As of right now I am in Turkey exploring the Aegean coast. So far this offseason I have been to Chicago, New York City, Kaliningrad (Russia), Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, but first I had to haul the Guiding Light out of the water and store it ashore. I did this a month ago in Grenada and it took me five days to get the boat ready to leave for three months.
A lot of the prep work I did while the boat was still in the water. This included getting all the dirty clothes, linens, and towels laundered, so I could vacuum bag everything that is cloth. This helps protect my clothes, sheets, towels, blankets, etc from mildew. Next I pulled out the toilets and scrubbed them out thoroughly before I wiped down all walls, cabinets, and ceilings. I did all this while I was at the Port Luis Marina before I motored about 2.5 hours around to Grenada Marine, on the southeast corner of Grenada. Once on the dock there I changed the oil in both engines and replaced the entire Racor fuel filter housing (not a regular thing to do when being hauled out, but I figured the engines were replaced last year and they should be replaced also) and made sure all water was cleaned out of the bilges. Everything outside had to be taken down including the life rings, loose gear, and most running rigging. I even stripped the sails of reefs, halyards, and other lines to make it quicker for the riggers to take both sails off (something you need two people to do, so I left it for them). The sails were then taken to the sail loft to inspect and repair.
I got to Grenada Marine on Friday later afternoon and on Monday morning I had the boat in the haul out slip ready to have the slings put under it and lifted up. This is when the boat yard had issues. It took them a couple hours to fix something on the machine and I finally got hauled out, pressure washed, moved, and blocked by 3pm. This did not leave me a lot of time that day to do what I needed to do, but I was able to get it all done. I had the dinghy lowered and helped move under the boat and blocked itself. Next I dropped the anchor and all the chain so I could hang it on a saw horse and then I finished the engines by draining and replacing the saildrive oil, flushing the engines with fresh water and a product called salt away, and adding stabilizer to the fuel.
On Tuesday I flew out of Grenada, but made sure to have a flight in the afternoon in order to finish anything I needed to do, but I was actually on schedule for my noon taxi. I just need to make sure the propane was disconnected, inverter switched off, batteries taken out of the smoke detectors (made that mistake once and got a call they were going off due to bug bombs), curtains were closed, all switches at the electrical panel were off, and everything was ready for a three plus month slumber.
I know I am forgetting to write some of the things down, but I am worn out just typing all the stuff I needed to do to get the boat ready for the offseason. In November I get to do everything in reverse to get the boat recommissioned. One thing I learned though is to have a selection of canned food, boxed drinks, etc for when you return, so you are not scrambling to find food after flying back to the boat. Now to tell you all about my offseason travels over the next several months and Chicago is first up!!!!