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Rabbit at rest, and the dartboard weather report


Because my two sailboats (made possible not by Midas-grade wealth, but by forgoing a car and being thrifty/cheap and not having vacations and cable TV) are quite different in terms of design, materials and intended usage, it's only natural to me that I reach for a metaphor or perhaps a simile to distinguish them in my mind.

Rabbit and tortoise will do.

Without belabouring the old fable, the smaller boat, the "rabbit", is generally the faster, although in a real blow, the "tortoise's" longer waterline would allow a faster top speed, and under generally more comfortable and specifically drier working conditions. Still, the tortoise is built and sailed in as undramatic a fashion as possible, because it's a house and a little world on the seas...or will be. The rabbit, by contrast, is all about the fun, "laying her down" and getting, if it seems like it might help, green water over the winches in quest of that perfect, howling ride.

Feelin' hot, hot, hot

That howling ride might come early this year. Environment Canada, a government agency of which could be said they are "no worse than most" and "occasionally useful", have taken to issuing three-month temperature and precipitation forecasts. The one above indicates their view that we are going to continue to have an unusually balmy winter, straight onto spring.

I have foulies and thermals and sea boots. No biggie.
The second chart indicate normal precipitation. We've had very little snow this winter here in Toronto. I think I've shovelled, in a fairly disinterested way, about three times, and that could've been done with an angry broom. There's been plenty of rain, however, and the lake retains its brimming aspect, which is welcome to fin keelers everywhere.

That said, this "forecast" is barely above random chance in terms of accuracy. The last three months were supposed to see us buried under Eastern Front levels of snow and ice, signalling for the army that never comes, but in fact I've been riding my bicycle nearly every day. It's been windy as hell, on the other hand. If snow had been in it, we would have had several severe blizzards. But that hasn't been the case. I've had to replace a few cheap tarps, and I spent today pumping out the rainwater from Valiente's icy bilges, but that's a small price to pay for keeping the mast in. So far, I like that decision. So far, the inch of ice that formed in the harbour during a brief cold snap would not have even caused me to worry about failing to haul at all. I could have sailed all winter, had there been facilities (and insurance) to do so. I can't recall a winter in which that was predictable or even possible. La Nina, you're a sexy beast.

If this not-cold winter weather persists, it will not only argue for an early April launch for Valiente (assuming the marina will let me in early), but easier work aboard a less-frosty Alchemy, the tortoise will a new heart, awaiting a load of suturing and a decent cardiac massage.
Obviously, today was windy. Less obviously, the boat to the left has slapping halyards and a bad case of the tinks.

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