Outpost Caretakers Week 19 ~ Deja vuJanuary 20, 2012 | 1024 Views
This week has been all about the weather, from ‘Alerts’ of snowfall to ‘Warnings’ of frigid air. The weatherman was right on both counts.
I’ve lost track of the number of days since the sun has graced our shores but the slight snowfall we experienced did add a different dimension to the normally somber horizon.
Sammy, who can usually be found looking in the kitchen window has now taken to standing out back. He must see us walking around and is hoping his presence here will be more noticeable.
There must suddenly be something good to eat on this side of our little bay as these ‘Surf Scoters’ never paddle their way over here, always preferring to remain on the other side and out of range of my camera.
Our snow flurries lasted only a day leaving behind just enough snow to make everything look wintery.
These clear blue skies came with a cost…a drastic drop of the mercury.
Monday morning we woke up to -14C/6F ( according to the Masset weather site) and NO WATER!. If you recall we went through a period last year where we had no water and I had to melt snow, a lot of snow so it was no surprise when this happened again. Containers of water had been set aside for such a situation but were quickly depleted. You would be shocked at how much it takes to get through a day just doing your daily routine. The snowfall was nothing like we had last year so that option was out but there was another source and that was going directly to the source. There are two water tanks that are filled by way of a stream that runs through the forest, the pump and the beginning of the line all are located underneath the crew shack but it’s also here that the streams pours out and down to the beach. Suited up in rain gear complete with rubber gloves Mike and I head out in the very chilly weather to collect water. It’s fairly easy to get to and before you know it we have half a doz 18L bottles filled, this is about all we can can pull in the cart through the snow at a time.
Ice as art
The frigid cold front has found it’s way into the bones of the lodge. We have become accustomed to the odd snap and sounds as if someone is walking about upstairs but the last few days the lodge has come alive. Crack! Like a gunshot ringing out in the middle of the night it jolts us awake.
Beep! Beep! Beep! What the heck is going on? Once again in the middle of the night, (why do things always happen in the middle of the night?) we are jarred awake. This time it’s the smoke detector sending out it’s high pitched siren and the lights which we had immediately turned on were fading in and out. Something’s wrong with the generator! – during this cold spell we have left it running- Dressing as fast as one can while still half asleep and scrambling to find a flashlight, we rush to get to the shed. Grabbing at the doorknob at the back door I am suddenly confused for a second as I find the doorknob in my hand but not attached to the door. We head for the patio doors to find an exist as the genny suddenly quits. Mike in the lead we head out into the biting cold. The crunch of snow beneath our rubber boots is a sound I haven’t heard in decades and one I can definitely live without. Once at the genny shed Mike has to wrestle with the door there, it seems to be frozen shut. Access gained with doorknob intact he turns off all power to the 35kw. His first thought is a possible frozen fuel line but it’s only -16C/2F. He turns his attention to starting the 20kw but again finds the panels (doors) frozen shut. With only a latch, no handle to pull on he quickly finds a screwdriver to pry it open. A flip of a switch and it fires up but you can tell it’s cold and will need a good amount of time to warm up before we can turn the power switch on. A long twenty minutes later we’re back in business and from where we stand can see the lodge lit up. First things first I put the coffee on, there was no point returning to bed now.
Settling in our ‘circle of heat’ …..your what? Our 2 laptops reside on a round table which we placed in front of the windows so we can watch the world go by as we read what is going on in the rest of the world. Three electric heaters which arrived on the christmas plane ( we thank Ken daily for these) are placed around us (i.e circle of heat) keeping us warm in the lodge which these days only reaches a high of 54F/ 12C even with the furnace running. Later in the day back in the generator shed Mike checks over the 35kw, seeing nothing obviously wrong, figures he’ll give it a try….turns the key and it starts, better than that it keeps running.
Barge update: Well we’re still waiting to see the vessel and weather permitting it will try to make it down here around the 25th . We’ve been doing what we can to conserve fuel (this cold weather hasn’t helped) and propane. What will happen if it can’t make it?Another trip, another try, is planned for February and we’ll be fine till than.
Darkness has fallen and so is the snow. Weatherman predicts warmer temperatures on the way and in fact today was only -7C, by Saturday we should be back to normal with a high of 5C and rain. Strangely enough I am looking forward to seeing some rain again.
So that has been our week….. the pot of water is boiling, time for a nice bucket shower!
Till next week,
Heather & Mike