Winter for a sailor begins at haulout and ends with spring launch. Between is grieving and work, and not a lot of fun. Its a funny thing to look out your back window every morning and see "summer" sitting there wrapped in tarp, waiting for a robin's song and an early thaw.
Iris is coated in a light layer of snow right now, her mast lying along the deck, antifreeze in her veins and her heart barely beating. The sun sets over her, and an early sunrise makes the snow on the tarp sparkle like a thousand diamonds. She is sleeping.
I on the other hand, am very awake.
It is funny that retailers try to entice sailors in the off season. It is as if a boatshow or sale or seminar can replace a day on the water. Buy a can of varnish, you'll feel like its summer! It just doesn't work. I can't vernish a boat under a tarp in frigid weather. Looking at the ads of barbecues and cleaners and gear only makes the longing for a warm day out on the lake stronger.
The charter companies offer real winter sailing - but you have to get all teh way to the BVI's or Bermuda to enjoy it, and then you have to pay a full season's worth of fees for a week of sun. That's just not in the cards right now.
Some guys take up a winter hobby. There's ice-sailing, skiing, drinking, and hibernating as alternatives. Drinking is the most natural fit. That or sitting around around watching youtube videos while drinking. For me, a beer a day is about as much drinking as I get in on the off season, but I still don't have a real "winter hobby."
I've pulled the hatchboards off the boat and I think I'll strip them and refinish them. I want to have them engraved, but I'm not totally convinced on that either. I need to get to work with that project though or it just won't happen. I also promised myself that I would get the liquor cabinet done this winter, but that isn't looking too hopeful right now. Maybe I should just hibernate.