Image: Wood Cook Stove Installed.
Although we now had our wood cook stove in our cabin, we still had a long ways to go before the cabin would be warm enough for us to move in.
The chimney installation for the stove promised to be challenging. The chimney needed to be located on the steepest and most exposed part of the cabin roof. To further complicate things, we were in the middle of a cold snap with lots of frost to make the roof slippery. I just didn’t feel comfortable, or safe, with only the two of us trying to put it up. So we gave our contractor neighbour a call. Turned out he was happy for some paid work that would allow him to come out and get some work done on his cabin as well. On a chilly November 25th and 26th, we got the chimney up. Although cold, it was clear and sunny, and several neighbours came by to help, chat, and enjoy the weather. It was a festive mood! And my good fortune has been holding up – I managed to get all the right pieces to complete the installation and actually get the stove working!
The next problem we had to solve was a lack of dry wood. Although we had dropped a number of trees during the clearing of the cabin site, we had not had time to split and properly dry this wood so that we could burn it during the winter. However, one of our neighbours had a bunch of wood from trees he had dropped a couple of years ago – all we needed to do was go over to his place and pick it up. Thus, we towed the Kipper out to his site, and with the help of his ATV and more friends, we loaded the Kipper up with wood. This merry winter caper was completed by delicious chowder, corn bread, and cookies at Ransom Point. I think we provide a lot of amusement for our friends and neighbhours with our strange antics! So, on November 28th, we fired up our wood stove for the first time. It worked flawlessly, and we are very happy with our Baker’s Choice.
Image: Our First Fire.
Now we had a roof and a wood stove. The next hurdle was to get the cabin sealed up enough so that the heat produced by the stove would keep it above freezing. At this point, the cabin had no insulation, open eaves, gaps over the windows and doors, and cracks between the boards. Any heat we added just dissipated in minutes. As a minimum, we needed to get the insulation in the roof and the eaves closed up before the cabin would be livable. Sounds easy, but this was several days work, much of it from ladders and scaffolding. However, by December 3rd, we had all the fiberglass insulation in the roof and the ceiling vapour barrier in place. This effectively closed up the eaves, and reduced the draughts significantly.
On December 4th, we moved into our little cabin in the woods at last! The timing couldn’t have been better – the little antique diesel heater in the Awen gave up any pretense at heating a couple days earlier, reducing us to hovering over a kerosene heater in the galley if we wanted to be warm at all. Temperatures had been getting down to around -9°C, the Awen was dripping with condensation everywhere, and we were very happy to move into our warm, cozy little cabin!