ve experienced many pairs of these inexpensive orange hardware store gloves. They’re fleece-lined waterproof plastic gloves which can be well suited for taking care of deck in cold, wet conditions. I personally use them for from pulling the anchor into the bow roller to reefing to steering. They allow sufficient dexterity to be an easy task to work with and they’re warm enough also for arctic conditions. The drawback usually after the fleece inside gets damp, it remains wet forever more, so you’ll require a bunch of pairs agreeable.
6. SKI GOGGLES Protecting your eyes from sunlight and glare is essential, specially at ocean in which you’re confronted with UV rays doubly they bounce off the water. Usually this implies sunglasses, ideally polarized. While the temperatures begin to drop and wind starts to howl, though, ski goggles is really nice. They keep the face warm and keep wind, rain, and spray from your eyes on damp days. On cold, clear days they serve exactly the same function as sunglasses but with the benefits of warmth and wind security and completely wrapping around the face and blocking UV rays on all edges.
7. AUDIOBOOKS often standing view keeps you very busy, but there are various other occasions when it is just a matter of maintaining a sharp eye on things. On those watches i love to read publications, looking up from the page every couple of paragraphs. Rougher seas and spray can destroy your books, though, therefore I’ve switched more to audiobooks while on high latitude voyages. As soon as I’ve got it playing, I tuck the ipod inside my coat, put in my earbuds, and I’m ready to keep awake and alert for the next four hours. An audiobook additionally makes a good escape when you’re experiencing only a little seasick or just simple fed up with a long, cool passage and yearning for shore and limitless hot showers. I’ve heard everything from Dan Brown’s thrillers to Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series up to a biography of Mozart interspersed together with his music.
8. WATERPROOF, CRUSH-PROOF VINYL CIRCUMSTANCES Several brands—Pelican, Nanuk, Seahorse, Crash Cases—make these incredibly sturdy situations which you’ll properly keep any or your individual electronics. I use them for my laptop computer, smartphone and all sorts of my digital camera gear. You’ll cut right out the foam on the inside towards form of your device and, after the case is closed and latched, your gear will likely be safe from water and any kind of effect. I stow my material in them all the time, in the calmest anchorage, and I also feel confident bringing my digital cameras and computer ashore inside dinghy even in chop and rain. They’re great no matter where you sail.
9. ACTIVE DEHUMIDIFIER You might think that is just necessary for a motorboat kept within the tropics, but you’d be surprised how damp the interior of a ship will get in high latitudes, too. Mold grows fast also it’s difficult to beat, so it’s better to prevent it before it begins. If you intend on investing enough time in a marina with shore-power, or you want to keep your boat either in the difficult or in water, it’s worth getting an energetic dehumidifier. I’ve left our boat for 2 winters in Dutch Harbor in Aleutian isles, Alaska, having a General Electrical machine draining continuously down the galley sink drain, and my motorboat was wonderfully dry and sweet-smelling upon return.
10. BOOZE No, actually. The greater remote your cruising grounds, the greater amount of high priced everything gets. And several places in Arctic are dry villages due to high prices of addiction among indigenous peoples in the past. Therefore if you’d always celebrate crossing the Arctic Circle with some champagne, or if you’d just like a beer one placid night at anchor (I’m not advocating consuming at ocean!), it’s cheaper and easier to carry it with you. And who doesn’t want some rum as soon as the forecast demands freezing spray?
Ellen Massey Leonard completed an international circumnavigation at age 24 and recently sailed the woman classic cutter towards the northernmost tip of America at aim Barrow into the Alaskan Arctic. She ended up being honored to get the Cruising Club of America’s 2015 Charles H. Vilas Literary Prize. She chronicles her adventures in terms and pictures at www.GoneFloatabout.com and on Instagram @ellenandseth.