G4NLA1 1:44am, 7 January 2011
Hi All,

Only I could choose the coldest Christmas holiday in 100 years to spend aboard Little Plum. Although it was very cold indeed I had a lovely time and learned a great deal.

I have to confess I was able to cheat, because I have a mains supply to LP. By far the best investment was an electric blanket which really did make a huge difference.

As it happens, Portishead Quays Marina were giving away 50KWH electricity cards if you entered your boat for their Christmas Lights competition. To my amazement LP won the 'yacht' category, but I suspect that was because LP was the only sailing yacht entered, rather than my artistic abilities with flashing lights. Anyway, LP won a £50.00 voucher for marina services, so I am not complaining !!.

The nice thing about an A24 in really cold weather is that the saloon is so tiny that it is really cheap to keep warm. I have a 500W convector heater, and it only takes a few minutes to get the saloon nice and cosy. Most of the time I left it on the thermostat, and it only woke up every hour or so to give the cabin a quick blast.

I packed all my clothes into black plastic bin liners, and used these packages to make an insulating layer between the hull and the saloon berths. I also used a couple of them on the saloon floor to act as an insulating layer between the ultimate heat sink - the keel - and the saloon. In addition, I made up a temporary curtain between the saloon and the foc'stle so I was not trying to heat up part of the living area that I was not using.

I did wake up with a bit of a start on the 23/12/2010 because LP was making noises that I had not heard before. Having clambered back into my clothes and got myself on deck, I found that the whole marina was freezing up, and the noises I could hear was ice forming around LP's hull. I was staggered by how quickly the ice formed, and was equally surprised when it all melted ( with corresponding sounds ) so quickly.

New Years night was glorious around Portishead. I went on deck for midnight to be greeted with lots of fireworks, and literally hundreds of those chinese (?) hot air lanterns.

For the record, Christmas dinner was lamb casserole and dumplings, a bottle of Crozes Hermitage, followed by a selection of blue cheeses and a rather splendid bottle of Grahams Port. _ which I hasten to add that I did not finish at one sitting !!

I was rather crestfallen that I was not able to sail LP to Cardiff on boxing day as I has planned, I did manage to do all those funny little odd jobs that needed doing instead.

I trust we all have a great 2011, and some great sailing throughout the year.

Cheers

Gee and Little Plum
Amrum 9171Y 8 years ago
Well done, Gee! What a great way to spend Christmas - I would have come down to see you, but had a house full of family (15 for Xmas lunch - 4 generations), and would have been even more unpopular than usual with SWMBO, who just cannot see the attraction of boats and winter.
Snifter is now out of the water on a borrowed trailer, and I should get the mast down and tow her home over the weekend to get on with the jobs which I've been putting off.
With Anton's checklist from Songeur and Neil's recommended epoxy, I'll be busy!
I hope you get to Cardiff again soon, and you are of course welcome at TSC any time.
Have great sailing on LP this year!
Rob
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