Day Twenty-One: Winter Wonderland

Day Twenty-One

05 February 2014

Wake up at 0230 and go downstairs to use the head and unplug a computer. I notice that the north porch door has blown open and cold air is flooding the house. Luckily it is not snowing yet. This door is famous for blowing open at random times throughout the day. The casing is fine, it is a storm door that latches perfectly, so there is no good reason for this to happen. Maybe there is something to the island ghost stories.

Kerry has fallen asleep on the couch and I tip-toe around him to unplug the computer. It had been uploading videos all night. I’m surprised he did not notice that the winter breeze was flowing through the house from the open door. I successfully move around him without waking him up.

Slept late to 0800 and scramble downstairs to run the generator. The batteries were down to 21.4 again. I’m surprised that the inverter did not shut down. I expected the wind generator to do something overnight as the

Boat ramp in the snow

Boat ramp in the snow

wind picked up to 15-20 kts. The generator should produce nearly 150-200 watts at that speed, but it seems as though it is not working. I will need to track down the issue. It is starting to get very pretty on the island. A moderate breeze is blowing snow around and the island is blanketed in white. The snow creates a haze and not much of the ocean is visible.

Kathy and Kerry have set up the GoPro on their new tower set up down near the western cove spire. The camera is pointed at the spire to collect pictures and video of the ice build up there over time. It is now set to take both images and video on a regular schedule and will stay out for one week. This should make for pretty neat media.

Snow building over the rocks- most accumulation we have seen this winter here

Snow building over the rocks- most accumulation we have seen this winter here

During lunch I mention the wind generator issue to Kathy and she notes that there is an equation for wind drag and energy that likely explains what is going on. A doubling in wind speed is not a linear relationship with regard to energy. It is actually exponential growth. Therefore if the generator is 200w continuous at 28 mph, at 14 it will actually be only 1/8 of the wattage, so 25w, not 1/2 as I was calculating. This explains why the generator did not do much overnight, my expectations were much too high. It is nice to have smart people around to figure these things out.

The snow is really coming down and after lunch Kathy, Tanya, and Becca head outside to gather some into totes. They return within half an hour

Tanya makes angels in the deep snow

Tanya makes angels in the deep snow

with four totes packed with snow to melt for dishes and showers. That was not enough time for them outside so they all head back out for an island walk and don’t return for forty-five minutes. When they do come back I ask if they want to help get ‘Delphus’ up to the house again. This is just precautionary as the sea will not reach the ramp in all likelihood. But with the variation in forecasting we’ve seen, and no need for the boat, I prefer to have it up safe and sound. Kerry, Tanya, and I head out first and remove the Tanya_SA2engine. We ratchet strap it to the hand truck and wheel it up. Next Kerry moves the battery back, which is permanently mounted to a hand truck, up to the house as well. We then retrieve Kathy and Becca, and the five of us move the inflatable back to higher ground on the east side of the house. It is ratcheted down to the boulders and tied to the walkway once again. Then we move the big dolly sled to the south side of the house up and out of the way. For now we will leave the winch. It is bolted hard to the ramp. We may retrieve it in a day or two.

Sean Murphy at COA had requested data for the weather station be sent in XML. It was not clear if we could do that, but Kerry tracked it down and

MDR looks eery in the snow- especially in its current building condition

MDR looks eery in the snow- especially in its current building condition

figured it out. After a couple tries he manged to get the station data uploaded to Dropbox every ten minutes in XML format. I will touch base with Sean in the morning to see if this is what he’s looking for. I woudl like to get this system in place and bugs worked out before we leave on the 17th.

Late afternoon I decide to take my first shower with all the snow brought in. I’ve fixed the pump and rigged a new hose system and added the shower head that arrived on our supply run. It takes a bit to get the water to temp. The shower runs really well and is probably the best I’ve had at MDR. The five gallons lasted about 10 minutes and felt like a luxury. After I bring the system back into the living room so it does not freeze and is available for the next person to use.

Chris works on ramp after moving Delphus

Chris works on ramp after moving Delphus

Before dinner Kathy and Kerry put out a multi-cylinder even though it is snowing.

Kathy made something called “rice glop” for dinner, which was a variation on fried rice with egg, onions, and baked beans and peas on the side. There was also Soy Sauce to add. It was pretty good despite the unappealing name. Tanya and I drank maple flavored crown royal whiskey and ginger ale over balls of snow, a nice winter cocktail.

After dinner Kerry comes from behind and beats me in a game of cribbage. Then he and Kathy gear up and retrieve their multi-cylinder.

Before bed I screw a small 2×4 block into the floor in front of the north door to ensure it stays shut for the night. I’m sure I’ll try and open it tomorrow forgetting it is there.

Bed by 0930


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