Getting the Guiding Light back into the water and ready for another year

The boat strapped down

I hope you enjoyed reading about Steve and my adventures in Tobago over the last three weeks. From there we sailed to Trinidad and explored around there for several weeks before sailing towards Puerto Rico to haul the boat out of the water for hurricane season. Next week I will write all about Trinidad, but this week I want to switch gears a little and talk about getting the boat back into the water after hurricane season and some of the boat projects I have had to chase down.

For the last five years I have hauled the Guiding Light out of the water and stored it for hurricane season at Puerto Del Rey on the east coast of Puerto Rico. That was my plan again this year, but as they say in the cruising community “plans are written in wet sand……at low tide”. I did not change plans because I was upset with Puerto Del Rey or worried about Puerto Rico getting hit by another hurricane. I changed plans because right as Steve and I, with a family of three who joined us in Trinidad, were ready to sail to Puerto Rico, in mid-July, a small hurricane passed through the middle of the Caribbean right where we wanted to sail. If we could wait 3 or so days it would not have been an issue, but everyone needed to get back home. On top of that I found the only space available in Grenada at Grenada Marine because another boat chose to go to Trinidad instead, so it seemed like I was being guided to haul out in Grenada this year instead.

We all sailed the 85 miles north from Trinidad to Grenada to get closer and check what the storm was doing. The family was really excited to experience open water sailing, because they want to buy their own boat someday. We had 20-25 knot wind from the east and it was a bumpy overnight sail and their words were that it was “eye opening”. They did a podcast of their time aboard and it comes out two weeks from Saturday, so make sure you check it out because it is full of good info.

As much as I liked hauling out in Puerto Del Rey and I feel the workers do a great job with all my projects, I now feel the exact same way about Grenada Marine. I think Grenada Marine is well run, do great work, and treated me very well (although I did hear the paint department is a bit iffy, but I did not use them this year). About the only complaints I have about Grenada Marine is that it is HOT!!!!! Also the marina is well away from anything else, so you have to rent a car or hire a taxi to get to a grocery store or anything else. The good news is they have a wonderful little restaurant on site and the staff is top notch.

Come back on Tuesday and I will tell you about the major new upgrade Guiding Light got this offseason!!!!! I am so excited……although quite a bit poorer due to it. Haha

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