Hurricane season. In the boating world this means that this is the time to keep your boat safe from the weather. Hurricane season is between August and October. We decided to go to Grenada because it was going to be fun and out of the “hurricane zone”.
For boats our size there are really two options on what to do during hurricane season:
- You can leave your boat in the water at a marina or on a mooring ball
- You can take your boat out of the water and strap it down in a boat yard
We decided option two because we thought it would be safer for the boat and we selected a place called Grenada Marine. On August 22 we were ready to take SandStar out of the water. We worked hard on SandStar for two days before haul out. We were doing things such as oiling the hatches and washing the front anchor locker. The day of the actual haul out I was stressed thinking of all the work I had in front of me.
The big lift moved our boat slowly about ¼ of a mile down the boat yard to its resting place. I can remember thinking this is a really long way to walk from the entrance to our spot. They put a ladder up behind the boat so now every time we wanted to get on the boat you had to go up this old metal ladder. Want to use the bathroom? Up and down the ladder you go. Going to get the laundry or lunch? The ladder strikes again! By the end of the week our feet hurt!
On August 30th we had a flight out of Grenada, we had about a week to get the boat ready to be left alone for 2 months. It was A LOT of work (I had no idea that it would be so much work). Our family sat down and made a list of all the preparations we had to do for the boat (the list was about 3 pages long) and each person signed up for their favorite job. Our parents decided to make the work more appealing by paying us for all the chores we finished and I was motivated to make some cash for our vacation.
I learned that when packing up a boat there are 5 big things that you have to make sure you do.
- EVERYTHING must be super clean
- Get rid of all food that will go bad
- Package and bag everything (this make sure no mold grows on anything)
- Tinfoil all the windows to keep the sun out and temperature down
- Decommission all systems, setting up all systems to be stored.
When living on the boat you don’t have air conditioning, all we have is the wind. Every room has a window (hatch) that you can prop open at the top to get lots of wind. The whole point of a boat yard is to make the boats safe by having it very sheltered so the chances that your going to get any wind is 0%. The boat yard was very hot, and we sweated a lot.
On the bright side we didn’t have to sleep on the boat while it was hauled out we got to stay close by in a hotel. There are a lot of differences between living on a boat to staying in a hotel for example on the boat we were often awoken in the middle of the night by the anchor alarm going off because the wind changes direction and the boat swings.
Everyday a friendly lady named Sammie drove us to and from the hotel and by the end of the day we were thankful to have a shower and a bed because we were super tired and smelled just plain bad. One night while driving back to the hotel a huge frog jumped out in front of the car and met its gruesome end. This was not a normal frog, this was a mega-frog that was so big it hit the bottom of the car and not the wheels. From then on, we were on frog watch each time we rode in the car.
When the boat was hauled out it was very hard to make food for dinner lunch and breakfast because you are always doing work. For dinner we managed to make a few salads but for lunch and breakfast we ate at the boat yard restaurant that had really good burgers. Another way we found good food was a small van that sold bread and they had the best rolls ever! Everyday when whoever got the bread at 3:30 came back we would say “We got the goods!” Basically, my diet in the boatyard was a lot of bread, granola bars, salads, and huge burgers.
After we packaged and bagged everything our rooms looked like we never moved into the boat there were just trash bags sitting on the bed holding all of our things