Outpost Caretakers Week 21 ~ Cabin FeverFebruary 3, 2012 | 1605 Views
Cabin fever: noun
Definition: anxiety caused by living in isolation or indoors for long periods of time
Symptoms: climbing the walls, going squirrely, feeling antsy, restlessness, winter blues, temporary insanity, talking to animals.
It must be in the makeup of our DNA, one’s ability to walk away from society and exist in the middle of a wilderness stretching for miles whichever way we turn for months on end. Even during our years of cruising we often sought the solitude of an empty anchorage. The dinghy ride to happy hour might be longer but was a small price to pay in our way of thinking.
This is our forth season as caretakers, the first two spent in River’s Inlet, and I can honestly say I have not experienced temporary insanity ( although Mike’s opinion on this may differ) suffered from restlessness or climbed any walls. As to talking to animals, well, yes I do but that has nothing to do with cabin fever. Even the long periods of grey skies and endless rain don’t bog me down with winter blues but I do yearn for hot sunny days and endless white sand beaches. I find myself surfing the internet, planning month long journeys to exotic destinations. I can’t wait till April when the sun will once again reach our back deck and I can enjoy my morning coffee sitting outside with the cats, soaking up some much needed Vitamin D. Out of everything we leave behind it’s the sun that I miss the most.
I often wonder how caretakers years ago dealt with the isolation. They didn’t have the luxury of Sirius radio, internet, 100’s of dvd movies, streaming TV or Skype. Books I imagine, lots and lots of books. More often than not it was ‘caretaker’ and not ‘caretakers’, can’t fathom 9 months with no one to talk with, now that might make me go squirrely, maybe they had a dog at the lodge with them…a dog would be nice….Mike and I would like a dog. I don’t know how much the local wildlife would appreciate it though.
You may have guessed since it was not the first thing I mentioned this week but the barge did not make it down to the Outpost. With the weather forecasts predicting storms and gale force winds continually, we knew the chances of seeing the vessel were slim at best. So now we wait for the next scheduled trip in February.
How’s are fuel supply doing? Well we’re not running on fumes…yet. The genny gets shut down each night before we go to bed as a norm for our entire 9 month stay but now we have to consider other measures. Weather permitting (not too cold) we’ll shut down the generator for 4 hours or so each afternoon. The absolute quiet is actually welcomed as we sit and read, write or work on my puzzle. There is enough light in the kitchen to cook or do dishes so really not much has changed. The furnace/boiler which we were without for 87 days turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Not having to fill this beast every 2 weeks saved us a tremendous amount of diesel and is in fact the reason why we’re able to wait till the next barge. The obvious thing to do now is turn it off, which we have done. The electric heaters we have follow us from table to couch depending on the time of day and we’re warm enough. Water (yes we have water again hooray!!!) is heated on the stove. Sound familiar?
Buckets showers…this is where I draw the line and twice a week Mike fires up the furnace so we have hot water and I can take my near scalding shower. Small pleasures. Propane is another concern but here again simple steps taken has extended the length of the tanks. These days if I’m going to turn the oven on it’s not just going to be for one dish and a small dish of rice is now double the size, while I might as well make a double batch of bread instead of just one.
I think for the first time ever I had only taken 15 pictures all week. Normally when it comes time to download them it’s well over 50 and sometimes as high as 100. This week there just wasn’t much going on and the weather except for one day has been overcast with everything from a drizzle to downpour adding to the gloominess.
If it’s one thing we can count on, it’s always getting a good picture of our 3 amigos.