The time has come to put Ambition away for the hurricane season. We feel that we have made a great choice in leaving Ambition in Jolly Harbour Marina, Antigua, as we are well above sea level in the storage yard and the yard sits behind a very tall hill protecting us from the east winds. There is an onsite Budget Marine for parts and supplies. The storage yard is all in concrete so the boat will be well supported in the jack stands. There are tie down points so we can strap Ambition by all four corners, to underground anchors, so that high winds will not cause the boat to fall over.
We arrived in Jolly Harbour Marina on May 3rd - tied up the the dock with the help of a great dockmaster team to handle all our lines. Ambition is tied stern to the dock - plugged into 120V AC power to run the air conditioners. It is so nice to be able to have a cool spot after working outside in 85F+ temperatures.
There are two things that we have as a goal while preparing the boat. The first and most important is to remove from the deck everything that potentially would come loose or fly around in the event of a tropical storm or a hurricane. The second goal is to clean, bag, wash, disinfect everything to prevent mould growing in the hot and humid summer air. After lots or research - vinegar and water - the best for cleaning and once everything is cleaned a wipe down with a mixture of water and clove oil.
Our check list is almost 100 items long just for the mechanical and on deck items and Maryse has an equally long list for all the inside of the boat items. The sails have been removed and sent off to the sailmakers for any needed repairs and for storage during the summer. This gives us a lot more room on board to store stuff inside.
We have had issues with the 8kw diesel generator all winter so the local Fischer Panda technician came on board to find the cause of the overheating and starting issues. Rebuilt the little alternator that seized, overhauled the starter motor, removed and acid washed the heat exchanger, repaired the new water pump we installed in January (&%#%@) and finally bled all the air from the cooling system. Now we can run ALL our 120V stuff on board and the generator hummmmms along very happily!
|This is what is left of the belt on the alternator for the generator!|
|Lots of black dust!|
The electric furling mainsail system has been pulled out as it stopped working this winter. We implemented a workaround, using my electric drill and a special fitting to open and close the mainsail. This repair is not a surprise as the unit is supposed to be overhauled at least every 3-5 years - ours has not seen any servicing in 14 years!
While in storage the main engine will also undergo a substantial maintenance which is way past due - not based on hours of usage but simply years.
|Instruments tucked away|
|Dinghy and outboard gone - wind generator blades removed and tied down|
|No lines on the deck|
|Cockpit cushions and enclosure gone|
|Ambition all stripped down!|
Down below, Maryse has washed and packed in airtight bags, just about everything we have on board. Batteries removed from all our electronic items, water tanks emptied and left open to dry, cupboards washed and treated for mould. All the canvas cushions and cockpit enclosure has been washed and retreated for water resistance.
|Closets and lockers all packed up in bags|
|Some stuff to come home with us and some just packed up|
|Getting her bottom washed ....|
Ambition is back out of the water. Considering the last time she was out was in January - looking good!
|Really the end of the season now|
|Looks like an aquarium - need to re-coat with PropSpeed!|
We have engaged the services of a Yacht Guardian - neat title eh? He will visit Ambition every month, air the boat out, check batteries, empty any water in the bilge and generally keep an eye on everything for us. Also in the event of a named storm he will remove the summer cover and then reinstall it after the storm has passed. The yard demands this, so that covers do not become loose and flog around in a storm beating and causing damage to other boats.
|Under the covers|
|All buttoned down ....|
|Looks good and will help protect her while we are away|
|A pat on the bum and a wish that her summer is UNEVENTFUL|
After Ambition came out of the water, we moved into an AIRBNB villa in Jolly Harbour ....sweet!
|back deck and dock|
The days have flown by and we are both anxious to get home to family and friends however we are also sad to leave our winter home after a fantastic 8 months on board.
We sure hope that our blog has allowed you to share a little bit of what we have enjoyed this winter. Perhaps it will also inspire a few of you to follow in our wake and play in warm waters all winter.
Merrill and Maryse
Until next November!