It’s been a while. Cold, dark winter days, life on land, and our summer on board Carina seems a million miles away. But we are beginning to emerge from hibernation. We’re looking forward to the longer, brighter days ahead, and many more sailing adventures to come.
Since November we have been living on the outskirts of Exeter and Carina is on a winter mooring at Teignmouth. Julian visits her every few weeks to check everything is in order. He empties and changes the moisture traps, runs the engine, checks for mould, and generally makes sure that her hibernation isn’t doing her too much damage.
The weekend before last we joined Julian at the boat yard. Lily hugged herself tight against the cold when I made her pose with Carina in the background. We all want to be back on board as soon as possible, but the cold that day gave us a jolt of reality.
Over the weeks, Julian has been removing items from Carina that are in need of some attention. Our life-raft is currently being assessed in Southampton to see if it’s more cost-effective to have it serviced or to buy a new one (or a ‘newer’ one). We should hear the verdict today. Shortly after Christmas Julian began working on the removable teak. The boards from the cockpit floor have received a first layer of teak oil, and he’s sanded the large aft-seat/fender board and the tender seat. But he’s been stalled by the cold weather, as he can’t give them the layers of varnish they need until it warms up.
With the children growing, the emergency grab-bag needs to be re-stocked before we move back on board. Clothes packed for the girls are now too small and with Katie making every effort this week to use the potty, those nappies hopefully will be excess to requirements by the time we move back on board. With the family away all last week, I was left at home to my own devices and couldn’t resist stealing a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk from the grab-bag. Guess I’ll have to replace that too. And…what an oversight. When I organised it last year, I neglected to pack any clothes for Julian. Oops.
I have a to-do list of storage items that I want on board, that I think will improve our comfort and ease of access to the necessities. I’m gradually getting hold of everything I need. We’re also purchasing non-perishables now and again, when we come across particularly good bargains in the supermarket, and have a little supply building up in the cupboard under the stairs.
Materially and psychologically we are preparing ourselves for our return to the water. The girls talk about Carina all the time, and seem to keen to get back ‘home’. We don’t yet know where we will go or what we will do. We aim to be back on the water by the first week of May at the latest. And after that? Well, the world is our oyster.