Sunday, 8 December 2013

When Hell Freezes Over

Living in the Lower Mainland of BC for the last 20 years has kept me quite insulated against winter. We normally rarely ever get below zero on the thermometer and at most, might get a couple of days of snowfall which usually melts the next day. This whole year has been weird from the get go. Summer started at the beginning of May with a massive heat wave that went on for weeks and just stuck around to become summer with little or no precipitation until October. So far it has been an extremely dry Fall and now we are being hammered with temperatures ranging from minus 7 to minus 20.

 We have been scrambling to winterize the house, stuffing insulation in any cracks we find, plastic over all the windows and installing a much larger water reservoir seen here on the deck wrapped in blue insulation. The day after it was put in place we got walloped with a huge wind storm which kicked up huge waves which battered the house and docks.

 These pictures don't do it justice at all. The docks were bucking up and down, huge waves were washing over the docks which instantly turned into ice. The dock at the back of the house got picked up by the waves and smashed into our house three feet up the wall. This action tore the kayak off the wall where we had it stored and sent it out into the middle of the river. My crazy ass husband then went out in a small skiff in this violent storm to get it back.

At one point when he was trying to tie the dock in better he was washed off the dock between the house and the dock. The only way out was to swim under the dock and come up the other side so as not to get squished. I honestly don't know how he survived that, the water and air are freezing cold. I was at work when all this was happening, so all I could do was worry and pray.

This picture was taken earlier in the day, by the time I got home at 11 pm, the ice on the docks was over two inches thick. Thankfully one of the neighbors boats was close enough to the dock, that I was able to hang on to it and inch my way home.
Thinking that storm was the worst of it, we were shocked to see this the next morning. The whole river covered in massive sheets of ice that were coming at us with the speed of a freight train on a huge 16.6 foot incoming tide. As the ice started hitting our outside dock, it began to break up and pile up like a slow moving tsunami. 

 Shortly after this last picture was taken, the tide finally went slack and eventually started to run the other way. The rest of the day was mostly uneventful, but I was woken up this morning by the horrible grinding, sliding sound of another massive ice flow coming up river at us. All I can do is pray that it doesn't do any damage and that the temperature gets milder soon, so this all melts. I have had no running water for 5 days now as all the pipes are frozen and the system outside got torn apart in the storm. Of course the parts we need to fix it can only be bought at a store that is closed on the weekends. I think I am getting to old for all this drama!


Here are some pictures from this mornings onslaught.

That ice is about 2 inches thick!

The shoreline frozen over

The skiff frozen in place with my rescued kayak in it.

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  1. You got it much worse than we did up the lake. The mighty Fraser isn't as docile as a lake that is moving very slowly. We got ice on the cliffs where water was dripping, but nothing in the water. And all the wind that was predicted didn't reach us fortunately. I hope you don't have any repeats after the cold spell breaks, but I am sure other wind storms will really rock your world this season. Hang on tight! - Margy

  2. Wow, how frightening that must be. We are unusually cold here in Oklahoma too. Schools have been closed since Thursday afternoon, it's been too cold to melt our ice. I dream of your lifestyle, but I'm just going to have to live it through you. Here's hoping things thaw out soon.


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment, Rhianna

The Eclectic Ark