It is hard to believe that our first season cruising is already done. So what marks the end of the cruising season for us?? Well, our schedule use to revolve around the public school calendar. Now it revolves around the hurricane calendar. The kids have been doing school all summer and they are excited that their break is finally here. We had our ups and downs (mostly ups!) and our portfolios have been submitted and we are officially done for the year!!
|Very excited kiddos!! They are ready for a break! Anybody think Sam is really excited???|
Hurricane season officially starts in June but the prime season when we get the most storms is September and October. Take a look at the NOAA map right now….it is like playing a game of connect the dots with the storms. After watching what happened with Irma last year, we went through many cycles to figure out what to do this year. We decided to go to Grenada which is officially outside of the box but for the prime time of September and October we wanted SandStar to be out of the water and strapped down to land. We made plans in April for a haul out at Grenada Marine. After the hit that Puerto Rico and the BVIs took last year the spots were filling up fast in Grenada. The next thing we knew it was August and we were prepping for the haul out. The haulout itself was a stressful 60 minutes. SandStar is a pretty wide girl - 28ft beam so when we do find a place that can haul her it is usually a tight fit on the lift. Here are some pictures to show you what it looked like:
|Captain Dan backing her into the lift area|
|It took about six guys helping us get her into the travel lift.|
|You can see the fit was pretty tight. We also held our breath when they lifted her to make sure the straps were in the right place.|
|Whooohooo! She is out of the water!|
|The moment you realize how hard it is to get on and off your boat now......|
There was A LOT of preparations before and after the haul out. We gave ourselves a week and used every minute of it. It felt like days and days and days of laundry. You want everything clean before you leave so nothing grows. Yuck!! Dan had a list a mile long of systems to shut down and fridges and freezers to defrost and clean out. Everyone had a list of things to do and the kids were able to earn some spending $$ for our hurricane break. The kids also met a few of the marina dogs and there was a daily bread truck that came by everyday that had the best rolls.
|Oh....the list was very long. This was only one page.|
|Jack working hard on our fenders that got a little dirty when we were in the marina.|
|The boys scrubbing our dinghy.|
|Then Emma polished the dinghy.|
|Oh....the laundry that never ended.|
|Everything had to be washed!! Even these guys!|
|The kids playing with Perry in the boatyard.|
|Jack's Favorite Vehicle - the bread truck|
During our “work” week we stayed at La Sagesse Resort and they were so kind to take us back and forth to the marina every day. We also learned they make one of the best rum punches in Grenada!! I don’t even think I got a picture of the rum punches after the 10-hour work days. But we were lucky to take one day to lime on the beach during the week.
|La Sagesse has a beautiful beach!!|
|A little reading time for me!|
|Jack is ready to play!|
|Emma riding the waves!|
|Sam enjoying his Ting - his favorite Grenadian soda.|
|A little game of catch the snack!|
So now where do we go????? Our water home is on land and our land home is being rented. We know we may never get this time with the kiddos again when we move back on land, so we are planning to check off some items from our bucket list. South Africa was on the top of the list and was our plan for this year. After doing some research and after Dan found a great search site for flights we were able to book flights to Scotland, Ireland, South Africa and Greece for the same price as a flight just to South Africa!!! Score!! Now comes the hard part….keeping the trip in budget. Usually when we travel it is for a much shorter period of time and it is a vacation that we splurge a little on activities, rental cars and lodging. But this is a different trip in length – 8 weeks! Our first stop would prove to be one of our hardest to keep in check on budget – NYC!!! I have a whole post coming on our time in NYC!!