Laying Up Namani
It is strange to be winterizing our boat in July while other sailors are just launching, and very sad to see Namani out of the water. The end of our adventure, at least this one. I am trying to get motivated for the "adventure" of heading back to work and "real life". Wasn't what we just had real life, too? A really good life, that's for sure.
We spent four days tied up alongside at Yankee Marina getting everything ready for two years of storage. Starting with general cleaning and fresh water washing everything, and then on to specifics: outboard ready for storage, sails stowed, anchor and chain cleaned, etc. I wish we had kept track of how many meters (kilometers?) of line we washed or how many kilos or gear we unloaded, Lego collection and all.
On the fifth day, the mast was unstepped and Namani hauled out. Markus could watch it optimistically, glad for our year of sailing, but for me it was a sad moment. Typically for him, Nicky was unmoved, except for fervently admiring the power washer used to clean Namani's dirty hull. Since hauling her out, we have spent two more days perched high above the ground in the boat yard to finish off the job list: winterizing the engine, emptying all lockers, painting a few corners, drying the bilge, greasing the steering, etc.
Namani is now 27 years old and has crossed the Atlantic at least three times (with us and with her former owners). She seems to be in generally good shape though we know there will be several major projects to undertake before our next long cruise. New sails, a new topsides paint job, a little repair to the keel. We suspect that parts of the deck will have to be replaced if the core proves as hollow as it sounds, in places at least. Well, time will tell. It will be good to focus on getting her ready for future cruising rather than moping about this ending.
Namani is not the biggest or nicest sailboat around, but I am continually struck by the number of "biggers" and "nicers" we see that rarely, if ever, venture away from their home waters. It is certainly true that the best boat for cruising is the boat you have now. And to go now! A case in point is our sailor neighbor at the marina: he bought a beautiful and spacious Bristol sloop three years ago and outfitted it for extensive cruising. Health problems intervened with his plans and he was forced to sell the boat. It makes us doubly appreciate our good fortune to be able to turn our dream into a reality.
In our time at the boat yard, many different people come up to ask us if we were the ones who had sailed "all the way" from Europe. That provided a little fanfare for the conclusion of our yearlong journey which was touching for us, and a prompt for us to quietly celebrate our cruise. We are not quite ready to let go yet, so we will make a few more blog posts and update our website with some practical information for sailors and answers to the most commonly asked questions we hear about our trip.
Not yet, the end.