Monday, December 15, 2008


In December there was a nearly 2-foot snow fall followed quickly by a thaw and then a deep freeze. Ice. I borrowed a neighbor's car to get to the yacht yard so I could check on Speakeasy. She was in good shape. The new cover was nearly bare, which meant that the snow that turned to water had run off before the freeze. This was not the case on Speakeasy's yard neighbor, Tally Ho!

Tally Ho has circumnavigated the globe, but calls Chicago home. She's a 47' Stevens with golden masts--easy to spot in the yard. The wind had blown off some of her tarp covering. When I looked more closely, I saw her owner, Bob, fussing with the tarp that had torn in several places. He was worrying about replacing it. Bob welcomed me aboard and I could see that a torn tarp was only part of the problem. When the snow thawed, the heavy, wet snow sunk and stretched the plastic tarp between its support rods, which were made of PVC pipe. Huge pools of water must have formed during the thaw, because what we saw now was huge blocks of ice sitting on the deck. Some of the support rods had snapped under the load. The two largest blocks of ice were hundreds of pounds each.

Bob gave me a hammer to break up the ice. After a few minutes he gave me a sledge. After much pounding we were able to slide smaller 10-20-pound boulders of ice overboard until the deck was clear. Bob bought me lunch for the trouble and went back later to deal with the tarp.
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