Finally, Aura is covered up for winter. Good thing as it's supposed to snow heavily this week. Friends Liam and Paul helped me out and tried a new technique of rolling the front of the tarp and "stitching" it just with strands of rope. It's really effective.
What a brutally cold day to be out, though. There is already about two inches of ice in the harbor. While we were working on getting Liam's boat covered, we started hearing this hacking sound. It turned out to be one of the maintenance staff, trying to hack an aluminum work boat out of the water with an oar. The whole thing, including a big 30Hp Mercury motor were frozen solid into the ice. We had a good laugh over the silliness of it all... forgetting to take the boat out in the first place, the futile hacking with the oar, and the blasted freezing cold. At least there was somebody out there more miserable than us.
A few minutes later we started hearing a huge crunching sound. I ran to the harbor wall and looked out towards the entrance. A yellow sailboat was making it's way in like a Russian icebreaker at the north pole. The bow was riding up, the motor was gunned wide open, and chunks of ice were flying all over port and starboard. I ran back and told Liam and Paul, "You've gotta see this!" We all just stood there mouths agape, until Paul got his cellphone out and snapped a couple of pictures. Right about then they got hopelessly stuck, and we were practically rolling on the ground laughing. For some reason, being out in the bitter cold made watching these shenanigans seem really hilarious. We got back to work on Liam's boat, taking care because he didn't want the metal grommets on the tarp to scratch his hull. We had to undo a few of the knots till it met with his satisfaction. When we finally finished, the lads in the harbor had somehow managed to force that poor yellow sailboat up to the crane, which they were now busy manipulating into position for a haul-out. A jagged trail of broken ice streamed off behind them.
"Forget about grommets", I told Liam, "If you're concerned about scratching your hull, those are just the two fellows you ought to call!"
There was a roaring fire in the fireplace when we got to the clubhouse, and dinner was still being served. It hit the spot nicely.