Only 17 days until we haul Aquataurus out for hurricane season (May 21). Where has the time gone? It has been an amazing sailing season here in Martinique and St. Lucia. Aquatuarus has treated us well, we’ve had some amazing sailing this season. And this “home” has been the longest we’ve stayed in one place since we sold our home in September 2017! So Aquataurus is truly our only home now. We’ve booked an Air B&B in Minnesota for June and July and will travel the US visiting family and friends until we return in January 2019. I think both Greg and I are ready to visit with family and friends, do some hiking (in Minnesota), and mountain hikes (in Colorado and Washington).
You might wonder what is involved in getting a sailboat ready for hurricane season, and being put “on the hard” (on metal stands in the boatyard) for 7 months.
In preparation for hauling out, one of the things I need to think about the groceries that we have, and try to use everything up that I can (since Greg is the technician- I’m the galley cook). Some things do stay, like the spices, minimal canned goods and dried foods (ie rice and pasta). But I try to use up as much as I can before we leave. So, because our time on AT is now limited, I’m thinking about those things each day.
This year, some other things I need to do to get ready for hurricane season (since Greg does the technical stuff) include taping newspaper on all the windows and hatches (to protect the inside from the sun), wash all surfaces inside the boat with a vinegar/water 50/50 solution (to prevent mold and mildew). After we haul out and are on the hard, I need to remove all the netting and label it all for next year (this prevented Toto from accidently falling off the boat!), drop the anchor and all the chain (240 feet) onto the ground to wash it all (removes the salt from the sea on the anchor chain) then haul it back onto the boat (with the motorized windlass-we don’t do this by hand!) and into the anchor locker. We remove the sailing canopy on the wheelhouse with the hurricane canopy. All of the cushions inside need to be put vertical (from horizontal) on the beds and settees (provides aeration). The dinghy needs to be deflated and secured to the foredeck (tied very well for those high winds). All the fenders need to be cleaned (from the salt) and placed inside the boat.
This year I also plan to replace all of the curtains, so I need to remove them all, tape newspaper on all the windows (to protect the inside from the UV from the sun), and take them all home. I plan to make new curtains while traveling in the states (I need to remember to get my sewing machine out of storage, to take on the road!).
Next week while we are still at anchor (we are NOT going to think about hauling out preparation for the next few days :-)), we can start doing some of these things. We will take down the 2 forward sails and fold them up and store them below, I will start washing down the inside surfaces with vinegar/water.
This is only a short list of what needs to be done to secure Aquataurus for hurricane season. You should see the list that Greg has! It’s pages…I’m sure you can believe that! Actually, he has a daily list started, so we get things done each day and check them off. I haven’t seen the daily list yet, but I’m sure I will next week when we start.
The next few days we will just be enjoying the sun, wind and sea. Taking the time each day to savor this place.
In a few weeks, we will be getting ready for the next chapter of our adventures stateside! And visiting with missed family and friends. Looking forward to that next chapter. But a lot of work to do before then.
Will miss these views over the next 7 months, but we will be back soon enough.