Week 24 - Haul out time 

9th October - 16th October

141015 1 The dilemma the main is off now to the sailmakers

24 weeks - well that would equate to around 6 months that Katherine has been our home on the water this season. In that time we have sailed just on 3275 nautical miles from Denmark, up the west coast of Norway to Lofoten then down the East coast of the United Kingdom ending our journey in Hamble, near Southampton.

The last week or so has been full of preparation for wintering. Imagine taking your home and literally packing it up for three months - perhaps we do a little more than we need but anything to keep the threat of mould at bay. Everything inside in the way of linen or clothing is extracted from the cupboards reviewed for its usefulness before being vacuumed sealed in bags and stowed on the beds. Someone locally, this year the X-Yacht office staff, benefit from the emptying of the pantry cupboard of anything that is likely to be out of date on our return or to invite unwanted guests (weevils) onboard. As Lee is turning the inside of the boat upside down Andrew goes through the sail locker, garage and engine room cleaning and preparing for winter storage. Sails are dropped and it is at this time we are reminded of how big and heavy they are as we try and manoeuvre them to the local sail loft. Thankfully this year we had the assistance of both the sail loft guys and the X-Yacht office. The trusty dehumidifier once more comes into play - during the sailing year we use it for the laundry room an effective dryer of clothes overnight - during this winter season it will have the important roll of keeping the moisture inside the boat down and hopefully mould at bay. Unlike last year when Katherine was stored in the luxury of an inside shed at the X-Yacht factory this year Katherine stands on the hard in the yard under the watchful eye of the X-Yacht office in Hamble. 

141016 2 Still not convinced

Hauling Katherine out involves lifting on a sling from within a lock area. As the photos show we had our doubts as we approached the lift area in Hamble Marina that we would actually fit. But fit we did - all be it we had to pull our fenders in as we literally only had inches to spare once the slings were positioned - perhaps that was why none of the “officials” requested that they manoeuvre the boat rather than Andrew. 

141016 6 Not too bad a bottom

Once lifted Katherine had her underside - which was surprisingly clean - pressure cleaned before being relocated to a hard stand area. She will sit here for the next few weeks until the area near the X-Yacht office is re concreted ready for boats to be wintered. 

141016 10 Her current position for wintering at Hamble141017 2 playing with autumn colours141017 4 Katherine ready to be left

Getting on and off the boat now becomes a logistical challenge - one long ladder to scale - so we will restrict our visits for the next few weeks to luggage changes only.

As the colours of winter arrive, the weather begins to become unstable and temperatures drop so we know it is a good decision to have hauled out. 

So what next - we are diverting to the USA to visit friends Jim and Cathy Blackwell who will be giving us a locals tour guide of New Orleans and Louisiana including an LSU college football match. Then it will be back to London to offload luggage before finally returning home to Australia mid November. 

Having left home in late January, sailed between Andante (Pacific Crossing) and Katherine some 7000 nautical miles, its time to go back to being land based for a little while, and to enjoy the surroundings of our Darwin based home.

Looking forward as always to seeing family and friends. 

(Click for more photos)

© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain