Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The Second Blizzard of '05
March 1, 2005

In mid-January we had almost a week of unseasonably warm weather getting up into the 50s. The "January thaw" had melted away almost all evidence of "The Great Blizzard of '05" except for vestiges of the largest piles. Beginning late in the evening of February 28, "the second-worst snowstorm of the season" arrived. It had snowed all night and didn't stop until after noon on Tuesday, piling up a fresh fourteen inches of heavy, wet snow. Earlier on Monday I had visited an orthopedic doctor and was given a shot of cortisone for chronic pain in my shoulders. On Tuesday morning I was greeted with yet another major snowstorm that nonetheless had to be cleared.

By comparison it wasn't quite as bad as The Great Blizzard last month,  though that was three feet of  light, fluffy snow. This one hiked the season's official snowfall total so far at Boston's Logan International Airport up to 82 inches (the all-time official record for Boston is 103 inches). Add another two feet or so more here on the Northshore and that means I've so far moved some eight or nine feet of snow this season.

The important winter strategy is to stay ahead of the next snowstorm -- and there's always a next snowstorm until the final one, usually in late-March or early-April. An effective tactic -- especially this time in the season with the sun climbing higher -- is to remove as much reflective white snow as soon as possible, get down to bare ground wherever possible so radiational melting and simple evaporation can occur during the day. Once the sun finds bare ground the melting expands impressively even with below-freezing temperatures. The below shots are a good example of its effectiveness.

Our daily highs are still below freezing, some 10 degrees below the seasonal norm and stuck there for at least another two weeks the weathermen have pronounced. Another major snowstorm is bearing down on us,  expected to arrive on Monday again and snow into the next day. The snowblower has been refueled and the shovel and bottle of Advil are at the ready.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, many of the Catalina 22 discussion list members were just getting home from the Catalina 22 Mid-Winter 2005 Championship Regatta in Sanford, Florida over the previous weekend. The sailing experiences were being related to the list as I was picking up my shovel. What a difference some 1100 miles on the East Coast makes: the difference between a Yankee sailor moving snow from one place to another, and those down in "the tropics" under sail. Man, do I hate winter in New England!

-- March 4, 2005

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The truck finished plowing a "driveway" through our lot and back to my house the day after the storm. It left a huge pile right in front that I had to dig out, along with our cars that we park off to the side during storms, out of the plow's way.

That's Chip Ahoy, covered with the blue tarp, behind my Explorer and the new plowed snow pile. One of my first snow-clearing jobs after a storm is to remove the snow from atop the boat.

Once again all the paths are cleared and widened. This one leads from the driveway, across the front of the house, to the side then out to the shed. It's the route I take to cart in firewood, so if I'm to keep warm inside it's always  the priority.

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This is the path from my house to Barbara's. The sliding glass door on the right is where I bring in the firewood; it opens to the kitchen where the wood-burning stove is located.

Another view of the path to Barbara's house. The driveway has been too icy at night for her to safely walk over.

The path from the house out to the shed (and birdfeeder) also is a priority. The extra gas for the snowblower is stored there so I must be able to get to it before running empty.

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Remember that covered picnic table in better days? Its tarp is doing a lot of protecting this winter.

A view from the shed toward the back of the house. The covered lean-to is where I store the snowblower. It's also where the "emergency" woodpile is kept for times like this when I can't get out to the main woodpile.

The front out to the street from a second floor window. The main woodpile is center-right. Note the four empty racks: I've burned through two cords so far with two remaining. At last I can get to it again!

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