It has been a very strange February in Rhode Island, weather-wise.
It has been oscillating between mild days in the 40s and some extremely severe snow storms and blizzards.
And it has seemed that the worst weather has come through on the weekends.
There was a bit of snow forecast for the first weekend of the month but it turned out to be only a few flurries and I had one of my most surprisingly successful days of frostbite racing ever: Not In Out Stars, But In Ourselves.
The second weekend of the month was planned for a big Tillerfamily celebration at the Tillercottage. One of my sons, his wife and my wife all have birthdays around that time of the month. But Storm Nemo had other ideas. We told our sons not to even contemplate trying to travel here on that weekend. The fleet captains cancelled frostbiting too - huge snow drifts, no access to the boats, nowhere to park. Stayed home to dig... and dig... and dig.
The third weekend didn't bring so much snow but with gale warnings and single-digit wind chills, sailing was cancelled again.
Last weekend wasn't totally impossible for sailing. It was only raining hard and gusting nearly 30 knots.
15 sailors showed up but only 8 completed all the races. Apparently the wind was so strong that they had to sail right up in the harbor on account of our usual sailing area being a "cauldron of death and destruction courtesy of the massive fetch in that wind direction."
Apparently, even the winner for the day spent the whole time "whinging that it was too windy and we should go in."
I wimped out. I'm too old for that kind of shit in the winter.
Today, Tuesday, it was about 45 degrees with a gentle breeze of about 5-10 knots from the S and SE, so in the afternoon I went over to Bristol Harbor and got some light wind practice in. It felt good to be out on the water again after over three weeks with no sailing. Surprisingly, in spite of it being Tuesday and everyone knows Tuesday afternoon is for sailing in Bristol, I was the only Laser sailor out there. Where the hell is everyone?
In 2012 I congratulated myself for sailing on my own in Rhode Island as early as March in How to Beat Winter Hibernation. This year I started my solo practice in February. I guess that's some sort of achievement.
I sailed back to the beach. I derigged the boat. I changed into street clothes. I sat in the car. I remembered that I had finished the whisky bottle the other night. I got out my iPhone.
"Siri, where is the nearest liquor store?"
Life is good.