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

Why I Hate Winter
What we Northeastern sailors go through each year at this time

Aesop's Fables
The Ant and the Grasshopper

In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content.  An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

"Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?"

"I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same."

"Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present."  But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.  When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.  Then the Grasshopper knew:

It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

Preparing for Winter 2007-08

Click thumbnails below for a larger picture


Preparing for winter in New England takes planning then execution, to make it through to the other side.  Since I heat the house primarily with a wood stove the first order of business when summer is coming to an end is to bring in a stock of firewood, so it'll season more.  (There's no heat whatsoever upstairs and limited heat downstairs from a small furnace and forced hot water radiators.)  I ordered three cords for the coming winter.  I hope it's enough; that's about what I went through last winter.  (Aug. 18, 2007)

Once it's delivered, the next act is to stack it into the wood racks across the lot.  (Sep. 1, 2007)

Eventually, the boat must come out.  (Oct. 2, 2007)

And your friends who've given a hand launching your boat must be be reciprocally assisted.  Here, Michael Sullivan's C22 "Carpe Diem" is trailered out at Winter Island, Salem -- just across the harbor from Marblehead -- on a chilly and blustery day.  (Oct. 25, 2007)

The quicker we cover our boats, the sooner we keep falling leaves from filling the cockpit, clogging the scuppers, and covering the deck.  Either we remove fallen leaves or come spring clean the stubborn tannin stains they produce.  (Nov. 9, 2007)

John Graichen's C22 "Malacass" is still out there on its mooring off the town cemetery, looking lonely.  He took his boat out the next day for a sail -- a heartier man than I in this chilly 40-high temperature!  (Nov. 17, 2007)

In preparing for the coming extremes I stack my picnic table and chairs, cover them with a sheet of plywood, then cover it all with a staked-down tarp.  After the tarp was torn by the sharp corner of the plywood from the weight of snow last winter, I radiused the corners this year with a jig-saw -- after duck-taping last winter's hole.  (Nov. 18, 2007)

Before heading down to the town cemetery to check out John Graichen's "Malacass" just offshore on Saturday, after beginning the moving of firewood to both inside the kitchen and beneath the makeshift lean-to outside my back door by cart (left in the photo covering the chopping block), I covered the wood racks to keep the wood dry.

Already I'm going through firewood -- that kitchen wood rack was full to the counter shelf on Saturday.  (Nov. 20, 2007)

The lean-to right outside my back door -- plywood covered by a tarp under which I store usually half a cord of firewood for emergencies.

I need to haul another 6-8 cartloads of wood out there to be sure there's enough for emergencies when I can't get through the snow across the lot in the months ahead.  (The green barrel is full of kindling wood, which will sit alongside the other barrel already under the lean-to.)  Next I'll make sure the snow-thrower starts up, is ready for its first call to service when needed.  Once it does, and is put back under the lean-to, I'll be done with my winter preparations for another year.

It's never-ending ... but winter again approaches -- it's time to hunker down!