Day Thirty-One: Nor’Easter

15 February 2014 (Saturday)

Wake up at 0600 to the sound of the generator. I slept very well last night.  I run to the house to use the head and see that things have subsided. It is blowing about 10 kts and there is very little wind wave action, but the swell is still formidable. Kathy and Kerry made their way back to the house late last night and are hard at work early.

Over the course of the morning we return ourselves and our gear to the house. Tanya and I put out the solar panels to catch some of the bright sun. I find enough copper pipe to complete the final run of propane from the porch to the freezer. The seals are way up high near the house to the east where the propane lines are, so all the work involves crouching, kneeling, and crawling to stay out of view. The work does not take very long and soon the freezer is back on.

Delphis deflated and stowed inside for the storm

Delphis deflated and stowed inside for the storm

I spend much of the morning re-piping the propane line to the small heater in the living room. Previously the line ran out the south window to a bottle on the ground. Keeping with the new system I pipe this to the opposite side of the south porch. It takes some finessing but I end up having all the parts I need. Now all of the propane is up high and off the ground.

Taking a quick survey of the island it is not immediately obvious that water was up high. But I do notice that a small makeshift fireplace made of loose bricks sitting in front of the north porch has been washed away. There are also buoys and a large pice of driftwood almost at the height of the solar panel frame. Luckily all of the walkways and ramp are unscathed.

Cormorants in flight

Cormorants in flight

The day has been calm but a proper nor’easter is on its way here. The mainland is preparing for a significant blizzard. There is a storm warning here from 1900 tonight to tomorrow morning. Somewhat lucky for us the large south swell from today’s storm will be running right into the north wind, and while the winds are forecast to gust to 50 kts, the sea will stay a relatively small 12 ft. Not enough to run to the tower. This will also be great working weather for Kathy and Kerry if some of the precipitation holds off. They plan on napping after dinner and then working overnight.

Tanya does a seal count at 1640. All the seals are way up high on the east side.

For dinner we have burritos with beef that Tanya had been slow-simmering since 1400, a nice treat. After dinner we have another round of up and down the river and then Kathy heads to bed for a couple of hours in prep for the nights work. Kerry opts to stay awake for a while.

Beautiful sunset

Beautiful sunset

By 1900 the snow is arriving and the winds pick up from the east. We all do computer work for a few hours. By 2200 it is a proper storm from the northeast.

Bed by 2230.

-Chris

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