I decided a few years back that I really wanted to enjoy the cruising lifestyle on board a boat. With Maryse along side, I had a soul mate that also embraced the same dream. After a couple of return trips to the Bahamas I realized that the boat I had, although well equipped and fitted out, was not the boat on which I wanted to cross larger stretches of water. Hence the shopping began for a new boat.
The end result was the purchase of Ambition .... a beautiful Hylas 46.
Our 2002 Hylas 46
Monday, May 21, 2018
Another great season winds down
After the excitement and thrills of watching Antigua Sailing Week races, our attention turned to the tasks of getting Ambition prepared for summer storage. Storing a boat in the south versus preparing a boat for winter storage is a whole different activity. Besides the obvious of protecting the boat from freezing weather in Canada, prepping the boat for the heat and humidity of the Caribbean summer is very different.
This whole prep process is about 8 or 9 days of work for Maryse and I to complete, while we are tied to the dock in Jolly Harbour Marina. This year everything got off to a great start when on day one I slipped going from the dock onto the boat and REALLY sprained my ankle!
After a few phone calls to our daughter in law Mireille, a talented physiotherapist and Daniel an orthotherapist it was off to the store for bags of ice and elastic bandages. As you might imagine, I am quite useless at prepping the boat with my butt parked on the seat and my leg either in ice or elevated in the air! A quick review if the to do list and I rescheduled some items to the fall and other reassigned to Maryse. She is now trained in changing the engine oil and filters in the main diesel engine and the generator – I coached as I moved around the boat on my knees! Now another talent Maryse has added to her resume! She is great!
Our biggest worry is the arrival of hurricane season in June and it continues through October. We do everything possible to minimize wind damage to Ambition. This involves removing the dinghy and sending it off to storage in a building and the outboard gets stored in a shipping container. All the sails are removed and sent to the sail makers who wash them after a salty winter, do any required restitching and then put them away in storage. This saves us a lot of room down below to store all the other odds and ends. The canvas is washed and dried and stored below.
The wind generator is removed completely and the solar panels are locked in a horizontal position – they remain on to trickle charge the batteries.
I remove the 1000’ of lines on the deck to save them from both the wear and tear in the wind but also from the sunlight all summer. I replace them with thinner messenger lines to reinstall all the lines back through the mast and boom in the fall.
The second major worry is mold and bugs. Maryse has her special concoction to ensure that the boat will not suffer from mold in the summer heat by washing the interior with vinegar and water EVERYWHERE she can reach, inside cupboards, storage lockers, ceiling panels and under the floor boards. Her final special treatment is a light spray of clove oil diluted in water.
All our stuff that gets left on board ends up in Ziploc bags … tons of Ziploc’s in all sizes! Last task is to leave a collection of little pots of bug killer to make sure that we have no tenants move in and take up residence while we are away.
Contracts for repair work for the summer have now been given to the talented folks in Jolly Harbour and everything else will be watched carefully by our boat manager Jesse, who checks up on Ambition every few weeks to make sure the batteries are charged, the bilge is dry and that she is doing well while we are away.
After Ambition is on the hard, we move into a little villa for 4 days while we knock off the last tasks and pack up our stuff for a summer in Montreal.
The last item on our to do list is always the same – Ambition gets a pat on the stern and a wish that her summer is uneventful.
All ready for the summer
The boatyard will come by in June and weld all the jack stands together with steel bars so they do not move and then they will tie her down to underground anchors with large straps.
Maryse and I hope that you have enjoyed following along with us via our blog, as we travel around the Caribbean islands feeling ever so fortunate to be able to enjoy this lifestyle.
Have a great summer everyone from the crew of Ambition!