lasko heaterSomething untoward is happening to my sleeping habits, all thanks to my dream machine: a small, seemingly harmless, little 200 watt heater by Lasko. My reason for acquiring the little device was purely comfort-related, but this thing has morphed into a comatose-inducing, bizarre dream-creating contraption.

I have been having a condensation problem in my boat, as it’s winter, and since I’d rather not breathe in mold and all their healthy spores, I have been trying to keep the v-berth somewhat dry. I know I won’t get it dry-dry, but I was hoping it would be more like an August in New York and less like a river raft ride through the monsoon season. The heater has done a fair job of jousting with the moisture so long as I help it out a bit by pulling the sheets and mattress away from the walls during the day.

But there is now a secondary problem to running the heater. When the outside temperature is between 37-40 something degrees, I guesstimate the inside temperature to be somewhere around the magical 65-70 degrees. Around that temperature, my body feels…blobbish. Relaxed. Safe. Drugged. When my body is that comfortable, my brain celebrates with renditions of wacky dreams.

The experts will all tell you that REM sleep happens twice a night every night. Most of the time we can’t remember our dreams, even the kooky ones. We may remember tidbits of them right when we wake up, but not much longer after that.

I still remember the basic plot line of my dream from a few nights ago, that’s how powerful my dream machine is. It had to do with sailing, which I don’t think happens that often, but who’s to say? For some reason the ship I was sailing was much bigger and taller than Libby, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t sailing Libby. Sorry for the vagueness, I’ll try to be more detailed. The dream took place at the end of the world, and I was being chased by other boats. Pirates, maybe. I don’t have much on board other than Riley and a bag of almonds, so maybe they were after my collection of Harry Potter books. What I remember most about the dream was how colorful it was: bright greens, vibrant blues, so NOT the colors of the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps it’ll be brighter here at the end of the world. I hope I never find out. I sailed the boat through Rich Pass (as I did for the Blake Island Adventure), and remember thinking it was too narrow for my large boat. Even though in reality aircraft carriers get through there. Dreams are so weird. Anyway, toward the end of the dream, Russia was firing missiles at us (I can’t really be sure who “us” was) but the missiles were shaped more like small couches, less like sharp projectiles. They also had notes attached to the missiles, which come to think of it, means they didn’t explode very well, did they?

See what I mean? Peculiar. I’m sure if I remembered more details of it, it would be weirder. It’s all happening because of the heater. When I wake up, I find it’s terribly difficult to move my body due to the torpid attitude of my being. I think if I needed to, I could hibernate through winter just by running that heater. Riley, who doesn’t have to get up and work but who does need to visit the grass on shore, doesn’t help me at all. He lays by my legs, occasionally sighing in contentment.

What you should have learned from this post:

  1. If you’re having trouble sleeping, crank up the heat.
  2. Human hibernation is possible.
  3. Missiles shaped like couches with notes attached do not explode.
  4. The Pacific Northwest has high definition colors when it’s the end of the world.


  1. s/v Eolian January 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Courtney –

    Get a dehumidifier… really. They can be small and draw an insignificant amount of power (ours draws 1.6 amps). AND THEY WORK. WONDERFULLY.

    (I know I’ve commented about this before, but I can’t find the comment)

    s/v Eolian

    1. Courtney January 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      I’ll get one, I just need to find a free outlet and place to keep it.

      1. s/v Eolian January 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        Ours lives in the head, and is a *great* help after using the shower.

  2. Pingback: Living in the Dream Machine | Courtney Kirchoff

  3. Sophi Swaim January 19, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Hi, just found your website thanks to the wonders of the internet! Thought I’d say hi. Also, have you considered Hypervent? I think their website is and the stuff is seriously a miracle. We sleep with an electric mattress pad, but the hull would collect condensation and soak the undersides of our sheets/mattress. The hypervent is a plastic/fabric thing that you put under your bedding that keeps it dry, and lets the condensation harmlessly drip to your bilge. Amazing stuff! We chose that over a dehumidifier (cheaper, no electricity requirement) though we have friends who have gone the “both” route and are really happy. Anyways, looking forward to reading more of your adventures!


  4. Gary Flory March 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    They als have things called solar vents some use.