We're in the Doldrums here at HAWSEPIPER's afloat global HQ/freelance gynecology clinic.
In the summer, thermoclines form- boundary layers in the water column, where the water temperature changes rapidly with depth- it's not unusual for water temperature to change 15 degrees as one moves, say, from 15 to 18 feet of depth while swimming. Water changes density with temperature, so the differing densities don't like to mix so much- rather, the bodies of water at differing temperatures slide across each other and resist mixing. This provides the lovely coolish water than makes ocean swimming so enjoyable in New England in the summertime- if you're like me, and like to swim in deeper water, it gets bloody cold awful fast when you drop down a few feet.
At home, April is the time when the lobster boats start moving traps into the bays from their wintering spots further offshore, and, for many, it's also a time to move traps off the dock and back into the water. Running a boat with a 6-foot high pile of traps covering the deck is always an exiting time- deckhands disappear behind the stacks, so everyone's nervous as the traps are reset. Optimism reigns.
For the earlybird pleasureboaters, people sometimes get a little surprise when the 2-foot chop they ignore in July rattles the fillings out of their heads in April. That cold, dense water packs a little punch. Even in a ship, the difference is visible- in my old union, there was a collier that regularly made winter runs around my home area, and the ship aged prematurely. Massachusetts Bay doesn't have the deep ocean swells common to waters south of Rhode Island, but it does have an almighty short chop that makes life miserable. In my head I often wonder if the late-season trips across the Great Lakes feel similar.
l feel the tidal pull for a teeny, unstable, wet slippery deck than can be paced in a half-dozen stuttering steps instead of a 5 minute walk.