It’s usually a very sad time of year, putting our dear R.E.D. to bed for the long winter months but this year we are at least a month later than usual to pull her from the water and it felt right…and kind of fun..with an energy we haven’t found in past years.
Hooking Up HIS Trailer
Maybe it’s because we had a much longer season, or maybe it could be that we now have a special place right in our own yard and the process is so much easier. There was no going back and forth through all of that depressing congested Montreal traffic.
She spent her summer here, just six kilometres from our home, at a small co-op-type club. It meant just one trip too. Trailer hooked up to the tow beast and within a few minutes we were ready for our annual ritual.
First, a chilly outing on the bay to empty her belly of salt water.
Winterizing MY Engine
Next, Francois put the motor through it’s winterizing paces.
Installing Mast Extension
The mast extension makes for a much better shape when tarping.
R.E.D. waited patiently at the service dock while the trailer was brought to the loading ramp
Then came the offical haul-out. So easy for two of us to handle, all completed with no incident.
Power wash came next before all the accumulated ‘yuck’ from a summer in the water had dried. Demasting with all of the lines secured and we were ready to head for home.
This year’s tarp skeleton is Francois’ best creation to date. It makes the job so much easier too when there is a small hardware store down at the corner to buy extra tie wraps and PVC piping.
Even covering and threading the lines under R.E.D.’s belly seemed less of a chore this year.
All liquids and other essentials removed from the cabin and lines flushed through with anti-freeze, she will rest all cozy and ready for whatever winter storms will throw our way.
For those who prefer to read our story in a language other than English, please forgive the automatic translation.
This year R.E.D. is being hauled out earlier than usual. We need to have my engine serviced – necessary after 300 hours of use – and you can bet Francois has been keeping track (you should see his spread sheets).
Why I call it ‘my engine’ here.
After an early rise and a cup of coffee, Francois picked up our haul-out ticket. It all went well, straps placed, she was carefully raised and set perfectly on the trailer.
The club was great in giving us a temporary parking location so we could give R.E.D. an initial clean up. While Francois applied a cleaner along the water line (Mary Kate On Off Hull Cleaner), I power washed the belly then rinsed the entire hull. Very proud of my workin’ hands but I’d say a manicure may be in order.
So we could get an early start we spent the night onboard one last time. When I opened my eyes the next morning there was a second or two of extreme confusion. Instead of clear sky overhead I saw leaves and a squirrel perched on the unstepped mast. Oh yeah. We’re no longer on the water.
One last look as the hauling out of club boats continues before heading out to Evinrude maintenance guy.
We’ll be leaving R.E.D. in good hands for the next several days. Uncoupling the car, she was immediately trailered away awaiting her place in the production line.
So what do a couple of sailors do after just a couple of coffees in our bellies and no breakfast? We head over to our fave watering hole, order a couple of celebratory pints and a yummy brunch. Tomorrow we’ll get back to a more reasonably healthy diet…at least that’s what we tell ourselves.
I’ll return once MY engine has been serviced to let you know all about what we go through for R.E.D.’s winterizing process. At the end of our fourth season we have it down to a fairly efficient process but there a few things that will need to be corrected.
This will actually be our last four days onboard R.E.D.
for this 2015 sailing season.
For the past several days we have been enjoying
our cozy warm cabin
…a little candle light…
…a little wine…
…amidst near freezing night time temperatures.
We sit here, looking at each other,
wrapped in layers of fleece and blankets
in our tiny cabin on the water
when we could be at our land home
surrounded by all the conveniences
that land-based living offers
and we ask ourselves ‘why are we here?’
…and the answer is always the same…
‘because this is where we would rather to be’.
During our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner prep at our land home base
I managed to add a slice of my own finger to my
Trip to hospital…
Mandolin in the garbage where it belongs.
In spite of what we have heard about long wait times at hospital emergency rooms,
(18-24 hours in some cases)
we found that when you arrive with an amputated part of your body,
packed in ice in a plastic food baggy,
the triage nurse tends to fast track you.
In and out within two hours
but sadly my finger bit wasn’t worthy of re-attaching.
Second visit two days later for dressing change,
and sent home with a goody bag…
…and what do we do as soon as we can?
…return to R.E.D.
This latest accident pretty much guarantees
that any further winterizing boat chores
will be limited to a supervisory level for me…
…including washing of dishes (yay!)
…and Captain is also in charge of dressing changes (I’m a lefty)
…as if he didn’t have enough things to take care of.
My Captain has been a Prince though.
…his biggest challenge keeping me from doing things for myself,
independent Kat that I am.
Snow forecast for the weekend
and wouldn’t I just love to snap a picture of us on the boat
with white stuff falling all around?
…this is the best I could do…a little snow dandruff on the helm cover.
On our second to last day onboard,
the winds went from a frisky west direction…
…to black skies and squall conditions, winds from the north…
…to easterly and back to westerly, within minutes…
Only a handful of boats left to be tucked away for the season
and we chose to be amongst the last of the last.
Temperatures dipping below freezing at night made us realize that it’s time.
…and yet we will stay onboard until the bitter cold end.
I’d say from our CPS Fundamentals of Weather Course,
that this sky is a definite indication of a cold front approaching.
Today we woke to sub zero temperatures
raw winds and yes, snow…
At 07:30 Francois stood in line at the club office
(sort of like the Seinfeld Soup Nazi).
You stand there expectedly holding out your hand,
receive your ticket for haul out order,
nod thankfully and walk away.
We scored #3…
..because my injury makes docking difficult
and because the surface was super slick with morning frost,
I met Francois at the service dock.
…the guys prepared the straps…
…R.E.D. was hoisted high into the air…
…Francois remained ever-present throughout…
…and she was carried away to her special place.
Finishing the winterizing and enveloping R.E.D. in her winter coat
will have to wait a few more days
but for now she is secure on dry land.
This will be her sweet place for the next six months…
Francois went back to the dock to remove our lines
and returned saying: ‘it’s ballistic cold down there!’
So what exactly does ‘ballistic cold’ mean?
I went down to the empty docks
and found out just what ‘ballistic cold’ means.
…a cold that blows straight to the heart of your bones
and sends you shivering uncontrollably back to shelter.
We left the essentials on board,
a little ambiance,
a sip of scotch for the next chilly evening onboard
and of course first aid for the clumsy one…
Back at our land home base,
we unpacked another huge load of boat gear…
an oh so cold, long and very tiring day complete.
I looked in the cupboard and saw not a lot of anything interesting for supper.
Then I remembered ‘Touski’
Not too bad for having ‘nothing’ for supper…
I poured the wine
because for the foreseeable future
I’m not allowed to use anything sharp
in the galley.
Almost time to begin our dreaming and planning,
maybe a few modifications thrown into the mix.