Posted by: Dawna Bate | November 11, 2012

On the Hard Decisions


I haven’t posted for quite a while. Part of that is being too busy to write anything. In all honesty, most of it is trying to avoid what has been happening. I’m not a fan of this time of year. Even less so since we’ve been sailing. Fall brings with it the end of our season and a list of decisions that make it hard to avoid the inevitable.

“On the hard” means that the boat has been pulled out of the water and is sitting on land. This makes it sound so simple, but there is a lot involved in pulling a boat out for the season. Fourteen thousand pounds of boat is a big responsibility. It takes a lot of care on the marina’s part (since we pay them to do this and they know how careful they need to be) and a lot of holding one’s breath on my part (hoping that all goes well).

And “on the hard” is where poor Second Wind is sitting now. Here’s some of the decisions we had to make in September.

  • Do we continue with our jobs or just run away to the Caribbean earlier than planned? (Yes, we’re still in Waterloo, still working, still dreaming.)
  • When do we want the boat taken out? (September is less expensive. Last year we hauled out early and then had a gorgeous October and November. Not that we can sail in November, because insurance says we have to be out by October 14.)
  • Do we store Second Wind in the locked yard or in the parking lot? During the winter, the whole parking lot of the marina becomes a storage lot for boats. Boats come from all over Lake Ontario for storage. From Niagara-on-the-Lake, Toronto, Port Credit, Burlington.
  • Do we get Second Wind shrink wrapped again? This involves yards and yards of heavy plastic, wrapped around the boat and then heated to shrink the plastic for a tighter fit. Last year we did this, but found that there wasn’t a lot of protection from dirt and water. And there is a lot of plastic to garbage in the spring, which we aren’t too happy about. We decided this year to buy a permanent, multi-piece cover that we can reuse each year. David just picked up the cover yesterday and we won’t be able to put it on for a couple of weeks. Hopefully, we won’t get much (any!) snow until then.
  • Why do we live and work in this part of the world when neither of us like winter? Oh yeah – we have a boat to pay for. (We ask ourselves this question a lot. I won’t post it here more than once. I mean in this issue.)
  • Do we winterize the boat ourselves or pay someone to do it? Since last year was our first winter with the boat, we paid someone to do it. Paid them a lot. Thankfully, David is very good at figuring these things out, so he’s tackled it this year. Draining the water, adding anti-freeze, disconnecting the batteries, changing the oil and filter in the engine. I’m thankful that he can figure this stuff out. I can carry in cushions and take down the canvas (bimini and dodger) around the cabin. That’s about as much use as I can be.

Now we settle in for a long winter. Hopefully, it will be a mild one. This winter will find us reading more manuals, learning more about the boat, learning more about sailing. I plan to organize the photos I took this summer into albums. We’ve already started our winter plans. David has taken a head maintenance course (more on that later) and will be taking a splicing course as well. So much to learn.

Second Wind is on the hard. I’m already planning for next season and things that we’ll do next year. There are a lot of decisions to be made this winter. I think those ones will be easier.



  1. Love this Dawna…so heartfelt 🙂

    • Thanks, Andrea. I do enjoy being on the water!

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