Local weather guru Cliff Mass has declared on his well-read blog that the worst of winter has passed — at least climatologically speaking. Turns out that those seemingly endlessly dreary weeks between New Years and Valentine’s Day, when the first signs of the coming spring resume, are not typically the worst weather of the year.
That title belongs to November, which boasts the highest average precipitation.
And as if right on cue, the weather over the past few days and this weekend looks to be calm and dry. In fact, as Mass points out, the high pressure system sitting over us right now is one of the strongest on record.
But let’s set aside all the meteorological stuff for a moment and talk about why that matters. Or at least why this matters to me.
You see, if there is one thing I love to do in winter it is to take the boat out on a clear, crisp and calm night to cruise along the downtown Seattle waterfront. There is something magical about how the lights of the city reflect in the mirror-flat waters of Elliott Bay.
Just as alluring are the boats whose hardy skippers have taken the time and energy to deck their vessels in festive holiday lights.
Of course, there is a downside to this too. And that’s the annual dilemma I face when preparing the boat for winter. The pragmatic side of me says to pretty much lay her up entirely, take down the sails, bring the cushions home, fill the waterlines with non-toxic antifreeze and set up the dehumidifiers.
But there is the romantic side who says, wait a second. There will be opportunities to take the boat out this winter. And if you make it too much of a chore to get the boat ready to go, you’ll just keep her at the dock.
Usually in this battle, the romantic side wins out, aided in good measure by strong dose of procrastination.
And that brings us to this weekend. I’ve done about half of my winterization tasks. But the sails are sill bent on. And the water is still in the hoses.
If the weather forecasters are right, this weekend looks like it will fit the bill of my ideal winter night’s cruise. Cold, clear, calm.
So if all goes well, we’ll be out on the boat Saturday night, enjoying our own watery winter wonderland. And at the helm, my romantic side will be on watch, with a big smile on his face and a strong dose of hot buttered rum in his hand.