This is a long overdue blog post. I always meant to write about the winterisation of Idun, but then life got in the way (house purchase went pear shaped, had to find another rental urgently, pack boxes, clean, move out, move in, clean, unpack boxes, not enough internet for photographs, breathe….). Anyway here it is, the last blog of the season!
I left Mylor on 21st September to take over rabbit duties at home, so that Emma could do her long planned visit to her friend in Truro. And as it happened, Dominic and Idun were in Mylor just down the road! So Emma and her friends visited twice, once for lunch on a very windy day, and then back for a sail a couple of days later.
Over the last few days Dominic did the final clean of Idun, sorted out the heaters and the dehumidifier, deflated clothing and bedding into storage bags. On the Tuesday he had another meeting with Mark, who is going to work on the electrics over the winter. In the afternoon they came to strip Idun of all her canvas – sails, covers and spray-hood. The sails are very heavy and it’s a 2/3 person job to get them down and folded up. With bedding packed away, Dominic was in camping mode with a sleeping bag on the cabin seats.
Wednesday was an early start. Boats are lifted at high water, and as Idun is as big as Mylor can take, she was scheduled to come out of the water first, at 7am. It was a very close fit – just inches to spare on either side and, after several false starts to position the lifting cradles correctly, out she came. Almost: they realised the backstay had to be taken off as well. Once that was done it could be lifted free of the water.
Dominic took the chain off the anchor and laid it out under the boat – all 100m of it! And he bought a very large tarpaulin that he put on top of the boat to keep leaves, and bird muck off. The lovely people in Mylor will now continue the winterisation. They will clean, check and store the sails. The engine will get a checking over. The RIB’s engine will be taken off and serviced. Alarmingly there was a crack where the keel joined the hull. After much deliberation it was decided that this was “settling in” for a new boat and all it needs is to be filled in.
Dominic said it was rather scary walking around the deck with a 4 meter drop on either side – and quite off putting as the boat was rock steady. We’d bought a retractable ladder to climb up from the ground – it was only just long enough. It was a busy day sorting everything out, cleaning and generally ensuring the boat was in a safe and proper state to lie dormant for 6 months. After a night sleeping on the boat up its cradle, which he said was a bit weird, Dominic took the train back home for the final time this season.
A few final thoughts:
- I’ve really enjoyed arriving at new places and exploring. I have particularly liked it when we stay in the same place for a few nights, so you get a feel for your new surroundings. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the world from water, and have found myself telling people from the point of view of rivers, only to find that understandably, they have no idea where we are. But when I said Newton Ferrers, rather than the river Yealm, my Devon friend knew what I was talking about. And when you arrive in a marina, your world has sort of shrunk to that part of the town that you’re visiting. It is always a bit of a surprise to walk out of the marina and discover the ‘normal’ town.
- There is an awful lot to learn when it comes to sailing. I obviously knew that this would be the case, but when you’re out there, and you can see how the sails work so differently when the wind comes from another direction, and how difficult it is to judge distances when at sea, and how complicated it is to make good judgments as to where to anchor, and the impact of tides, and the variations in tides both in time and place, well, yes there is an awful lot to learn. I have complete confidence in Dominic’s sailing ability and respect his experience. As for me, I feel I am now nearly competent crew.
- I have surprised myself at how: a) I’ve not been sea sick. I’ve been really uncomfortable during three sails, but not actually sick. b) I’m not frightened when sailing. Even when heeling quite substantially. (I am not at all surprised at how I get frightened when it’s very windy when in a harbour / at night.)
- It’s been lovely to be just the two of us for so much of the time in our new home on water!
- It has at times been difficult to be just the two of us in the confined space of a boat.
- We have thoroughly enjoyed having family and friends visiting / staying with us. It has also been really nice meeting new people along the way, many of whom we feel could become real friends.
- I’m looking forward to sailing again!
- I’m very impressed how Birgitta has taken the whole experience in her stride. For me it’s all very familiar territory. I remember the time we were sailing round the outside of the Isle of Wight and it was pretty bumpy. It was going to last a few hours and I thought we’d better turn back and make the passage when it was a bit more comfortable thinking I’d a get a sigh of relief from Birgitta. “No!” she exclaimed, “Let’s keep going we want to get somewhere else now!”. Oh, OK.
- Idun is big, new and, err, expensive. I’m super scared of bumping her when motoring in and out of marinas. But so far, we’ve managed without a scratch.
- For most of the season I had driven the tender without being able to get it on the plane and so max speed was around 6 knots. Rather disappointing. Then my friend Toby showed me how to get it on the plane. I tried and it goes like a super-charged rocket – 15 knots is the slowest I can go – I’m quite sure it would go 25 if I dared!
- Otherwise, ditto Birgitta!