It's so cold even Florida is under a wind-chill warning. That's because of the polar vortex dipping down from the North Pole that's bringing sub-zero temperatures with it. My own polar vortex experience hasn't been too bad: I lost water yesterday when a pipe burst in my building's basement, but it's fixed now and I'm warm and can take showers again.
That's a common story. Cold weather can cause a lot of damage, and not just to buildings. If you're in Florida or other places in the South not used to frigid temperatures, you should probably turn to page 30 when you receive your February issue of National Fisherman. In the article, "Save room for vroom," Brian Robbins writes about how to prevent freeze-ups before your pack up after a long winter's workday.
Before you go home for the night, Robbins recommends shutting off your boat's raw-water intake then adding antifreeze and rolling the engine over a few times to pump it through the system. He cautions to make sure to do the reverse before you head out again the next day.
Even if you're not experiencing the polar vortex, I'd recommend checking out Robbins' article. As a former offshore lobsterman and longtime contributor to National Fisherman, he offers common-sense tips for making engine maintenance easier that should come in handy all year.
I realize that these sub-zero temperatures aren't a novelty for our readers in Alaska, but being used to them means that you're also better prepared. Do you have any cold-weather tips you can share with our commercial fishermen readers in the South? And yes, I realize we're all in the south compared to you...
Photo of ice breaking on Maine's Kennebec River by Lauren Downs/USCG