Preparing for Winter in Picturesque Surroundings
“The small one furthest away and upside down“. This was approximately my contribution to the work of servicing our winches. It concerned one of the many parts that constitutes the mechanics of a winch, and I had to memorize this to help remembering how to assemble the winch. I made it, cause I wrote it down, but June and Laura managed well without it.
Beautiful surroundings, and a bit cold
We have stayed on the boat for 4 days here in Carlingford in the northern part of Ireland, preparing it for the winter and lifting it for hard standing. A year ago June and I was sailing the boat from Lagos to Lisbon in Portugal. We did so wearing shorts and t-shirts, at least during the day. This year we used multiple layers of clothes and especially the nights were pretty cold as we do not have any heating in the boat. However, the beautiful surroundings compensates well for lack of warm weather. All three of us wouldn’t mind spending another week at the boat.
No signs of the hurricane Ophelia
When surrounded by mountains (at least we call them so even though that are not the Alps) the wind behaves differently – at least that is our explanation even though we have no technical explanation. During a day the wind alternates between no wind and a lot of wind, a few minutes in each state before changing. We recognize this from when wind is moving over land, however this was more extreme and consistent.
Last week the hurricane Ophelia went across Ireland. We were quite worried, but now are here a week later we see no signs of the hurricane. Even the bimini was still well attached to the boat as it should. The picture (right or below) shows what was the main concern during the hurricane, which was actually not the wind. It is taken at high water, and as you might notice, the breakwater is almost nonexisting. Also, if you look out to the horizon you see the Irish Sea. The wind was expected be north-easterly which would mean big waves had free access to the harbour – and no protection against the waves could easily damage the boats. Luckily, the wind didn’t turn as expected, however we didn’t know until next morning when we could call and get a status. A very relieving status.
Ready for winter
The work that we did on the boat was mostly preparing it for the winter and hard standing at the yard. The winter will be more like we know it in Denmark compared to what we are used to in Lisbon and Torrevieja, meaning a lot of wind, cold, rain and snow. Ireland is a bit warmer during winter, maybe due to the Atlantic ocean, but it does not rule out any of these conditions.
The Bimini had to come off, which also meant unmounting the solar panels. The wind generator will maintain the batteries during winter. We also bought a dehumidifier to keep moist away during winter. We expect it to run a lot during the next months. The winches have been serviced, and they are turning and clicking like a dream.
The oil and filters on the engine has been replaced, and the cooling system has been prepared with fresh water and anti-freezing. The sails were set to dry on a sunny day with not too much wind, and then stowed away down below. We also did some temporary sealing of places we know water is leaking though on the deck and hatches. The only thing that didn’t really go as planned was making the AIS show up on the plotter. I tested a few things, but now I bring it home to the manufacturer for testing.
We are planning on unstepping the mast during spring, as we need to change wiring for navigation lights and maybe even the stays. Unfortunately the crane was broken and placed in a corner. Hopefully just to be ashamed and not because they have given up on it.
Speed-sightseeing Dublin – again
In the summer when sailing to Carlingford, we only had 4 hours in Dublin. So this time we have booked a Bed & Breakfast for the last night before going home. The plan was to see more of Dublin, but it will be another short visit. I’m writing this in our room as we were to tired to do anything else than watching Netflix. But tomorrow we will have 3 hours of sightseeing before leaving for the airport.
When home in Denmark the countdown starts, as we will not be back at the boat until easter. In the meantime I’m sure Johnny, Darren, and Paddy will take good care of her, and that she enjoys the beautiful spot she has.